Thursday, May 5, 2011

120 [m ] : Young Justice Poster

For most new shows the Cartoon Network (CN) launches, the marketing strategy includes key art, a.k.a. a central image. It is pretty much THE poster, THE iconic image for the show, and if there’s not enough money or time to have teaser images preceding it, or multiple posters to introduce individual characters than by default it is the poster.

Ideally, all other launch related marketing should fall out of or be based upon this key image.

Fall of last year, I worked on the key art for the new superhero action show from Warner Brothers (WB) Animation, “Young Justice.” For those of you who may not be familiar with the DC comic book on which it’s based and yet may remember “Teen Titans” (2003) and know the Justice League of America (JLA) (more or less the “Super Friends”), it’s like “Teen Titans” with the team is comprised of young superheroes many of which are side kicks of JLA members. This show takes itself more seriously than Titans, and has the team working as the JLA’s secret, covert squad while they train under the guidance of certain JLA members.

The six core members are Aqualad, Robin, Kid Flash, Miss Martian, Superboy and Artemis.

4 rough concepts.
Red pencil and black ink on paper.

As a superhero actioner, it was natural that I would fall back on comic book cover styled layouts for inspiration. My favorite is concept “D” with Young Justice battling the over-sized mechanical menace of Amazo.

Approved layout.
Mixed media.

In typical fashion, my favorite pick has little influence on what is ultimately chosen. This image is clearly an amalgamation of conceptual drawings “A” and “B” above. From “A” is the silhouetted line of JLA members. I prefer the contrast of having YJ in action. From “B” is a re-mix of the characters based on how the network wanted to feature the characters in a composition that was based on art press art created for 2010 San Diego Comic Con.

Near final layout.

As a WB show, the WB not CN is responsible for producing the final character art assets. However in this instance due to a the lack of production time and benefited by being able to substitute all of the characters with existing character poses, we at CN vectorized what we needed with no new art from WB. That’s the only reason for the subtle changes to the YJ poses from the approved layout.

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