I was talking with Grampá over the weekend and we made some very important decisions concerning the special comic book we're planning for San Diego this year. I still have to check all this out with Becky and Vasilis, but I guess they'll be just as excited as we are. I'm very happy to see Grampá's enthusiasm over doing comics at last, and that's the kind of people you should have at your side if you can when you're going after your dreams. Likewise, Becky and Vasilis share this kinetic energy on their personal projects, one that sometimes gets lost on other endeavors, and one that should be nurtured and watched closely. I know a lot of people who want to do comics, but just a few that really love to create them. Becky was one of the first I met, and she introduced me to Vasilis. And, once Bá and I met Grampá, all fell into place and it was just a matter of time until we decided to do something together. Here we are, trying to capture this momentum, this time in all our lives where we simply love what we do, and we do it the best we can.
Before all that, I have to finish my robot story.
I've been drawing at a much slower pace than usual, and that's not what I originally planned, but at the same time that got me much more time to think about my future projects - or the ideas I have and the hope they'll become future projects. Risking to spend more time on the future than o the present, I can't help but to feel happy that I'm doing comics, I'm creating stories and I have friends to do all these things with.
And I work everyday with my brother. That alone is a priceless experience, one that I can't describe and that you wouldn't believe me if I did.
Monday, February 26, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Gerard Way and Scott Allie talk about the first Umbrella Academy comic, debuting on FCBD, showing some of Bá's artwork. Since big publishers try to save their news to "break" them at conventions, I already expected NYCC to have this one. Here's one sentence I liked, from Scott:
"The way we generate pages has been that Gerard and I work out the script with a certain amount of back and forth and discussion, then that goes on to Bá, and he does real rough layouts. We give him feedback on that, some notes, maybe ask for some layouts to be redone but not much, then he goes straight to inks. With other artists, I'd want to see pencils before inks, but Bá's process is so organic, it only makes sense for him to go straight to inks… he gets this stuff intuitively, and brings so much style and character to it."
Drawing is like dancing, an art, and, like dancing, everybody can do it.
To dance well, just like drawing well, comes from practicing, but there's also those who have that something else already on them, those who catch faster. Art is in each one's point of view, in what we bring and carry, in what we show, be it your "point of view", your "opinion", your "something extra". Call it talent if you will.
Comics are more than just drawing. It's more than just dancing, it's like an performance, where there's an structure, a choreography that leads the eye and goes through the music, the story, and various elements must be combined to build the picture you want during the performance.
You'll learn, during the music of your story, the steps of this choreography, you'll improvise along the way, you'll come to trust your partner (your art), your colleagues, yourself. Once you trust yourself, you stop worrying about what you're capable and then the challenge of what's the next step begins.
There's a new music beginning, and I wonder who are we going to dance with next.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Did you ever wondered "what does it look like at the twins studio"? Wait no more and check it out. Even if all those pictures are two weeks old and now the studio looks completely different (messier) and so do we (we look prettier, if that's at all possible).
And while I'm still in storyboard hell, my robot story is waiting. Looks like I'll have work to do during Carnaval, all of that so I'm fresh and free to begin my project with Matt Fraction after that. Good thing I have a drawing board at the beach.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Looking through some old stuff, I found the thumbnail sketches from another story I haven't done yet. It's was very inspirational to look at those thumbnails and realize I wanted to know what happened next on every turn of the page. That story wasn't abandoned at the time (it was, but not on purpose, as I got another project that had to be done right away and took me six months of last year) and I realized it's still the kind of story I want to tell. If I can handle that story as well as my next project, I might be able to finish it before my next birthday. We'll see about that as the days go by. Right now, it's all about robots.
Except that, right RIGHT now, the robots are waiting. I got an advertising agency call yesterday and had to do something for today, but it's done already, but in the middle of yesterday's new job, I got another call from a big brazilian magazine asking for another job for wednesday, so that's what I'll do now. I expect to at least ink the page I did yesterday today, to keep things moving - and because I just want to do a little comics every day that I can, even if it's just inking one panel.
Monday, February 12, 2007
In order to draw robots, I had to create them. I realized that once I finished the thumbnails and the pages stood there, blank, looking at me. It's not going to be the same as drawing people. It's not something I do all the time. Every time you have to do something new, you should prepare, study, get comfortable with what you're going to do. When you get confident, you'll transport this confidence to the page, and say it like you mean it.
This robot, I created right after breakfast. I hope it was the coffee running through my veins that helped me, for I drank a lot of coffee this morning and I'll sure need it today.
Today: page one. And two, if possible.
You never know.
Clicking here you'll find a preview of Casanova 7, out this wednesday. We got or copies on friday, and the last chapter of this first album looks beautiful.
Reads beautifully as well.
Also, Christopher Butcher is doing a review (or analisis) of every issue of Casanova this week, so that should be fun.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Here we are, researching robots again. Yesterday, we finished the new script, so it's just a matter of doing it. A hope to finish the artwork at the end of next week - before Carnaval - so don't expect me to be talkative during robot production. These creatures (machines?) demand much more attention than my regular characters, as they're all too unfamiliar.
Our box of Casanova 7 arrived today on the mail. This is a beautiful issue, and a great finish to the first album. As a reader, even if a very close one, I can't wait to the next one. I feel like I know these characters, and I don't want to see them go.
Bá, artist extraordinaire, will finish his first Umbrella Academy adventure today. He's on the last page. It's all very dramatic, dysfunctional and epic. Like Casanova, Bá's work on this is very different, very fresh, and fun.
Oh yes, fun.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
For a little more than two months now, Bá started attending live figure drawing sessions, and it's refreshing to be able to exercise this side of the artistic creation. Most poses would be only one minute long, with some three or four minutes exceptions. In this time frame, it's impossible to think too much, to analyze, and it's much more a matter of putting pen to paper and seeing what appears. Even the mistakes have to be incorporated into the drawing, for you have no time to erase, and Bá uses just some pens so he wouldn't erase even if he could.
I'm amazed at the complexity James Jean does his sketches, and at the same time it's fun to watch Bá's pictures, fast and energetic, and both capture the essence of the gesture, all the curves and folds and imperfections. It doesn't really matter your style. Everybody has something to learn and absorb when figure drawing.
What is the most fun in most figure drawings is how much we learn drawing those who will deviate from the current model of beauty or perfection, as they give you much more lines to work with, much more curves, and you realize how how much real all your drawings will get when you start to practice on the full range of the visual spectrum.
It's not necessary to do figure drawing, but it's good to be able to do it. If you have done it, you'll know how much you enjoyed, or how much you suffered, only showing how much you need it. At art school, it was one of my favorite classes (and I always drew an old lady with tits down to her knees - literary!), and I missed it for a long time, and it's good to be able to do it again.
Monday, February 05, 2007
This is a detail of an illustration I did last week for a brazilian magazine. And that's pretty much all I drew last week, as most of the other projects included thinking, and I'm always finding myself guilty for spending the entire day thinking. A little writing, to put thoughts to paper, but mostly thinking. Mostly in my head.
The good side of only thinking is that, if you need to have ideas, they'll come. You can have ideas all the time, when you're having fun at night, in the middle of a cold shower, any where, any time. But sometimes you NEED to think of something. If you haven't a drawer with ideas stashed for emergencies, there's nothing better than simply stop everything and think.
You'll either have an aneurism, or an idea.
This weekend, I had the idea I spent the entire week after. I had it on the beach, while looking in the distance while floating peacefully in the sea. I had it after an entire week talking with Bá every chance we got about it, throwing ideas back and forth, discussing what was exciting about what we wanted to say, and what did I wanted to draw on that story. We would talk on the car, during lunch, in front of the tv and at the studio. We had several good ideas, but not that one I was looking for.
I had to go swimming to find that one.
At the bottom of the ocean, I found out what do robots look forward when they get old.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Grampá is a friend of ours. We just talked about him a few days ago, as he worked with Bá on that giant wall thing. He did most of that. He's awesome.
The first comic book story he EVER drew was four pages long and it's feature on the Gunned Down anthology book, published in 2005 by Terra Major (get it here). We would never believe it was his first pages ever if we didn't know him. After that, we were constantly asking for more, for the next one, for something bigger, longer, bolder.
This year, as an way of committing to his story (or maybe as an necessary excuse to finish it), he's going with us to the San Diego Comicon, and we all will share a booth with the also awesome Becky Cloonan and Vasilis Lolos. Such an international roaster called for an extra effort, so we are all doing special stuff just for the booth. And Grampá is doing a brand new story, a brand new book.
And he created a blog to talk about it!
And here's the first image:
This post won't allow comments, so you can rightfully go to Grampá's blog to comment there.