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The making of Gauze - by: Dave Hamann and Gerrin Tramis

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The making of Gauze
by: Dave Hamann and Gerrin Tramis

Dave Hamann

Good evening Boils and Ghouls, my name is Dave Hamann, penciler for Gauze issue 1 and the covers for the series.

Today I will be giving you a step-by-step sneak peak behind the curtain at my humble little penciling process for Gauze.

I'll be showing you from concept to layouts, and all the way to finishes on a few pages and covers for this series.

First we'll start with the cover for issue 2 of Gauze.

It all begins with an email from writer/creator Gerrin Tramis to myself. In it, containing a brief description of the events taking place, the character(s) to be depicted and a small set up of the scene with a thumbnail of what he has in his head. (this same process was used for all the covers.)
It's not that common for me to get a thumbnail from a writer, but hey, it removes a lot of the guesswork on my part and Gerrin gets what he wants so it's a win-win for everyone!

Here we have Shauna Mitchell, mother and drug addict depicted alone in her apartment bedroom prior to shoot up. (For the kids!) So the mood is obviously somber and I choose some lighting to reflect that.

First we have the image Gerrin sent me, and then the layout I sent back to him.

After I get the "okay" I go through, proportion out everything, check my perspective, make sure I left room for a logo, bar code etc. say a couple hail marys and then finally get to work on the finished pencils.

Usually this process takes several hours. Roughly 4-5 depending on how complicated I made the image. As you can see there are quite a few slight and not-so-slight alterations between the rough and the finished illustration. I try not to chain myself down with what I did in the rough, and allow objects to be moved, added, or taken out depending and walla!

Now I'll show you how I go about constructing an interior page.

This process is quite a bit different from a cover. Covers are easy.

Pages take a lot more effort and slaving because there are so many more elements involved that have to be carefully considered before you even get to work on them.

After I get the script from Gerrin, I read through it several times trying to get a good idea in my head of how I want to approach it. All the while, I'm doodling little ideas directly on the script. Once I have that down, I pull out some thumbnail pages (an 8x12 sheet of paper containing 4 3x4 mini pages) and start playing with the panel layouts and camera angles. I'll typically use an entire sheet per page until I get things to where I want them, all the while keeping in mind (or sometimes even putting in) where the text will potentially go so that nothing important to the story is accidentally covered up in the lettering stage. I send it off for Gerrin to look over and then I blow it up to 11x17 comic page size on my trusty Porta Tracer.

Here are thumbnails for pages 1 to 4 and 8 to 10 to give you an idea.

Here we've got the character Liz and her boyfriend, having a heart to heart in Central park. Basically she is informing him that she has to go away for a little while because there is a crazy person who wants to chop her into little pieces after her. Now, like all talking scenes, this whole idea is initially boring to myself, the artist. I wanna draw people exploding in the face or being chased or flying or hot chicks and that just isn't possible on every single page. So, to make it fun for me, I try to pick at least one challenging angle to keep me really focused.

This particular page came together rather quickly, so it only took me about half the time to draw it for some crazy reason.

As you can see, I will deviate from the original thumbnail whenever I deem it necessary. Really the thumbnails are just basic ideas and not concrete by any means because, quite simply, what works small might not work larger. I could even think of something better later on who knows? It's good to be flexible.



Gerrin Tramis

Early concepts of Gauze.


Hello scare fans,

Welcome to the making of my new horror series entitled “Gauze”. Hopefully this will give those of you interested a bit of insight into the series and possibly wet your lips with some gruesome wonderful art from the upcoming first issue.  So let's get on with it shall we?

This whole wild fiasco originally started while chatting with the owner of Arcana Comics, Sean O’Reilly, at Emerald City Comic Con. We had a great time discussing the wonderful low budget horror films that had graced the screen over the past few years and what each one had done well compared to the competition. I gave him a pitch about a week later about this character I had envisioned with bandages all over his face and thus was the birth of “Gauze”.

This story has taken many forms since its original conception. Switching between many locations, revising characters, altering plots, I just couldn’t stay fixated on one in particular. Finally I found something that held my interest…

I’ve always been a big fan of the classic horror films from the late 70’s and 80’s. The slasher genre was a break through event during that time and created an institution of followers behind it. But that of course also means that the genre has been done to death. So I decided if was going to do a slasher series, I’d want it to stand different from so many predecessors. Hence why it took so long to land on something concrete.

Finally…I moved forward. I made the decision to do a series that revolved around the victims, and not so much the killer himself. Not that the killer isn’t important, but the people he’s after…that’s where the true story is. Who are they? What do they do? How messed up are their lives? Do they deserve to die? Do they deserve to live? Let the slasher be the link, and he’ll of course bring the good stuff right along with him ;)


So a quick word about Gauze himself. I thought about all the previous slashers and their masks, trying to decide which direction to go in. Then I thought…“what’s behind the mask?” What pain or disfigurement does this evil incarnation hide from the world? That’s a story in itself. So what better to hide that with than gauze? The BANDAGE for a wound. 

So I did some sketching and came up with a few scraps…but finally landed on one that resonated. Not long after we got our first artist on board, the spectacular Dave Hamann, and he took Gauze to the next level. Beefing him up a bit, giving him that piercing soulless eye, and making his sheer presence a fearful sight. In turn was the debut of a great looking slasher.

This drawing done by Dave was an early design for Liz, one of our most prominent characters in the series. She is very close to my original conception. In the first issue, Liz learns that her life may be in grave danger and with the help of the police, must now flee and seek refuge from the one who stalks her.

Well guys, that about does it on my end. Hope this gave you a little piece of what to expect from the world of Gauze. Until next time horror fans..

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