Monday, February 13, 2006


These are some pencils I did the week before Wondercon. Each page took at least a day to do, which was frustrating. I sometimes do paintings in a day but somehow having to draw tight pencils from reference took a long time. I suppose it's because I'm normally drawing or painting a couple people, but here I have to draw many people from every angle. In the future I'll probably just print the pictures out and trace them, or not use reference at all. It depends on what I envision for the pages. I'm perfectly good at drawing from my mind, but sometimes it's not the style I want.
I actually don't like the way these look. I'm not a pencil fan. I'm going to ink them and see if they start to appeal to me. The script I used is from Steve Niles' "30 Days of Night". I obviously didn't reference the original Ben Templesmith art at all.
The comic convention went really well for me. I showed my work to the people at DC and Darkhorse and got positive responses from both. Both were especially impressed with my illustration portfolio, or I guess you might say the things that had cover potential. This was very surprising to me because I know they only have the "stars" of comics do the covers. I thought it would be much easier to shoot for a penciling job.
The Dark Horse editor liked my pencils and loved the illustrations. It was a very informal meeting with no lines or set times or anything. She mentioned something about a short comics collection that I might work on. She echoed what many said, that I basically have to make a book and propose it to a publisher. Dark Horse, like just about every other publisher, doesn't do a lot of "work for hire". This all makes sense and I got some great feedback and criticism.
The DC editor saw my pencils first and thought they were pretty good but not applicable to "super-hero" comics. He gave me some really good comments and we talked a little. Then I showed him my presentation case with my illustration portfolio. We talked about some other things as he flipped the pages. I said something and he replied along the lines of "What? I'm sorry, I'm just so caught up in what I'm seeing here". At that point he gave me his card and told me to send him some samples. The rest of the interview he seemed a little awestruck and I have the impression that he doesn't see a lot of portfolios like mine. It went exceedingly well I think. I went downstairs and ran into one of my favorite instructors from CCA, Barron Storey. I told him what happened and he made me think that being asked to send files to the editor is basically a green light. He also said "Be careful, these people are sharks". I'm horribly afraid of sharks, real ones at least, so that comment will stick with me.
The best part! I brought my art of Hellboy book today to have Mike Mignola sign it. Surprisingly, there wasn't really anyone around him today, friday and saturday he was swamped. I walked right up and had him sign it and asked him if he would look at my artwork. He did this thing. This thing that's hard to describe. Whenever I asked an artist if they would look at my portfolio they did this thing where they want an excuse not to and feel kind-of pinned into looking at it. So a lot of people went "um(look around)...yeah..uh..sure let me see what you got there". I can tell they're looking for any excuse not to but are generally to nice to say no. I believe thier aversion stems from there being so many terrible artists at these conventions that it puts them in a really awkward situation. However, everyone I showed my stuff to changed their attitudes very quickly when they saw that I'm not a hobby artist or anything; it's understandable that they would think so because I'm so young. So Mike made a nasty face and looked down the (sudden) line of people and said "errr..yeah..ok". He was honestly amazed, probably a pleasant surprise. He complemented me on how great the work was and was very verbal about his liking my paintings. Then he asked me a couple things and said he wanted me to mail him prints of my work, and gives me his business card. He said something about needing painters for projects. He even said "I LOVE this one with the refrigerator" and the way he emphasized love I could tell he meant it. If you know his work and that peice it makes perfect sense. I still cannot believe I got such a good reaction from one of my all-time favorite artists, not to mention his stature in the comics world. It couldn't have been better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that sounds freakin' great, the whole encounter. I expect
the whole thing will work out
fantastically well.

and thanks again for your help
with my picture.