I love concept art. I actually even love to look at my own concept art for Gates the comic. To me when I look at the original ideas, it’s a time trip on how far things have progressed since I first began working on Gates the comic many years ago.

It’s one of my favorite things to see when I delve into something I’m “into”. I love a glimpse of the thought process of designing characters, worlds and other items important to a story. I remember as a kid, my mother and I would o to our local library and get books out. I’ll never forget the day I stumbled upon an art book of Ralph McQuarrie’s for Star Wars. At first I was kind of weirded out by the images because they were odd, almost elongated and were not measuring up to the ideals of what I thought Han Solo as Harrison Ford, or even Chewbacca, C-3PO or Yoda actually looked like. But the more I flipped through the book the more amazed I was at the evolution of the drawings and paintings and how they started off as just a sloppy sketch of Yoda looking more like a green Hobbit, to what Frank Oz actually created for The Empire Strikes back.

I was hooked and I couldn’t put the book down. And that was my first love of concept art.

I have been working on the idea for Gates the comic, since the late 1990’s and the story has evolved greatly since it first came into a thought form my brain to actual pieces of artwork.  Below you will see a number of sketches from the very beginning of my conceptualization for Gates. These were all created long before I had started working with Heavy Metal magazine.

This is an image of Kano, originally created in pencil then ink. I think this may be my oldest sketch from the series circa 1997


Here is another sketch of Kano, circa 2005, almost 1o years later. I lost the goofy Goatee and futuristic Egyptian attire. This is pretty much what he looks like to this day. hell, I may even use this as a panel in the comic!

This is a sketch done in blue pencil of Adria, done in 2009.  This eventually turned into a pose for this image below.

As you can see, Adria changed a little from the initial sketch, but that is pretty common because the idea is to improve upon the original idea so that when it is rendered it is the best it can be.

Here is a sketch of a creature I originally had in mind as a type of steed used by the Animoids. Things have changed since but this creature still makes an appearance.


This is a sketch of a reptile like creature, I envisioned as a hunter.


Well, that’s it for this post. Trust me, I have TONS and TONS of images that I will be sharing with you through this journey I call Gates. If you have any questions about my process, leave them below and I will be sure to answer them!

Thanks – Hef