Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"New Very Awesome" Comics Job

So, so impressive when people who post a job listing can't write and proofread. But contrary to the prevailing pattern, this guy says he's paying:

Posted Date: 3/15/2011  
Major:   Illustration
Key Skills: Penciling, Inking, Painting, Lettering

Job Description:
New very awesome esoteric group of projects that has lots of potential
and has financial backing.
Looking for artist with the same likes as Todd McFarlane and Dale
Keown (Spawn, The Darkness/Pitt). Love their attention to detail and
Looking to create 3-6 issues of a new type of comic character. Very
very niche but huge potential concept. IMAGE comics connections for
publishing and production. Email for NDA and more info along with your
resume, references if possible and examples of work
Project will start with you as indie contractor and move to fulltime.

Job Qualifications:
-We want someone who is daring with imagery and wants to be cutting
edge in the next style and concepts.
-Love comics and have a passion for comics.
-Good at taking ideas and branching off the original but staying true
to the aesthetic.
-Ahead of schedule
-Laugh at pressure and due dates.
-Discipline and committed

Pay is based per page as is for any comic book artist.

Pay Range:  Negotiable
How To Apply:
Email Resume, Company Website

Location of Job:      San Diego (but work from home is possible)
Length of Position:      TBD
Contact Information:
Address:        3515 Morena Blvd.
              San Diego, CA 92117

Contact Name:    Gerald Venditti
Contact Phone:   Contact me (JH) for phone number
Fax Number:     
Email Address: 
Company Profile:
A new company looking to create a team of extraordinary artistic
individuals in the entertainment industry.

More information available upon request and with a signed and initialed
Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Cashing the Check of Fisheye

The first photo shows a realtor's use of a wide angle lens, perhaps in a vain effort to make a tiny bathroom appear bigger. Note the slight curving of straight lines near the edges of the photo. Fisheye in action, in a very minor way. Note also the distortion of the squares of the tile floor at the bottom, similar to what we get if we extend a grid too close to the viewer and pass the Station Point.

The second photo shows another example of slight fish-eye-ness in a normal wide-angle picture. Look at the curving of the line above the store name.
 Next, an audacious and impressive use of a slight upshot in a fisheye context. The dropped horizon sags justly. Though much informed by fisheye photography, this is a intuitive, freehand approach to perspective, not a technically correct one--but no worse for it. Quite the opposite. I think it's terrific.

Here's a rough for a work-in-progress on a women-in-prison project I'm calling "Women in Prison." It's a WIP WIP. OK not really--it's just a doodle I did for the blog to show the use of fisheye in an indoor setting, and to remind young women of the perils of suburban piracy.

Note that in fisheye all the perspective is forced, comic-book style. That means that apparent scale differences, like between foreground and deeper objects, such the ladies' heads, are maximized. Note as well that our view of the standing woman goes from a decisive down-view of her feet, to a unequivocal upshot of her head. Objects in fisheye are closer than they appear.

(The green projection lines running back to the DVP--not shown--bow outward, away from the center of vision, and that has the effect, I believe, of accelerating the diminution of the floor tiles.)

Here finally below, as promised, the "globe grid" used to make five-point fisheye drawings, presented both singly and in a form for doing multi thumbnails. The center point is a VP and there are VPs at 12, 3, 6, and 9.  I am not posting the globe grid for the maddeningly complex four-point perspective (Yes, four-point is more complicated than 5- , oddly.) although I will if you ask me purty-like.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Time Capsule

This is going to be of interest mostly to my fellow old-timers.

I found some notes I made at a comic convention I went to in New York City in the summer of 1975. It was in a hotel attached to Grand Central Station and put on on by a VIP of early comics fandom named Phil Seuling. I saw a panel with Steve Gerber, Howard Chaykin, Jim Starlin, and Berni (not yet Bernie) Wrightson. Al Milgrom too? I can't remember. Thirty-six years ago.....

Jim Starlin, asked about comic books as literature, said that "in 25 years, I think comics will be right up there with Reader's Digest." (A magazine not revered for literary merit.)

Someone asked the panel about all the killing in comics. Chaykin said, "I'm non-violent; I love violence. Movement is beautiful." The violence in his work, Chaykin said, was not about carnage, but action, motion.

Berni Wrightson on Jack Kirby: "His drawing doesn't do much for me." But he praised Kirby for great storytelling. Chaykin echoed Wrightson on that point, but added that he didn't think he personally had learned much of anything from Kirby.

("King" Kirby at this stage was an admired and imitated old pro, if not quite as revered as he became later when I think his age spurred people to consider his place in the pantheon of comics artists.)

In contrast, Starlin said, "everything I learned about storytelling, I learned from Kirby... and Ditko."

Starlin, who was very popular at this point because of his work on Warlock and Captain Marvel, was asked by an audience member for advice on getting into comics, said "Practice, and plan on a hard time." The comics business was in a serious slump at this point and Starlin was probably speaking for a lot of industry insiders when he said it was going to get worse.

With shocking candor, Wrightson, who was also very hot at this point, said that he was only making $2000-$10,000 a year.  I suppose this would be like making $10,000 to $50,000 now. One of the panelists said the average monthly book was only making $500 in profit a month. Who knows if there's any basis for this figure. But comics only cost about a quarter at this point and the cost of paper was rising. Television continued its decades-long erosion of comics sales. Videogames didn't exist yet though and many, many titles were selling hundreds of thousands of copies an issue, a level of sales that on a printed monthly book will probably never be attained again.

I didn't write this down, but I seem to remember Chaykin, ever quotable and provocative, taking pains to explain that pro artists weren't really into comics the way we fans were. He got his free copies from Marvel and DC each month and gave them away to kids in his neighborhood.


Apologies for any misquoting or inaccurate paraphrasing. I was 17!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Lesson Learned--Yeah, RIGHT!

I promised this guy Chris Mills I'd do a pinup of his character of his character Gravedigger. I knew what I wanted to do, something a la Robert McGinnis, with a sleazy early-60s vibe. I kept sketching figures but the resulting compositions were boring. I soon regretted promising to do it.

After sporadic hours of fruitless sketching, I fi-i-i-nally tried practicing what I always preach to you guys: thumbnailing. That gave me the first things that looked like they might become satisfying drawings.

But I still couldn't get the characters to believably cohabit the space. So once again in desperation I tried what I woulda told you guys to do and what I shoulda done from the start:

I.e., perspective: I carefully checked the figure heights against each other and the background, using projection. I think I like it! This is the resulting rough, tones added in Photoshop, as you can probably tell.


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Facial Structure Exercise

Here's the pics I want you guys to select from. Pick one. Please be sure you draw your face from a different ANGLE.
And here is a blog entry that shows the difference between doing this stuff well, and doing what comes naturally.

See you Tuesday!