Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 217

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Green Hornet #1 Cover. 2012.
Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on bristol board, 11 × 17.

HORNET STILL AT LARGE! The Green Hornet #1 has already hit shelves, so I thought I'd share some of the reference that went into its making. From the outset, Mark Waid was citing Citizen Kane as an inspiration for the story — I figured it ought to work for me as well. The cover is unabashedly based on the photo below. Aside from being a great character study, Waid's story is also a rumination on the media... and how much clout newspapers used to have.

Photos found via Google

I used this as a thinly-veiled excuse to buy a 1/6 scale Mauser C96, part of my ever-growing collection of tiny weapons. I even have a gun rack for them.

Inks by my Dad
Blue-Line Print

Digital Composite

Digital Layouts

One of my first ideas was for Green Hornet to turn into a swarm of hornets, but we ultimately went with a more iconic cover. The newspaper background took quite a bit of time, but it would've taken even more had I not used Photoshop's "smart objects" to duplicate the front page. Below is the template file — it has just enough detail to give a decent impression at a small size.

The Photoshop "smart object"


  1. Excellent cover! Iconic, powerfull and an elegant composition, so 'clean' if you know I want to say.
    I have a good guns collection too ( included Mauser C96 ), but mines are replics at real scale ( if I had bought all of these guns, It would be probably I had a cintiq 13HD tablet, sig!! ).
    Nevertheless, I find very usefull in so many times.
    Now, I´m painting a Punisher pin-up, carrying his typical Colt 1911 ( is my second 'experiment' using gouche and acrylic paint, the Batman was the first ) and my 1911 replic was so helpfull for me.

  2. On the other hand, you are a very lucky guy, your father is a fantastic inker, I love his work. Which brush/brushes/tools is he using for inking?
    I usually ink my pencils using my DaVinci ( Maestro Series) red sable brush number 3 and Faber Castell Pit pens sizes 'XS', 'S' or 'F' for some small details.
    Sometimes, I used the Pentel brush pen. It is so confortable for me couse is not need recharging often, but is more difficult for me to control the line thickness than I use a 'traditional' brush.

    1. My Dad mostly usese a Windsor & Newton Series 7 Sable #5 and #2. I typically use a #6. I've tried the Pentel, and while I like it well enough, I much prefer a real brush. For cons, I use a watercolor reservoir brush that I filled with ink. It's pretty convenient.

    2. Thank you so much for your kind answer, Paolo.
      I,m using Windsor & Newton inks and watercolors for years and are fantastics.
      I quite often heard about Windsor & Newton Series 7 sable and I have been thinking seriously to buy a #3 or #4, but in Spain, are so expensive than other high quality sable brushes. W&N #3 it costs 18 € (about 24 $ )and #4 23€ ( 30$ ). Da Vinci Maestro Serie 10 #4( like mine ), for instance, it costs 13 € (16 $).As you can see is a big price difference...
      So, It's quality difference between W&N and another brands as big as price difference?In your proffessional experience, what do you think, do you suggest me the W&N Series 7 Sable?
      Thank you sou much, again!!

    3. They're definitely expensive. I'd say give one of the smaller ones a shot and if you like it, then go for the big one. I only buy mine when the stores I shop at offer some kind of big discount.

  3. Thank you very much for your advice Paolo!! I'll take it!
    And once again, sorry for my horrible english... ;)

  4. Fantastic cover. I loved the first issue of the book.

    1. Thanks, Ian! I just finished my copy. Awesome stuff. Working on cover 5 today.


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