Monday, December 21, 2009
Coming in 2010 is an article on the lost art of inking.
Featuring the lines of
In the meantime check out this great book from www.twomorrows.com publishing!
Have a Merry Christmas everyone! Happy Holidays! Have a Happy New Year!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Can the American Comic be saved?
At this point it is hard to say. It has been dying a slow death since the gloss paper direct market promo cover craze of the 90's.
That decade alone probably hurt comics more than anything.
They disapeared from news stands altogether. They also got very expensive. The inflation of the US Comic is more than almost any other product. $1.50 was about the rate for your average DC or MARVEL book at the time. IMAGE came in with $1.95 on nicer paper. Everyone followed suit.
Now they are $2.99- $3.99!? Its ludicris.
For about the same you can get SHONEN JUMP magazine. Its full of Manga comics printed in black and white on cheap paper. You wonder why all these kids love Manga/Anime and this is a major reason.
You know what? Thats what the kids are reading. They are not reading Spiderman or Batman. Only the BABYMEN are.
Why MARVEL or DC have not tried this I have no idea! They are crazy. Too proud and stuck in this system that is beyond its use now.
I am in the process of trying to find means to print comics cheap in a book like this with some other artists. I think its a much better model and it seems to serve the Euro and Asian markets very well. The popular stuff gets made into Trades and/or TV shows.
Will the US comic survive? Not for long at the rate they are now.
They can survive in the format they are now but unless they get an alternative back on the magazine racks,at grocery stores,toy stores,etc then they risk dying all together.
Kids don't read comics because they can't buy them easily. There are not alot of Direct Comic Book stores and alot of the ones there don't cater to kids. In fact some of them go out of their way to discourage kids to come in. I have seen it at a few shops when kids come in and want to look at comics (DUH) and the employee's scold them for (GASP) reading them!
Nice way to get some future customers...
Props to Tucson Comic Store HEROES and VILLIANS for not having this policy. The owner doesn't carry as much as I wish he did but he does get the kids to come in.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Great people there. They all love illustration and comic books.
They are there to learn from and help each other. Not a place to go if you think you know it all or aren't willing to "unlearned what you have learned"
So far I am on track to being a better artist. I have a skechblog there for crits and it has helped me a ton. I try to join in on some of the community projects too.
This Thor page was for one such Jam.
I am not happy with it. I have learned from it though and that is what matters to me as an artist.
Onward and Upward as a certain Sensei has told me many times.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Where do I start.
I have not always been a die hard fan of The Dude.
I have always known of his amazing talent though.
For some reason I never got into Nexus in the heyday.
So The Dude was under my comic radar for years. Then I was at Cactus Con 07 and I met The Dude. He was so awesome and so was his wife. I got a few things from them.
Later when I was at another dealers table I got the old Steve Rude Sketchbook.
Wow. I had no idea what an artist he was till I got that book.
In alot of ways he is my model for what I strive to be. It is because of The Dude that I am now completley relearning how to draw. From scratch. Throwing out years of gobbled gook. I am going back to the basics with life drawing and lots of good instruction from Loomis and Hamm.
I also seem to be able to notice more things now thanks to The Dude.
He is influenced by alot of the same artists that I love. Jack Kirby, Alex Toth,Doug Wildey, John Romita and Andrew Loomis.
Did I mention that he paints? Amazingly well I might add!!
Steve strives to be a better artist with each application. His dedication is amazing.
So when he started NEXUS with writer Mike Baron he decided to do cover paintings. They are all amazing and get better with each issue. Unfortunatley for now NEXUS has had its run.
They went from Capitol Comics to FIRST then to Darkhorse. At Darkhorse the sales just weren't high enough to continue publishing the book. I have no idea why! The books are amazing. I want to blame the speculator market and the me too hotshot artist books. Does anyone care about either of those now? Probably not.
Steve us also not one to buckle to trends and I for one am glad. I want him to be that same level of class and artistry that we have all come to know and love.
He also did a great down to earth superhero book at Darkhorse with writer and inker Gary Martin.
Pure fun and again amazing art. Great storytelling and fantastic characters.
Again it didn't sell as well as Darkhorse would have liked.
Steve and his Wife decided to self publish. That was the birth of RUDE DUDE Productions.
There he could re-launch NEXUS, The Moth, and a new anthology book.
We got the NEXUS! Space Opera. Amazing! Go read it now!
Unfortunatley the industry does not care about artist's who can draw really well and tell amazing stories.
Rude Dude Productions for now has closed shop.
I wish The Dude the best. I want more MOTH!
He is still painting and doing commissions. Check out his book!
Steve Rude Artist in Motion.
Probably some of the best money you will ever spend if you are an artist.
So if you are looking for amazing stories with artwork that will blow you away then look no further. Run don't walk to get some Steve Rude comics.
I recommend The Moth trade and check out NEXUS! You wont be sorry. He also did a few books for Marvel and DC.
Check out his website www.steverude.com
and by all means check out the amazing deals at his online store www.steverudeart.com
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I was thinking about comic art and illustrators last night. Actually I do this pretty much at various times all day as I am awake.
He came onto the scene with his own self published comic The Myth of 8-Opus.
I have not read too much of that but I soon will remedy that as I contacted him directly to order the Trades.
That garnered him some attention as a “Jack Kirby Clone”
At first that’s what I thought as well. I don’t deny that.
Then he blasted onto the scene with g0dland co-created with writer Joe Casey and published by Image Comics. I understand that Eric Larsen was the one who got Tom in contact with Joe to make this book.
This is where I discovered Tom’s amazing art.
At first you would dismiss it as very Kirby Copied.
Inspired for sure but not copied. I think he gets a bad rep for that but you have to know your Kirby to know your Scioli.
He is using a bold and dynamic style like Kirby. If you really look at it though he has his own thing going on. His character designs are amazing!
One of the critiques I had heard of Tom was “How does it feel to be the equivalent of a Kiss tribute band in comics”
Cover bands take a band and copy them exactly. They play that bands songs and they try as hard as they can to be identical in sound and performance. Tom is not trying to do that here. If he was he would be redrawing FF 1-101 or New Gods or The Demon each month with his name on it.
I will relate it to the genre of Rock Music which has sub-genre’s
Kirby was almost like that raw spirit of Rock and Roll. That spirit that was in Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. Then Rock and Roll started to get watered down and technical. Rock music was dying. Then the spirit in the late 60’s and early 70’s came back with Punk. Bands like The Stooges,MC5 and the Ramones.
That’s Tom Scioli. He wants to rock and he wants it to get back to awesome storytelling that is a comic. He is out to make fun comics again. I really want to personally thank him for that. There are not enough people doing that in my opinion. The big companies are too busy trying to please the babymen to see it.
So if you want to read some fun comics that know they are comics and not trying to be a
It does not disappoint.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I wasn't going to do this blog yet. I found a great link though!
Check this out
Now I have a weird history with Kirby(similar to Bruce Timm's incidentally)
I think I was 5 or 6 when I first saw it and it was powerful. I loved super hero cartoons and comic books but I was really into Batman at the time.
Later on when I got really bit by the Comic Book bug when I was 12 I had to stay at my Godmothers house one day.
She had an older son who collected comics when he was a kid.
She had a whole box of comics! Mostly mid 60's Marvel and DC comics!
It was there that the Kirby hit me like a freight train! The X-Men as I had never seen them! Thor's battles with Mangog! The trials and tribulations of 4 heroes transformed from cosmic rays! I had been reading X-Men mainly at that time and Image was just coming around.
So I really enjoyed the power of it but I was really into the modern style trappings of the early 90's look. I did get to meet The King in 1993 not too long before he passed away. It is a monumental day in my life and I think of it often. He was the nicest guy and said nothing to discourage a young comic fan who wanted to break in the biz.
I would continue to admire him for what he had done but it hadn't set in yet.
That same year was when I really got into the Batman Animated Series and discovered Bruce Timm. That had me re-thinking what I liked about Comic art. It was simple but elegant and powerful. They put out a book called BATMAN A-N-I-M-A-T-E-D and in there I saw it. Bruce Timm design sheets that had a ton of Kirby influence! I started to get more into the classical comic form with smooth inked figurework.
The final Kirby Addiction happened when I stumbled upon a used copy of The Jack Kirby Collector!
I was floored. Tons of great Kirby art in pencil form. Stories from artists that were influenced by him. Tales of his career. Also around the same time the Superman Animated Series had its New Gods episodes and I lost it. That was it. Foaming at the mouth for Kirby.
That was the point where it clicked! The storytelling. The drama and power of his figurework. The guy is a genius.(don't ask me just ask Mark Chiarello!) He took mythology to new levels. Sci Fi would not be the same without the ideas Kirby used. Actually I doubt anything in the visual medium would be had it not been for the giant of a talent! At his peak no one comes close to Kirby for me.
I have been collecting everything he has done since then! Sometimes I get lucky and find something cool like his Heroes and Villians sketchbook for dirt cheap! Now is a great time to be a fan of Jack Kirby. You won't get the opportunity that I did meeting him but you can get his best stuff in nice Hardcover reprints to cherish for years to come.
Thank you Jack Kirby for making my life a better just by talking to you for a few minutes back in 1993.
Check out The Jack Kirby Museum!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Man its so true! Now I know why Steve Rude's The Moth didn't sell. I loved the Moth. We need more comics like that but alas... anyway.
If you don't know Mike's work you should check some out! He is a fantastic illustrator.
I remember liking his stuff as a kid but I didn't care for Darkhawk(sorry Mike!) but I loved his Batman art.
Now he is the editor of DRAW! Magazine.
a great magazine from Twomorrows(which itself will be a subject soon!)
So if you are interested in Comic book illustration I suggest checking that out!
Now back to studying Kirby gestures!
Monday, November 9, 2009
I wanted an era with some technology but not enough to demystify everything. It is also a great era of growth,turmoil and mystery!
The storytelling options I found are great! I also love old planes and thanks to Noel Sickles Scorchy Smith and Milt Caniff's Terry and the Pirates I can't stop drawing them!
Stay tuned for it will make its premiere here! I have the series bible completed and the first story arc plotted out.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I am an aspiring artist who loves classical comic illustration.
My inspirations are the great storytellers of our past.
Jack Kirby,Alex Toth,Noel Sickles,John Romita,John Buscema!
Also some of the modern storytellers who have these kind of values!
John Romita JR,Bruce Timm,Steve Rude,Darwyn Cooke,Erik Larsen,Etc.
I appreciate the sexy inks that the brush work can do. The way the light and shadow play in these panels!
Things you will not see...
Line art with no weights or straight to pencil panels
Overdone photoshop disease art.
I did this pic of Steve Rude and Gary Martin's THE MOTH!