Thursday, March 7, 2013

Andy Kaulana Serrao!

Andy Kaulana Serrao!

 It's so great to see someone you grew up with. Even more so when you know they're into the same stuff as you. For me and Andy we were always into comics and drawing. So lets go into both starting with comics. Andy was the Indy guy- he was the guy who would find the Evil Ernies and the other smaller indy titles that I would not give a second look if not for him. Me? I was the Marvel mainstream guy. I collected what was ( I thought) the best of the best. Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, pretty much all the mutant titles growing up. And we would always go back and forth between why our tastes were better, Tease each other and it was just about the smack talk and jib and seeing if we can come up with something clever to rip at. He was the guy who could see the efforts of certain creators and applaud them and get behind them. While I felt, they had to be as good as Jim Lee or as good as Joe Mad or they had no place in the industry, boy how time changes everything.

Jumpimg onto the next order of business- drawing! We were both artists growing up. And one thing about artists is we have huge egos. Huge. So if you tell us our work sucks thems fighting words. And me and Andy weren't affraid to speak our minds to each other about it. See we knew we were cut from the same cloth and if anybody had the right to tell us anything about our art it had better been someone who understands what it takes to make a piece of art.  And because we were already ripping each other on our taste in comics why stop there? Let's just continue ripping each others artstyles. And we did. All. The. Time.

But I miss that stuff. That friendly competition. The back and forth jabs at each other. Those times we spent at the drawing table goofing around but also being very productive. That energy around the drawing table where it's all jokes and razzing and talks about who's tougher Lobo or Blood Shot. Or even what different pencils or brushes we were using and why this works better than that and why this one is better but this one is cheaper and all that. When you grow up and you have your own family all that stuff really pulls you away from all that. Especially for me- I work out of my house and also the fact that I'm the only artist in about a hundred mile radius.

But I got to see him this trip. And it all came back! ALL OF IT! And it was great.

We met up on Saturday with both our wives. So we go to the convention floor and it's like we're 15 again. He shows me his Fanboys vs Zombies cover done of him as a zombie by Jerry Gaylord- sick! And it's my birthday so he buys one for me- Jerry Gaylord is done in like 2 minutes- sick. Then we head over to the Valiant Booth where we meet up with Stefano Guadiano doing covers there too and we end up chatting him up which was awesome all the while we're ripping each other. Mind you we both have 2 covers each that Stefano has to draw and I want a portfolio review so we're having a pretty lengthy conversation with Stefano who was just an incredibly great person to converse with.Especially when you are ripping at your best friend hahahaha.

Sunday evening we do dinner at his house and there it is. The drawing table. Stocked with paper, drawing stuff and a shitload of prisma markers. Oh it's on. Now it's like 1992 again. We both have our covers done by Stefano and are both saying why our is better. He has blank covers for Thunderbolts that he wants me to draw on. He's breaking out all his new toys, old comics, new pens and what not. He even got out his Marvel Cards Series 1 Set WITH Holograms! And an extra Magneto hologram- another birthday gift to me.

All in all I had the most fun here. With the guy I always have the most fun with. Andy Kaulana Serrao. I'm so getting you back for that gay ass picture you drew of the alien with the pink and purple panties with my name on it!

Emerald City Comicon 2013

Boy was this trip fun! We did a lot! My wife and I did a lot! Mostly touristy stuff, Harbor cruise on the Argosy, The Underground Tour, The EMP, The Space Needle, Ride the Ducks, and so much other stuff I can't remember right now. But the main reason we were there was for the convention. I've only gone to ECC but I still think it's a great con. This is my 3rd time going and every time it just gets bigger and bigger. Saturday was crazy, maybe a bit too crowded for my taste but overall it was great

So much things to blog about. So rather than going off on a particular subject I figure I'll just decompress and list all the things I wanted to touch on as far as being a freelancer from my point of view.

 And here's the list

Soul mate- how my wife completes me- without being all mushy and gooey gross.

Crits- when it's good and when it's bad.

Ebb and Flow- comics up and down.

You want it one way but it's the other- The mind is a battlefield, and sometimes we are our own worst enemy- as creators.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Frustration Rant

It's not good to compare where you are to where you want to be. But I can't help it sometimes. I'm human. I see artists getting good steady work who I feel just aren't any good. So many things frustrate me about this. So many angles. So many different ways to look at it. And I know once this hits the web I'll wish I never sent this out.

But right now?

I gotta let this out.

The thing about art is it's subjective. You think you're good but someone else thinks you suck. So who's right depends on each individuals tastes. Some people really like my art and when they respond to it I know they get it. And some people don't. They don't get it, or they just don't like it. I'm fine with that too. To each his own.

What really frustrates me is the guy who just won't give it an honest chance. As an artist I'm saavy to when someone just won't give it a chance. A new artist that's a nobody will encounter this kind of hostility. 'You are not welcome!' That's the message they send to me.' Don't even try. I don't like you I don't want to like you!'

What is even more frustrating is the way it's hidden from everyone else but me. It's the smallest little notion. The look in his eyes. The slight scoffing at something he sees. The hint of jealousy in his criticism. The fact that he knows that the potential is there for me to actually be great but he's already bet the farm on another horse and has no more room for anyone else. And anyone who threatens his prospect is out. That cynical smirk on his face just screaming at me 'you'll never win me over'.

 But it's all covered up! In the most bullshit show of sportsmanlike conduct. I'd rather he be honest and just say I don't like it. It's easier for me.

But the path of the artist is not always easy.

Another thing that frustrates me is when another artist who for some reason has more work under his belt than I do but still manages to completely suck- YET thinks because he has more work under him THINKS he's better than me. Trying to call me on anatomy when his anatomy is just shit. Trying to call me on some bullshit that he himself is guilty of- NOT ME! And because he has more work behind him all his backers just jump on the bandwagon to strengthen his case against mines. I never defend my work. I let it speak for itself. BUT if you call me on something I want to know what it is- better yet you must know how I can do improve on it. So when I look at your stuff it better be there- in your work. The thing you that are calling me on should be in your work.



Prejudice. That's the one that frustrates me the most. I know I need to tread lightly on this but fuck it! I AINT! I'm the one on the receiving end of it! I get it. It's a business. In business you cater to the customer. You give them what they want. I don't even know how to set this up.

So let's take it back. I did a job that included characters that have a different heritage than the typical comic book stuff. The guy who hired me was happy with the work.

Fast forward a couple of years- I'm trying to land a gig and the publisher says in the nicest possible way- "Is there any way you can dial down the ethnicity for this project?"
I said yeah no problem, but at the same time it was like swallowing glass. It opened my eyes to the harsh reality. In comic book land we are dealing with Super and Mega and Ultra and all these hyped up fantasies. And I love it all. BUT something about that whole notion had an underlying message that rubbed me the wrong way.

The publisher did nothing wrong. He's doing what a good publisher does he looks after the best interest of his readers.

And then I knew what it was that made me start to feel inferior. That project I did- I drew from life. And when he said to dial it down- to me it was he was saying- People won't buy the book if they look like you (me) and then everything bugged me. TV- all the people have to be perfect looking. Music your record sales will go up if you look great. And I get it it's a business- you want to make money and to do that you do what it takes. And everyone is competing for the almighty dollar. A better looking person will get noticed, be remembered, be liked, be loved.

So what constitutes better looking?

For me the answer I came up with was don't make them look like my mom or my grandma or my grampa or most of the people I love. And then every racist, prejudice, fucked up situation I ever had started replaying over and over again. And it was usually done by the guy at the top. And usually someone with money. And usually some self made white male that had an extraordinary life that lead him to success that allows him to look down his nose to me and say- 'you will never be as good as me."

And that's why I'm so frustrated.

And though that last bit has little to do with art it was the thing that bothered me the most.

I must admit after writing that bit my shoulders are lighter. I could delete this whole thread and still feel better.

But no.

I'm not.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Artists sometimes feel overlooked

An article running at CBR about artist being overlooked has me really peeved. Here is the article

It does annoy me that artists just don't get the credit they deserve. All the hooplah about this writer and that writer really does cast a huge shadow on the efforts of the artists. I'm always on word balloon and listening and I get it. I really get it.Having tried my hand at writing I know how hard it is to just write. I have a story that one day I will write- but that is a specific story. I couldn't take over a project and just put my mindset into that project to tell a story. It really isn't a skill I possess. And having worked alongside other writers I am impressed at the amount of ideas they have in their heads just waiting to be executed.

But back to the artist- If the artist is really really good- guess who is going to get all the credit for the project being a huge success? Watchmen is the perfect example. Dave Gibbons has as much to do with it being what it is as Alan Moore. If it were an artist who couldn't tell the story the way Dave Gibbons did or the fans just hated his style maybe it wouldn't be as big a success.  My point is an artist can really make or break a project. But when it's successful they'll probably be the first one forgotten.

Sometimes as an artist we see things that frankly just can't work. And I've been in situations where I'm trying to make it work so I contact the writer and it's like you're insulting their genius to suggest there may "perhaps" be an "error" in the script that doesn't work. So their response is usually 'shut up and get back to work you can't understand the genius in my work because you are beneath it' but they say it in a much more politically correct way that leaves me frustrated.

Sometimes they have something scripted and the artist may see something better and throws that in.

NOW I must say the writer for my webcomic spy6teen is awesome. If I suggest something he is on it and he is the first to point out anything extra I do. Tim Simmons is an excellent writer- he's an artists writer if there is such a term.

Hello Blogspot I've missed you

Wow it has been quite some time since I last got around to these parts. My last post was dated 2010 sorry that was my fault. Too busy was I . But now that my life has totally changed I will definitely be spending more time here. I look forward to meeting new people and hope you will enjoy my blog.

And with the first blog I write for 2012 let me start with a few pictures. this was at Emerald City Comicon last month. This is of me standing with current Batman penciler- the super awesome, super cool guy that everyone would just wanna go hang out and drink with Greg Capullo. Great story here- this was taken right after he reviewed my portfolio- which was great because he had great things to say. His wife was talking to mines and she said he usually doesn't get past the third page of a portfolio but he almost made it to the end of mines. Then he asked if I had any published work and I showed him those. Then he told me to submit to Marvel- 'Keep trying till you get in' he said.

This is of me and one of my best friends growing up Andy Kaulana Serrao. This was taken on the same day after the convention. It was awesome to have this guy with me that day because he and I grew up both the best artist in school so there was always a friendly rivalry going on from the get-go but this guy is my brother. We've been thru a lot together. He was one of the only guys I could geek out with and just be myself.

And of course I have to post one with my wife Kahelelani. She is the love of my life. My backbone. She believed in me from the start even when I didn't believe in myself she knows exactly what to say to make things right. I'd never be anywhere without her. In the whole world there's no wife better than mines. You can see Pikes Market behind us as were about to do the tourist thing.

Ah Seattle I love you. you hold memories of the best day of my life. But not as much as I love my wife.

Hey that rhymed!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Macross Frontier

Been watching a badly subtitled version of this anime series but damn it rocks! This is the VF-25 model robotech thingy-which the main guy has. This series is the best anime I've seen in years. If you liked the ld Robotech series you'll love this. They tip their hats to the old series and capitalize off of it. But the story is shorter so it's easier to digest, and the art is done with our technology now so it enhances the experience like a hundred fold.