STAINED

I love art, but I'm a terrible artist. I have no idea how one gets from squiggly outlines placed almost at random to the fantastic art that I consume on a daily basis. Seeing great art makes me wonder how someone could have possibly made that. It's always been slightly magical to me, even though I know that it's most definitely not. STAINED was the most recent comic book to awe me in this way. STAINED follows the story of Emma London, a bounty hunter and one of the titular “stained,” a word denoting Emma's technological enhancements. Artist Yusuf Idris and writer David Baron do an incredible job creating a futuristic sci-fi world that expertly mixes elements of the present with predictions for the future. There's a dynamism to the art that's absolutely thrilling.

READ: Want to know what we thought of STAINED #1? Our review will tell you why it's great.

But how did the art get from rough sketches to the beautifully colored world of STAINED? Well, thanks to the good people at 451, we've got some great artwork that will show you how STAINED looked during different stages of its production.


In this first set of panels, everything starts off quite bare. There's little detail at first, so you can see how Idris and Baron add more with each iteration, making every detail more explicit, which is so necessary for world building. Those details are what make us interested in the STAINED's universe.

STAINED

STAINED

STAINED


On the second page, what really struck me was the way the faces get more and more detailed. In the background of the initial sketch, the two terrified people are so indistinct they hardly look human. However, during the inking stage, they take on a new form. Now the girl is, like Emma, “stained,” a great subtle detail to hammer home how common that condition is in this universe.

STAINED

STAINED

STAINED


On the final page, the city undergoes a stunning transformation. It starts out looking like it could be any police station in any major metropolitan city. However, by the final sketch, it looks truly dystopian. This effect is the result of the colors, which illuminate the building in such a way that makes it look a little rundown. The initially nondescript panels on either side of the station's second floor are revealed to be giant screens, which makes it appear more futuristic. Contrasts like these define cyberpunk fiction, and this page, more than any other, helps us understand Emma's world as similar to that of Ridley Scott's BLADE RUNNER or William Gibson's NEUROMANCER.

STAINED

STAINED

STAINED

STAINED #1 will release on May 3rd! You can watch a kick-ass trailer for it on 451's Facebook.

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