Let me tell you a story.
When I was 17 or 18 I began to wander from various comic book stores of my city. One of these stores was centered on American Comic Books and was giving a good space to the emerging realities of the USA. Top Cow struck me more than Image did at the time, and one of the first stories I bought and read was the super cross-over between Witchblade, Aliens, Predator and, of course, The Darkness. I loved it and fell in love even more deeply with Estacado's character after I read the crossover Batman / The Darkness.
Truth to be told, the badassesque attitude of Jackie and his look even convinced me to sport a short ponytail...
About ten years later I find out this contest. At Christmas Eve. I hope I read the signs well, while i submit my artwork to the competition!
This is the final penciled page based on the storyboard that was given by Top Cow. I know what you are all thinking: Jeeez, it's dark in that last panel! And yes, it's dark!
The whole point of the action is that Jackie Estacado's able to wield the power of The Darkness when there's almost absence of light. So I needed him to leap out of obscurity, literally, firing his twin 1911s at the Brotherhood's goons, elped by his fellow Darklings and fierce "Demon Arms"!
The abundance of dark areas in panel 3 is also a direct consequence of panel 1 and 2: the whole subway area's flooded with light, and after an intervention by a Darkling the whole area falls in the arms of The Darkness. So we needed strong contrast between the two images, between the "normal" Subway station and the dark, violent setting of the third one, with light coming almost entirely from Estacado's guns!
I already saw two or three pieces really impressive and I think they'll deserve to be on the podium. But I surely hope mine's gonna leave a mark... I'll keep you posted!