Crime Bible #3 From Script to Page with Matthew Clark

Many readers take for granted the amount of work that goes into the comics that they find fresh on shelves every Wednesday afternoon, not contemplating the role of writer, artist, colorist, letterer, editor, and all the other post-production hands that contribute to the final product.

Thanks to artist Matthew Clark (who provided art and commentary) and writer Greg Rucka (who allowed us to publish his script), we’re able to take a look at the process that goes into transforming a writer’s scripts into a story on the page. The following commentary by Clark originally appeared on his MySpace page, where you can find updates on his current work, and additional behind-the-scenes looks at his art.

Below, you’ll find a page-by-page look at the creation of Crime Bible #3, beginning with Greg Rucka’s script, then Matthew Clark’s pencil’s, then Clark’s inks, then Clark’s commentary.

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PAGES 2-3:

Penciled 2-3 by Matthew Clark

Page 2-3 inks by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “Since I was inking this issue also I didn’t pencil as tight, keeping it loose….”

Page 4:

Penciled 4 by Matthew Clark

Inked 4 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “Really loose pencils…done at size then blown up to 11×17 for inks. Notice the subtle changes, or not-so-subtle changes. I made some decisions in the inks to hopefully make the page work better. Give the book a Noir feel.”

Page 5:

Penciled 5 by Matthew Clark

Inked 45 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “Every once in a while I do my sound efx…. Sometimes they make it in, other times they get digitally erased. Other times my display lettering gets covered by other display lettering, but you can still see it…more on that later.”

Page 6:

Penciled 6 by Matthew Clark

Inked 6 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “This marks Montoya’s return to Gotham City since 52. After reading the script and knowing the writer well enough, I added a panel [on what] was a panel heavy page to begin with. But I felt the panel was needed. The opening shot is the added panel. It should also look similar — this is the opening shot of Lt. Gordon taking the train to Gotham from Batman Year One. My tip of the hat to David Mazzuchelli. This panel is also the only full-bleed panel in the issue. It appears again on page 22 as Renee is leaving Gotham. I felt it was a nice book ends to the story. This page also has the lettering mistake. In the script, the bar is called Molly’s. In the ref. I got and hunted around for, the bar was called Marlowe’s. I did some of the lettering on computer picking the fonts. I put in Molly’s. The Letterer put in Marlowe’s but didn’t take mine out. Check the book.

One of the things that happens is things get covered up. In the final printed version, Xenon’s lettering was covered up, so people might not have caught on that that is where Renee’s ex works.”

Page 7:

Penciled 7 by Matthew Clark

Inked 7 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “This was a tough page to tackle. A lot of the dialogue is the Commish, but it’s not his book, so that’s a fine line. While he’s a headline in Batman, or he should be, in CB he’s a character actor. So he has a scene but hopefully nothing too scene stealing. I like Gordon and wanted to do him justice. Maggie got the short end of this page since it was compressed to a single page and either Renee or Gordon speaking Maggie got left to background. It happens.”

Page 8:

Penciled 8 by Matthew Clark

Inked 8 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “Here is the first meeting of Bullock and Montoya since Bullock killed the gunman who shot The Commish. He’s back with his badge. Why? I have no idea. He came back during the OYL storylines…. Which is a shame, as a fan of Homicide and the fall of Kellerman, I enjoyed the writers’ tribute to that story. Being a dark and moody part of the story, I whipped out the grease pencil and tried to make the lighting really moody.”

Page 9:

Penciled 9 by Matthew Clark

Inked 9 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “This marks Kathy’s new look. This page is also different from the printed version. In the top panel, I had placed a “K” on the ground to help readers with location. This page and one other had problems with the scans, but I had made copies and burned a disc. I also sent in the board just in case. STILL it was missed.”

Page 10:

Penciled 10 by Matthew Clark

Inked 10 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “Art-wise, this was one of my least favorite pages. It happens. Just nothing worked for me on the page. I ended up blackening out panels two and three and redid them on a separate page. Sometimes you have to let pages/panels go. ”

Page 11:

Penciled 11 by Matthew Clark

Inked 11 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “This page is one of my favorites, not the favorite, but unlike the previous page, this one worked for me. Go figure.”

Page 12:

Penciled 12 by Matthew Clark

Penciled 12 by Matthew Clark

Inked 12 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “I submitted to my editor two versions since this was a big reveal of the character not seen since 52. I wanted to make it the best it could. We went with this one, a better choice I think. Also, please note the wash texture on the costume…something that was completely lost in the color. ”

Page 13:

[Page 13 Art Unavailable]

Page 14:

Penciled 14 by Matthew Clark

Inked 14 by Matthew Clark

Page 15:

Penciled 15 by Matthew Clark

Inked 15 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “Ok, I like breasts, and I’m really liking the spillage of the breasts in dresses. It’s something I’m needing to work out. Hence the Penguin Babes in panels one and two, on purpose. I figure that Cobblepot’s a boob man.

And the inks…all black and sleek looking…and yes in the last panel is me when i had longish hair and minus the broken nose…FYI.”

Page 16:

Penciled 16 by Matthew Clark

Inked 16 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “At this point in Crime Bible, I needed help. Due to the holidays, the book was bumped up on the schedule, so my friend Steve Lieber and Jeremy Colwell came in and helped out, I would then go over the pages if need be to add my touch.”

Page 17:

Penciled 17 by Matthew Clark

Inked 17 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “…The unfinished inks. I can’t seem to find the finished one. Special thanks to Jeremy C. for clutch help.”

Page 18:

Penciled 18 by Matthew Clark

Inked 18 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “This is one of those pages that I don’t know if the art works. It’s serviceable, but really kinda blah, in my opinion.”

Page 19:

Penciled 19 by Matthew Clark

Inked 19 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “After I sent in the pages all corrected and ready for lettering, I realized two things on this page I wish I had done. Panel one — pull out more see that it’s the Batarang hitting the book. Second — switch panels two and three. Honestly, I think it would have worked better, in my opinion.

Thanks to JC once again for all his brushy work.”

Page 20:

Penciled 20 by Matthew Clark

Inked 20 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “Note the change. I forgot I had removed Q’s hat and then drew it in the last panel, but as we’ll see on the [inked] page, it’s on the ground. ”

Page 21:

Penciled 21 by Matthew Clark

Inked 21 by Matthew Clark

Page 22:

Penciled 22 by Matthew Clark

Inked 22 by Matthew Clark

Matthew says: “Hope you’ve enjoyed the look into my process. Its been fun…. I really wanted you to SEE what I had done in Crime Bible, warts and all. Thanks for looking and hopefully enjoying.”

2 Responses to “Crime Bible #3 From Script to Page with Matthew Clark”

  1. The Question | Vic Sage | Renee Montoya » news » Renee Montoya Week says:

    […] Crime Bible #3 From Script to Page with Matthew Clark […]

  2. Periscope Studio » Matthew Clark on the Crime Bible says:

    […] has an incredibly thorough behind-the-scenes look at Matthew’s issue of The Crime Bible. […]

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