Comics Creators

My 1st Time around in Comics: 3D Art by PJC


Part 1 - The Naive Beginnings

I went to college for 3D animation waaay back in the mid 90’s and in the early 2000’s I SO wanted to do 3D comic book artwork…I was insane for trying this back then…it took DAYS to render images at the proper resolution and the software wasn’t exactly as robust as it would be later. BUT I got some interest from Tom Brevoort from Marvel after he saw some of my Iron Man Work and I was floored to hear from him and even Mike Allred! Here’s some of those from 2001.

But after some initial interest, nothing really happened…and then I joined the Spawn Message board. But that’s for the next post. Hope you enjoy these images and I’ll post up the next step in my 3D comic fun soon. :slight_smile:


Very nice!

I would really like to see samples of your current output.


These are top class! Especially for the time. Even now they stand up well, great work.


Did you work on that CG Marvel comic U.S War machine? If I remember correctly that was the only series to have success with it.


No, that was Chuck Austen. I think Marvel was talking to him at the same time they were talking to me. That was a BW only comic if I remember correctly. The other one I can think of is a Spider-Man one that was in color, but all of them were SO time intensive it just wasn’t worth it.


Ahhh, well, we’ll get to that point, but the short story is I was doing full-time animation for my main job and then was spending nights and weekends on this stuff and finally had to choose…and went to be an Art Director. $$ :wink:

Short story is, I don’t do it anymore and found out I really like the writing part of comics even more than the art part of it.


Thank you! I love older Iron Man stuff, so it was a lot of fun to do it, and I appreciate it even (eff me that’s a long time) 14 years later. :stuck_out_tongue:


Part Two - Meeting Steve Niles

While I was on the Spawn board back in the day (Secret Squirrel anyone??) I had mentioned I was doing some 3D Iron Man stuff and a writer by the name of Steve Niles (who was doing HellSpawn) asked me to do an Iron Man poster for him…dangit…he wanted a poster sized image! So, I sat down and rendered this and then got out the Wacom and hand inked it…I think in Illustrator if I remember:

I posted a digital version on the Spawn board and the guys there wanted to see Spawn…ooooh, I couldn’t resist!

I wanted to do covers, and I loved that darn Spawn logo, so I spent long long times rendering out Spawn stuff. These are rendered in 3D and then I would print them out at 11 X 14 and hand ink them traditionally over acetate and then scan the acetate back in and load on top of the original digital output. This was probably my favorite time doing 3D…and this first Spawn image might be my favorite I’ve ever done…and yes all those bats are 3D :smiley: :

I tried to see what Todd McFarlane thought, but this was a tumultuous time for Todd, he REALLY loved his toy line, and in my opinion, didn’t really do anything with Spawn in that time. I got great feedback with this stuff from people on his board, and it still makes my Spawn fanboy happy that I did it.

Then Steve Niles went to start his own thing, I found out what he was doing and it had a robot in it, so I jumped over with him to do something with FUSED! But that’s next time.


Holy crap, and these were early 2000s?

I’m in the market for covers, are you still doing them?


yeah, early 2000’s :stuck_out_tongue:

I have been able to be drawn out of hiding occasionally (I’m like effing Luke Skywalker in TFA now that I think about it) , so let me know what you are looking for and I will let you know.


I’m not usually a fan of CG comic images. I tend to find them too “stiff” in terms of their posture and positioning but these are real nice. I’m no artist but it sounds like your mix of computer and traditional media have given that effect. Nice work! Looking forward to the rest of the story too!


I love your art I think it’s fantastic.
Would love to see a DD! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I had planned on tackling Daredevil at some point, and was talking to Alex Maleev on the Spawn Board about it (he was doing Sam & Twitch at the time). I told Alex that I would love to see what he did with Daredevil and he chuckled…and a few weeks later he told us all that he was heading off to Marvel to work on Daredevil!

Man, I loved his work on DD.


THANK YOU! :smiley:

That was my feeling too, and especially in the early 2000’s a single guy trying to do character stuff was kind of a crazy idea. Once I got the models built (I HATED the modeling part, but it was a means to an end) then it really was about doing whatever I could to make it NOT seem to be traditional 3D, so you saying that means a lot.



I’m. Currently rereading his entire run on DD.
Such beautiful art…but you need to post more.
Do you sequentials too?
If so, I’d love to see some


Somewhere on a backup HD are some sequentials that I did when I pitched Iron Man to Marvel, and I know I did something for FUSED!, but I haven’t found them yet. That’s honestly what started all of this…I was going through some old HD’s and found a bunch of the stuff I did back in the day.

If I find them, I’ll post 'em. Of course, like a lot of artists, I REALLY wanted to do covers and pin-ups (I kinda wanted to be the 3D Alex Ross, LOL) so most of my work was focused on that.


Well, chop chop, we ain’t getting any younger!

3D Alex Ross, I can see that!


Wait, so you’re saying those supposedly naive beginnings (the first Iron Man shots you posted) are from 2011?!? As in, 15 years ago? Good grief, they are astonishing! How, in the world, did you pull this level of quality off, especially for the technology of the day?


Thanks! I guess just practice? :smiley:

One of the scariest things was how long it took to render these at 300 dpi waaay back when. One of the last ones I did of Popbot for IDW took 168 hours to render…yup. :scream:


Part Three

So, this guy, Steve Niles tells me he’s working on a new comic book about a robot. One of the things that Steve and I really dig is robots, so I bugged him and bugged him that I wanted to do SOMETHING with this new book, and he finally relented and sent me some sketches of Cy-Bot from his FUSED! comic and I did a pin-up for it (The Vitruvian Man image that is the first one). I don’t remember what issue it was in, but it’s in the TPB “Canned Heat” where I even got jokingly accused for “THE FUSED ARTIST CURSE”.

Here’s some FUSED stuff (I loved this comic book).

Unfortunately for me, but not for Steve, he did this little book called “30 Days of Night” and it kind of caught on and since FUSED! was already having problems there wasn’t much need to do more Cy-Bot stuff. I still bug Steve every once in awhile about redoing FUSED (hell, I even have the whole thing plotted out for about 12 issues) but his horror stuff is doing so well, I can see why he didn’t want to touch FUSED.

I should put up a short-story I did about FUSED and see if any artists want to do it…hmmmm. :stuck_out_tongue:

So, in search of something else, and after a chat with Ashley Wood at Comic-Con one year, I told him I’d love to do a pin-up for his awesome Popbot series. I don’t remember when this image was printed, but it was in all the IDW issues that month to promote Popbot. This is the one that took 168 hours to render and really pushed the limits of what consumer software was doing. Radiosity, Ambient Occlusion…yadda yadda.

It was a bit of a departure from the ink style I had been doing, but I really didn’t think it worked on Popbot. And I know I said I hated modeling, but this was the most fun doing this guy. The guts were all rigged so they moved and undulated when I posed him. Here’s some close-ups:

I won’t lie…this image took a lot out of me. I remember TRYING to stay awake after a full day at my 3D animator/graphic artist job and trying to get this thing set up to get it to the IDW guys and falling asleep and then waking up with a horrible feeling I had been SLEEP-3Ding :stuck_out_tongue: YUP! I had continued to do “things” while sleeping…good thing I had a backup.

Next time…I get a message from England and finally get to do something sexy. :wink: