creative process Archives - Page 3 of 6 - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
With the 10th anniversary of the college romance/drama Stylish Vittles, Volume 1: I Met A Girl approaching, Tyler Page (Nothing Better, Chicagoland Detective Agency) is thinking about ways to celebrate his debut work while also acknowledging his growth as a cartoonist. In a recent blog post, Page shared some potential cover designs (there are more at the link), but talked about handling what he calls “the deep flaws of the work.” He’s currently working on an ebook collecting the original versions of all three Stylish Vittles volumes, but is considering a Director’s Cut to trim out what he considers to be problem areas.
I can’t help but think about George Lucas as I read that, but Page’s approach is different in a couple of important ways. First, he’s approaching the anniversary spruce-up from a position of humility; looking back at an early work with the eyes of a more mature artist is different from saying that the new version is “what I always intended the old one to be.” More importantly though, Page is keeping the original available for long-time fans (like me) and side-by-side comparison. I need to remind myself that the Director’s Cut is just something Page is thinking about and not a done deal, but I hope he goes through with it. Offering both versions sounds like a perfect way to both celebrate and offer a critical retrospective of an early work.
Over on her blog, Gingerbread Girl artist Colleen Coover takes us step by step through the design of a cover for her short story a male/male romance titled Home Port. Coover has a nice, fluid style, and the drawing comes together pretty quickly, but it’s interesting to see how she keeps on toying with it after that.
She also talks a bit about using photo references from the web: “Now, it’s important to note that I did not just trace these photos directly, or stick ‘em in a Photoshop filter or anything like that; that would be a violation of the photographers’ copyrights. I drew from them as one would from a live model–to place the features in all the correct proportions and angles–but I made significant changes.”
This is an hour-and-a-half long, but dang it’s cool. I’m not sure which is more awesome: that Ben Templesmith draws a comic book page before your very eyes, or that it’s a page from the next issue of Fell.
It took place at the Noise Pop music festival in San Francisco last year, put together by comics retailer extraordinaire James Sime and hosted at his Isotope Comics Lounge. According to Sime:
I took over [Noise Pop] last year with all sorts of cool live comic art content. The highlight was definitely bringing in Ben Templesmith, putting him on stage in front of a packed house with one of the SF Bay Area’s best DJs and having him start drawing the next issue of Fell!
DJ SamSupa loves Ben’s work so the set is definitely tailored for him, there’s even a Doctor Who theme moment that had the live audience cheering. Here’s the footage of what we projected up on the big screen for the audience, and the sound mix pulled directly from the soundboard.
Ben is fucking hilarious, twittering to the crowd and writing inking lessons on a spare piece of paper for the fans. And he even INKS WITH BEER.
Comics | ICv2’s latest report on the comics market shows a mixed picture for monthly comics and graphic novels. While DC’s New 52 reboot has helped push comics sales, the graphic-novel versions of those comics won’t be out for months — and Amazon is gobbling up a larger and larger share of graphic novel sales, especially at the high end. And this is interesting: “Digital sales are growing as a percentage of the market, but apparently not at the expense of print sales. Retailers interviewed by ICv2 do not feel they’re losing sales to digital competition on DC’s day and date titles.” That seems to be more anecdote than data, but you would think retailers would be the first to notice a drop in sales. The report also includes lists of the top 10 properties in various categories. [ICv2]
Reading a great comic is like enjoying a great meal, but at the end of both sometimes you want to know more about how it was made to get a larger sense of just how good it was. One of the things I like is seeing production work and behind-the-scenes notes on great comics. From the excellent Watching The Watchmen book by Dave Gibbons to collections with backmatter, they give you a larger appreciation of the work.
Later on this month, Image is set to publish a collection of the recently released Undying Love miniseries by Tomm Coker and Daniel Freedman. When CBR’s TJ Dietsch spoke with the duo earlier this year, Coker described it as a romance “filled with action and monsters,” like some modern-day pulp story soaked in blood and vampires. With this collection on its way, Coker and Freedman shared with Robot 6 some of the preliminary art and sketches that helped the series get off the ground.
IDW Publishing Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall has posted some interesting bits from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 at his blog, including the variant covers, a link to a preview, and side-by-side comparisons of Kevin Eastman’s storyboards and Dan Duncan’s finished art (colored by Ronda Pattison). It’s interesting to see how much the layout changes from draft to finished product, and also how dynamic Eastman’s drawings are — the figures are rough, but there’s a lot of energy to them, and they could almost stand on their own.
Regular visitors of Skottie Young’s blog have had a treat lately. Young has announced that’s he’s working on his own graphic novel (in addition to his other, current commitments) and he’s updating his progress in a series of extremely honest, self-reflective posts. There are a couple of things that make this different from other production blogs, a big one being that Young is already a beloved artist with a strong career and plenty of fans who follow it. Most production blogs – and I don’t mean anything negative by this, I promise – are publicity tools as much as anything else. Not that Young’s necessarily above wanting publicity, but the tone of his posts aren’t hyperbolic promotion. They’re educational, as much for Young as for any of his readers. Probably more so.
In his first post, he talked about motivation: Why he wants to create his own graphic novel and why he’s failed in previous attempts. The second post – the one that really got my attention – was more process-related. He wrote about his experience at Trickster in San Diego this year and how it gave him an idea for his next attempt. It’s not just a process-post though, it’s a beautifully told story with a twist ending that made my heart skip a beat when I finished it. He left Trickster with an idea for a cute, very Skottie Young-esque story about an apocalyptic rabbit. I would have bought it for the art and the hopes of some chuckles, but after playing with it for a while Young found the story turning into something else – something deeper – that I can’t wait to read now.
His most recent post is about the writing process: a topic I find especially fascinating when discussed by people who are drawing their own material. Is it best to write a full script first? Just make it up as you go along? Or something in between? Young doesn’t suggest that there’s a one-size-fits-all answer for everyone, but the way he applies the question to himself – and particularly to his previous failures – is heart-warming and enlightening.
“I did extensive research into historical documents for the styles,” he said on his blog. “In order to make that work, I used different typographies each issue, emulating different typefaces in real work; so I needed a uniform tone, technique and color in the finished art to identify all the covers as a whole collection.”
The five-issue miniseries by writer Greg Pak and artist Mirko Colak kicks off in July.
Many who have been following this blog know I’m a fan of both Image’s Skullkickers and Oni’s The Sixth Gun. So when I saw that the two creator-owned books were having a mini-crossover of sorts — or, to be more specific, an ad swap — I thought it might be fun to see if Skullkickers writer Jim “Zub” Zubkavich and The Sixth Gun‘ writer Cullen Bunn might be up for interviewing each other.
So the duo hit Skype and had a long conversation that covered many different topics — how they pitched their books, their writing process, how they work with their artists, finding time to write and much more. My thanks to both Cullen and Jim for doing this, with an extra tip of the hat to Jim for transcribing it. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the second part of the interview.
Zub: So, let’s start right off with the big news. Did I hear correctly that you’re now writing full time? You quit your day job?
Cullen: I did. This is my third week as a full-time writer.
Zub: Awesome. What were you doing before that?
Writer and reviewer Justin Giampaoli, who previously posted the 10-part “Brian Wood Project” on his 13 Minutes blog, has launched Live from the DMZ, a website dedicated to the Vertigo series by Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. Giampaoli promises “a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the series, never-before-seen images, and full length interviews on each of the 12 volumes of the series, posting in regular installments for the remainder of the year.”
He kicks off with an introductory Q&A with Wood, who discusses the genesis of DMZ, his collaboration with Burchielli, and response to the series. “One reaction I thought we would get more of and barely got any was from people accusing me of being anti-American or something like that,” the writer says. “I thought for sure someone from the other end of the political spectrum would have some comments for me, but … nothing. Not sure if I’m happy about that or disappointed, to be honest.”
In his latest post at The Comics Journal, Frank Santoro engages in a little bit of compositional analysis, explaining how an artist determines where the eye will fall, and what are the static and dynamic areas of the page, using a page from a Tintin comic, King Otokar’s Sceptre, to demonstrate the ideas in action. In this case, the components of the drawn comic line up so neatly with Santoro’s diagram that it’s hard to believe Herge wasn’t doing it deliberately.
I’m usually suspicious of after-the-fact dissections, because it’s easy to look at a completed work and see things the artist may not have put in deliberately. But Santoro says that Herge was probably aware of the technique, but that for some artists it just comes naturally, like playing music by ear. And just as the artist may use it unconsciously, the reader probably isn’t aware of it, observing only that some pages are more attractive or compelling than others. It’s useful to be reminded that such swift impressions are often born of painstaking planning. Sometimes you have to work hard to make it look easy.
When the editors of the Graphic NYC blog asked Incredible Change-Bots creator Jeffrey Brown to discuss his influences, they had an essay in mind, but after working on the idea for some time, Brown came back with something different: A comic.
In the charming I’m Really Good at Playing, Brown uses his interactions with his son Oscar to make some points about creating comics, some obvious—his comics are inspired by childhood love of both comics and action figures, in which good and evil were clearly demarcated and good always triumphed at the last minute—and some subtle, like the way his wife can’t impersonate a shark as well as he can. As an extra bonus, he provided a diagram of his initial thoughts and how he turned them into panels of the comic, and he goes through all the steps at his blog.
Over at ComicsAlliance, Laura Hudson has a real treat for those of you who like your superhero comics with an alternative twist: 50-plus pages of sketches, thumbnails, pencils, inks, color studies and more from the Strange Tales II hardcover, which debuted this week. Click on over and get a glimpse at the creative process behind contributions from Kate Beaton, Jeffrey Brown, Ivan Brunetti, Farel Dalrymple, Rafael Grampa, Dean Haspiel, Jaime Hernandez, Paul Hornschemeier, Benjamin Marra, Edu Medeiros, Harvey Pekar, Frank Santoro, and Paul Vella. That’s hella Strange!
Although he’s constantly at work, every new bit of Paul Pope art that’s released is like catnip for a certain section of comic fans — including me.
So it comes with particular delight to not only receive news that the artist is doing a new fine art print for CBLDF, but that he did a process video showing how it was made as well as talking about why he’s doing it for CBLDF. Here’s the video: