Click the image above to see the full-size art.
Behind the Scenes
I actually created the image below about two months ago. In a Fistful of Arrows artist’s block, I decided to jump ahead to a page I WAS enthusiastic to do.
I had been thinking of Menachite since the beginning of this comic, and had been sketching it over and over again the comic’s inception. This first version was actually modeled after the Forerunner stations (that shoot blue light into the sky) seen on the level “Halo” in Halo: CE. Do you see it?
I wanted Menachite Mountain to be iconic – a mountain that you would remember. But Reach is full of ridiculously cool mountains. Seriously, almost every level of Reach has an awesome mountain. I tried to top all those with an even crazier formation than we saw in the game:
And I was stuck on that till…. last night. When I decided to go to red alert and full-on “I DESPISE THIS” mode. All of the sudden it just looked like a stereotypical fantasy mountain or something. Over-the-top for the sake of over-the-top. It just wasn’t a ‘real’ mountain.
So, I looked back at all the sketches I had done in these last few months and a few in particular inspired me to go for a ‘pinnacle’ look – something a little different for Reach’s usual mountains (but something that was a bit more subtle than the last image). I dialed it down, I subdued the colors and went work on the detail. I think it worked!
In the larger version in the postings above, you can actually see a bridge and a zig-zagging road heading to a little cave in the mountainside, with a small platform nearby. You’ll be seeing a lot of that location in the pages to come.