Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Benito Gallego

Interview with Benito Gallego []

I found him on Deviant Art and he just screamed to me a student of John Buscema. That can’t be a bad thing!

1.) You have a style very reminiscent of John Buscema? Can you tell us more about that.

Since I was a little boy I loved the Buscema Conan books and when I read other heroes like Ka-Zar, Thor or The Avengers it was always John Buscema's version the one I felt the best compared with the other artists. So when I started to try to draw I would imitate Big John's style. I just wanted to draw as good as the best.

Now I'm older and many of the ideas and concepts that I used to rely on when I was a child have proven wrong but others I'm still certain. Among the few that I still manage today as an adult is the strong believe that John Buscema is simply the best you can get in comic-book art.

2.) Besides Buscema, what other artists have influenced you? Also why do you stick to a more "traditional" style compared to alot of "modern comics"?

I could name a lot of artists that I admire like Joe Kubert, Wally Wood, Neal Adams, Jordi Bernet, Frank Frazetta, Will Esiner, Carlos Giménez, Víctor de la Fuente, Mike Mignola, Adam Hughes, Lee Weeks... and many others. At some point they all have had some influence in my work and I'm continually finding guys whose art I enjoy.
And yes, it is true that my style is quite "traditional". Maybe because when I move away from it to try to develop a "modern" approach I feel like I'm losing something. So why do I have to eat a hot-dog when I can have a "paella"?

3.) Do you prefer hand drawing/inking or digital or a combination of both?.

I used to hand draw-ink and color but since the new technologies have developed and we can have software and computers that can help an artist's task it would be foolish not to take advantage of it. Today I use digital tools mostly for coloring but also sometimes for making sketches and even inking depending on the subject and style that I'm working on at that moment.

For me the most important advantage is that even when you use a traditional method for drawing or inking you know it is always so much easier now to make corrections digitally using a computers program than it was before.

4.) What particular Tools do you like to use for penciling,inking and programs?

If we are talking digitally, first I have an A3 size scanner that allows me to scan my drawings on the first try. You safe a lot of time when you don't have to join two or more parts when using a small scanner. Then I use a wacom tablet which is way faster and versatile than the traditional mouse. The programs I use are Photoshop for coloring and making sketches. And for inking I use Illustrator.

When using traditional methods I prefer an ordinary pencil to a propelling pencil. And for inking I use a quill to make the main lines and a brush to fill the blacks. I don't usually use markers or felt-tip pens which I find too hard and inexpressive except for making straight lines. And for coloring an illustration I use watercolors combined with crayons, markers and gouache.

5.) What inspired your Zuda story? How do you think it went?

The idea of a race of people dwelling in the underground "like beasts, in caves where no sunlight ever entered" is a recurrent theme that appears in "The Lost Race", "Worms of the Earth", "People of the Dark" and other tales by Conan's creator Robert E. Howard. I took that idea and thought what if there were such a race in our modern-day cities? I thought that they probably would live in the sewers and could be called something like "The Children of the Sewer". If you put a hero (or anti-hero in this case) in this context you have a lot of posibilities of building an epic tale of adventure, fight, fantasy and horror.

At first I didn't have much expectations to win the contest. I just wanted to participate and expose my work to see the public's reaction. But when you see that people seem to like your work and you are getting near the top you cherish the idea that "Yeah, I can make it, I'm really close to win". So t was a bit dissapointing when finally I didn't win although a second place is not bad at all.

6.) Any other current projects in the works?

I hope to retake Roy Thomas' ANTHEM and CAPTAIN THUNDER & BLUE BOLT series soon. Meanwhile I have been contacted by Gerald Cooper from InVision Comics ([link]) and hopefully I'll be doing some work for them in a near future. I have also a story about gypsies, tartars, kosacks and zombies! that I wrote some time ago and that I would really love to draw.

7.)Any other websites that feature your work other than here at DA?

You can take a look at my gallery at comicartfans ([link]) although most of the pieces are also on DA.
I'm also developing my own website ([link]) that I hope to have finished in a couple of months. I think I said something like that a year ago!!

That’s it for the first one. I would like to thank Benito Gallego for taking his time to answer my questions. Stop by his Deviant Art page.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Getting ready to do a series of interviews of other artists who are inspired or taken by similar artists.

If you drool over Kirby,Sinnott,Timm,Rude,Toth,Wood,Sickles,Caniff,Raymond,Romita,Wildey,etc.

Drop me a line!

First one should be up soon!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Storytelling now and then...

Every Wednesday I meet up with fellow artists and friends at a local coffee shop.

There tends to be some great discussion of art of comics and other mediums.

This past week it was a much smaller group of us and it was the few that are really into cinema as well.

What we have all noticed is that storytelling is not just falling apart in comics but movies as well. I made a comment on how the 60-80's comics all had really good storytelling and that a few artists seem to really catch onto cinematic techniques.

I have been on a Hitchcock kick lately and started to notice that alot of my favorite artists seem to have sequences or shots right out of these classic films. I know Jack Kirby use to have his TV on almost at all time while he was working as company but I bet it influenced some of his visuals for sure.

Another one of the group noted how comics tried to be too much like movies now and the movies now are trying to be too much like video games. I hope they do find a balance in this. The story is what is the most important if you want to have something that is great. A weak story with great visuals is just a picture book. A great story with weak art is still a great story and can always be improved on later.

One of my own personal goals is to make sure I am telling the story first and using the art to guide you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Brush Inking Tips...

So in my own personal quest to become better at brush inking I have turned a great source.


So far this video explains so much and is very informative.

Another good one I found is here.

There are many more but I found these 2 particular ones to be the most helpful.

Good luck!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Traditional Inks or what I like to call sexy…

Now it should be no clue that I prefer traditional inking on comics/pop art.

I can not tell you exactly why. I just think it looks really smooth and its easy to read.

Part of that is how the ‘weights’ of the lines draw your eye to parts of the illustration.

A master knows exactly how much of this to add or subtract from the pencil art.

In the hands of a master craftsman like Joe Sinnott it is amazing. He knows exactly how to make each image in a panel come to life. Pushing what needs to be in the foreground there and letting the rest seep into the background.

Even a complex image like this cover to FF #100 you can read each character easily even in Black and White.

I feel that the image should be readable in Black and White and maybe enhanced by color. I feel that modern comics almost depend on the color too much.

The Shadows of the soldiers on the wall here are a great example of making the image read. He could have just made them all black but it would have overpowered the rest of the image. Letting us see the bricks in the shadow let us see the characters easier.

Ask anyone in the biz who has been there since Joe Sinnott and they will tell you they learned from him or wanted him to ink their stuff. Stan Lee said that artists would fight over Joe’s schedule. He made it that good.

Here are some other artists who were also renown for their inking.

Wally Wood.

What is there to say that the picture can not? Not much. He was a master of using light and shadow. Even over Kirby (some say he overpowers Kirby’s style but I say it looks amazing…you get Kirby dynamic and Wood’s sexy shadows!)

He was also just an amazing artist in his own right.

Alex Toth

Someday soon I will get to a whole topic on one of my all time favorites Toth. (after IDW releases their new book about him late this year…)

Anyway. Toth has a simplicity that can be deceiving. It looks simple but its not. He just leaves out the unnecessary and highlights the best part of an illustration.

He was a huge fan of Noel Sickles(another blog topic to come soon!) and it shows!

Check out Ralph's posts on Noel Sickles here (

Mike Royer

(more info here courtesy of 20th Century Danny Boy )

Another of the legendary Jack Kirby Inkers. He is known for being true to Kirby but still enhancing the little things.

An amazing artist in his own right he now freelances and does some work for Disney on Winnie the Poo!

Doug Wildey.

While he was known for being meticulous he has an amazing line.

Creator of the TV Show Jonny Quest.

He studied the classic Newspaper strip artists like Milt Caniff, Noel Sickles and Alex Raymond.