Now when you say my work, you mean my work when it’s Avengers right? Or just the times that I’ve ever drawn Wolverine right? What you mean to say is “I love Iron Man, but I love him a little more when you draw him. So draw him more, cause I don’t care about your work when it’s not him.” Am I right?
This is me not taking a complement well. Welcome to my brain.
Oh but thanks for liking my work. I could go on all fucking day with reasons I think one should like my work, but it would be a disgusting display. And then I could follow that with a day of why no one should like my work , and it would be equally bad.
Hi Dustin, I am an aspiring comic book artist, I'm currently working on writing/drawing/finding a way to publish my first comic and I was curious what your opinion is on getting the work out there? The internet is obviously the most readily accessible, but I personally love buying comics and holding them when I'm reading them so I'm torn even though I probably couldn't afford to print it myself. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.
I say make a web comic. If you’re web comic is good, I’m sure, at some point, you’ll be able to get it published in print. Publishers are doing print versions of web comics pretty regularly these days.
You can make your comic the way you want it. You won’t have to pitch your idea to a publisher to get it made. You can gain a following that will help with sales of the book… You won’t be making any money off of it, but hey, you didn’t mention that as being important.
Believe it or not, you and I are kind of in a similar place. I too want to be drawing and writing my own comics. I decided to start a couple web comics right here on tumblr. One of them I am making up as I go. How the fuck would I have pitched that to a publisher. I could just see me talking to Image, saying that I want to do a creator owned book. “Well what is it about?” “I don’t know yet. I’m literally going to make it up on the spot, page by page.” “Have you written any comics before this, so we can see if you are capable of this in any way?” “I wrote the Bebop and Rocksteady one shot.” “They did a Bebop and Rocksteady one shot?”
Have you read Watchmen and if so what were your overall thoughts in terms of it's characters, premise, artistry, and the technicality in making the images symmetrical to some degree.
What is this… “Watchmen”?
Seriously, yeah yeah, I love Watchmen. I’ve read it several times. It’s one of the best comics ever constructed. It’s genius. It’s been years since I last read it. I’d have to go back to it to get more analytical about it right now. So I hope it’s sufficient that I just say that I, like everyone else, think Watchmen is super good.
Side note: I’m also a big fan of From Hell. It’s at least just as good. It’s required reading.
Big fan of your work! Just wanted to know 3-5 titles you are currently reader and why? Thanks!
I don’t really follow any ongoing titles. I need an ending! That said there are some things I’m in the middle of reading.
Zipang by Kaiji Kawaguchi— It’s about a modern Japanese destroyer that get’s transported back in time to WW2. I’m reading it online whenever I have a chance, which isn’t to often. I think it’s super good. You can read it here. http://mangafox.me/manga/zipang/v01/c001/1.html
Kawaguchi has another book online that I recently read. It’s called Boku Wa Beatles. It’s premise is smiler to Zipang in that it’s got time travel in it. The idea is that a super good Beatles cover band gets zapped back to 1962, before the Beatles hit it big. So they start performing Beatles songs and taking credit for them. It’s a super good story idea. The only problem is that there is only one volume translated right now… Someone go translate some more Boku Wa Beatles for me! Read it here— http://www.mangahere.com/manga/boku_wa_beatles/v01/c001/2.html
I’ve been reading some Rocco Vargas books byDaniel Torres. Those are some cool books. I’m enjoying them a lot. It’s really cool to see how Torres’s style evolves. Lot’s of cool stylish drawing in a cool retro future world.
I’ve read 3 volumes of 20th Century Boys by Naoki Urasawa. I’ll keep reading, but I’m finding that I lose patience for Urasawa’s dragging stuff out. Switching between it and Zipang, I’ve much preferred Zipang. We’ll see if it wins me over.
I’m about to start reading Very Casual by Michael Deforge. I recently read Lose #5. It was the first stuff of his that I’ve read and I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading this book.
What was the hardest or time consuming project/comic you've ever worked on?
I worked on the King Kong movie adaptation and it was not great. Working on licensed properties can be fine, but they can also be totally lame is what I learned. The reason they can be so unpleasant is because you’re working for the people who own the property and often times those people don’t know what goes into making comics. In this case me and the folks at Dark Horse were answering to Universal Studios. They would ask for substantial script changes after layouts were approved and art was drawn. They would want characters redrawn. This was before the movie was out and they wouldn’t send me any reference. I literally drove from San Diego (where I lived at the time) to L.A. to sit in one of their offices with binders of reference and a sketch book because they didn’t want me to take pictures of it. It was crazy.
Contrast that with doing Star Wars, another licensed property, which was a great experience because Lucas Film knew what was up.
hey hey I just figured out that you are doing Amnia cycle of the cuff a la airtight garage,that is impressive shit. I love the loose quality of the work.I feel it gives an immediacy to the images and gives me a window into some of your influences(Gimenez,Otomo,Miller?) I have not had the chance to read it all but I have perused the pages and I dig what I see.
Hey! M.L. Mcdonald. I like your stuff here on tumblr a lot. Good work!
Um yeah yeah, Amnia Cycle is a kind of made up as i go comic, very much influenced by works like Airtight Garage, Like Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, and Ed The Unhappy Clown. Making a story this way feels like adventure. I hope I can pull it off.
And yeah, Gimenez and Otomo are pretty huge for me. Miller is an interesting thing to see in my work. I really loved his stuff when I was younger. Maybe his influence still lingers, but I never consciously think of him as a big influence,. Thinking of it right now though I realize I think of his work a lot. Not so much in the way he draws, but in the rhythm of his work. I flip through Dark Knight Returns or Electra Lives Again and it’s musical. I think about that often. But yeah, that’s interesting. I think you’re right.
Anyway, thanks so much for checking it out and giving me some feed back.
The level of detail in your illustrations is remarkable, but how do you decide when enough is enough? Do you just run out of room?
Hmm. It’s true. I do like detail, but I’m never putting in detail for the sake of detail, and I never run into the problem of knowing when to stop. It’s kind of just the way I see the world and the way my mind composes an image. I mean, the world is super detailed… I just try to draw what would be there, no more, and less only when it serves a storytelling purpose and not because I don’t feel like it.
Hey Dustin I'm a young artist whos on the verge of making the choice of going to an art school or not. DO you have any advice for art school or if I should go? I love your art btw and its amazing detail and great style!
Oh, man. I’m not a school guy. I never was. I was a horrible student. High school was miserable.I had zero interest in going to an art school. The words school and art just didn’t fit together in my head. I didn’t think I needed it. I was pretty determined and I felt confident that I could learn what I needed on my own. But there are a lot of people that have gone to art school, taken that education, and made great use of it. There are artists who enjoyed it and swear by it’s value. I’m just not one of them. I guess if you’re a person who learns well in school and are excited about learning things in art school then it’s probably going to be a good thing for you, but if there is a part of you that is like “yeah fuck that,” then maybe not. I don’t know.
Another thing to think about is the money! I don’t know how people afford school. Those student loans can fucking kill you if you aren’t financially ready for it. I’ve seen that happen to some people.
Could you list some of your favorite Manga's and tell us the impact they've had on your career?
My answer to this is a little long because my liking for manga has been on my mind lately.
Most of my comic reading is manga. I’m tempted to say that Japan is better at this medium than any other country. I am constantly astounded by the level of craft in manga. I would say that these days I am primarily a manga reader, but that has not always been the case. In fact, warming up to manga has been a gradual process that, looking back on it, I was a little resistant to.
The first manga I read was Ghost In The Shell by Masamune Shiro, back when Dark Horse was publishing it in single issues. It’s possible I didn’t even know it was a Japanese comic. The detail in Shiro’s work and the ease with which he appeared to be making it was really inspiring. I also really loved his layouts. In the mid 90’s, when my liking for superhero comics was waning, books like Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed kept me interested in comics. And, with their stronger focus on science fiction and action, they more represented comics that I would want to make.
Soon after discovering Shiro, I discovered the Epic Comics issues of Akira. Whatever liking I had for Shiro was completely eclipsed by my immediate love for Otomo. To this day, Akira is my favorite comic series and Otomo is one of the bigest influences over my work. I’m a big fan of all of his manga works. I encourage anyone to seek out the Otomo Anthology books. They haven’t been translated into english but they are so good!
Despite the fact that I liked Shiro and Otomo I didn’t return to manga for several years. I thought, for some reason, that that was probably the best manga had to offer and why dig any further… A pretty stupid assumption.
With some reluctance, I purchased and read A Tale Of The Future by Osamu Tezuka in 2003. I say with reluctance because his art, on a superficial level, was so different than what I had been interested in up to that point. I just couldn’t believe that I would connect with the material. I got the book because I had heard how good Tezuka was and how important a creator he had been. To my surprise, I thought the book was really great, but I was still skeptical of Tezuka. When I learned that Tale Of The Future was part of his series called Phoenix I decided to give the other volumes a try. Each story was completely different and surprisingly great. After reading maybe four or five volumes I finally became convinced of Tezuka’s greatness. Each book I’d read of his I’d find so surprising and so good. Picking up a Tezuka book was and still is such a treat to me. I really think he’s the best ever. Phoenix, Ode To Kirihito, and MW are some of my favorites.
The next manga I got into was Miyazaki’s Nausicaa. Miyazaki’s films are just so good, buying Nausicaa was a no-brainer. It’s one of my very favorite comics ever and a huge inspiration.
Even though I liked these manga creators, manga was not the form of comic I would turn to when looking for good comics. I liked those books but I wasn’t a manga person yet. I think that changed when I read Death Note in 2009.
I enjoyed Death Note a lot. I think it’s a really great comic and it became the real gateway into manga for me, I think because it was current and more typical of what manga has to offer. From there I started reading stuff by Naoki Urasawa, Junji Ito, Tsutomu Nihei, going back and reading things like Ranma 1/2, Dragon Ball, Drifting Classroom, and just looking to manga for my comics reading in general. There is just such a wealth of great stuff.
If I have to make a straight up list of favorite manga, it would go something like this:
Death Note- Ohba & Obata
Ode To Kirihito- Tezuka
Star Wars A New Hope- Tamaki
Zipang- Kawaguchi (I’m not done reading it yet, but I’m liking it that much)
Gundam The Origin- Yasuhiko
Knights of Sidonia- Nehei (I’m only 3 volumes in right now)
Return of the Jedi- Hiromoto
Venus Wars- Yasuhiko
I just started reading Asano Inio’s Oyasumi Punpun and holy shit.
The list goes on and on really. There is just a lot of good manga
…Manga isn’t all I read though. I read lots of comics.
Your Avengers 1,2,3,25,26,27 piece is absolutely amazing! You have done such a wonderful job presenting all the new characters on the 25/26/27 side, Abyss and Ex Nihilo are fantastic! I wish the art had been featured on the regular covers like it was for 1,2,3. Do you know if Marvel is planning to offer the entire print as a poster? If not, they really really should!!!! :)
Hey, thanks! I really like Jerome Opena’s designs for Abyss and Ex Nihilo. I enjoy drawing them.
And I have no idea if Marvel plans on doing a poster. I hope they do. I want one for myself.
i really loved ur Avengers #1,2,3,25,26,27 interlocking cover. thanku 4 that. can u tell me will that cover be extended more? like for second year? and can u tell me will other kind of cover of that same type for avengers is planned by u or not? or something like this epic cover thing? sorry 4 so many questnz i coudlnt cntrld myself. hahh thanku btw.
You know, I could see coming back to this piece in another year and taking it from a 180° to a 270°. But then I’d really have to do the full 360° It could be pretty fun. Right now I have no intention of doing it, I guess I feel like I got done what I set out to do and I’m done with it now, but I do think it could be cool. We’ll see, I guess.
As for other covers of this nature: I have done some other Avengers related covers, but nothing like these covers.