of the many projects i'm working on these days--and, by the way, perhapanauts no. 6 is done and to the printer and will be out in a few short weeks--one of the things that i'm really having fun with is my MODERN MASTERS interview with the ever-awesome, CHRIS SPROUSE!
chris and i have been friends for awhile now and when the opportunity arose for me to be involved in his modern masters book, i was all over it! having the chance to take a guided tour of chris' life and comics career has been enlightening to say the least! listening to him talk about his work on the legion, supreme, star wars:splinter of the mind's eye, and ocean--not to mention the creation of and his time on TOM STRONG...! it's been a treat!
when i'm at shows, i'm always telling young artists who show me their portfolios that illustrating comics is a lot more than just drawing pretty pictures. telling the story is the most important thing and doing it in a way that makes it clear and easy for the reader to be able to follow the action is a skill that must be honed. you must learn to lead the reader's eye from panel to panel and choose your poses and camera angles wisely. you have to make the story is accessible for the reader and not jerk him/her out of it with drastic shifts in perspective. this is called storytelling and if you don't learn it--and respect it--you won't get work.
chris, in my opinion, is one of the masters of storytelling working in the industry right now and when i asked him about it in our interview, i was thrilled with what he had to say about one of the masters that he learned from. our editor on the book, eric nolen-weathington, was kind enough to give me the greenlight to include this short preview.
here's what chris had to say about michael golden.
"Anyway, what really made Golden a long-lasting influence and inspiration for me was meeting him when I was 14 or 15. It was at the first comic convention I ever attended, and Golden and Chris Claremont were in town promoting the first issue of Marvel Fanfare. I brought along a complete story I’d drawn, a twelve-page sci-fi thing, hoping I could get some advice on my drawing and info about how to get into the business. I waited in line to talk to Golden, admiring the stacks of art all over his table, and listening to him joke with fans. I’d watch people getting comics signed, and if I saw something that I didn’t already own, I’d run into the dealers room and hunt for it!
"Finally it was my turn, and I got my Marvel Fanfare signed, then nervously asked him to look at my pitiful little story, voice cracking and armpits dripping. Golden looked at a few pages, then actually said some nice things about the artwork! He asked me to come back behind the table so he could point out some storytelling things I could stand to learn. He showed me how I could have made the action clearer, how I could have purposefully arranged the visual elements for specific effects and to lead the reader’s eye over the page and through a story... it really opened my eyes and made me realize that drawing comics was so much more than just sequentially depicting events in a story. He gave me a really good thoughtful critique and made me see what I was doing and what I could do in an entirely different light, and he was really cool about it—very helpful and encouraging and willing to pass on his own knowledge. I left that show feeling like a million bucks, ready to draw myself silly! Very inspiring! I was a fan for life! I remember that convention experience every time I’m reviewing someone’s portfolio at a con now—I want to be that encouraging and inspire people to go out and draw good comics."
--Chris Sprouse, from MODERN MASTERS: CHRIS SPROUSE
out from TWO MORROWS later this year.
have a great weekend!
smell ya later!