Question for Dave (or Paty) not entirly about Nightcrawler..

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Question for Dave (or Paty) not entirly about Nightcrawler..

Postby Fuzzybum » Tue Nov 23, 2004 2:47 am

You are comic book artists right, so could you tell me how you became one, the classes you had to take and such? I am doing my Highschool senior project on the proffession of comic book artists and I get to draw my own comic book, or the beginings of one. I would like all the information you could give me on this....I would like to show you some of my work but I dont have much done on the comic part yet but I have other peices of art that Ive done, if you could tell me if Im anywhere near good enough, or on my way to being good enough to think about applying to Marvel or someplace like that?
http://fuzzybum.deviantart.com/
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Question for Dave (or Paty) not entirly about Nightcrawler..

Postby Paty » Thu Nov 25, 2004 2:14 am

:mags
Paty here...
Looks like you have a good basic understanding of anatomy in relaxed situations. some of the portraiture is lovely. I went to the gallery and took a look. Nice colored pencils and very good shading that youwill probably never get in a comic book! LOL You don't ink any of your stuff and by and large, inking is almost de rigeur for comic reproduction. It tends to destroy the softness and lushness of pencil art... but especially if you are doing superhero art inking is necessary. and comic art originals are rarely colored. The coloring is done separately... which is why you see black and white art for sale as "original art" . In production, the pages would be "shot" for either color by indiccation... which meant that a colorist would color a xerox and make notationa as to which exact color was to be used in a given space on the art. For example, spidey's red would be indicated YR... and the blue was BR2. Now when the separator got to this they would fill in a hundred percent red on the red plate and a hundred percent yellow on the yellow plate for the red areas. Printers red is a cold red and to make the cherry red of Spidey and captain America, you have to overlay that cold red with a hundred percent yellow. The blue areas whold have a hundred percent blue on the blue plate and twenty five percent screen of red on the red plate. the twentyfive percent overlay of red gave the blue a darker tone...as opposed to straight blue, which is Captain America blue... or Nightcrawler blue...LOL
In special projects, we used to do "color for reproduction" which meant that the colorist did finished watercolor art on a photostat of the Black and white art...and then it was laser scanned to make the separate red, blue, yellow and black plates, just like a photograph. this was only done when you were printing on Baxter paper...or better.
Of course, nowadays, all the color is computer generated with varying degrees of success. There are a lot of colorists out there who wok with only a pastel palette... and wouldn't use a strong color if their life depended on it! which just doesn't have the pizazz a superhero comic needs!Some of the best computer color can be seen in the early issues of Spawn! that was beautiful stuff...and used the special effects extant with computer coloring to good effect.
You need to concentrate on action poses and sequential art. comic art is really storyboarding... just like in the movies... only cheaper. You need to learn foreshortening and action shots. ..especially for superdoop comics. It looks like you are also into anime type art. which is fine, but generally not the best style for action adventure comics...like most superdoop stuff.
get ahold of the Berne Hogarth books ... Dynamic Anatomy and Dynamic Figure Drawing. He also has a book on heads and drapery out and these are good reference books to have. You will also need books on animals, perspective and machines...such as planes, cars, etc. A good and serious artist has a "morgue" of such art reference...which may include shots from other artists whose style he likes and who will influence his own art.
Never copy another's art. Develop your own style. This is not to say that you will not be influenced by certain artists...you will. some artists started in comics because they could imitate the style of an artist who was 'HOT" at the time... like Bill Sinkowicz. He got very popular because he could imitate Neal Adam's style. Once he got a fan following, he very gently segued into his own style, and his fans followed him eagerly. so he had developed his own style, but knew the market wasnn't ready for it yet. It was a very offbeat style. so he mimicked Adams' style and finally came into his own.
sometimes you gotta do things like that. but imitating a master isn't all bad. It teaches you a lot of the things the master knows and does.
You say you are a senior in high school. May I ask where? If you are anywhere near northern New Jersey, you might consider applying to the Kubert Art school... their main focus is teaching young artists the things they will need to know to go into the comics industry... and helping them to create and polish their style so that they will be ready to scale the rather tall and imposing walls of the comics industry.

Ya gotta understand, the industry is a small one. It needs a limited number of creators and there is heavy competition for the few covetted jobs. But sometimes it just comes down to what a specific editor is looking for. what "grabs" him...or her.
You can do submission art and send xeroxes to the submissions editor at the company of choice. do not send original art...only xeroxes. If you want to do this, you need to do several pages of sequential story art to show them that you can tell a coherent story. You should use the characters of the book you would like to draw. If you are looking for a penciller's job, the xeroxes should be pencil. If you are looking to grab an inker's job, include a xerox of pencils and then a xerox of how you would ink that page. inking is usually a purely technical gig. You ink what you are given if it is full pencils and you add a lot of stuff if the pencils you are given to ink are "breakdowns" or basic figure work without all the additions, like clothes and artifacts and backgrounds and stuff like that. Pencil art is more difficult in that the editor is going to be not only looking to see if you can draw good looking figures, they will be looking to see if you vary your panel display, keep the reader's eye moving, and, most importantly, whether you tell a story or show a sequence in an understandable manner that flows and keeps the reader interested.
It is only rarely that an artist will be a writer as well as an artist. But it does happen. But getting into the biz, you are gonna have to concentrate on one skill at a time. Every writer/artist had to be one or the other first... then grow into the full creator spot.

Pages are done on boards that are eleven inches by seventeen inches. The art area, unless you are bleeding your art to the edge of the page, is generally ten by fifteen and all copy has to be kept within this area so that it won't accidentally get cut off when the comic is bound and folded and trimmed. Artists, however, do not worry about where the word balloons go, usually. Chris used to yell at Dave cuz dave never gave him room for copy! and he hated to cover up Dave's art. LOL...but this is the only real thing you have to worry about with regard to copy. Leave a little bit of room for copy and your writer will usually be happy! LOL

I really like the delicacy of your portrait art. It would make good cover art if the editor were going for that kind of look. But you need to practice your figures and action shots in particular. OK? Get the Hogarth books and really look at them. Learn the muscles of the human body and how they go together to make a body move in space. These books will show you how to do this. I know they have finally put these out in paperback format,so the cost shouldn't be exorbitant... and Christmas/Haunnaka is coming...LOL! Make a reference book wish list and leave it around the house...parentls usually love to get books for their kids for holidays and birthdays!
LOL
Hope this helps a bit. If you have specific questions, just ask!
Lotsa luck, kiddo! I will only say that movie storyboarding pays better than comic storyboarding if you have the connections or are based on the west coast. Of course, Image studios are out there, too... so, your choice! Advertising art also pays better but may not be as much fun...
LOL
paty
:mags
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Question for Dave (or Paty) not entirly about Nightcrawler..

Postby Fuzzybum » Thu Nov 25, 2004 7:09 am

Thank You ^^

I never really expected my art to be good for a comic book. I knew nothing I had on that site was really comic material but I don’t have any of that stuff up yet. I just had to ask because my friends bug me ALOT about finding out if it was or not. I also wanted to know about the process of the comic book making for my own personal enjoyment. I like to write stories and add pictures for them and just wanted to make a comic book for my own pleasure really. That and that’s what my senior project is.
I'm afraid I live no where near New Jersey, I’m a Cali. Girl (*nearly gags* I don't like it here much....)

Oh do you know much about personal publishing? I have seen allot of somewhat amateur comic artists put their comics up on websites such as Keenspot. (one of my favorites being Alien Dice ) They have their own book out of their comics.

Again Thank you for your time, It helped me allot.
Rory
:):)

P.S. I know this is a little vane but I was wondering which of my nightcrawler pictures you liked best? they are all group together on the site linked in my siggy even tho alot of them are in my DA gallery. Please tell me I didnt completly botch him up....I love him *snuggles fuzzy blue elf doll*
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Question for Dave (or Paty) not entirly about Nightcrawler..

Postby Paty » Sat Dec 25, 2004 3:07 am

:mags
Well, I may not have seen all your postings... I am so very not computer savvy and often, because of the eyes don't see this little button or that little icon to click on to see more stuff. LOL

I liked the action shot of him with the sword best I think . I also liked the shot of Kurt just sitting there in mufti. I got the impression that you might have used a photo to work from... for pose. It just looks like photographic ref to me. boris Vallijo, the great fantasy painter used photographic models posing for his art... especially early on. He would do such wonderful rough sketches with such life in them as preliminary roughs... then pose the models in the poses he wanted, and photograph them. Then he would use that photo to do his final painting from. The results were very realistic... but awfully posed and the life went right out of what had started out as a wonderful scene with movement and life in it Photo reference is good sometimes... to get likenesses and a good study in drapery and how clothes fall... but adhering too closely to posed ref will take action out of an action composition. since the posers are static.
The sitting Nighty is a lovely portrait, though... and , since it does not need action to be viable, is fine as a portrait. Is the face one you deesigned or is it a face of a model? It's a good look for Nighty. He was always a hamdsome devil...no pun intended...LOL I have seen likenesses of him that I really hated ...and Dave did too. But this likeness is quite lovely... I would say you captured a very nice whimsical Kurt.

Comic art is mostly done in pencil,which is inked and then the pencils are erased. this is so the camera can shoot the black plate for printing. these days the word balloons are dropped in with computer.. but in our day they were lettered right on the b/w art page. Colors were done on a separate shot of the page and either separated by hand or colored for reproduction and scanned with a laser separator. these days i think it is all done with computer... and this is too bad. there are some effects with color you cannot get with a computer...onlly with wet watercolor technique. And of course, the ability of the colorist is very important. You can have a person doing color who has no idea of how to use it to best effect in a comic book... but is technically proficient as a watercolor artist or a computer person. comic coloring is a whole different thing and more computer colorists need to take lessons in comic book coloring theory.

In any event, there might be classes you could take in comic art out there on the west coast. there are the animation studios and comic companies such as Image who are colacte right there in California. check you local colleges for lessons in storyboarding... bot that is basically what comic illustration is... storyboarding... telling a story in sequential art illustrations. You do it for comic books and you do it for movies, too... it is just that movies pay sooooo much beter than comic books! LOL ... so you might want to look into that aspect of the industry. I noted that you like to do anime style art as well. Anime is a big thing in tv and game animation...and that is a pssibility as well. You have a lot of options on the west coast that east coasters don't have with the movie studios out there. I will tell you right up front that women don't do well in comic book industry because it is still a boy thing and they want to keep it that way. I will not hold my breath waiting for it to change to any great degree.
You do need some further education in dynamic drawing techniques and possibly perspective, since Ididn't note any complex backgrounds in the art I looked at. One DOES need to do backgrounds... in spite of John Byrne's lack of same...he's a boy... they will cut him slack...you're a girl... they won't cut YOU slack. To succeed in the industry you will have to be twice as good as any guy and willing to do things they aren't... and I will say no more cuz I am sure you get the picture. It ain't a pretty truth...but it is THE truth. Just look at how many real female creators are in the biz in prominent positions... and how long they stay there... trace it back over the years and you will find that there are very few creators... and the ones that have popped up haven't stayed long. And there's plenty of reasonfor this. There are nay sayers that will refute this... but they just don't see the whole picture yet.. They wil get tired of being used and the scales will fall from their eyes sooner or later. The lure of being in the biz is very strong but unless you are connected to a male in someway...one way or another... girsls don't last long in comics.

You need to check the colleges in your area for animation and comic art classes. You need to build up your library of comic illustration technique books. There are books that will walk you through the steps. You can also look online for small press people. .. and submit art to them for co9nsideration. some small press sites are actively looking for artists and writers. go searching amongs the small press want ads. Look in the buyers Guide for small press want ads. sometimes people wanting to do small run comics advertise for writers and artists in there. Your localcomic shop should have a copy...or if your finances permit, a subscription might be in order. It comes out weekly and keeps one up to date with all that is going on in the comic book biz.
self publishing is usually only an option if you are canny about business things like contacting printers and talking buisness on print runs, shipping, deadlines and such. I think this is a bit advanced for you at this time, so if you want to get into creating rather than publishing, you should concentrate on college courses that lean in that direction. You may want to stick with the books or you may find your interests going in a totallydifferent direction.

do understand that when you choose to do what you consider "fun" as a lifework, the "fun" ends to go out of it in the rush of deadlines, story conferences and editorial conflicet and interference...especially if you are doing work for hire...ie not owning the characters yourself. it can still be fun... but it is drudgery too...a lot of hard work. .. and when the roof over your head depends on you turning inthe damn job you have an artists block on, things get dicey and the fun goes out of it. but that's the reality of the work. Yeah, it's fun to see the finished book out there and get positive feedback...but it's no fun when the fans turn brutal and scream at you for not doing what THEY want either. so ther e are tradeoffs in the biz. and if you want to get into it, these have to be looked at hard and thoroughly.

Hope I haven't put you off... but if you are seriously considering a carreer in the field, you have a long hard road ahead of you... with no guarantee of success... and it won't efen come down to if you can draw well or not.

And thats the truth. Lots of luck, honey...
paty
:mags
...sigh...I usually get in troube for telling the truth...
Magneto Rules!
Xavier drools!
Write support the Claremont Magneto! Cast a vote for complexity in characterization! And write to protest THE USELESS KILLING OF NIGHTCRAWLER !!!
Write to :
Isaac Perlmutter , Alan Fine, Alex Alonso and Nick Lowe at
Marvel Entertainment Inc.
135 W 50th Street
New York, NY 10020
:magneto
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