Monday, November 22, 2010

Tom Scioli - Cartoonist Survey #191

Thomas Scioli is a cartoonist, illustrator and writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His drawing style is inspired by and is a tribute to the works of Jack Kirby. Tom is the creator of the epic sci-fi/fantasy comic book series The Myth of 8-Opus that won a Xeric Grant in 1999. This June he started posting The Myth of 8-Opus series online which you can read here. He is also the creator of the American Barbarian comic series and started posting this online in June as well. American Barbarian is a throwback to the barbarian comics of the 70’s and 80’s such as Thundarr, Conan and He-Man. Start reading the series here and be sure to read this article where Tom discusses influential barbarians in comics. He even gives suggestions for mood music to listen to while reading American Barbarian. Tom is probably best known as the co-creator of Image Comics' Eisner-nominated series, Godland. Started in 2005, Godland is Tom and Joe Casey’s ongoing super-sci-fi-opera epic that is a salute to “cosmic comics”. Read issue #1 of Godland here at Image Comics. Tom has created, written, and drawn stories for several anthologies including The Next Issue Project and the fourth volume of PopGun. He has also done art for series such as Fantastic Four, Freedom Force and Elephantmen. Visit Tom’s website and his blog.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Sakura Micron 08.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Mechanical if I'm inking, standard pencil, if the pencil art is what's being printed.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore Bristol smooth or vellum finish 14 x 17" or 19 x 22".

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Normal shit in offices. The thing I hate to draw that I draw all the time is pentagon ready-room high level military planning scenes.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
There's one in the neighborhood I go to.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I like to do planning/penciling first thing after I wake up. Inking I can do anytime.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes, WYEP in Pittsburgh.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes, Batman with Jim Aparo art. I was more of a Superman fan, but from the TV and cartoons. In the eighties, Batman had the better comic.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Calvin and Hobbes.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
"Superman from the Thirties to the Seventies". It was a library book, but I own a copy now.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
University of Pittsburgh.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
For my work it's a blessing. For civilization, it's a curse.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mother.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife. She creates an environment that makes it possible.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes, but it's wimpy compared to my friends' sketchbooks. It's for ideas in their rawest form. I do most of my drawing in the finished product.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I've spoken and given demonstrations at schools, I've never actually taught a class. I'd like to do more of it.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion. Talent can be learned. A disciplined, near-obsessive application of limited talent can create great work.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Comics, mostly Kirby.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
The Hulk.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right handed.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
It's a room with white walls, an angled drawing desk, and a computer.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Electric Guitar.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Forget about it. Not a good career. I'm stuck on this path, with no going back, but anything is preferable.

Who is your favorite artist?

Jack Kirby.

Thanks again Tom.

Next time on David Wasting Paper is artist, cartoonist and character designer Stephen Silver.

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