Monday, August 9, 2010

Graham Annable - Cartoonist Survey #152

Animator and cartoonist Graham Annable was born in June of 1970, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. He was classically trained as an animator at Toronto’s Sheridan College. After graduating from Sheridan in 1992 he started working for LucasArts doing both computer and traditional animation for computer games. Some of the titles he worked on at LucasArts include, Outlaws, Full Throttle, Afterlife, Curse of Monkey Island, Star Wars:Obi-wan and Star Wars: Episode 3. Graham stayed at LucasArts for ten years, eventually becoming a lead animator. In 1998 he was awarded animation's highest honor the ASIFA Annie Award for "Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Interactive Program". He has also done cartooning and illustration for numerous companies such as Chuck Jones, Nickelodeon, and Walt Disney Productions.

Graham is the creator of the short story comics, “Grickle”, which he originally self-published. “Grickle” was one of the nicknames that his father used for him when he was a kid. “Grickle” was selected for the 2008 edition of “Best American Comics” and was named one of Wizard's Top 25 “indie books everyone must read.” This March,
Dark Horse released “The Book of Grickle”, a hand-selected "best of" that features a number of the short stories originally published by Alternative Comics. His indie Grickle Channel on YouTube was a home page Featured Video, and has driven over 1 million views!

Graham is one of the co-founders and editor of the Hickee humor anthologies. These anthologies were the result of a group of friends hanging out in San Francisco coffee shops on Sunday afternoons drawing and creating stories. Hickee has introduced many up and coming cartoonists to the underground comics world. Graham’s works as a storyboard artist at his day job for
Laika Entertainment, an animation studio that specializes in feature films, commercials, music videos, broadcast graphics and short films. He worked on 2009’s stop motion animated feature adaption of Neil Gaiman’s novel, “Coraline.” Graham recently collaborated with Telltale Games to create the adventure puzzle game, “Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent.” He also provides Telltale Games with the weekly webcomic Dank, about the adventures of Dank the Caveman and his creator Dunk the cartoonist. Graham lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and their son. See more of his work at his website and his Gricklethings blog. Don’t forget to check out the Grickle Channel at YouTube and the Dank strip at Telltale Games.

What is your favorite pen to use?
These days I've been using mostly Pigma Micron pens. Usually the 005 or 01 size.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Sometimes. And when I do it really is about 50/50 between standard and mechanical. Whichever one is closest by. :)

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
On my animated shorts it's all colored on computer. For illustration and comic book work it's usually by hand.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Mostly Dr. Ph. Martin's colored inks.

What type of paper do you use?
Lately it's been Canson's watercolor paper.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars, buildings, inanimate objects in general. Hate is a strong word but I prefer just drawing characters.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I usually stop by Utrecht's in downtown NW Portland, OR.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Check the NHL channel on TV for vintage games, eat snacks, and just procrastinate in general.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I listen to music usually when I'm at a finishing stage of something (inking, painting in tones). The genres I listen to are typically techno, jazz, classical, or movie soundtracks.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yep. Spider-Man was probably my favorite. But I was really into Archie and Donald Duck (Carl Barks) as well.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
I'd have to say Peanuts. I love the old Segar Popeye strips as well.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
That's tough to say. I still have a copy of Ken Dryden's hockey bio book and that was a definite favorite.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Yes, I attended Sheridan College and graduated from their classical animation program back in 1992.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Overall I'd have to say it's a blessing. When else was it ever possible for me to create a home-made cartoon and have over a million people watch it without absolutely no distributor or middleman involved?

Did either of your parents draw?
No, not really. My Mom was pretty good at drawing cartoon dogs and ladies faces but her art career didn't really expand beyond that.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Well despite the fact that neither of them were artists I'd have to say my parents were my biggest supporters in everything, not just art.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yep. Hundreds of half-filled ones that clutter up my house.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Not really. I participated in an animation workshop for kids not too long ago and that was fun. I'd have to say that I did indeed enjoy it.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
No. I think talent and passion can be equally applied and equally rewarding in nearly all disciplines. At least I'd like to think so.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Mostly old hockey memorabilia. I can't say why really except that it makes me happy.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I've been told I closely resemble Kermit the Frog. Although technically speaking I guess he's not an animated character.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Maybe be a writer? Or perhaps involved in the sciences.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Messy and eclectic. I try to keep it clean and organized but it always gets away from me.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I wish I did. I can strum a few chords on a guitar and do a single beat on a drum kit but I'm nowhere near being able to actually 'play' an instrument.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Just keep following the direction that inspires you. I think it's better to get good at something you enjoy doing than be successful with something that you despise.

Who is your favorite artist?

That's way too hard to just single down to one. But for the moment I'll say Harvey Kurtzman.

Thanks again Graham!

Welsh artist Michael Nobbs is up next.

AND...coming very soon, a David Wasting Paper giveaway!!!

1 comment:

arcticcircle said...

This guy should be a mega star. I've been watching his animations for years - his line work and writing are impeccable.