It begins 29.09.14 Each week a page will be unlocked that contains puzzles for you to crack. Once you solve each puzzle you will end up with a letter. All puzzles must be completed to gain all…
Damn this shit is nuts! Enter Paradise as the password for week 1.
Interview with Mike Spicer, Colorist for Silent Hill Downpour: Anne’s Story!
Mike Spicer is the brilliant talent behind Tristain Jones’ fantastic illustrations in the most recent Silent Hill comic Anne’s Story, in which he takes the mood and intensity of the illustrations to the next level in the fog shrouded town. In my interview with Spicer we discus his role as a colorist, his approach to Anne’s Story and his past nightmares!
Silent Haven: Every artist has a rocky journey. Tell us about your rocky path? How did you get started working with comics and what ultimately shaped the artist you are today?
Mike Spicer: Yeah, an art career isn’t an easy path. I had actually given up on art for a long time. I grew up drawing, but in my early 20s’ I just slowly stopped. I tried painting, and photography, while I still enjoy photography, nothing really stuck, so I just stopped. I always had in the back of my mind “I need to draw something”, Its funny, you feel guilty when your not creating, and feels like your denying that urge. I still think, I need to draw still, Ha but coloring fills that creative urge enough for now. Anyway, I was drinking all the time, and out at bars. I met a bartender, and still friend Tony Gregori, who is now a comic artist as well, were talking about art somehow, and in that conversation I remembered how much I enjoyed my art, and talking about it. So, Tony was working on a comic, and asked me to fill in on colors on a book he was doing with some friends. I had never colored anything before, and decided to give it a try. After a few months I was coloring that comic, and it kept me home, and out of the bars. I was enjoying it, and figured it was a positive change, and just kept doing it! that was back in 2007, Ive been at it for quite a while and just recently started getting real paying gigs.
Silent Haven: What is your medium of choice?
Mike Spicer: Like I said, I still think about drawing, Id like to get back at it, I enjoyed pencil, pen, but the guys I work with take ink to a new level, and would love to mess with ink, and brushes. Now, with what I do, its all digital. I use a tablet, and photoshop. Its fun, I create my own brushes, and use a lot of texture. There’s soo many ways of doing things, and you can really creative with it!
Silent Haven: What is your artistic role on Annes Story and how did you get landed to do the task?.
Mike Spicer: Well, I hope I bring that extra spooky element to it with the colors. There’s definitely a “look” to SH. I love the foggy streets the most. Ive worked with Tristan on a few Con prints, and such. He usually does his own colors, or has, so I was surprised he asked me.
Anne’s Story issue #1
Silent Haven: As a colorist what is the first step you take when approaching that blank sketch?
Mike Spicer: It depends. On something like Silent Hill, there’s a lot of reference material. If there is no reference for a book, sometime we bounce ideas off each other, or they just let me go crazy with it. As far a the technical side, the basic idea is, I work in layers, and paint underneath the line art, and sometimes over it.
Anne’s Story issue #2
Silent Haven: What is your favorite and least favorite aspect to being a colorist?
Mike Spicer: Well, I love working with so many different artists, and each unique style. I love bringing a sense of mood to a page, and when it works out, its great! There’s not a lot of aspects I dont enjoy, but I hate coloring book shelves, and broke glass! Deadlines can be tough, and sometimes take away time from my family. I try to keep from getting under too much pressure. It helps to be fast, and doing several pages daily.
Anne’s Story issue #2
Silent Haven: Are you familiar with the Silent Hill franchise? If so to what extent? (comics, movies, games) Any favorites and why?
Mike Spicer: My wife is actually the big Silent Hill fan in our house. When we started dating she had me color a SH piece so she could hang it in her room. I like the movies. Iv’e had a little expedience with the games, and they look awesome, but I generally just play MMO/RPGs, casually, when I have time.
Silent Hill 3 by Mike Spicer
Silent Haven: Is there a dark side to Mike Spicer? You have recently worked on horror/sci-fi graphic novels such as Hoax Hunters, Nocturne, Anathema and now Silent Hill. Does all this recent work in horror give you nightmares? If so tell us your recent nightmare.
Mike Spicer: Ha, good question! I dunno, I generally tend to enjoy working, and reading darker material. I think its the settings, and moods I enjoy. I dont do shiny, glossy comics that well. Even when I read Superhero comics, it was Batman, or the Buscema Wolverine. I love Hellboy, and the Mignolaverse. I guess to me, you can kinda push things out of reality more, experiment more. I’m not into gore, so much as a really well written suspenseful darker story. As for me personally, I probably wouldn’t come off as “Dark” but I think things would be a lot more interesting if it looked like London circa 1800s’ and night all the time. Foggy, wet streets, Gas lamps, the warm glow of a pub across the way, and Jack the ripper on the loose.
Geez, Ha my Nightmare… well, I dont have many now, but when I was younger I would have nightmares of someone tapping on my window, seeing a shadow of them. Id go outside and try to confront them, but find I couldnt move or scream for help. Hated that shit… The nightmares I have now relate to the two days a week I still tend bar, and the restaurant business. My silent Hill nightmare would take place would involve me waiting on too many, impatient monsters.. and not being able to move or call for help!
Anathema issue #4
Silent Haven: What was the over all mood/tone or themed palette you were going for with Anne’s Story?
Mike Spicer: Pretty much straight from the game. It took me a bit to get there, I think I hit a good place on #3. Very desaturated, very foggy, very fun! Tom, and Tristan give me a lot of reference to work from, but you will see a few scenes in issue #2 that I took another direction. Mostly to separate the scenes. They give me freedom to make most of those choices. I enjoy the palette in the game, I hope I bring that into the comic.
Anne’s Story issue #3
Silent Haven: Over all what has been your experience thus far with working with Tristan Jones and Tom Waltz on Anne’s Story and how much further do you guys have till you are done?
Mike Spicer: Well, Im not sure I can say how many issues Anne’s Story is, but its not many, unfortunately. Tom and Tristan are great! They really give me a lot of freedom, and not a lot of edits, which is always good! But its been great working on this series, and hopefully can work with those guys more in the future!
Thanks again to Mike Spicer for the interview! You can follow Mike and his creations on Facebook, Twitter and DeviantArt. Look out for Big Trouble in Little China issue #5! Silent Hill: Downpour: Anne’s Story issue #1 is now available! Issue #2 releases October 1!
Q:Is there any chance you know what the symbol on the holy candles from SH 4 is?
Im pretty sure just a generic religious probably catholic inspired symbol. I dont know.
More clues that point to Junji Ito being involved in P.T./Silent Hills. The above text is Guillermo Del Toro recalling his visit to Japan where he met Junji Ito and more than likely Hideo Kojima in which Del Toro calls his friend in the message. This meet with Junji appears to be sometime around June or July this year, the same time that Kojima took that photo with Junji Ito. So I still wonder could Junji Ito be behind Silent Hills or was he just involved in the concept footage shown at TGS?
Photo drawn by tumblr artist Jonni Grams’ interpretation of the two meeting in Japan.
Fan film inspired by the Playable Teaser for Silent Hills!
Why Silent Hills is plural, what the Gap in the Door really means, and how we could be looking at a revolution
So, I just spent a sleepless night pouring over the wiki for Silent Hill, and any analysis I could find on P.T. (I don’t own a PS4, so the best I can do is watch tons of playthroughs), so forgive me if this doesn’t make sense.
I was reading an account of the Kojima’s talk at TGS , and something…
Started a new art blog, and immediately managed to hurt my hand. Balls. No proper drawing for me for now, so I fiddled around with a couple of P.T. poster ideas! The text at the top is intentionally a bit distorted, to reflect the audio of the trailer. Hope that makes sense.
After playing P.T. I could not be more excited for Silent Hills! Looking forward to having my pants scared off!
Team Silent’s creature designer and art director behind SH2 and SH3, Masahiro Ito will be working on a spiritual successor to Clock Tower called Project Scissors for PS Vita!
Survival Horror is definitely back!