Monday, November 29, 2010

George Trosley - Cartoonist Survey #193





Cartoonist George Trosley aka Troz was born in 1947. After graduating from the Hussian School of Commercial Art in Philadelphia, PA he worked doing commercial jobs at several art studios in Philadelphia. He found this type of work boring so in 1973 he set out on his own and became a full-time freelance cartoonist. George had always been fascinated with cars so it is no surprise that he was hired by CARtoons magazine as a regular contributor. While drawing for CARtoons he created the comic strip Krass & Bernie which ran continuously from 1975 until 1991 when CARtoons stopped being published. The characters Krass & Bernie were two motorheads that were interested in two things, cars and girls. Another popular feature that George drew for CARtoons was his "How To Draw Cars" instructional series. I fondly remember spending many hours in my early teen years drawing from George’s pages. In May of 2005 Krass & Bernie returned to the printed page and appears monthly in Car Craft magazine. For years his work has appeared in Hustler, as well as in Hot Rod, Saturday Evening Post, National Enquirer, StreetTrucks and many more. George has two children and lives with his wife Susan in Ridley Park, PA. Visit his website where you can see more of his work and buy books and CDs of both Krass & Bernie and his “How to Draw Cartoon Cars” series.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Alvin Penstix.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Standard #2 ½ Pencil on tracing paper then lightboarded with ink on to good paper.

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Dyes, Markers and Colored Pencils.

What type of paper do you use?
Ledger Bond.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Crowd scenes.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Both.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
None.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes…Rock & Roll…Adult Contemporary Jazz.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes…all of them…Superman, The Flash, Bat Man, Disney Stuff…

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Poor Arnold’s Almanac then, The Phantom now.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Ripley’s Believe it or Not. Still have it. The Magic of Believing. Still have it.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Hussian School of Commercial Art…4 years.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both, of course.

Did either of your parents draw?
My father won the entire “Draw Me” Contest and the entire mail order course. I still have it. He was extremely talented but worked in industry all his life.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Both parents…family.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Used to…no time now because I’m always at my drawing board…drawing.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
A bit…yes, it’s rewarding.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion is needed to fuel the talent.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Car Magazines…Mad Magazine.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Bernie of Krass & Bernie.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right handed.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Behind the scenes in Movies/TV.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Upstairs loft style area of our home with a balcony overlooking a lake…very cozy…much too nice for me.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Drums…a bit of bottleneck Guitar.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Be sure you wanna’ do this…it’s tough.

Who is your favorite artist?
Mort Drucker for cartooning…Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt for drawing.

Thanks again George.

Up next is Maine cartoonist Jeff Pert.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Stephen Silver - Cartoonist Survey #192




Cartoonist and character designer Stephen Silver was born in August of 1972 in London, England. He got his professional start drawing caricatures at amusement parks in 1992. A year later he started his own illustration business and caricature concession company called Silvertoons. He spent a year doing graphic design for the clothing company “No Fear” before being hired as a character designer by Warner Brothers in 1997 and has worked in the animation industry ever since. Stephen has worked as a character designer for Nickelodeon Animation, Sony Feature Animation and Disney Television Animation. He has designed characters for animated series such as “The Fairly OddParents”, "Kim Possible", "Danny Phantom" and Kevin Smith's "Clerks: The Animated Series”. In 2000 he won the Golden Nosey award as caricaturist of the year from the National Caricaturist Network, and in 2007 he received the National Cartoonists Society's Television Animation award for his designs on Disney's “Kim Possible”. Stephen is also the artist and author of five self-published books on sketching, life drawing and caricaturing. You can purchase them here at his Silvertoons store.


If you would like to learn more about the art of character design you can take Stephen’s class over at Schoolism.com. If you are in California he teaches a character design course at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) in Valencia and a quick gesture figure class at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Arts. Learn more about Stephen by checking out his website and following him on his blog.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Mars Staedtler graphic 3000 duo.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Col-erase blue or red.

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Marker, watercolor and colored pencil, sometimes acrylic paint.

What type of paper do you use?
Anything that feels right or is thick enough, sometimes a Via felt 80lb.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Buildings, cars and robots.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Both.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Take a deep breath and hope for the best.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Sometimes, mainly Beatles radio on iTunes.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I did not.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
The Lockhorns.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Didn't like to read as a child, so I don't have one. Cartooning books are what I collected.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
The only serious art class I really took was one in San Diego with a guy by the name of Jeff Watts.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
A blessing.

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Both my parents.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes I have and still do. I teach currently a character design course at Schoolism.com.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Original art from the MAD magazine artists.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Snow White, I don't know, the first thing that popped up.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
1970' 80's.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Draw, draw draw…have passion and have fun.

Who is your favorite artist?
Mort Drucker.



Thank you Stephen.

CARtoons cartoonist George Trosley will be next.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

With tomorrow being Thanksgiving I thought I’d take a break from the Cartoonist Surveys and introduce you to a very special boy.


This is Aidan Reed.

“Aidan is no ordinary 5 year old boy, in fact he is quite extraordinary. What sets him apart from most kids is his love for all things scary. He loves monsters, clowns, drawing, and dressing up. He does not wait for Halloween to roll around to have an excuse to wear a costume. And you better believe while in costume he will break character for nothing.”



“Another thing that makes Aidan different than most children is that on September 13, 2010 he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He was strong and pulled through his first round of chemo all while teasing his nurses and visitors. Although this was a small victory Aidan, unfortunately, must go through 2 to 3 more years of chemo treatments and everything that goes along with that.”


Aidan has drawn a whole bunch of wonderful pictures of monsters.


To offset the cost of his medical bills an Etsy store has been setup where you can buy prints of these super scary monsters.



I bought this one which is one of my favorite monsters, the Gillman. Below are a few more of his monsters that are available for purchase.



This Thanksgiving, is there any better way to show how thankful we are for the many blessings in our lives than to help out someone in need?

Read more about this extraordinary young man at the Aid for Aidan website.


Click on Aidan’s drawing of Frankenstein's monster to be brought directly to Aidan’s Monsters Etsy store where you may purchase prints of his drawings.

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?
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.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Uncle Jam Magazine

Earlier this month I posted the answers to my Cartoonist Survey from Phil Yeh (Cartoonist Survey #183). I mentioned at the end of the post that the latest issue of Uncle Jam magazine had just been published. Phil was nice enough to send me a copy and I read it cover-to-cover over this past week. What a great magazine! This issue features interviews with artists, cartoonists and musicians including Jean Giraud aka Moebius, Mark A. Nelson, John Chalmers, Sandra Marrs, Craig Yoe, Patrice Rushen, Taylor Barton-Smith, G.E. Smith and more. There are also articles on travel including one on Singapore and Malaysia written by Phil. I had no idea that comics where such a big thing in Singapore. Did you know that Singapore just had it's first 24 Hour Comics Day? If you are interested in Health, Books, The Arts or Travel then you should definitely check out Uncle Jam magazine for yourself. Click here to order the most recent issue or get a 4-issue subscription.



Phil was nice enough to draw a Winged Tiger on the envelope.

An interview with artist Moebius.

Interview with Taylor Barton-Smith and G.E. Smith.

Phil and Craig Yoe discuss Krazy Kat.

Click on the Winged Tiger above to order your copy of Uncle Jam today.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Jerry King - Cartoonist Survey #190

Golden Glove boxer and cartoonist Jerry King



Jerry King is an award-winning freelance cartoonist. He has been drawing cartoons since childhood and started working in his field back in high school when he got a job doing illustrations for children’s books. He served in the Army as a medic before going to Ohio State University to earn his BA in English. Before becoming a fulltime cartoonist Jerry was a Golden Glove boxer and was trained by John Russell, who went on to train World Heavy Weight Champion Buster Douglas. As a cartoonist Jerry has created thousands of greeting cards for more than 25 different companies including NobleWorks, Comstock, Renaissance, Gibson Greetings, and American Greetings. His cartoons have appeared in hundreds of publications worldwide such as Playboy, The Saturday Evening Post, National Enquirer, Better Homes and Gardens, Golf Digest and Woman’s World. Jerry is also the author and illustrator of seven children’s books and has illustrated many others. In 2001 he was recognized for his work by being awarded the National Cartoonist Society’s Magazine Gag Cartoon Award. Being a freelancer Jerry has been using the Internet to his advantage. His INeedACartoon store site allows anyone to purchase his cartoons for use on their websites or publications. Jerry lives in Northeast Ohio with his wife and two daughters. Stop by his website and checkout his store.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Sharpie and mechanical pencil.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Mechanical pencil. I used to buy the expensive type, but now I use kid's pencils that come in a pack of 20.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I used to use watercolor, now I use Photoshop.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I used to use watercolors.

What type of paper do you use?
Regular typing paper, then scan in.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Caricatures. I suck at it.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Locally, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club or Office Max. I don't need fancy, expensive supplies to do a good cartoon.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Nope. I go right to work.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes. I'm a classic rock guy, some country, Motown and classics like Frank, Dean and other Vegas greats.

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

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
The Far Side.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Didn't have one.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
No. I have a BA in English from The Ohio State University.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Blessing! I have the whole world at my finger tips.

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?
No.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
No. I would like to teach at a university on how to survive as a freelancer.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
It has to be funny first, then the drawing. Unfortunately, many syndicated comic strips are poorly drawn and unfunny.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
No, but I do have an original Steve Canyon comic strip from 1947.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
The Hulk :O)

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Boxer, or maybe MMA fighter.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Very comfortable. Surround sound stereo, TV.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Stay away from syndication, The New Yorker and other areas that are a waste of time. Go after publications and websites that don't have cartoons, and convince them to run your cartoons. Marketing is EVERYTHING!

Who is your favorite artist?
Glenn McCoy. He's versatile, smart and prolific.

Thanks very much Jerry.

Cartoonist and illustrator Tom Scioli is next.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Batton Lash - Cartoonist Survey #189




Batton Lash is a cartoonist and comic book creator who was born in Brooklyn, New York. He studied cartooning and graphic arts under the tutelage of Will Eisner and Harvey Kurtzman at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Fresh out of school, he started working for an ad agency doing paste-ups and also spent some time assisting comic book artist Howard Chaykin. He then started doing freelance illustration, drawing for the book Rock & Roll Confidential, Garbage magazine and many other projects. He was approached by Brooklyn Paper Publications in 1979 and was asked to create a comic strip. Batton came up with Wolff & Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre. This weekly humor/horror strip ran in The Brooklyn Paper until 1996 and in The National Law Journal from 1983 to 1997. Wolf and Byrd stories also ran in many other publications and comic books such as Monster Scene, American Fantasy, Mr. Monster, Frankie's Frightmare, The Big Bigfoot Book and Panorama. In 1994 Wolff & Byrd was renamed Supernatural Law and became a full-length bi-monthly comic book published by Exhibit A Press, which is owned by Batton and his wife, Jackie Estrada. There have been over 50 comics published by Exhibit A Press including Mavis, a spin-off of Supernatural Law that features Wolff and Byrd’s secretary.

Batton is also a well established comic book writer whose work includes: the 1994 crossover between Archie Comics and Marvel Comics, Archie Meets The Punisher ; the 3-part Archie story, "The House of Riverdale;" the 5-part "Archie Freshman Year" for the flagship Archie title; and was the regular writer on Radioactive Man for Bongo Comics. Radioactive Man went on to win an Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication in 2002. Speaking of awards, last year The Soddyssey, And Other Tales of Supernatural Law, a collection of Wolff and Byrd stories, won the Independent Book Publishers Association's Benjamin Franklin Award. This collection includes guest art by Jeff Smith, Steve Bissette, Bernie Wrightson, Phil Hester, Charles Vess and Shawn McManus. Be sure to visit Batton and his wife Jackie’s
Exhibit A Press website. You can read many of the Supernatural Law stories here online and you can purchase the comics and some really neat looking t-shirts here.

What is your favorite pen to use?
It varies from time to time, but currently I enjoy inking with a Japanese pen-brush. The point is soft, yet firm enough to for a heavy hand like mine!

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I always sketch in a drawing in pencil. I use a mechanical pencil. I prefer the thick HB leads (1.3).

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I use standard acrylics.

What type of paper do you use?
For the webcomic, I’ve been using pre-ruled 1 ply paper that’s been marketed as “Manga paper”. I use it not only because it has a good finish but also because it fits exactly on the scanner! For the printed comic, I use a 2 ply Bristol board.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars! Always difficult for me.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
All of the above. Lately, though, I’ve found interesting supplies at small art supply booths exhibiting at comic conventions.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I enjoy listening to classical music. Lately, I’ve been inking while listening to talk radio.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I did read comics as a kid and had a lot of favorites! If I had to narrow it down, it would have to be a tossup between the early 60’s Fantastic Four and Spider-Man. Also liked Infantino’s Flash a lot.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Mary Perkins, On Stage.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I used to love something called “Homer Price” - - I think it was about a boy genius. I recall reading it over and over and asking the teacher in my grammar school if there were any more in the series. The illustrations were good, too. Interestingly, there was a snarky parody of Superman in one of the stories, kind of anti-comic book, if I remember correctly. But did that stop me? No! I enjoyed “Homer” anyway. Alas, I do not have it any more. Now you’ve given me the itch to search e-bay . . .

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I attended and graduated the School of Visual Arts.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Definitely a blessing!

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
I was blessed with two people: when I was a child, it was my aunt (who was also my godmother) and in my adult life, my constant support is my wonderful wife Jackie.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I gave some “chalk talks” but never actually taught from day-to- day. I did enjoy explaining the nuts and bolts of creating a comic, but I’m never sure if I’m enlightening the listeners or confusing them!

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I always believed that artists are compelled to create. Talent is important, but it’s the passion that fuels the art. I think there are a lot of people who are very skilled in drawing, which is quite different than being talented. Do you have a perspective or spin on a story that your reader might have never before considered? It's important to have something to say! People get better as they go along . . . but you’ve got to get out there to show the world what you have. If you’re passionate about your work, you can weather the criticism and keep moving forward.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Not really. I will occasionally pick up a Bride of Frankenstein Tchotchke (love The Bride!), but I don’t collect anything.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Mr. Peabody.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Left-handed.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Frankly, I’d have no trade! I'd probably be a messenger, a waiter or the world’s oldest stock boy. I wasn’t really interested in anything outside of the creative mediums.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
It’s like that old W.C. Fields movie where he has an incredibly messy desk, but knows exactly where everything he needs is located at any given moment!

Do you play any musical instruments?
No, much to my regret.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
If drawing is what you enjoy and it gives you immense pleasure, don’t allow anyone to discourage you.

Who is your favorite artist?
Steve Ditko.



Thanks again Batton and Happy Belated Birthday!

Up next is cartoonist Jerry King.

Monday, November 15, 2010

John Pound - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #188


John's randomly-generated "Self Portrait #1"



MAD magazine #294 back cover


John Pound is an illustrator and artist based in California. When he started out drawing as a child he was inspired by Disney comics and early MAD magazines. As he got older he found inspiration in the underground comix of the day including the work of artists such as Rick Griffith and Robert Crumb. John began his career creating covers and stories for underground comix. In 1984 he was contacted by Art Spiegelman to do some Wacky Packages paintings including one that was a Garbage Pail Kids doll in its box. With the Cabbage Patch Doll fad in full-swing Topps decided to do a spin-off of Wacky Packages and released the first series of Garbage Pail Kids trading cards. The whole first run of Garbage Pail Kids cards were drawn exclusively by John with later series including artwork from Tom Bunk (Cartoonist Survey #31) and Jay Lynch (Cartoonist Survey #57). Other trading card projects he has worked on include Meanie Babies, Trashcan Trolls and Mars Attacks. John has created illustrations for MAD magazine, JUXTAPOZ, Business Week, HomePC, BLAB! and many others. He also writes computer programs that “randomly combine words, colors, shapes, figures, objects and scenes into comic images and pages. The programs also make random text stories, random cartoon drawings, and random comic books.” Many of these randomly created comics have been printed in newspapers and magazines and have been shown in art galleries. Checkout John’s website to see much more of his work and be sure to read through this great Art Process page.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Pentel 5mm mechanical pencil. Scan and convert it to vector art. No inking needed.

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

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Paintings by hand, drawings on the computer, in Illustrator.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Acrylics.

What type of paper do you use?
Plain paper and vellum to draw, cardstock to paint.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Superheroes. Anything that's not cartoony.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Local.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Meditate 15 to 20 minutes to clear my mind and clarify the image.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Alternative, trance, pop, psychedelic.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Uncle Scrooge, by Carl Barks. Also MAD.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Current favorite is Lio.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
My Dad's "I Go Pogo" (by Walt Kelly). I got one a few years back.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Five semesters at San Diego State, two semesters at Art Center (Hollywood).

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both. I mostly enjoy it.

Did either of your parents draw?
Both.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes, loose-leaf binders of drawings in sheet protectors. Easier to scan or show.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
One year as assistant to a teacher of a high school art career class. It was OK. I liked the field trips but I didn't want to be a teacher.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion, but you need both.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Art books -- cartoon, graphic design, and computer art books.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Jim Woodring's Frank.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Write code for experimental computer graphics.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Small room with a low-end stereo.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Radio, CD player.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Draw every day, from imagination, with no reference.

Who is your favorite artist?
Tobot (Henning Wagenbreth)

Thank you John!

Comic book creator Batton Lash shares his answers next.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kirk Anderson - Cartoonist Survey #187




Kirk Anderson is an award-winning political cartoonist from Minnesota. His cartoons have appeared in The Onion, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, USA Today, The New York Times and countless other newspapers and magazines throughout the world. His work has also been seen on The CBS Evening News, ABC’s Nightline, published in over 150 books and shown at exhibits and galleries including the Warhol Museum. He was the staff cartoonist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1995 to 2003 and then moved on to the Minneapolis Star Tribune where his "Banana Republic" comic ran on the editorial pages from October 2005 to November 2007. In 2008 his “Banana Republic” comics were collected into a book. Kirk presently free-lances his cartoons and illustrations, both directly and through Artizans Entertainment, Inc. He lives and works in St. Paul with his wife Nancy. Stop by his Kirktoons website and then head over to his Molotov Comix Press to purchase "Banana Republic."

What is your favorite pen to use?
I ink most everything with a #3 sable brush. I used to use Winsor & Newton Series 7 #3, but they're expensive, and I've found Raphael is just as good at half the price. Also Kolinsky and, last time I was at the greatest art supply store on earth (Wet Paint), they were suggesting Escoda brushes as just as good or better. I get control, expression and line quality that I can't get with a pen, nib or computer tablet.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Yes. I don't trust myself with ink unless every line is already there in pencil. I use a mechanical pencil, just so I never have to bother with sharpening.

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

What type of paper do you use?
2 ply Bristol. Canson or Bienfang or whatever, although I don't like Strathmore for some reason.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Anything that needs to be sleek and graceful, like an airplane or a ballet dancer, because you either capture it or you don't, there doesn't seem to be much room for fudging. Same for anything that requires me to actually use perspective, and not just eyeball it.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I physically go to the greatest art supply store on earth (Wet Paint), just a 10 min. bike ride away. It's a small store that somehow has everything you'd ever need. There are always way more staff than seems necessary, and they are always friendly and omniscient.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Clear off my drawing table, that's a good 20 minutes right there.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
If I'm listening to anything, it's usually NPR or some news podcast. Unfortunately, more and more I seem to need complete quiet to concentrate on almost anything, so I listen to less and less music, which is a shame and a crime.

I would usually listen to rock, blues and punk. Once I was inking a violent image with lots of spattered ink, and something seemed wrong, and I realized I was listening to some Mozart fer gawdz sake! I put in Rancid's 'Out Come the Wolves', and it went much better. I listen to 'Out Come the Wolves' while drawing more than anything. Midnight Oil has also been scientifically proven to improve one's drawing skills.


Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read DC superhero crap. I had awful taste. I also read Mad Magazine, which was a great influence on me & most cartoonists my age.

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?
I don't remember, and no I don't. I of course loved Dr. Seuss books, and it was a kick to learn years later that he had originally been an editorial cartoonist, and most of his children's books are fantastic editorial cartoons with strong social messages.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
A minor in art at UW-Eau Claire.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both, of course. Christ, how many questions do you have?

Did either of your parents draw?
My uncle drew, and my dad was very creative.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My mom and dad and wife have foolishly backed me 100%.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I do not. Isn't that terrible? Aren't true artists required to keep sketchbooks? I'm a fraud.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes I have. I enjoy helping nourish someone else's creativity, helping them brainstorm and maybe look at things in a different way. But just as often the experience sucked.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
You need talent to make a living; you need passion to make a life. Someone with few skills but lots of passion is usually going to create more interesting art than a master technician who couldn't care less.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Christ, are you going to ask me about my pets? What are you going to ask me next, what animated cartoon character I'd like to be? I sort of collect books and blues CDs. No, I don't really "collect" them, I guess, I just kind of accumulate them, kind of unintentionally.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Oh my God! You did! You asked!

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I'm interested in social work, but I know I'd be clinically depressed and burnt out after two weeks. I don't know, really. Geez, isn't that pathetic? My only aspiration in life is to draw funny pitchers? Maybe a hostage negotiator. Just dabble in it, as a hobby.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
La Brea Tar Pits. I'm pretty sure I have at least three different kinds of mushrooms growing in different dark corners. And a family of raccoons in a filing cabinet. I'm not the most organized individual.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Piano, and I've just recently been learning how to play guitar badly. I've always wanted to know how to play the guitar badly.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
You better reeeeeally like it, because you're going to be spending at least a third of your life doing it, and probably not making much money doing it. But if you know you'd be happier with a job you're passionate about rather than one that will make you rich, that's great, you are more than half way to Enlightenment.

Who is your favorite artist?
There's a zillion, but Bill Watterson is definitely one.

What, no more questions? Is that it?!




Thanks again for your time Kirk.

Illustrator John Pound is up next.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Andy Riley - Cartoonist Survey #186


Photo credit: Niall McDiarmid




British author, comedy scriptwriter and cartoonist Andy Riley was born in 1970. He grew up in South East England in the town of Aylesbury and studied at Pembroke College, Oxford. He is the creator of the series of best-selling cartoon books that include: The Book of Bunny Suicides, Return Of The Bunny Suicides, Great Lies To Tell Small Kids, Loads More Lies To Tell Small Kids, D.I.Y. Dentistry, and his latest release, Selfish Pigs. Andy’s books have been published in fourteen countries with over one and a half million copies being sold. In addition to the books his cartoons have been printed on calendars, posters, greeting cards and there is even a Bunnycides iPhone app. For eight years he drew the weekly comic strip ‘Roasted’ for the Observer Magazine. ‘Roasted’ followed the adventures of three slackers, Karl, Lottie and Nev who work in a coffee shop, and has been collected in hardcover.

Andy teams up as a scriptwriter with Kevin Cecil, his friend since they attended Aylesbury Grammar School together. Together they have won two BAFTAS (British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards) for their work on the animated special 'Robbie The Reindeer' (2000) and the sitcom 'Black Books' (2005). The two also created and wrote the sitcoms 'The Great Outdoors' and 'Hyperdrive' for the BBC, and 'Slacker Cats' for the ABC Family Channel. Other television writing credits include 'Trigger Happy TV', 'Little Britain', 'So Graham Norton', 'The Armando Iannucci Shows', 'The Armstrong and Miller Show', 'Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show' and many more. Andy and Kevin’s most recent writing collaboration was on the feature-length CGI animated movie "
Gnomeo and Juliet" that is currently in production at Miramax, and the stop-motion animated movie "The Pirates!" for Aardman. To learn more about Andy visit his official website here. Note: A brand new Bunny Suicide book, Dawn of Bunny Suicides was recently released, however, I believe it is still only available in the UK. Here is a link to the order page of the publisher.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use little metal nibs which I dip in Indian ink. I never use anything except Indian ink when drawing in black.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I draw in pencil first, using an ordinary H pencil.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I don't normally use much colour, but when I do, I have a process: I take the black and white drawing, photocopy it onto watercolour paper, then colour it with watercolours.

What type of paper do you use?
Bristol board.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I'm not very good at drawing dogs. My dogs always look like little horses. But I am good at horses.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I go to art shops both large and small. I suppose I could order off websites, but when you're a cartoonist, it's nice to find excuses to get out of the house and meet people.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes, and podcasts. I will listen to every genre of music over a day or two drawing.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Cheeky Weekly, a long forgotten British comic of the late 70s.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
As a teenager, definitely Krazy Kat. Now I'm not so sure, but at the moment I'm really into the work of Lewis Trondheim.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Small Pig by Arnold Lobel. I still own the same copy I had when I was four.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I got a grade A in art O level at school. Does that count?

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Curse, because it's putting cartoonists out of work!

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My great uncle and great auntie, who had both been professional artists when they were younger.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I keep about five, so I can always find at least one of them at any time.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
No I haven't – but maybe it would be fun.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Oh, you need both, don't you? It's a bit like saying, what's more important for making an ostrich run, its left leg or its right leg?

Do you collect anything and if so what?
When I was a kid I collected walking sticks.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
A badger.

Are you a righty or lefty
Right.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Comedy scriptwriter – that's my other job anyway; I have two careers.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
The big angled board, and lots of light.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Appalachian dulcimer.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
If you're naturally versatile, then use that to your advantage. If like me you are not such a versatile artist, then use that to your advantage; and develop a style that is recognizably your own and nobody else's.

Who is your favorite artist?
William Heath Robinson.



Thanks again Andy!

Up next is political cartoonist Kirk Anderson.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Peter de Sève - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #185




Peter de Sève is an award winning illustrator and character designer. Born in New York in 1958, he graduated from the Parsons School of Design, NYC. His illustrations have appeared in many publications including Newsweek, Time, the New York Times Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Premiere. He has been creating cover art for The New Yorker since 1993. Peter recently collaborated on the children’s books The Duchess of Whimsy with his wife Randall de Sève who is an author. He is one of the foremost character designers in the animated-film industry having worked on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “The Prince of Egypt,” “Mulan,” “Tarzan,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Finding Nemo,” “Robots” and as the sole character designer on the “Ice Age” series.

His many awards include: a National Cartoonist Society Magazine Illustration Award, a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement on an Animated Television Series, a Clio Award, the Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators, Spectrum Annual of Fantastic Art gold medal and a Soleil d'Or award from the Festival de la BD Sollies Ville in France. A Sketchy Past, a collection of his sketches was recently published by Akileos and is available for purchase through Peter’s store. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and their two daughters. Check out his website and his blog. You can also see more of his work including sketches and a show reel over on his page at Hornet Inc.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I used to use a crowquill but now ink with a brush. When I sketch, I like the micron pens.

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

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Winsor and Newton inks.

What type of paper do you use?
Fabriano watercolor paper.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars, computers and cars. Oh, I said cars twice.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Big chain and have it delivered. But I find myself in little shops often.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Too many. One is making sure I have a clean folded paper towel under my brushes. Kooky.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Bad singer songwriter stuff and alternative instrumental.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Warren comics from the seventies and the Gwen Stacey Spider-Man arc drawn by Gil Kane.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Calvin and Hobbes bar none.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Comic books all of which I still own.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Art Students League in High School. Life Drawing.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
BOTH. That's why it's impossible to live without.

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Not really.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent without passion is useless.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Old toys, original artwork.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Bugs Bunny.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A neat bomb site.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Never ask an artist for "tips" in how to get work in the business and draw what you love to draw and find someone to pay you for it.

Who is your favorite artist?
The other piece of advice would be to never ask an artist who his favorite artist is. An impossible question at best.



Thanks for taking time away from your busy schedule Peter.

Next time on David Wasting Paper is British cartoonist, author and television screenwriter Andy Riley.