Saturday, July 9, 2011

No Ordinary Family

(Both of these drawing were my pencils and inks with Anthony's colors.)

One of the jobs I wound up working on last year was generated by the TV show No Ordinary Family. While I never got the exact story of why this was being done, the assignment was to create a "comicbook" type drawing featuring each of the 25 families who had taken place in a blogging contest promoting the show. In the blog the contestants all explained what would be the superpowers exhibited by their "ordinary family". The job was to design a drawing featuring all the members of the family demonstrating their super abilities.

Piece of cake....did I mention that all of these families tended to be quite large. Forget getting away with two or three figures per drawing.

(This was my initial rough- no costumes on this first drawing.)

Because of the scope of the project and the deadline involved (as usual, someone else had dropped the project for various reasons, and now the deadline had already passed ) I immediately enlisted the help of my good friends Jerry Bingham  and Anthony Diecidue , since they are both incredible talents and we work well together without a lot of ego problems. (Well, they don't have ego might want to ask them what it's like to work with me.)

(And here is the pencilled and inked versions.)

We presented a sample drawing. Likenesses on very tiny figures were an issue with the original art director. I was in the process of being close to passing on the job when the client came back with rave reviews on the what we had sent them. What with the insane deadline, after that we had carte blanche.

(Voila! Mr. Diecidue has added his magic paintbrush.)

Jerry and Anthony and I were all involved in the thumbnail/comp process. Working with the character descriptions sent by the agency, the reference photos and information from the family blogs, we would work up a rough and get it approved. Then one of us would take the drawing to a final pencil stage, get that approved, and then either I or Jerry would ink the drawing, and Anthony would provide his incredible digital coloring skills as the icing on the cake.

(One of Anthony's pencils.)

Working with good people is always the most important part of the process for me, and Anthony and Jerry, as well as our ABC liaison Kevin Costley get a big thumbs up from me. All in all, a job that could have been a nightmare was quite an enjoyable and profitable venture. The client and the agency were both quite happy with the results, and here's hoping all those families out there who received the drawings were just as pleased. 

 (Jerry Bingham's roughs and pencils with my inks.)

 (Another of Jerry's pencils with my inks.)

(Reverse! I pencil and Jerry inked this one. By now we were
 drawing costumes on virtually everyone.)


  1. Hey Mike, besides the (as usual) unrealistic deadlines, you guys made this project look like fun! that's to me the biggest challenge, to make something look fresh and appealing in the midst of all the pressure and many different directions and external input.
    Anyway, seen this and all the previous posts, great and interesting blog!
    See you sometime soon

  2. Funny. Did they give any powers to their familiars: cats, dogs ? :p

  3. There were at least a couple families who had a pet or two in their "portrait." I don't recall them having any special powers...other than making their owners smile.