Less Talky…

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Because I felt like I wasn’t plugging my work enough and every other thought in your noggin is not me… Jad and I figured it’d do everyone a world of good if we created an honest to goodness Official Gallery Page for this site — see, the ART button up on the banner directs you to all journal entries that show and/or talk about artwork; howevers, I realized that all a handful of you probably prefer to just see art and just have me shut up… sometimes.

So this is me totally me being thoughtful.  *wink wank*

Dumb story short:  Shiny New Button Alert!


Grid Talk 2

Sometimes, artists decide to try writing.

Oh noes.

This is an ongoing conversation via the interwebs about work experience, professional opinion, and just plain doucheity.  This is what came off my good friend Karl Slominski (aka Kid Reverie) and I just shooting the shit after pulling all-nighters laying out our respective projects.  Come look.

grid-talk-2Amor: I have this habit of not doing the layouts for an entire book in one go.  I send the approval thumbs in 5-10 page sets, and I feel it works for me coz it breaks the story into little manageable chunks… vignettes almost… and I don’t need to be too painfully mindful of page 20 as I’m still inking page 3.  Is it the same for you?

Slominski: Lately I’ve been laying out a whole book right after I go through the script the first time.  Then I’ll reread the script and punch up the spots in the roughs that could pack a bigger punch- I’ve found that drawing out the final pencils takes less time when you already know exactly what’s on those pages.  I’m much more comfortable when I know what the workload looks like down the road- that way I can plan accordingly.  It seems that aside from doing the final inks though, tweaking layouts usually takes the longest time.

Amor: I actually feel the same way about knowing exactly what’s in the page and what comes next, it definitely makes it feel like the hard part’s done and all that’s left is just the actual drawing of the page.  Know what I mean?  Like… the comic is done and now it’s just a matter of drawing it. Hahaha!  I just realized how retarded that sounds. It helps, sure, but it’s a double-edged sword for me coz I’m of the impression that while it’s not put down on paper yet (thumbnail or otherwise) I haven’t fucked it up yet.  Coz it’s a bitch when a lousy “first stab” at a thumbnail directly affects later attempts.

Slominski: That’s the worst! I usually hit a bad spell around the middle of the book where I’ve got a killer thumbnail and I’ll spend hours trying to get the same vibe on the actual page.  I’ve broken that bad habit by blowing up the original thumbnails on a photocopier and lightboxing said thumbnail.  I had to do that today actually.  But you’re right, as fucked as it sounds- once you nail the flow and format of the book the easy part is actually drawing it.

John Amor and Karl Slominski
Amor and Slominski

Amor: Now I love drawing comics.  And I love drawing.  But wouldn’t it be awesome to get signed on to just do thumbnails a coupla times?

Slominski: Haha I’d actually pass on that job offer- I’d much rather be involved in a project from start to finish.  Do you remember throughout the early 90’s how half the books out there had 2 artists working on them? I remember a lot of old X-books or Youngblood crediting someone for layouts and someone for “finishes”.  Personally, I think that kinda takes away from a narrative artist’s credibility if someone else is doing the layouts for you.  Sure you can draw eye-catching pretty pictures, but part of being a comic book artist is the craft of storytelling.

Amor: Agreed.

Slominski: I’ll always get more stoked about good storytelling than good art, but you know you’re doing your job a solid when you can deliver on both.

Amor: Well put, Holmes.  Sure you’re an artist if you can draw… but you ain’t a comic artist till you bring it with sequentials that are all your own.  And daily, I might add.  Swish!  Time to hit the desk…

Seeing Red

Just thought I’d post the first three pages from SOVENA RED #1 written by the mansexy Rod Hannah.  The guy’s been a joy to work with, so here’s hoping these sequentials do his story justice.  I’m trying to inject a little bit more Immonen and Ottley into my stuff, so if that carries across in the line work then YEEHAW, if not well… YEEEHAW!!!

Ngyarp.

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When Things Get Hairy

amor-werewolf-previewWoke up a bit groggy from a work binge the other day, and I was out of coffee… so after an arctic shower, I warmed up by finishing the line art for the Werewolf Horror Classics piece.  The rough sketch was barely discernible as a lycanthrope, I think.  This illustration was finished live on Ustream while talking shit with a coupla buddies via Skype… I’ll do that more often to get the joints ready in the morning (half past noon), but it’s back to work for now.

Reading: Automatic Kafka

This being a work journal, it’s probably all kinds of appropriate to mostly talk about my own work and what passes for a process behind it.  But like every artist, I steal from am greatly inspired by the things I read, see, watch, taste, or what have you… so this is the closest I will hover to Recommended Reads, if you will…

You know how you can tell the superhero comic you have in your hands isn’t like any other you’ve read before?  When the creators see fit to remind you on the cover: This is a Superhero Comic.

automatic-kafka_01AUTOMATIC KAFKA by Joe Casey and Ashley Wood came out in 2002 through Wildstorm’s Eye of the Storm imprint, and I only got a chance to go over it a few months ago—I wear my shame on my jugular and beg you to bite it.

Ever wonder what it’s like to be violently sexy and decadently toasted… but with powers?  AK addresses that curiosity and then some.  Somehow, someone somewhere thought it was time to indiscriminately expose the seedy underbelly of superhero post-celebrity culture and immerse Superman fans in it—think, if the Thundercats were real people, and were still around, but were living off their millions and living in sin somewhere… and you’ll probably come close to what this book is/was about.  This was Ennis and Robertson’s THE BOYS over five fucking years early.

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Wildly experimental and dripping with contempt for the mainstream, the series was abruptly cancelled after nine issues.  Casey, who was ironically also writing Superman at the time, was showing people something awesome in one hand and slapping their mothers with the other.  Ash Wood’s art was being witty as only his art can.  For such a fresh series, it was criminally shortlived.  If you find it, read it… snatch it from a friend… read it in all its glorious strangeness… and if so inclined, tear out a page, roll it up, and then smoke it.

I promise it will be good for you.