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.


  1. This is a great interview. It's nice to see someone keeping this style alive... and working with digital tools too. Thanks for posting.