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Creating Comics! by Paul Gulacy, Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz

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Creative Process
For this Meth: The Call piece I wanted to convey a sense of dark-
ness hinging on insanity, which is a strong theme throughout the
rest of the Meth stories. I wanted the look of a pencil sketch, very
loose and messy, but also wanted to capture the feel of a downward
spiral in the background photo for the piece. In the finished version I
attempted to make these elements blend
together so the finish would have a pol-
ished look with an off-balance feel. I
enjoy negative space as a presence
throughout my stories and use it to
hold my words, so even they
make a point with the imag-
ery instead of just being what
somebody says. The Call is
pencils that were prepped and
finished in Paint Shop Pro.
This was created on Strathmore 140 lb. cold press watercolor
paper with Rexel Derwent watercolor pencils and washes of Winsor
& Newton paints mixed with black coffee. Each of the characters
was prepped with a different color watercolor pencil, which is how I
create the different colorcasts of their skin. The photo of the lightning
was hardly altered in this piece. The lost souls below were added in
digitally, as was the mask above and the black swirl background.
The Goodbye was inspired by Dante’s Inferno, the first part of
Dante’s Divine Comedy, “Dante Alighieri,” which has inspired many
artists before me and is about Dante’s descent into
hell. It was my intent to create an image that became more horrifying
the longer it was viewed and to use strong jewel-toned colors to
evoke specific emotional
responses as the eye flowed through the piece. This image will be
the cover for the complete collection of Meth’s short stories and will
eventually be available as a limited release through Atlas Unleashed.
Title: Meth: A Matter of Faith, p. 6
Client: Atlas Unleashed
© Shawnti Therrien
S
hawnti Therrien is the creator of Am I Immortal and
Meth (with Atlas Unleashed), the creative director
for the CAG manga anthology With Honor, and the
author of many other dark tales. She lovingly crafts each
tale herself, weaving the written word and creating the art,
layouts, and even lettering. Therrien wears many hats: cre-
ative director, editor, letterer, artist, and writer. Whenever the
opportunity has arisen, she has mentored fellow artists and
worked with other creators, expanding her repertoire.
Meth: The Call was written, created, illustrated, and
finalized by Therrien for future release by Atlas Unleashed.
Therrien’s interests are not limited simply to comics, but
extend throughout all forms of artistic expression. In her rural
Connecticut home, she works with her husband to create
music and independent film. She also works with a local
sculptor to make her 2-D artistic creations come to life. Her
attention to detail is fueled by her drive to touch her audience
on a very base level, as she puts soul into each of her pieces.
She likes to work with any media she can get her hands on,
but almost always chooses illustrated prose and comics as
the ultimate way to capture her intent.
Shawnti Therrien
160

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