A biblical parable retold with robots, made by me.
This is a graphic novel five years in the making, and my first time coming back to comics since “The Clockwork Girl” al those years ago. Creature Academy has been a labor of love and a story I’m very excited to finally share.
I’m leaving is fate to the readers through kickstarter, if enough people are interested in this story, then we can share it with the world.
If you liked “The Clockwork Girl” or any of my work, please go through your support to “Creature Academy” today. Thanks for the opportunity to tell stories and make comics.
The video game, Ruby Blast, is my latest art/animation project, that I art directed, and directed the trailer. So far the reviews are good:
four and a half stars -“Ruby Blast manages to stand head and shoulders above the competition. If you’re a fan of gem-busting fun, Ruby Blast is an absolute must-play.”
“One of the most noteworthy things about Ruby Blast is its excellent presentation”
“beautiful visuals and iconic sounds”
and now go play the game;
This is from a story I wrote for a Seattle music and culture magazine way back in 2003. You can tell how young I was by the Fight Club references.
I did have a lot of fun with it, and I still believe interviews as comics is an entertaining concept, but this was the only one we ever did.
I didn’t do the first illustration, just the comic. I like to think I can draw/write/comic much better now, but I’ll leave that for you to decide.
We mention the Robert Rodriguez Madman film, which still hasn’t happened, but still could and should. Mike, Robert, if you need a director, let me know. Madman would be awesome as a motion-capture movie. Madman’s surreal universe without limitation of reality or budget. We could go all the way.
There are a couple of cheap swipes I took at Mike, that I put in at my editor’s request because my first draft was too fanboy-ish. I still feel bad about it. Mike is/was amazing for letting a young punk like 2003 me take much of his time, and turn him into a goofy comic. The dude is still one of the best talents and most original voices we have in comics.
For the record, my name is Kevin Hanna, not Kevin HannaH, no second “H”. This happens a lot. I’m considering giving up and just legally changing my name.
If the above images are too hard to read, let me know and I’ll do better scans.
Working in the entertainment industry long enough and you’ll create a library of work that will never get made. Entire universes the world will never see.
Sometimes for the best.
I’ve made a lot of Princess video games. A LOT OF THEM. I think 100.
The princesses video games were hugely popular and none of the other Art Directors wanted to touch what they considered cheesy girly stuff, but for me it meant time in and thumb through original Milt Kahl cells or Eyvind Earle background paintings for hours and try to draw like them. Heck, since I was there I could pose the original Nightmare Before Christmas stop motion puppets in Street Fighter poses.
(I did get booted out once for climbing in Narnia Wardrobe, true story)
Honestly, making an action video game about Cinderella was one of two things, dull (how many spools of thread can Cinderella find?), or not faithful to the source (Help Cinderella drive her go-cart through the mall!).
So, with the help of my 10 year old daughter I hatched an idea, I put together a proposal for a video game friendly concept that would honor the source material, but be contemporary.
What resulted may be a clever solution, or the worst travesty to happen to classic animation this side of “Loonatics”
Here the synopsis; basically, the magic of the fairytale world tries to reform itself in our contemporary world, both good and bad magic, resulting in kids being influenced by their classic Disney counterparts. That way it was hearkening the original characters without BEING the original characters, I started to flesh out the characters and story and put together the pitch:
I love putting together art teams, it’s like putting together a team for a heist. With a lose concept in hand I started getting the coolest kids around to do some concept work for it and help flesh it out :
Man, I love that I got this guy to do Disney Princess stuff. It was great to get him to get some key illustrations showing some of the story beats. The guy is good, and possibly can do no wrong.
Becky brought the cool, she took my still very soft cute designs and made them look like rocking concert posters.
And Aimee brought the fashion, look at these. How cute are these? HOW CUTE ARE THESE? So cute, that’s the answer.
In the end, probably for the best, this was never made, Disney games stuck by the old standbys of adapting films as they came out. Creating new IPs in games seems to be a risky business.
Look at Epic Mickey. Yikes. Great reviews, no one bought it.
Maybe they made their money back in Hot Topic T-shirts.
In other news the new “Clockwork Girl” Graphic Novel comes out from Harper Collins soon. On amazon here or go to your local bookseller and request it. Please.
This is the quote that is on the Harper Collins site in the “about the authors” section:
- The Clockwork Girl love story is inspired by the romantic pursuits of its lovesick authors, colleagues Sean O’Reilly and Kevin Hanna.
Wait, wait, does that read to you the way it reads to me?
When I was 8 years old I decided that I wanted to make cartoons for a living, and now I’ve done it. If I could go back in time, meet that kid, I would tell him his dream came true, then I would beat him within an inch of his life and tell him to be an accountant.
I’ve worked assembly lines and in steel mills and I’ve never done anything more difficult than make this independent animated film. There has been a lot of blood sweat and tears poured into this film and it would be a shame for the awesome team that made it happen to go unsung.
As we get near the final days/weeks/months of production, I’d like to share some of the work that went into making this very unique movie.
Below are a couple of (non-spoiler) stills and a little behind the scenes peaks at how we developed two of the main villains, Admiral Wells (Voiced by Carrie-Anne Moss) and the bird robots, the Corvax Guards.
The Clockwork Girl: Feature Film
Director: Kevin Konrad Hanna
The Clockwork Girl feature film stars: Carrie-Anne Moss, Alexa Vega, Jesse McCartney, Garrett, and Jeffrey Tambor
Barnaby was an artist I meet online years ago on “The Drawing Board”, his work blew me away and I wanted to work with him ever since. When I put together the animated short that got this whole ball rolling years ago, he was the only concept artist I wanted to work with. He worked on the short film for free in the hopes of making it all happen. When I first started the movie I had planned to do the film in a cell shaded style that emulated Barnaby’s style verbatim. We were looking a lot at shorts like the beautiful “Gary” seen below.
Now check out Barnaby’s pin-up from the original comic below and imagine it fully animated. Obviously we went with a more traditional rendering style, but that would have been something different.
Maybe for the sequel.
Barnaby ended up designing every mechanical set, vehicle and prop, defining the machine aspect of the steam punk work.
I had a blast pitting him again Brandon Graham, who designed all the biological stuff (more on that and Brandon in a later post) to visual reaffirm the biological vs Machine dichotomy of this story.
Admiral Wells was a benign old man in the original script, and Brandon (again, I’ll talk about him on a later day) and I thought it would be much more fun if the character were a relentless, strong willed woman.
Carrie-Anne Moss was a perfect piece of casting. She was great to work with a wonderful and giving human being, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking she could kick my throat through my spine if I had her do one take to many. In our off time we would talk about our kids, and restaurants in Vancouver, once she was behind the mic she was a scary, scary tyrant.
Marion did more storyboards then designs for the film, her boards were so cinematic that her shots stayed almost identical to the final results. here is just a tiny example:
Marian’s graphic novel won a Eisner Award during the production. I’m very thankful that I was able to work with her at the start because I’m pretty sure I couldn’t afford her now.
It’s a pretty amazing book if you haven’t already read it, grab at book places.
Speaking of, coming full circle, the original Clockwork Girl graphic novel is getting republished with some all new bonus material by HarperCollins, go to the book places and pre-order that and see what all the talk is about. At least my talk. See what the heck I’m talking about.
Be seeing you.
For those who don’t know me, Hey there, hows it going? I’m directing the feature film, “The Clockwork Girl” based on the graphic novel by the same name that I co-created with my good buddy Sean O’Reilly.
According to IMDB, I’m “… the first American comic creator to direct the (film) adaption of his own graphic novel [28 May 2010]”, and you know the internet is never wrong. Here’s the synopsis of the film:
“A nameless robot girl has recently been given the gift of life from her creator, while exploring the wonders of an ordinary world she meets an amazing mutant boy and they share a friendship that must overcome their warring families. “
We’ve done most of the animation, most of the lighting, and now are in the final leg of production. It’s been an uphill battle, we’re a smaller independent production trying to play with the big boys, and it’s been a challenge every step of the way.
This whole film has been a labor of love. We did a ton of the pre-production before any funding ever came in. We’ve been all pushing further to make the film better, going above and beyond. I’m going to use this space here to highlight the artists, art, actors and techniques that have gone into making this film, and break it up by the usual bloggeries of old stories, rants and reviews. Sound like a plan?
To kick things off, here is a brief evolution of the the Corvax, the evil soldiers from “The Clockwork Girl”:
My original rough concept:
Fleshed out by Concept Lead Barnaby Ward:
Brought to life by Character Modeler Charlie Baker:
And finally how they appear in the final film:
And that’s it for today, I have an early day of shots to review, edits to approve, models to critique, and maybe if the day goes well, food.
Any questions, or comments, hit me up. I’ll be updating with a “feature” entry every Monday, and a smaller, “whatever is on my mind” ones through out the week.
Be seeing you around, – kevin