Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Look! Up on the shelf...


Have you ever really liked a band, comedian or an artist or anyone creative for that matter, followed their work for a while and then had some hipster store clerk let you know they think the new stuff is crap and that they like their early work better?

Because everyone knows all artsier-than thou retail store clerks are psychic, they can look at you and your purchases and know for a fact you couldn't possibly have any taste. Success ruins anything and anyone with a job buying current works of anything or anyone good must just now be jumping on the band wagon.

Well, hold on to your Barrista apron...

Sure Superman is everywhere. Always has been. These days he's got gritty new costumes, and he's fighting planets and rapey new versions of older villains. He's starring in TV shows, cartoons, big budget movies with big budget stars and snazzy computer  effects. But I like his early work much better.

Sure the earlier work it was rough around the edges, crude in it's execution, still inventing itself, possibly even unrecognizable in some ways to modern comics readers. But this is a Superman who takes on real issues, the important issues of his time, and while the stories and characters are simplistic, way smaller in scale than the mass genocides and mega-crossover epics of today, they are seemingly loftier and more important. More real. The villains and perils were part of peoples real lives. Our lives. Bullies, corporate fat-cats, union busters, corrupt businessmen and politicians.  The  hero in these tales, is saving us.

What could be more relevant today, as we face frustrating unemployment, and underemployment, during the greatest income disparity we've ever known. Bankers and Wallstreeters admitting to corruption, yet paying no real price as the real victims lose their homes, their retirement savings. Corrupt politicians infringing on peoples rights. Senseless mass violence. So many of the hardships we suffer today harken back to the days when we could see a still rough around the edges super man standing up for the little guy.

DC Comics has been re-printing of the earliest Golden Age Superman adventures in a series of books called Superman Chronicles. You can still find them online, or in your local comics shop or local booksellers. I highly recommend you do. I've read the first five volumes already, and they are great fun.

Some other time we'll talk about the old time radio show or the early animated shorts. Or George Reeves...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Orange is the new black & white


About a week ago I'm watching one of the weekend shows on MSNBC.

Something is off. And it isn't the lack of bars on the windows and doors. It isn't the fact that neither of the respected journalists is wearing an orange prison jumpsuit. It isn't even the fact that I'm watching MSNBC on a weekend, without having to quickly change channels to hunt for something that at least passes for news on the weekend. They are apparently toying with broadcasting shows that don't have prisoners crying and unloading their emotional traumas through a small hole in their prison cell door.

I'm watching a great news show, and next is Alex Witt about interview Rachel Maddow @maddow on the Weekends with Alex Witt, on .

But that's still not what's bugging me. Something is off. I'm not seeing something.

So I paused the thing.

Then I see it, the "Zot!" logo.

There it is on the spine of one of the books on a shelf behind Alex Witt in the office where they are conducting the informal weekend style interview. (MSNBC is apparently toying with shows that don't have pundits crying and unloading their emotional issues neatly spaced around a oddly shaped plexiglass table).

Zot! is a comic book created back in the eighties, by Scott McCloud, published by Eclipse Comics. A lighthearted alternative to the grim and gritty, more violent comics of the time. More recently collected into the omnibus edition seen above on the MSNBC shelves. We here at the Weekly League News are all too lazy to do anything to confirm it's either Rachel Maddow's or Alex Witt's office. Maybe we'll tweet a question to one or more of the intrepid journalists, when we get a chance.

Either way we here at the Weekly League News are just happy to see such a great classic collection, in such a context. On the shelf of an intelligent, attractive, accomplished and successful female journalist. Either Witt or Maddow either will do. We are all to often subjected to media outlets quick to reinforce the clich├ęd portrayals of comic book readers, as sad, asthmatic nerds with little to no upper body strength. Thank you Big Bang Theory.

Anyway, go buy a copy of Scott McCloud's ZOT! The Complete Black and White Collection and bring it with you to Rachel Maddow's next book signing! And check out MSNBC's new weekend programming, featuring Alex Witt, Steve Kornacki, Melissa Harris-Perry, Karen Finney all morning and afternoon. But don't stress if you liked all the prison docs, they are on in the evenings still.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Indy Hunter Interview: Dan Fraga

 
First Indy Hunter interview of 2014! Bringing in the New Year with the Fraga Boom! We speak with Image Comics legend Dan Fraga and his return to sequentials with the new story, “The Grave”!

2014 Brings in the New Year and with it the return of Image comics/Extreme Studios Prodigal Son! Of course I'm talking about legend/veteran Dan Fraga!  (Who'd you think I was talking about?)wink
Dan thanks for speaking with us. 
DF: My pleasure
So this is your return to sequential storytelling with The Grave. To catch people up to speed what was your last work in comics? How long has it been?
DF:The last thing that I worked on was a Superman story which never saw print. Sadly the artwork was lost over at DC. As far as the last thing I worked on in comics that was in print, that was Black Panther #50 which came out in August of 2002. It's been 13 and 1/2 years.
 
Since leaving comics what have you been up to?
DF: Since leaving comics, I've worked in the entertainment business as a storyboard artist, visual effects supervisor, set designer, 2nd unit director, director and as a supervising director. I storyboarded a handful of movies and a lot of music videos and commercials. I started directing with the animated portions of an MTV show called The Hard Times of RJ Berger. Afterwards I directed two seasons of The Ricky Gervais Show for HBO, some pilots for Disney and Adult Swim, and I'm currently working at Mattel, Supervising animation for Monster High, Everafter High and Polly Pocket.
What was it that influenced you to return to this medium? Any particular event or was it a slow burn?
DF: I've always been a fan of storytelling. Visual storytelling specifically. I work in animation which is a very rewarding field for lovers of storytelling and art. I've had a few stories that I've wanted to tell for almost a decade now. With the amount of work I've been doing for clients, I found that there just wasn't any time to do other things. (Especially after becoming a father). What I found myself doing a lot was thinking about these stories. In the car. Laying in bed. Pretty much anytime I wasn't working I would be thinking about these stories. It was driving me crazy. What had stopped me in the past was I *thought* that I didn't have the time. I thought I would have to write the whole thing out, then lay it out, then draw it, then ink it, then color it…the works. It's a full time gig. But then I read a book called "The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles" by Steven Pressfield. In it he talks about a few novelists who wrote their greatest works, a page a day. Some writers, like Kafka, only had 30 minutes a day to write. That's when I realized that I could tell my stories if I thought of them as smaller manageable pieces. I could tell these stories, one panel at a time, one each day. The book wasn't the only inspiration. Inspiration hit with a multi pronged attack. At the same time I was reading (listening to an audiobook) the Pressfield book, I found some great work by Kenneth Rocafort where he was doing a daily sketch. The two sparks hit and that's what made me know that I *could* in fact do it.
  

Was there any specific reason to leave the medium at the time?
DF: I left comics because I wanted to work in movies. My ultimate goal is to direct feature animation along the likes of Frozen, Wreck-it-Ralph, Kung Fu Panda, etc… Comics was a great training ground, and I felt that storyboarding was the next step.
Let’s talk about The Grave! What’s the story about and how can people check it out?
DF: The Grave is about the lessons in life that we're supposed to learn, it's about transformation within ourselves, and ultimately human nature. The story revolves around a grave that a group of kids find on a neighborhood camping trip. Inside the grave they find a fully clothed skeleton and a cigar box with seven items in it. Through exploration of these seven items, we learn about the who the body in the grave belonged to, and the amazing life they had. The plot of The Grave takes place in 1933-1987. It's going to be a fun ride.
People can find it in several ways:
Twitter: fragaboom
instagram: couchdoodles
thegravebydanfraga.tumblr.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Art-of-Dan-Fraga/138169492966995

http://thegravebydanfraga.tumblr.com/tagged/thegrave/chrono

How would you say the artwork differs from say your work at Extreme or back in the Image days?
DF: Completely. I had no idea what I was doing back then. No slight on that work, but it was a lifetime ago, and I hadn't lived enough life to have my own idea of who I was and what I wanted to put out there as an artist. It was pure regurgitated pop. I would go on to say that the stuff I'm doing now comes from deep within my soul and is a reflection who I am and what I think about as opposed to reactions to whatever is "hot" at the time, like I did in my Image days.

I’ve been watching your experimentation with different mediums and on different surfaces. There’s truly a pure art essence there, how would you say your approach has developed?
DF: The approach evolved out of necessity. I bought the same book that Kenneth Rocafort was using for his sketches because I wanted to have all of what I was drawing to be in one volume. (Plus it had the day's date on it). When the book arrived, I was taken back at how small it was. I was also taken back the first time I drew in it because the ink was going straight through the paper. It bled through to three other side. So instead of throwing in the towel, I decided to experiment with the paper. I had to find out what the paper would or wouldn't take, medium-wise. Through a series of a few weeks, I dialed in on what worked best. There was still a problem. The book doesn't lay flat. I was finding that drawing in it, even for a short time, was making my hand cramp up. I realized that it wasn't conducive to what I wanted to do. I didn't want to limit what I could or couldn't draw because of dimensions of the book. What I ended up finding was trading card blanks. These blanks could take a beating, they lay flat, and they could be kept in a single box. Bingo! I found my paper, my pens, brushes, and paint.

Was there a development period that can now be seen or an influence on your current artwork? How about with The Grave specifically?
DF: I just doodle a lot, without a pencil. I just will go in with a brush, or pen and go. It's more truthful. With The Grave, I went back to my roots and cracked the old cartooning books my grandfather gave me. Most of them are from the 20's and 30's and I found that that sort of cartooning lent itself to the subject matter of the Grave. Specific artists that I'd have to mention in my research are Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, George Herriman, and Winsor McCay. Those guys are the truth.

 
 I was digging some of the pieces you were working on with the moleskin and watercolors. As an artist myself I’ve always been intimidated by watercolor, can you talk to us a bit about the process you use?
DF: I've been lucky. I've never had any difficulty with watercolor. It's a mindset. I see in my head what I want the thing to look like, and I reverse engineer it with watercolor's behaviors in mind. Water color likes to work light to dark. It behaves different weather it's wet or dry. You can change a tone's value by adding more or less water to your color mix. If I want a straight cartoon look, I just go straight in. If I want it to have a mood, I'll do an underpainting in monochrome of that particular mood's vibe. (All blue first, or all yellow…whatever) then I paint the "true" colors afterwards.
What tools are you using nowadays compared to your go to set of tools back in your comic book days?
DF: I've found that I still use most of the same tools, with the addition that I mix my own inks and I have better brushes. Oh, and also have found that I love to ink with brushes and brushpens. Really, it's whatever the scene or subject requires which dictates the tool (paper permitting;)).
Lastly Dan Fraga is there anything else you have that you’d like to talk about? Anything coming out?
DF: The last thing I want to talk about is other artists. Especially the ones who call themselves "aspiring": Don't beat yourself up. It's all experiments. Nothing is a failure, only a lesson for the next one. And to "aspiring" artists. If you make art, you're an artist. You only aspire if you aren't doing it. Go out and do it. One drawing at a time.
 I want to say thank you for talking with us about your work and The Grave and welcome back Fraga Boom!
DF: Thank you.



J.M. Hunter/Indy Hunter is a writer/artist/painter who's just published the 400 plus page anthology featuring over 60 contributors, BAM TOO! (The Big Ass Mini-Comic) available now at amazon.com BAM TOO!



And feel free to continue the discussion over at the League boards!




 


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Indy Hunter Interview: Dean Trippe


A Very Special Interview with Project Rooftop co-creator Dean Trippe! We talk with Dean about his latest comic, Something Terrible an important must-read that is spreading like wild-fire nationally. We'll also cover the course of his career leading up to Something Terrible's debut.

 
Ladies and Gentleman I Present to you...Mr. Dean Trippe!
 
 
Hi Dean, before we get into your latest book Something Terrible, let’s go back a little bit and talk about some of the other things you’ve worked on. 
 
For our audience can you recap what books/strips you’ve done?
 
Absolutely.
 
I’m the co-creator of Butterfly, a superhero parody web comic about a sidekick of a sidekick.
 
I'm also the co-founder and co-editor of Project: Rooftop, along with comics journalist, Chris Arrant, an art blog devoted to superhero redesigns,
 
- the artist of the Power Lunch books with writer J. Torres, published by Oni Press,
 
- the co-host of The Last Cast podcast with writer and future robot Scott Fogg
 
-contributor to the Harvey and Eisner award-winning anthology, Comic Book Tattoo, 
 
and general nerd-about-the-internet, known for my obsession with Batman and his family of super heroic allies.
 
 
 
"Butterfly"
 
One of your original creations, “Butterfly”, is the sidekick of a sidekick! Is this an “all digital comic”?
 
Pretty much. I've posted new strips of it online sporadically since 2005, which makes it an interesting timeline of my style development. There was one published story featuring Butterfly, which first told his secret origin, co-written by comics’ genius John Campbell, back in Superior Showcase #1, from AdHouse Books. John and I also made a short mini-comic featuring Butterfly a few years later, which printed a story from the web comic, called “Burger Night."
 
I saw this and I thought, “What a breath of fresh air. People complain about not enough all-ages comics. Well, fly no further, here you go." What was the philosophy behind Butterfly and its intended audience whoever they may be?
 
Butterfly started off as a joke about a naive little sidekick tagging along behind an angsty parody of Robin, named Birdie, and his own superhero mentor, Knight-Bat. I was thinking one day about how sidekick names are typically less-threatening versions of the heroes that mentor them. So on a spectrum from “bat” to “bird,” I went one step further into the anti-macho distance, and found another flying creature that started with the letter B: Butterfly. The strip started as part of the Daily Grind Iron Man Challenge, but broke off after a couple of months and became more and more infrequent.
 
 
So, I come from the school of Garth Ennis and grunge, the era of Beavis and Butthead humor and cynicism, or maybe I just read too many R.Crumb books. Either way, I probably would’ve put the poor sidekick's sidekick through the ringer but you’ve gone the opposite way and have done a light, fresh tale of wide-eyed wonder with characters not afraid to smile.
 
I especially like how you’ve flipped the script giving us a nice quirky spin within the genre of superheroes. Where does Butterfly draw its influences from?
 
In the first few strips, Butterfly was kind of the butt of all the jokes. He’s a dumb kid in a Butterfly costume, but there was a turning point just a few comics in, when I realized the optimism and good-heartedness of the character appealed to me much more than cynically poking fun at someone genuinely invested in helping people with whatever abilities he had. He was a little idea fluttering around in my own head that made me realize I, myself, was being too cynical about life. Pretty soon, he was the proper lead of the stories, and an inspiration for his friends and, clearly, his creator. My earliest Batman was the Adam West show, but even at the time of Butterfly’s creation, I hadn’t yet become a fan again. And I’d had a fair amount of disdain for the brighter, shinier, sillier Silver Age superhero tales. But Butterfly grew into this little light of hope for me, and when I started looking back on those things, I finally realized how wonderful they were. Heroes who were happy to help, comfortable in their sparkly tights, willing to leap into danger to thwart the cheaters, liars, and bullies, because they themselves were incorruptible. I’d accidentally become a Silver Age comics creator in the 21st Century. And I loved it.
 
 
It’s beautifully drawn as is all of your stuff. Even when you’re not able to tackle it head on you’ve brought in some friends such as John Campbell, as you mentioned, but also Ryan Estrada, Vito Delsante, Mike Laughead, and Jemma Salume, and even rising writing star, Ed Brisson, on letters.
 
What was that experience like working with others on this story?
 
Fantastic. I've thoroughly enjoy collaborating on stories with my best pals, and as you can see, I run in a circle of hyper-talented comics wizards. I’m constantly in awe of the great luck I’ve had in finding friends to join me in the Butterfly universe.
 
 
Let’s talk about your approach to artwork. It appears to me; in the foreground you display nice clean and quick strokes approach with bold instincts on the line art. While in contrast, you employ no apparent thick line work, almost vector-like backgrounds, and serene choices regarding the color palette and tone.
 
Can you elaborate or fill us in on the thought process of your foreground/character bold line art vs. light, non- inked background images.
 
What’s the appeal?
 
 
Thanks, man. That’s exactly what I’m going for. My work typically depends heavily on color, and I try to use very few lines to convey as much action or character as I can. The backgrounds are usually just shapes these days, which is a fun challenge, but also saves time, and lets the characters pop a little more. I think it gives the comics a bit of an animated-vibe.
 
 
 
This strip ran from 2005 to 2011, (correct me if I’m wrong), and I’m seeing a lot of your slickness maybe represented in some of the animation out today.  I’ve got two questions in relation to this topic.
 
What if any future lies "in the wings” for the Butterfly characters and story?
 
Butterfly will return in 2014 in Butterfly Lark and the Possibles, which will be basically bonkers. And he’ll finally take off his mask. Just for a minute.
 
 
 
Project Rooftop..
 
We move on from big-hearted, small-statured hero, up to his taller counterparts that grace the rooftops giving hope to the dreamers that look in the sky below: Project: Rooftop.
 
 
If I recall, there were a lot of nice projects or collaborations that came out of the old Failure and the Crown Commission message boards. Do you remember all of that, [laughs]? How was your experience back then?
 
 
It’s funny, the message board and Live Journal days were so vital to finding comic pals and sharing your work back then. I guess Twitter and Tumblr have replaced those little enclaves, but they really were great places to learn and grow as an artist and as a person. The best thing you can do if you want to get better at anything is surround yourself with the best people you know doing that thing and keep trying to raise your game. The CC board in particular did a lot for me.
 
Did Project: Rooftop come out of that experience?
 
Directly. My pal Jamie Galey and I were chatting about a brilliant, rejected Andi Watson Batgirl reimagining, and kinda fell into a dare to quickly make and post our versions on Live Journal within the hour. The next day, eight of our friends had posted their own Batgirls, and the day after that, there were fifty, most from folks we didn’t know. By the end of the week there were over a thousand who’d posted theirs to Jamie’s original page. We got interviewed by Newsarama and the “Draw Batgirl Meme” even made it into non-comics media. I issued similar challenges over the next few months, and they were all fun, but then I had the idea, while talking to Chris Arrant, Chris Pitzer, Joel Priddy, Eric Stephenson, and Vito Delsante, to start a site just about indie or fan redesigns of superheroes. I called it Project: Rooftop as a play on the Project Runway TV show. 
 
 
Hah, I know Jamie, I've slept on his couch before even!
What would you say as a creator are the benefits and challenges of being involved with Project Rooftop?
 
I mean, basically, the benefit is eyeballs on your art. Creators like Ming Doyle, Mike Maihack, Joe Quinones, Maris Wicks, Kris Anka, and Jamie McKelvie would all still the be the hotshot art geniuses we know and love today, but we’re proud at P:R to have helped get them some viewership when they were less well-known. The challenge sounds simple, but it’s not. You have to make an instantly recognizable version of a character, but in a totally new way. I’ve always loved superhero redesigns, and I think it’s an under-appreciated skill in its own right. Just being able to draw doesn’t mean you can create a look that would really suit a well-known character across their various media platforms. I really think we’ve done a good thing with P: R, both in promoting the idea that this is an important skill, worthy of more consideration than the companies used to give it, and in getting serious talent that hadn’t been considered for superhero work, onto the computer monitors of comics fans and editors.
 
As a fan what are the benefits of checking it out?
 
We run great art and fresh takes on characters you love. It’s just cool, man. We made a free, cool thing for everybody. Anyone can check it out at
 
Now as a judge, how hard was it for you to decide the fate of other people’s artwork?
 
Super easy. I love seeing all the entries, and as an artist and a huge superheroes fan, in at least this one area of expertise, I believe my judgments to be, basically, 100% correct at all times. I sincerely appreciate the effort of everyone who submits art to our site, and we hold events like Fan Art Friday and the Honorable Mentions posts after contests to highlight the folks still finding their artistic voice, but when we highlight something and give it our stamp of approval, it’s because it’s genuinely good.
 
Where do you see something like Project: Rooftop going potentially? Do you think it could ever work in printed form, maybe as a benefit book?
 
We talk about that kind of think sometimes and maybe someday, but right now, I’m just happy to have this little force for good in the superhero art community. I think there’s been a noticeable uptick in redesigns in superhero comics since we started running the site, and while they’re not ALL winners, there are some seriously great stand-outs that make me feel like the fact that we put a spotlight on this very particular type of job has been a good thing. Jamie McKelvie and Kris Anka are doing killer costume design work at Marvel, for example, and even the redesigns coming from folks outside our community’s talent pool isn’t happening in a vacuum. 
 
 
Something Terrible..
 
 
 
 
Your love of heroes and heroines is also featured in your latest work, Something Terrible. Can we talk about that?
 
 Please.
 
I've said it to you before, and I’ll say it again, because I mean it, this story, Something Terrible, is something that had to happen. It was very brave of you to tell this story, Dean.
 
Before we head into more serious territory, I want to ask you about the gorgeous artwork and your approach to this. Can you describe your process for ST?
 
Sure. I did three rounds of thumbnails for the story, trying to figure out exactly what I needed for to both convey the weight of the childhood trauma that haunted my life, but also how to pull readers along with me out of it, with the help of the heroes who have meant the most to me, most notably, Batman.
 
I decided on a digital release, both as a $0.99 download and a free half-page per week web comic strip, after the hybrid idea was proposed to me by comic’s creator and cool dude, Kyle Starks. And since most readers would be on their laptops or tablets, I decided to make the pages landscape, like Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin did for their (awesome) digital comic, The Private Eye.I needed to control the pacing of the story, to keep the reader feeling safe, so I chose a four-panel grid structure for the entire comic, save the two splash pages.
 
The comic was drawn digitally, with a Wacom Intuos 3, and I used a grayish blue for the spot coloring. Working digitally let me use the spot color in some cool ways I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise, and having only the black, white, and bluish gray to work with offered some challenges, but I think gave each panel a feeling of weight, or importance, which of course, they’re meant to, as I chose them carefully. This is the most ambitious comic I’ve worked on, so I spent way longer on it than I normally would. Page twelve, the most complex, took thirteen days straight, working eight to fourteen hours per day.
 
 
 If you don’t mind, can you describe for our readers what Something Terrible is about?
 
Something Terrible is my own secret origin, beginning with a violent, three-day event that took place when I was six years old, when I was sexually abused and shown the gun that would be used to murder my family if I told anyone. But the majority of the story is about my journey to recovery, helped along by the greatest superhero borne of childhood trauma, Batman. It deals with my fears of being trapped in the oft-repeated misconception of the “cycle of violence” of these cases, perpetuated by ignorant film and television writers. It’s just one of those things people think because they heard it on a show or in an anecdote in a public speech. It’s just not true.
 
When did you decide that it was time to tell this story?
 
I knew I had to tell this story once I found out that the whole idea of that was false, but it took me a while to figure out how to do it. Thanks to my dear friend, Ben Acker, for pushing me to find a way, so that the news that had finally freed me of my imagined personal demons could help others. I’d been trying to explain to Ben why I hated stories about Batman being this still-traumatized psycho, unable to move past the pain of his parents’ death. Trauma can have that affect, I’m sure. But Batman specifically built himself into the solution for others. He can’t change his past. But he can save others’ futures. That idea has resonated with me my entire life.
 
Was it something you kept to yourself or did you discuss it with those around you?
 
While I was working on it, I started to open up to my very closest friends about the project. I needed to dip my toe in the water, I guess. I’d kept this secret from nearly everyone my entire life, so opening up about it meant accepting that it might go horribly wrong, and people could change the way they see me, possibly for the worse. I’ve been overwhelmed to find that my friends and the wonderful people I believe them to be, and have supported me the whole way, as I worked to make this comic a reality.
 
Traumatic childhood events tend to stay with us even into adulthood, influencing us in ways we can’t predict, even when we have children of our own.
 
Your story is a visual interpretation of that experience. Were there moments of hesitation or was it all in, full steam ahead when you decided you were going to tell THIS story?
 
I had moments of doubt. I mean, I’m an extremely open person, I think probably because I had such a huge secret taking up all the space in the secret locker in my brain. But I knew what it had meant to me to find out there wasn’t something terrible lurking in my subconscious, so I knew I had to tell this story to free others. I pushed through the doubt. I knew this might be the most useful thing I ever do in comics. It was actually the first time I’ve ever been afraid of dying, working on this, because I was afraid I might not get it done. If something happened to me, how long would it be before someone else was able to tell this story in a similar fashion? It is so rare in life to be able to see that this task is specifically a job for you. This was a job for Dean Trippe. And I’m incredibly glad I was able to do it.
 
Back to the mechanics, I love the moody blue, then what happens later. Obvious question: Was it methodical or just something you felt your way through?
 
I found it while I was working on it. I’d considered full color for the story when I was thumb nailing it, but the first panels looked right in black and white. Then a cover test looked cool with the bluish gray spot-color, which added depth, but didn’t cheapen the weight of the story. (That cover test became the fourth panel on the page when I get my first Batman shirt.) And when I got to page twelve, the big shot with all the superheroes, I couldn’t see it in any other way but full color, which gave me the idea for the color light introduction on the previous page’s final panel. 
 
Are there any “go to” tools for all of your projects? Old faithful? I’ve got artist friends that even name their favorite instruments of creation.
 
I use a Wacom tablet and the pencil tool with a simple round brush shape in Photoshop for basically everything, from sketching, to inking, to coloring. I know almost no one else that works with the pencil tool, but I have to tell you, it is the BEST. 
 
How has the response been for Something Terrible? The reviews I’ve come across so far seem to be highly respectful and positive.
 
Pretty wonderful, so far. I mean, I suppose it’s a bit critic-proof, really. You’re not going to see a review that says, “Trippe really phoned it in on this panel” when the following line would have to be “when he ripped his heart out and threw it on the page in order to help other victims of sexual violence,” you know? But the reviews have been kinder and warmer and more thoughtful than anything I’ve ever experienced as a creator, and it means the world to me that so many folks are sharing it, so others can benefit from it. I’ve been getting letters almost every day from other former victims, so I’m honored and humbled to see it’s having the effect. It worked.
 
Any plans to go to a printed format with Something Terrible?
 
Not at the moment. For now, just head to http://tencentticker.com/somethingterrible and download the whole story for $0.99.
 
 
What’s next for Dean Trippe? Where do you go from here or anything you’re currently working on that people should keep a look out for?
 
Next up, two superhero stories. My five-year-old son and I are working on The Balance, a short superhero team story with a time-travel villain, and then it’s on to Butterfly Lark and the Possibles.
 
Once again Dean Trippe, thank you for talking with us, we look forward to more inspiring creations from you!
 
You’re very welcome, and thank you so much!
 
 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Old news...

Print is dead

There are a couple of magazines you may want to pick up this month.

Retro Pulp art book covers are featured in an article in the November issue of Juxtapoz (The best art magazine for those of us who believe art should be dangerous!)

Along with the usual cutting edge articles and interviews, featuring the best and brightest in subversive contemporary art, Gwynned Vitello interviews Charles Ardai and Max Philips, who have started their own publishing house, Hard Case Crime, devoted to the revival of pulp crime novels, featuring covers by artists who harken back to the 1930's, '40s and '50s

The interview features lots of great new art produced for the retro line, including artists like Glen Orbik, Robert McGinnis, Gregory Manchess, Ricky Mujica.


Smithsonian magazine has a really fascinating and fun, special collector's issue out this November. "101 Objects that made America," features spotlight looks at everything from Abe Lincoln's hat, to the Edison light bulb.

On page 56, featured prominently right above the Colt Revolver, is the original Wonder Woman comic book. Character creator, William Moulton Marston is quoted and her significance explained as having been the first strong and powerful feminist archetype, freeing little girls to grab a hunk of old clothesline and dream side by side with the little boys wearing old beach towels pinned on heir shoulders.

Tweeting our own horn

I just ran across this awesome Twitter review of us, by Doug Vehovec, Editor in Chief of the Cleveland State University student newspaper, The Cleveland Stater. "I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking at here... but I like it." AWESOME! Thanks Doug, we really don't know either.

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