Friday, September 17, 2010

Bill Holbrook - Cartoonist Survey #165

Born in Los Angeles in 1958, Bill Holbrook is a comic strip and webcomic artist and writer. He majored in Illustration and Visual Design at Auburn University in Alabama. While at Auburn U. he was the Art Director of the student newspaper, producing a weekly comic strip and drawing their editorial cartoons. While still in college, Bill was also being regularly published in the Huntsville Times and the Monroe Journal. Bill graduated in 1980 and became an editorial staff artist for the Atlanta Constitution. When Bill visited some relatives on the West Coast in 1982 he got the chance to meet Charles Schulz. Good Ol’ Sparky gave him advice and encouraged him to create his own strip. After a few attempts at syndication, he succeeded with his On the Fastrack strip which debuted on March 19, 1984 in 150 newspapers worldwide. In October of 1989 Bill was able to get a second strip, Safe Havens, syndicated. Six years later he started Kevin & Kell, his third strip. Kevin and Kell is about Kevin Kindle a rabbit and Kell Dewclaw a wolf who meet online and despite their predator/prey dispositions fall in love and get married. He recently illustrated the comic Duel In The Somme. Written by Ben Bova and Rob Balder Duel In The Somme is a comic about the romantic rivalry between a computer-simulation designer and his boss. Bill lives in the Atlanta area with his wife and their two daughters. Make sure you check out his Bill Holbrook Store.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Rapidograph 00,0 and 1.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Standard pencil.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Terrance and Isabel Marks color "Kevin & Kell" on their computer.

What type of paper do you use?
I pencil on ordinary drawing paper, and then ink on tracing paper placed over the pencils.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I can't think of anything offhand.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Both; it depends on what I'm buying.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No, not really.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Classical music while I'm writing; Rock while I'm drawing.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Still, "Peanuts."

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I can't pick a favorite as I read a lot.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I received a B.A. from Auburn University in Illustration and Visual Design in 1980.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
For me, it's been a blessing.

Did either of your parents draw?

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My parents have always been supportive.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Since I do three comics, there's no time unfortunately.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I've never done that; I'm not much of a teacher.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Absolutely, passion is the most important. No question.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
No. Cartooning is my hobby.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
That's hard to say. Although none of my characters have been animated, I invest part of my personality in every one.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Lefty, as are every one of my characters.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I can't imagine not being a cartoonist.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A small 10x10 room in the basement of our house.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No, my sister got all of the musical talent in the family.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
I was lucky enough to meet Charles Schulz in 1982. He gave me the following advice: sit down and draw fifty strips. Of those, maybe five will be funny. Build on those and throw out the rest. Do fifty more. Now perhaps ten will be usable. Repeat this process again and again.

Who is your favorite artist?
Charles Schulz

Thanks again Bill.

Next up is Boston cartoonist Robert Sergel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You did not get anything from Bill that is not extensively covered in other sources.
Well, maybe that pencil thing.