Weekly Want List – December 2nd, 2010

Ian Churchill's Marineman #1

Gosh 2010 is almost gone!  I can hardly believe it.  I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving, I know I did.  Unfortunately for us comics lovers though, the holiday pushes back our precious printed cocaine one day and new comics come out on Thursday this week.  Oh the humanity!  I’m sure I’ll be able to hold out though.  I’m strong.

Hopefully I’ll have time to enjoy my comics.  What with this grad school application looming night, December 15th, I’ve just been writing and re-writing everything I need to turn in.  A personal statement for the grad program, a personal statement and an academic statement for the online university application, and a credible research paper on comics… whew!

I’ll just have to find time to enjoy them.  It’ll be my little treat to myself.  Viva la new comics!

IDW
Strange Science Fantasy #6 – $3.99 – Hopefully we jump back into the out of this world storytelling we’ve seen before.  I wasn’t too excited at the end of #5 but I’m waiting to be pleasantly surprised.  Plus, with Paul Pope backups
you can’t go wrong.

Image Comics
Marineman #1 – $3.99 – Oh man!  I am so pumped for this series!  Ian Churchill was one of my favorite artists back during the Onslaught epic 15 years ago but I thought his style got a little stiff later.  I was astonished at his style change in his Hulk work and this new book looks very cartoony.  Plus it’s a comic about an underwater hero!  I wrote about this sort of thing recently.  Make me proud Ian!

Marvel Comics
Chaos War: God Squad #1 – $3.99 – I had a blast following the wicked wanderings of the last God Squad during the Skrull Invasion.  I don’t see why this time it should be any less fun.  Sign me up.

Daredevil #512 – $2.99 – It’s still $3 and it’s still a fun ride.  I’m not quite sure I’m enjoying this book as much as I’m enjoying the exposure Dakota North is getting but either way I’m buying it.

Shadowland #5 – $3.99 – I’m excited for this to be over, not because it’s a terrible event (it’s not great but that’s besides the point) but because I’m ready to have Daredevil dealing with the EPIC fallout from his stint with the Hand.  Shit is about to get real folks.

She-Hulks #2 – $2.99 – I love big strong women.  Ryan Stegman is drawing the She-Hulks.  He lives in Michigan.  I interviewed him.  We’re tight… Ok so that last bit is a lie but this book is gonna be fun and I saw all the pencils for this ish and believe me, suhweet!

I think that’s about it for comics this week.  Luckily it’s a cheap week, around $23, but like I said last week, you never know.

PEACE!

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Editorial Edits: One Confusing Page Layout

Typically, reading comics is a breeze.  Most people can pick up a book and dive right in.  Sure, they might get bogged down in six decades or so of continuity or lose a touch of their sanity trying to understand some extremely complex plots, but the form, the style, and path of action, those should be clear as day.  The reader should know what’s going on, even if they don’t understand why.

The call for clarity is nearly always answered by the writer and the artist.  In all my years of reading comics there are but a few that I can honestly say I had trouble reading.  That’s a testament to the skill of modern comic creators, but also to the editors who review, revise, and finally approve a finished comic.

Recently I’ve noticed one page layout being used more and more often in books.  Now this may be due to the fact that I’ve actively been looking for it, but regardless, unless it’s used correctly it can become a mire of confusion and frustration.  I don’t have a good term for it yet, I’ve heard someone in the industry call it a “Bendis Page” and I suppose that makes sense since two examples I’m going to be using are from his books.  It looks a little like this –

Avengers #6 - Top Spread Establishing Layout

Instead of calling it a “Bendis Page” I’ve dubbed it a Top Spread Establishing Layout.  As you can see in this example it’s a two page spread in which the first panel controls the majority of the viewing space and is followed by three minor panels that run left to right along the bottom of the page.  The green arrow is just to show you how you read it.

It’s obvious right?  John Romita Jr. did a good job of making this layout clear, but then again, there’s not much to it.  So far this is really the only case in which I would find this type of page acceptable.  There is absolutely no question about how to read the page.  It’s when you start adding more rows beneath the spread establishing shot that the confusion sets in.  Here’s an example –

Ultimate Mystery #4 - Top Spread Establishing Layout

Ok, so for me, this page was confusing.  My uncertainty began at the “Today” panel.  It became a question of “Do I read down as though it’s become a single page?” or “Do I read across as if it’s a 2 page spread?”  Initially I had read it down, which, if you made the same mistake you learned that is the incorrect way to read it.

However, even then there isn’t much to tip you off.  Most of the dialogue could flow from one panel to the other in any order and the only visual clue that Sandoval gives you that the panels are read across is each shot zooms in a tiny bit with each subsequent panel.

If I were editing this comic and both the writer and artist felt that this layout was the ONLY way to go I would have asked Mr. Sandoval to make one quick fix: move the “Today” panel across the page border.  If he would have done that you would have known it wasn’t supposed to be read down as though it were a single page because it wouldn’t have been on just one page.  Your eye would have naturally flowed to the panel on the right.  Ok, if you had trouble with this page you’re going to love the next one –

Sandman Mystery Theater #2 - Top Spread Establishing Layout

Now I just want to say that Guy Davis and Matt Wagner are absolute masters of their craft.  The Marquis and Grendel are some of the most awesome comics that I’ve read, bar none, but not even they can make this page layout work.  It’s just so uselessly cluttered and unclear and what’s worse?  Each and every single issue of Sandman Mystery Theatre has one of these page layouts.  Yes, some are more clear than others but by gosh…

Where do you go on the second row of panels?  Do you keep reading across like in the above Bendis example?  Do you confine yourself to a page and read down?  Here are the different ways I thought of that a reader, if he or she was confused, might try to read the page –

Arrows EVERYWHERE!

So many arrows and I didn’t even include arrows for when your eye would travel up!  Even someone well versed in the ways of the funny books might get lost in that page.  You actually read the page down, as though it’s 2 pages disregarding the top panel.  As an editor I would have scrapped the tradition for doing this layout entirely.  However, due to the confusion of the scene in general, the Sandman escaping Dian Belmont, everything is a mess.

In comics clarity is king.  If it doesn’t serve the story then it doesn’t belong.  This layout, oftentimes, is just too confusing.  However, this is just my editorial two cents.  Feel free to agree or disagree or just comment period because I’m passionate about these little quirks and discussing comics theory… well that’s what I’m here to do!

There you go, my first Editorial Edits,

PEACE!!!

Turkey Trot 10k and Thanksgiving

Late post from last night.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and my family and I minus one brother, will be partaking in the Turkey Trot, a 10k – 6.2 mile race in the heart of Detroit.  I would just like to get this out there, I am not a runner.  I can run, this is true.  However not for long periods of time and NEVER “just for fun.”  Who runs for fun?  It’s painful, it’s time consuming, and I always smell like a dead dog afterwards and I don’t look much better.

All that aside, my father keeps telling me that this is an experience I can’t miss.  He keeps harping on the fact that it’s a spectacle and there’s nothing quite like it.  There’s thousands and thousands of people, some running in costumes, and while I’m not entirely sure I’m ready for this I’m owning it.  I’m wearing blue short shorts that only go to the middle of my thigh, a wool cap, a Hellboy t-shirt, and a little sweater.  I’m owning this.

My girlfriend is also running.  My only goal is to crush her beneath my shoe heel.  This is not going to be a fun race for me.  Old person about to pass me?  Elbow to the chin.  Girlfriend coming up on the left?  I’m pouring on the speed!  I’m going to try to beat my father and my brother though my younger brother is in way better shape than me and my father runs regularly…

Wish me luck and happy Thanksgiving!

PEACE!!!

Lex Luthor Draws Inspiration for Superman Deterrent from MSU

Lex Luthor, billionaire tycoon and mass murderer.  Now hold that thought.  Recently, while scrolling through the interwebs I noticed an advertisement for Michigan State University’s “official” class rings, available through Balfour.  Provided a student can shell out the oh so modest starting price of $340 they can get themselves a ring with a faceted green stone made of yellow or white gold, silver, or celestrium inlaid with designs of the Beaumont Tower, and Sparty among others.

Gold MSU Class Ring
Silver MSU Class Ring

Now I don’t wear rings, constricting my digits with baubles from deep in the Earth doesn’t particularly appeal to me, but if you plan on throwing down with the Man of Steel and you want to do so with a stylish and fashionable flair, you could do a lot worse than wear a ring.

Enter Lex Luthor, probably the most devious mind in DC Universe and Superman’s arch nemesis.  But if there’s one thing that rivals his hate for the Kryptonian it’s his ego, and inextricably linked to that would be the multi-billionaire mogul’s patented sense of style.

Lex is the epitome of high-class business fashion.  He wears nothing but the best, so it makes sense that even his weapons would sport his unique fashion tastes.  Aside from that green and purple Kryptonian war suit (Can you say fashion disaster?) he has other, more subtle, offensive accoutrements and one stands out among the rest: his beautiful Green Kryptonite ring.

Lex's Beautiful Platinum Green Kryptonite Ring

But what do you notice about it?  Does it not bear a striking resemblance to the MSU class rings offered to students with incredibly rich or indulgent parents?  What could this mean?  I have a few theories.

1) Someone from within the ring design committee had read this issue of Superman: Lex 2000 #1 and was so struck by the former President’s uncanny fashion je ne sais quoi, they manipulated the committee into adopting a ring that looks almost exactly like Lex’s signature Superman deterrent.  Implausible, I know but the next one…

2) Like I said above, Lex has one of the most devious minds in the DC universe and his rage towards Clark Kent’s alter ego has driven him to some of the most erratic, ingenious, and vengeful schemes the world has ever seen.  Not only that but with the numerous pathways open to both heroes and villains for bypassing the barriers between time and space: boom tubes, the Omega Sanction, and what have you, I’m thinking that Lex Luthor somehow found a way to break through time, space, and the 4th wall!  He traveled forward in time, smashed through the 4th wall, snuck into the MSU ring discussion meetings, and STOLE THE DESIGN FOR HIS BRILLIANTLY CHIC GREEN KRYPTONITE RING!

Then, he travelled back to the DC U, back in time, popped out the “faceted green stone,” replaced it with Kryptonite and viola!  Lex Luthor now has the most classy, stylish, and deadly finger circlet in the villain business…

However, since none of this can be proven and  also due to the fact that he himself is a comic book character, Lex has put himself beyond legal reproach if anyone from the MSU ring design committee wanted to come after him.

Lex, while I deplore your methods you certainly picked a keen looking ring design to purloin.  I applaud your taste.  As an aside, if any of the members of the committee are still a bit peeved over this whole ordeal maybe now would be a good time to remind them they’re still alive.  He’s killed for so much less.

Weekly Want List – November 24th, 2010

Alright, so productive day I think, but I really needed to post something new today.  I had the most views on the blog ever today, 65, so I’m pretty pumped about that.  I just ran 5 miles in 42 minutes, which is just a little over 8 minutes a mile, which I’m also excited about. Finally, I’m nearly finished with the rough draft of my personal statement for my grad school application!

So yes, productive day in which I wrote a lot, ran a lot, and tried to tweet a lot.  Always trying to up the exposure you know?  However, I nearly forgot that comics are coming out this week and there are a couple that I want so now, without further ado, my weekly want list!

DC Comics
Scalped #43 – $2.99 – Not much to say here.  Easily one of the most brutal, original, and stunning books on shelves today.  I can’t wait!

Image Comics
Firebreather vol. 3 #1 – $3.99 – I have the first two trades and I was so disappointed when it ended.  I’m glad that Phil Hester and Andy Kuhn are getting another crack at the half-dragon they brought to life 7 years ago.

Marvel Comics
Chaos War Alpha Flight #1 – $3.99 – The only real reason I think I may pick this up is because I want to know what happened to Snow Bird after her throw down with the Skrull Gods.  Could be fun though.

Incredible Hulks #617 – $3.99 – I need to know what happens, ’nuff said.

Thor Mighty Avenger #6 – $2.99 – This book has an innocence and a charm I haven’t found anywhere else besides in Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!  Samnee does a wonderful job  with Thor’s faces…  Just read it, you’ll understand.

Ultimate Comics Avengers #6 – $2.99 – I can’t remember if this is the one with the vampires or the one with Ghost Rider.  I don’t really care about either series but I would really like to see Cap as a vampire.  Oh wait, I’ve already seen that in an issue of Exiles… Drat.

Uncanny X-Men #530 – $3.99 – After last issue I’m a little excited to see the 5 Lights in action, but even more pumped to see Cyclops let loose in Japan.

And I think that’s it.  Now what does that cost me this week?  $26.43.  Maybe, because you never know how many new comics aren’t on the Diamond Comics solicits.  Here’s to Wednesday comics!  HUZZAH!

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Ryan Stegman

Ryan hard at work or hardly working?

Hey, so as you may or may not know, Marvel Exclusive artist Ryan Stegman’s new book She-Hulks #1 came out two weeks ago.  Seeing as we’re both Michiganders I decided to check in with him about She-Hulks and basically perform a scattershot interview.  Think of this as an “Everything you wanted to know about Ryan Stegman,” sort of thing.

The setting: Ryan and I are sitting in his basement which doubles as his studio.  Rather, one end is his studio, which has a ton of art supplies, computers, comics, and the original art for She-Hulks #1 and 2 scattered about.  On the other side of this partially subterranean habitat (it’s a walkout basement) there’s a comfy couch and two chairs for television viewing and a DLP TV mounted to the ceiling.  The Art of the Princess and the Frog lays forlorn, but not forgotten, on the coffee table and there’s cat hair everywhere.

She-Hulks #1 is in stores now!

 

You’re Ryan Stegman, what do you do?  Who are you?
I draw comic books for Marvel Comics.  She-Hulks #1 comes out today.  I’ve drawn Sif, Red She-Hulk, Hercules, some Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, Magician: Apprentice, and Midnight Kiss from Markosia before that.

She-Hulks #1 came out today as you said, and you’re drawing it with?
Harrison Wilcox is the writer and this is his first big series.  He did the Red She-Hulk backups with me, Michael Babinski is inking it, and the colorist is GURU eFX.

What do you like most about drawing She-Hulk?
Basically everything.  I like drawing female characters and this is two female characters, so that’s nice.  I like to draw things that are pleasing.

But not prurient?
No, very prurient (Laughs).

So when did you start drawing comics?
Well when I was 15 I got my first comic.  That’s when I said, “Hey, I wanna draw comic books.”  I always drew, but I could never figure out what I wanted to do with it.  I thought I wanted to be a Disney animator or something but I picked up an issue of Spawn and I looked at it and I was like, “Oh my god, I could do that someday.”  And then I just told my parents and made that my life’s goal and pursued it.

Red She-Hulk playing with some very dangerous toys.

 

So you started at 15?
I didn’t start pursuing it right then, I did draw.  I did buy all the books I had heard you were supposed to read like Burne Hogarth’s anatomy book and George Bridgeman’s stuff.  I would read all these books about perspective and about all these other things you needed to know to draw, and I tried to study storytelling, but I really wasn’t’ doing as much drawing of comic books as much as I would have liked.  I did maybe 3 pages a year.  Then I went to college and got a degree in something completely unrelated and then got out and still had been telling everyone that I would be a comic book artist so I had to cash in on the deal.

After you graduated college, with an English major from MSU no less, you were still intent on being a comic book artist?
I mean I think I was just so sure of it and I told everyone and everybody knew that’s what I said I was gonna do.  I think it was a good thing because when it came time I was like, “Oh my god, I have to do this otherwise I have no identity.”  My identity was completely tied up in it.

But everything worked out and now you’re a comic book artist!  So after all that, what was the first thing that you got published?
Supposedly something was published when I was 15 or 16 but I never saw it.  I told the guy, “Hey if you didn’t’ really publish this you can tell me,” and he said, “no I did I’ll send it to you” but he never did.  I don’t think it came out.

So that may or may not exist, what was next?
The first thing after that would have been Midnight Kiss, which was the series I did for AP Comics, which was bought up by Markosia.  It was a 5 issue series and it took me forever to do it.  5 issues to me now, that would take me a little over 5 months, but that took me about 2 years, a year and a half.

What was your first professional drawing gig like?  Did you love it?  Hate it?
It was more like, I just did it.  I don’t really remember it seeming horrible or anything, but looking back on the amount of hours I had to put into it and the way my life was so structured around it…  It completely dominated my life and it was a pretty terrible time, but I didn’t know it.

After Midnight Kiss Ryan drew dragons in Magician: Apprentice. And other stuff too.

 

In retrospect it may not have been the best of times but…
I felt like I was doing it!  I’m not embarrassed of the series, I still think it’s pretty good, but just knowing the amount of money I made off of it which was hardly anything…  If you take the amount of money I made and divided it by the number of hours I put into it, I was probably making $2 an hour or something.  I may as well have been working in a sweatshop, but I just didn’t care.  What’s crazy though?

What?
Between the time that I started the book and the time I finished it, I had lost 40 lbs.  And I’m not even a heavy guy.  I’m 6’4’’ and now I weigh 195.  I weighed 205 at the time and I got down to 165, even lower, but when I dropped lower than that I realized I needed to eat.  I was working all the time.

That seems incredibly unhealthy.  Now that you’re raking in the dough and maybe working a little less you can afford food right?  Afford to eat it too? What was your next project?
Well I piggybacked Midnight Kiss into some work for Dabel Brothers Publishing.  They were doing these novel adaptations and they had one called Magician: Apprentice that Brett Boothe was doing, but he was leaving to go do Anita Blake so they needed a new artist.  A friend of mine recommended me and I don’t even know if they were interested.  I felt like they were but looking back at it I really hunted it.  I think my friend said, “Oh they’re interested” which I took to mean “oh you’ve got them on the hook let’s make this happen,” but really I don’t know how interested they were and I just pursued the hell out of it.

I wouldn’t get out of their faces until they gave me that job and that was the book that… Well Marvel bought the Dabel Brothers, so suddenly I was working under their editorial staff but the book was coming out through Marvel.  Then Marvel eliminated their editorial staff and so I was working directly for Marvel editorial.

Well that seems incredibly fortuitous right?
Hell yeah!

After that what did you do?
I did about 13 issues of Magician: Apprentice, I think I did 8 for Marvel and then there was a break between the next 5 issues.  So they had me go and do a couple of issues of Marvel Adventures Spider-Man and then they told me they were doing more Magician books, Rift War.  After that I did Hercules, 3 issues, and then the Red She-Hulk backups and that’s where things started to pick up I think.

Why do you think that is?
People like the way I draw females and that was the first chance I got to do it.  That’s when I feel like people started to zone in on me and be like we want him to more work, suddenly there was an abundance of work when before I was just begging like “please give me more work.”  I was still having to hustle a lot more before that, but now they have to give me jobs because I signed a contract.  This is the first job security I’ve had since I was 25 when I started.

Ryan draws pretty She-Hulks.

Now, with this exclusive Marvel gig, the door’s open for you to basically work with some of the biggest writers in comics.  As of right now, have you always gotten along with your writers?
Every single writer that I’ve worked with has been awesome.  I mean Midnight Kiss was cool and Tony Lee was awesome, he does a lot of stuff for IDW, and I owe him a lot.  He was the guy that found me online and asked me to do the book and he stuck with me when I was very slow and… not that good.  But he stuck with me and by the end I think I was doing some pretty good work.  Bryan Glass was awesome on Magician, he was always available to talk to and whenever I would send in the pages I would always get comments from Brian, very positive and everything.

I worked with Mark Sumerak on Marvel Adventures Spider-Man and I’ve since met him in person and he’s a very cool guy.  I worked with Pak and Van Lente and those guys are awesome.  They’re both really funny guys and I’ve hung out with them at conventions and they’re really nice, really cool.

I worked with Harrison on the Red She-Hulk backups, he’s writing She-Hulks now, and he and I talk probably more than we should and half the time it’s not even work related.  We just get along really well.  I’ve worked with Kelly Sue Deconnick on Sif #1 and she was really, really cool.  I would definitely like to work with her again someday.  I think she’ll be doing a lot more in the future cause she’s really very skilled.

Too good not to put in here. Things blowing up and women in bikinis. I'm sold.

 

In all of your collaborations you’ve come away with positive stuff?
I think good writers, all the guys that get far, I don’t think there’s one out there that doesn’t go out of his way to get along with his artists.  You hear that about Geoff Johns, great guy and Bendis, everybody likes him.  You have to have the artist’s trust.

Now that we’ve talked about working on other people’s scripts, do you eventually want to work on your own material?
Of course, I feel like as an industry person, that’s sort of the only way that you can retire.  That or investing money, but who wants to do that?  It’s more fun to spend it.  But that’s what I’ve always wanted to do.  I think there are a lot of us, that from a certain age, our favorite comics were Image comics and the way I thought when I was growing up was, “That’s what I want to do,“ but at the same time I do love working for Marvel.  It’s great to work with them.  There’s nothing I would change, and I don’t complain about anything.  I couldn’t ask for more freedom.

So you do want to do your own stuff one day but you’re happy where you’re at for now?
It’s just that I have a plan of when I want to do my own stuff and it’s just not right now

This plan, what does it involve?  Before the interview we talked a bit about digital vs. print in comics.  Would you be leaning towards digital distribution?
Well I’m hoping that by the time I decide working on my own stuff that the digital thing is figured out.  I’m hoping that we’ve decided on a format, we know what’s going to work, how it’s going to sell.  Right now, there’s zero overhead, there are zero printing costs if you’re doing it over the web.  If you can make money that way you can fund the printing costs.  I don’t want to have my own company where I have to distribute things; I don’t want to spend all day messing around with business.  When I do it I just want to be able to put something out there, so when I do it I’m hoping to do it all online.

We’re both from Michigan, which happens to have one of the worst economies in the nation, has that affected you at all?
Yeah it affected us.  We got our house for half price!  (Laughs)

Any negative ways?
Well both my wife and I do pretty well but really the bottom falling out hasn’t affected us.  We’re just really lucky and I don’t know why.

More on Michigan, the Mitten isn’t known for comics but there are some bigger name creators that live here.  Is there any sort of community that you’re a part of?  Do you hang out with anyone here?
Yeah, Jason Howard and I hang out and Marshall Dillon, he’s a letterer from Flint, he and I hang out.  Jason and I talk on Skype sometimes.  He’s come over to the house sometimes to work.  He and I get along real well.  But there are a lot of guys that are breaking in that I hang out with, mostly at conventions.  But I consider Jason a friend and I consider Marshall a friend.  We don’t just run into each other, we go out of our way to see each other.

All right, so on to the less pertinent stuff, what are you reading right now that other people should be reading?
It depends; do you mean if they want to be an artist?

Just shoot. (The sheer amount of shed cat hair interrupts the conversation for about a minute as it wafts about on the breeze getting all over us.)

For artists, I talk about this on Twitter all the time, there’s a book called Framed Ink that’s awesome.  It’s the first book of its kind that I’ve been able to get my hands on that’s all about composition in comic books.  It’s all about constructing a shot, which is awesome.

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon

 

Any comics?
I haven’t been reading very many comics at all lately but I’ve gotten really obsessed with the “art of” books of these cartoons.  Upstairs I have Ratatouille, Mega Mind, and How to Train your Dragon.

I love that movie!
Me too!  I’ve been reading them every day.  (Points with his foot to a book on the coffee table)  There’s The Art of The Princess and the Frog.  The Art of Up is awesome too.  When it comes to comics, it’s not when they come out it’s more just when I get my hands on them.  I read a lot of manga though.  It’s always super clear what’s going on and I like stories about samurai and stuff.

Samurai are awesome.
I read a lot, a lot of manga.

And it influences your art?
Oh yeah.  I realized recently that I read a lot more manga than American comics.  I had to step away from it and try to study more American comics because manga, they can take one action and it can span 5 pages.

If a character throws something you can show a close-up of the hand, show them throwing it, show it traveling through the air, people’s expressions, but in American comics generally you get one panel to do that.

It’s sort of an East vs. West issue.  The West is very action oriented.
I get so obsessed with getting every little detail in there, I’m over explaining.  I get all this stuff out of manga but then I remember that they’re doing it over ten panels when I’ve only got one.   I have to make sure to study both sides.  I take certain things from manga but I can’t take everything.

Who inspires you?
I posted it on Twitter the other day, but you don’t need to look much past the artists that I keep on my desk.

And who is that?
Right now Jason Pearson, Olivier Coipel, Art Adams, Jim Lee’s stuff, Joe Madureira, Travis Charest, Stuart Immonen, who else did I have over there?

(I shrug).  We then get into another short conversation over the copious amounts of cat hair all over his basement.  I pull a little out of his own hair and we continue.
There’s a manga series over there that you didn’t see by Takehiko Inoue called Vagabond and Pluto by Urosawa… Hmm… J. Scott Campbell.  But I have other inspirations.  I don’t draw anything like Skottie Young but his work inspires me to try new things, Sean Murphy’s work is awesome.  Mike Mignola, I try to take some things from him.

Ryan's hoping to draw the original Green Goliath next.

 

What book would you like to draw most?
Any book?  The Incredible Hulk.

Any reason why?
Because he’s a monster and it’s super fun to draw stuff like that.  You don’t have to get so caught up in this attractive anatomy; you just get to draw a big hulking monster.  There’s something so liberating about that when you’re drawing.

And who would you most like to draw for?
I’ve worked with some people who I’d really like to work for again but out of the people I haven’t, Jason Aaron.  Definitely.  He’s awesome.  And… everybody else who sells a lot of books.  But really I’m a big Jason Aaron fan.

All right, so everything aside, you’ve made it.  What advice do you have for the budding comic book artists out there?
Work harder than everyone else.  That is the God’s honest truth.  Persevere and just work harder.  It’s all about perseverance, hard work, and determination.  You have to make it happen.  Nobody is going to help you, but then again nobody is going to stop you either.  That’s a thing.  I’ve found that some people start blaming other people for what’s not going right.

It’s like, nobody cares what’s you’re doing.  Nobody.  They’re not spending a second of their time making sure that your stuff doesn’t work out.  You’re the only person who cares about your work so you have to do it.  It’s all on you.

Whenever something didn’t work out for me along the way, I never looked at it and said, “That’s this person’s fault.”  I always felt like “this didn’t happen yet, but I’ll work hard and the next time an opportunity like this comes up I’ll get it.”

Ryan on his treadmill where he also plays the Wii when he's not drawing green women.

 

So it’s all about the perseverance?
I will say this; I’m sounding so high and mighty or something.  It wasn’t that I was brave about this work, but I had this sort of naïveté where I just didn’t understand the difficulty of breaking in.  When something didn’t work out I didn’t make excuses, I just didn’t get it.  I would say “that’s alright, I can do better than what I’m doing.   I’ll do better.”  I put all my eggs in one basket and I just wasn’t going to quit, I couldn’t.

Any shout-outs here at the end?
Shout out to peanut butter and jelly, my daily lunch.  Shout out to my unborn son who will be here in February.  Shout out to Lenny and Gus for getting their hair all over the basement.  And I think that’s it.

So that could be considered a wrap?
Yeah.

You can follow Ryan on Twitter here – http://twitter.com/ryanstegman
You can check out his DeviantArt here – http://ryanstegman.deviantart.com/
He even has a blog! – http://ryanstegmanart.blogspot.com/
And finally, be sure to purchase some of his original artwork over at http://www.cadencecomicart.com/

Why Don’t Aquatic Comics Work?

Oceany Stuff

The ocean is a fascinating place, filled with some of the most amazing organisms known to man.  If you believe in evolution, the ocean is where our great great great great great ancestors started out.

It covers 2/3’s of our planet.  Its enormity is awe-inspiring and even today there are undiscovered,unmapped, and unexplored expanses deep beneath the waves.  So with everything the ocean has going for it, why can’t anyone write a solid comic book series based around it?

Seriously, how many times has Aqua Man been redone, reloaded, and rebooted?  DC still can’t make him stick in the greater DC U on his own. What about Marvel’s own Atlantean monarch, Namor the Sub-Mariner?  How often have any of his series lasted more than 12 issues?  I’ll tell you: 3 times, not counting his appearances in multiple-story books.  Thing is, I don’t believe it’s strictly the writer or the artist’s fault that these books don’t catch on.  There are some legitimate reasons that “Sea Operas” (I just coined that on Twitter not too long ago) just don’t work all that well. Continue reading Why Don’t Aquatic Comics Work?