I have recently worked with Christine Bower-Wright on this really fun project, The Wrestler for Hemispheres magazine. The article written by Kevin Gray deals with the current scandals overshadowing sumo wrestling and turning to an unlikely savior, Baruto, a big genial Estonian to restore this 2,000 year-old sport to glory.
One of the things I loved about this project is that I got to develop a couple of comic strips for it. Considering my love for comics as a kid played a big part in my decision to become an illustrator approaching the sequential art has always been a blast for me.
We wanted a simple image for the opener that referenced poster art could strike the viewer. Sumo wrestlers are massive so playing with the scale was a natural approach. We had to take into account as well Baruto's personality and actually portray him accurately. So in the end a big close up hit all the spots.
I suggested some designs to make the opener illustration go over the whole spread and played a bit with the type.
Note how amazing the art directors I work with are that they allow me to do these simple sketches, that is nothing else but a great ability on their part to see further from a loose drawing. And I do love them very much for that.
There were originally two comic strips but we only ended using the first one. Here is the process for both and the end result for the first one. I moved the fight scene from the second strip to the first one once it got killed.
Thanks for checking!