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The making of Chaos Campus - by: Thompson, Baal, Baal and Bedwell

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Chaos Campus comic

Hello, and welcome to “The Making of Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies!”  In this installment we’ll be going behind the scenes of Chaos Campus #6 with creator, writer, and letterer B. Alex Thompson, penciller and inker Kewber Baal, colorist Schimerys Baal, and cover artist Quinton Bedwell.

Chaos Campus comic

Alex Thompson (creator): Going back to the origin of the series itself, around 2003-ish Michelle, Avri, John, and I were joking about all the “blank versus blank” movies that were starting to become popular and how Hollywood will take a decent selling idea and run it into the ground (remember natural disaster movies, buddy comedies, and now comic movies and '70s/'80s TV). So we were messing around with what they could come up with next.  One of mine was “Zombies vs. Cheerleaders.”

Chaos Campus hororr girls

Alex Thompson (creator): Then with another set of friends we had a game of how adding "zombies" to any known property would make it even better. Like “Married with Children” could be "Married with Zombies" or "Zombies with Children"... and so on. So all that stuck with me and I was like, "This is a great idea! Too bad I can't write comedy." But for like a year it kept hammering at my subconscious and finally I discovered a way I could write a one-shot... that grew into a two issue miniseries...that became a six issue first storyline arch... and so on.

Chaos Campus Girls

Alex Thompson (creator): Originally I wanted the sorority’s Greek title in the name somehow, but that was a wrong direction.  Looks like I also intended to have five lead girls, but that was a bit too much, too.  I finally settled on three leading ladies - Jamie, our hardcore survivalist, Paige, our smart layperson, and Britt, our only stereotypical sorority girl. 

Alex Thompson (writer): Jumping ahead through time from ancient history to something more current, we have Chaos Campus #6 – Haunted Hell House, part 2 of 2.  Originally the artist for #5, Eduardo Bazan, was supposed to do this issue also, but scheduling didn’t allow (he’ll be back for a special issue that takes place between #6 and #7).  By this point Schimerys surpassed all the other colorists intended to work on the series and soon became the series main colorist.  I mentioned the urgent need for someone on #6 and she mentioned that her husband was a comic artist and he’d be interested in working on the issue. 

Kewber Baal (artist): Hello everybody! I’m Kewber Baal, penciler and inker of Chaos Campus issue #6. The best description that I could do about this series is that was a big surprise for me.  My wife Schimerys had colored some issues, which I really liked - I laughed a lot reading the story!  One day she said that Alex was looking for an artist so we sent some samples, but not before making a first sketch of the Sorority Girls.  I spent almost a week finding websites, sample pages and galleries, to get what I thought best for reference.

Chaos Campus

Kewber Baal (artist): For Jamie I wanted to do her with a little more body, broad shoulders and thick legs. Alex told me "No, Jamie is more skinny", but I thought, Oh, man, if she can raise a wrench that size, and beats zombies as if they were tomatoes, she has to be stronger.  He didn’t comment further, I think perhaps he have agreed, or abandoned to convince me otherwise.  About Paige, I saw many drawings of her with styled fashion hair, insinuating look of bad girl’s features. But about the description that Alex sent to me, she’s demure, rational, organized, and (believe if you want) shy! So I just drew her nothing extraordinary, a common hair, and a more discreet personality, different from other girls. Britt, well, Britt always will be Britt. The only thing I'm trying to emphasize is to make her really giant, the type of person who you wouldn’t want to fall upon you. In the first sketch, she is leaned, and is almost Jamie’s height.

Kewber Baal (artist): After finishing the characters’ design, I sent it with some samples together. Alex approved and I got the story. Honestly, I had a disappointment at first, because Haunted Hell House showed more A.Z.Z. Sorority than the main girls. After spend days and days creating, who I would draw less were the main characters! But after read all story, I radically changed my mind. I laughed a lot! I loved the story!  Alex’s words are very dynamic and fun!

Kewber Baal (artist): Well, with the story in my hands, what to do? I decided to show how I was really interested to work on this issue, so I  made progress and drew the first page without layouts or A.Z.Z. characters’ sketches, and I sent for Alex’s evaluation. This page was great for this, because it had the A.Z.Z. Sorority together on only one panel. I created all characters’ faces by my head, just seeing the previous issue and the clothes reference. I sent the page and told to Alex, “Look, my shadows will be like this, everything will be more or less in this style. Ah, and take a look at A.Z.Z. crew, and tell me what do you think.”  Fortunately, he liked all characters, and told me to continue the work. I liked to draw Janisha, very strong and tall, she scares even the men of the group. Shawn and Latoya are quite clumsy.

Kewber Baal (artist): After this page, I started to formally make the pages. I made the layouts, and waited for changes, or corrections, but this was rarely. Alex gives a big freedom to create, change shots, and after we see if it works. Sometimes on the story I’ve read “Panel 3: Things starts to fall and the girls run out. Have fun!” It’s awesome to make a personal touch on the art, I did many things. One that I like a lot is in a panel where Janisha is covered in green vomit, and Jamie is looking at the ceiling, where the vomit came. But I really had to put all group looking at Janisha with an “Uh-oh, she’ll kick some @$$” look. Some of those things that greatly enhances a story, and I read several times, increasingly noticing different details.

Kewber Baal (artist): After some approved layouts, I ever did the pencils, and showed to Alex, for a second evaluation. Today I’m shooting photos of the pages with my wife’s camera (instead of scanning pages).  It’s faster and I get more time to draw more pages. After I did the inks, and sent to him. It’s great to work with Alex, and better on this title, with many cool characters and jokes about horror movies!

Kewber Baal (artist): In the story, which I loved to do was draw famous horror movies characters, it was the most fun part. Kurtis Kasey also appeared, and he’s one of my favorite characters of the series, I hope to draw him more times! And without doubt, the best part is “The Exorcism of Brittany Miller.”  Check it out, it’s hilarious! Well, no more spoilers, or I tell the entire story. See you all, folks, and I hope you all enjoy a lot reading Chaos Campus!

Schimerys Baal (colorist): Hello, I’m Schimerys Baal, and I’m colorist of Chaos Campus. I was looking for girls to colour and after searching some drawings on internet I met the girls of Chaos Campus. Who got my attention, with no doubt, was Britt- very sexy! After Britt was Jamie and her hardcore side. But I like Paige too... in first view we notice she’s the balance of these two extremes. Well, just when she doesn’t use her evil (in)side!

I sent samples to Alex and he started me on issue  #3, “Grab-E-Mart.”v I’m happy he liked my work-v I know this because he placed me on issues #5, #6, and more. It’s the best praise I can receive, and Alex ever helps me telling what he wants for some pages. It’s awesome to make the best colors for the series. The satires and special guests are focused in a very well elaborate way, making many action and fun on each title, also sexy poses of our heroines.

Schimerys Baal (colorist): Work on Chaos Campus #6 was really good, mainly because Kewber was the artist, and we already worked together on some titles. The work flows easier and faster. Some good examples are the panels with the characters drawn using no lines, only the shadows. For these, I already know how to do.  In other cases, with different artists and colorists, it can be difficult to assimilate and can generate a disaster! Alex was worried when saw the first inked panel (with no lines, only shadows), but when I finished the colors, he said the result’s great!

Schimerys Baal (colorist): Another thing that I like a lot is to colour zombies and monsters. Well, I don’t need to say that as Chaos Campus is about “Sorority Girls vs. Zombies.” So, zombies many times appear more than the girls! It’s amazing to create skins, dirty clothes, and make some jokes with them. Zombies rule! On issue #6 there is a big and disgusting monster at the end that I enjoyed colouring a lot. Kewber said me it is more disgusting and nasty than he imagined when drew it.

Well, it’s difficult to talk just about one issue as there are many things that are good to talk on all series. But I hope you enjoy this a lot! Thanks very much and I hope you like Chaos Campus!

Alex Thompson (letterer): It’s the home stretch!  I end up changing a lot of the dialogue after getting the art.  Sometimes there isn’t enough room in a panel for the dialogue I intended, so I have to figure out how to scale back or reorganize.  Other times there’s more room in a panel and there needs to be more dialogue added.  9 times out of 10 I’m not good at adding new dialogue, so that’s when I hand things over to John who is a dialogue and comedic genius!  It’s during this stage the issue is read, re-read, and re-read about 30 more times in an attempt to find any mistakes before the issue goes to print.

Sometime during this stage is when I usually get the amazing cover art from Quinton!

Quinton Bedwell (cover artist):
First I read the written words from the editor or creator about 4 times to try and get into the mind of the writer. I‘ll do a few rough concept sketches to work out kinks and ask questions if needed. Once I’ve settled on the composition then I begin adding details and then just get progressively more detailed as I go to build it up.

Quinton Bedwell (cover artist): Once I get all the developmental work done I usually ink it before sending it over to Photoshop to do a grayscale rendering. It’s kind of like doing fully rendered pencils but using Photoshop brushes. I use the grayscale for tones, lights and shadows and make a new layer, or layers, to color on top of the grayscale. I do all of my pencilling in Adobe Illustrator and all of my painting in Adobe Photoshop using a Wacom tablet. I used to use the normal media to accomplish my work but found that it is much more convenient and much less messy.

Alex Thompson (creator): With the whole issue written, penciled, inked, colored, lettered, and cover added, the final issue is sent to the printer and eventually a final physical comic arrives.  

And so concludes our “The Making of Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies” segment.  We hope you enjoyed it!  If you’ve been reading the series, we thank you so very much for following us along on our journey.  If you’re new to the series, I hope you give our books a shot!  Thanks again!

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