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The Drawing Board
Interested in illustration? Drawing images that accompany news stories is a privilege that news illustrator Thomas Marsh relishes. Here’s a chance to look over his shoulder and see how he does it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finish of the Houston Game

Monday, October 27, 2008

Modified second ruff for Houston

As always with these illustrations, I try to compose them with the knowledge that they will be coupled on a cover with a headline and copy block. In the last posting’s composition, the typography would suffer much from the dramatic “upper left to lower right” composition. The logical space for the header would have been shoved out of first position (the upper left). To place the header in the next logical spot (the upper right) would have forced the copy block to go nowhere but directly below, as it’s the only remaining logical spot.
In our culture, as we read from left to right/top to bottom, designers must compose the same way, otherwise readers can get confused. With the headline out of position, the copy block is limited in where it can logically be positioned, but directly below would be the only other option. However, last postings composition would force it to the lower left. Bad choice.
So the easiest thing for me was to simply flip the illustration.

Second ruff for Houston

As I said I was going to do last week, I got Marco out of the foxhole and made him take a more active role in his defense by placing him behind a 20mm anti-aircraft gun. The reference for this one is from a naval ship, and obviously due to the shape of Marco needed to be modified. The big H-Bomb is coming in more at an angle for effect rather than a straighter drop.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ruff for Tuesday Houston game

Hey, I’m back from a not-so-relaxing vacation at Myrtle Beach (with four teenagers), and I’m ready to get back to it.

This week’s sports stories have focused on the Herd’s next opponent — Houston — and their vaunted aerial attack. Conference USA has been described as a pass-happy league, and the Houston Cougars are the giddiest. If fact, of the top 10 passing teams in the nation, four of them are from C-USA: #2 Houston, #6 Tulsa, #7 SMU and #9 Rice. Marshall finishes this season against Rice and Tulsa.

So this idea is pretty straight-up, with a title “Defending the H-Bomb (yeah, “H” is for Houston). I have preliminarily put Marco in a foxhole, with H-Bombs falling around, but I don’t think this will represent the situation well enough, as Marco needs to defend himself, rather than sit passively waiting for these things to go off.
I’m thinking doing one really big bomb coming in while Marco operates a 20mm.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Finish for Cincinnati

I tightened up the composition a bit by moving the Cincy door closer to Marco. This gives a better feel of going out one door and on to the next. And despite the obvious movement toward the Cincy door, Marco's attitude toward it is uncertain (the hand is held back)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ruffs for mystery week

The Herd blew off concern over last week’s dismal performance at WVU to concentrate on Cincinnati during a short week.
That’s the basic theme I wanted to go with. So I came up with Marco on a treadmill, quickly prepping for Cincy.
A nice wrinkle to this idea was the mystery surrounding what sort of challenge the Bearcats will bring against the Herd as it keeps shuffling its depth chart at QB (four different QBs in 5 games) and on defense. I decided to have Marco reading a “Mystery” book.

I then started thinking about the old TV gameshow “The Dating Game” and came up with the ruff of Marco behind the partition while three different versions of the Bearcat were concealed— this would have been fun for the Bearcats expressions. But this isn’t really a “date” — is it? So I reluctantly canned that direction.
However, the gameshow thoughts kept the idea of “what’s behind door number three” in my mind. So I came up with the third ruff of Marco exiting the WVU door, and facing the “Door of Mystery.”
In giving it the I.D. of Cincinnati, I plopped on the UC logo and some question marks. This however, was a bit clunky. So I started working with the UC logo to create a hybrid of it, and a question mark. Problem with the open space of the letter “C” and a “?” being in the opposite direction. So I thought it more important that the UC logo be more identifiable.