Thursday, December 16, 2010

Terry Moore - Cartoonist Survey #200

As 2010 draws to a close, now is a great time to reflect on the past year. One year ago my goal was to survey some professional cartoonists in hopes of getting some great advice on how a “newbie” to the industry, like me, might get started in the world of cartooning. The outcome of my venture was a bevy of surveys flooding in from world renowned cartoonists and illustrators resulting in this, my 200th Cartoonist Survey post.

This has been a very rewarding, fun and informative journey, and I’ve formed some great friendships along the way. With working a demanding full-time “white collar” job and spending much of my free time on the survey blog, I have yet to begin my trek into the professional cartooning realm. With that being said, I’ll be taking a respite from the regular survey posts to focus on that original goal of becoming a cartoonist myself. I’m now armed with all the tips and advice needed to begin that next step, and I hope you all have enjoyed and benefited from the ride as well. This is by no means the end of the surveys, so please be sure to check back periodically for future updates on your fellow cartoonists…one day which will hopefully include the noted cartoonist David Paccia.

And now Cartoonist Survey #200 Terry Moore...

Terry Moore is an award winning comic book creator, author and artist. While trying to break into the syndicated comic strip market, he came up with the idea for his comic book series, Strangers In Paradise. After Terry observed the influx of small press publishers in early the 1990’s, he began researching the comic book industry and started drawing the first issue of Strangers In Paradise. He submitted his work to multiple publishers and signed with Antarctic Press to do a three issue mini-series. Antarctic Press published the first issue of Strangers In Paradise (SIP) in November of 1993. By the next year Terry was self-publishing SIP under his own Abstract Studio imprint. SIP won an Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story in 1996 and in 2003 it won the award for Best Comic Book category from the National Cartoonists Society. Ending a 14 year run in 2007, SIP has been collected in trade paperbacks, been translated into 14 languages and even spawned a series of trading cards produced by Comic Images.

Terry’s latest comic book series ECHO, came out in March of 2008. It is the story of Julie Martin, a young female nature photographer who witnesses an explosion in the desert sky that results in her getting rained on by a radioactive atomic alloy. The metal sticks to her skin and forms a solid metal breastplate that reacts in different ways based on her thoughts. ECHO won a Harvey Award in 2009 for Best New Series. In addition to his own comic book series, Terry has written for Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Runaways and has also made contributions to many other publishers including Dark Horse and DC. To see more of Terry’s work visit the official
Abstract Studio Comics website. Purchase individual issues of ECHO here and buy lots of Strangers In Paradise merchandise here. Follow Terry here on his blog and his Facebook page.

What is your favorite pen to use?
A Hunt 102 pen point. That's my go to pen for page art.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Yes, I pencil first. I use a .05 Faber-Castell mechanical pencil I bought at Senneliers in Paris in 1998. I've used it to draw every comic since. It's inexpensive but it fits my hand perfectly. They don't sell them here, so if I lost it I would have to go back to Paris and get another one.

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Watercolors. I would love to use inks but they're expensive!

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore 400 smooth. I buy the 15 sheet pads and cut it down.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Architecture. Feet. 2 people talking for 5 pages.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Most everything I can buy at a big art store nearby, but I have to buy my Raphael brushes online.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
"Piddle around" the studio, as my wife calls it. Like a dog circling the place it will sit, I tend to take make sure that once I sit down I don't have to get up for hours.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes. I have ear damage from years of headphones. I usually listen to the genre that fits my page or scene. Metal for angry scenes, love songs for sad scenes. Oddly enough, I find I don't listen to The Beatles anymore because you have to pay attention to them, and I have to stay focused on my work, not theirs.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read Superboy (hated Superman because he was an old dork), Batman, Spider-Man and random other things. I liked Hal Jordan when he was a test pilot because I wanted to be a jet pilot when I grew up.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Peanuts. Nothing has influenced me more.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
The Mallory Towers series by Enid Blyton. It was like Harry Potter without the magic. I still have them.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Not really. I took a 13 week cartooning course by an old Disney alum, but nothing formal.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It's both. I love looking for info and reference pics. I hate forums.

Did either of your parents draw?
My dad painted a little. My mother's brother could draw cartoons.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My mother always encouraged me.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes. I have many on my shelf.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Just the one-off classes I've done at conventions. It was fun but I never draw well under those conditions.
Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent is more important in drawing. Passion is more important in painting. I've seen Adam Hughes and Alex Ross draw a sketch to die for and they were not the least bit emotionally involved with it. I couldn't manage that with all the passion in world.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Not really. I spent a year tracking down all the Tintin books. Does that count?

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Kenny from South Park.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Small. Great windows.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Yes. Been playing guitar since 13.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Spend more time drawing than anything else. The more you draw, the faster you get to your own look.

Who is your favorite artist?

Adam Hughes.

Thanks again for your time Terry.

A big thank you goes out to everyone who has participated and stopped by for a visit. Also a special thank you goes out to my wife Patti who has suffered through proof-reading 200 biographies.


john said...

Thanks for all of these..I've read them all and enjoyed them...some more than others....good luck with your ambition to be a cartoonist it's the same as mine...if you have time check my blog you will be welcome....

David said...

David, congratulations on reaching this milestone of 200 interviews

Now, as many of your 'guests' have recommended: draw, draw, draw.

I can't wait to see your emerging body of work!

David said...

Thank you very much John and David!

Bill White said...

As all have said, congrats. Now, start posting your own work!

David said...

Thanks Billl...I'm working on it.

Bill White said...

David, as Yoda said, "There is no try. Do, or do not".

Words to live by. From a sorta-Muppet.

P.L. Frederick said...

Great advice, a great interview with Terry.

Dave, congratulations on your 200th interview! I have learned much from reading them and from knowing you. Best to you and your family for 2011!

David said...

Thank you Paula. Hope you and Paul have a great holiday and a happy 2011! See you in a couple of weeks.