Friday, October 26, 2012

Bob Almond - Cartoonist Survey #274

Bob Almond is a professional inker, columnist and creator of the Inkwell Awards. He was born in Seoul, South Korea in January of 1967 and moved to the US soon after. He began his life-long love of comics at the age of nine when he started reading Marvel comics. His favorite comic series was The Avengers, which featured the artwork of George Perez. Bob, along with his brother Mike and a few like-minded friends, created their own comic book group in 5th grade called ‘Torpedo Comics’. Together they created comics based on their own characters. Bob worked on these homemade comic books, gaining valuable experience, up until his sophomore year of high school. After high school he studied at the University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth where he graduated with a BFA in Illustration in 1990.

He spent the next two years after college sending out penciling and inking samples. Finally, with the help of Bernie Wrightson and Jim Starlin, Bob broke into the business inking Marvel’s Warlock and the Infinity Watch. He worked on Warlock and the Infinity Watch until 1994 when he moved on to other titles for Marvel including Black Panther, Silver Surfer, Star Masters and Nova. Throughout the 90’s Bob worked on numerous titles for most of the leading comic book publishers such as Malibu, Penny-Farthing, Acclaim, Marvel and DC. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Power of Prime, Siren, Foxfire, Ultragirl, Mission Impossible, JLA, Bloodshot, Metal Men, Batman: No Man's Land Secret Files, Decoy and The Victorian are just a few of the comic books he contributed to during this time.

The 2000’s were also a busy time for Bob, with runs on Aquaman, Captain Gravity and the Power of the Vril, JSA: All Stars, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Perhapnauts, Annihilation: Conquest- Quasar, Vampirella: Revelations, Danger’s Dozen, Saga Six and many others. Bob’s inking of Sal Velluto’s pencils from 1999 to 2002 on Black Panther earned him two Squiddy Awards and an Ook Award for Best Inker. In addition to comic books his artwork has been used by TwoMorrows Publishing’s for “The Jack Kirby Collector” and also in many of the DK Publishing comic related books such as "The DC Comics Encyclopedia", "The Marvel Encyclopedia", "Fantastic Four: The Ultimate Guide” and “Avengers: The Ultimate Guide".

Besides inking, Bob is a columnist with an encyclopedic knowledge about everything comic book related. He has written many articles for Krause Publications’ “Comics Buyers Guide” and has been a regular contributor to Sketch Magazine, writing the column ‘Inkblots’.

In 2008, in an effort to bring more attention to the craft of inking, Bob founded the Inkwell Awards. 2012 marks the 5th year of this wonderful award whose mission is “to educate and inform the community about the craft of comic book inking, and to recognize it's artists, all for the celebration and advancement of the artform.” The Inkwell Awards website is a great resource which not only lists all of the past winners with quotes from the recipients, but also has links to art supplies, interviews, tutorials and much more.

Bob lives in New Bedford, MA and is a proud husband and father. Be sure to visit his Bob Almond Inkwell website to learn more about him and see much more of his work. His website also has a store where you can purchase autographed prints, original artwork and other goodies. You can also follow Bob on Facebook and Twitter. Want to meet Bob in person? You’re in luck as he will be appearing at the Rhode Island Comic Con on November 3-4 and at the Albany Comic Con November 11th.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use brush (Raphael Kolinsky or WN series 7 sable) or markers (Sakura Micron markers and Pitt markers). Sometimes I use a quill Hunt 102.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
As an inker almost exclusively, I do very little drawing. But I use a standard pencil when I do.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I have done very limited digital coloring in Photoshop.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
The only coloring by hand I have done was in school (acrylic and oil paints, guache, pastel, Prismacolor pencils, etc.)

What type of paper do you use?
Usually supplied to me by the publisher or pencil artist to ink on. They tend to be Strathmore bristol 2-ply board of various levels of quality.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
A local art supply store for almost everything.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Usually TV. But if I play my iPod the eclectic range can be from classic rock, hard rock, heavy metal, pop, easy listening, alternative, R&B, you name it!

What was the first job as a cartoonist/illustrator that you were paid for?
Warlock & the Infinity Watch for Marvel Comics in 1992.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Marvel Comics and especially Avengers.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
The Amazing Spider-Man when by Stan lee and John Romita.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I majored in Illustration at the art college at UMass: Dartmouth, formerly known as Southeastern Massachusetts University.

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

Did either of your parents draw?

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Of other artists’ sketches....not my own.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I taught sequential art which involves storytelling, drawing, and inking at an adult learning center as well as inking at a high school for students at risk.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Discipline is, which probably leans more towards passion than talent.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I've collected comic books since the age of nine.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Something else related to the comic book industry.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A bedroom was converted to a studio with two drawing tables, art supplies/inking tools, lateral file drawers, a personal copy machine, books shelves, TV, art and/or prints hanging up and a few collectibles scattered about.

Do you play any musical instruments?

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Patience, perseverance, and passion (oh, and that discipline I mentioned above, just doesn't fit in for the alliteration).

Who is your favorite artist?
I was originally inspired by George Perez....he's the reason I wanted to get into comics. Since then I've admired many artistic heroes and can't limit it to just one: Bernie Wrightson, Adam Hughes, Michael Golden, Jack Kirby, Jim Starlin, Frank Miller, Neal Adams, Gene Day, John Byrne, Jim Steranko, Jeff Jones, Mike Perkins, Howard Chaykin, Makr Texeira, Alex Ross, Tom Raney, and many more. My inking influences include Joe Rubenstein, Terry Austin, Mark Farmer, Klaus Janson, Tom Palmer, Bob Layton, and many I'm surely forgetting.

Thanks again for participating Bob!

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