Friday, November 2, 2012

How I started making comics out of cut paper

One day in art school, my professor assigned each student to make portraits using only colors cut from magazines. Until then, I disliked most collages, because the few I had seen consisted of portraits composed of a miss-matched eye from one model with a nose from another, etc. After turning in the assignment, my professor thought it was the best work I had done in the the class and encouraged me to keep making collages. By the end of the semester, I had begun using the technique in all of my classes. After leaving school, I felt it was necessary to work in a more computer-based style because mainstream comics would never hire someone who made comics of collages one panel at a time. I started working on anatomy and coloring and posting images online, but was not being myself as an artist.

About four years ago, after considering quitting making comics, I used the collage technique to make six pages in two weeks and show them around New York Comic Con. I used the origin of the Monkey King as a story. The pages were about four inches by eight inches tall because I did not have time to make full size comic pages. I showed the pages to the great Brian Stelfreeze. He liked the pages talked to me about the work and color theory until the hall closed. By the end of Comic Con, I was determined to make comics in this style. I tried to work with a writer, but did not develop any stories that I wanted to illustrate. Instead, I decided to expand my Monkey King pages into a twenty four page book, titled “Monarch Monkey.”

While I was working on “Monarch Monkey,” I discovered the Boston Comic Book Roundtable, a group of comic creators. I met some very supportive people at the Round Table. Dan Mazur, one of the founders of the group, asked me to collaborate on a story about Anthony Burns for the “Inbound 4” anthology. This was my first publication, and I later published “Monarch Monkey.” I worked with Dan again on the “Show and Tell” anthology. I have continued to produce pages for art shows and websites, most recently collaborating with Hyun Supul for the soon to be published “Greatest” anthology.

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