Draw! # 31 (magazine review)

December 29, 2015 | By | Reply More

The great thing about ‘Draw!’ magazine is that you get to see a lot of work from specific comicbook artists, with a couple extensive interviews. This includes a lot of their preliminary leading to their final work and comments on same. If you’re an artist or wannabe, this kind of insight is gold dust in appreciating how things are done in the pro-world. In my youth, I used to think that everything was drawn straight to page and you got it right in one. I suspect that was true of most of comic fandom’s amateur artists. Seeing the amount of time they spend on layouts before getting down to the final illustrations should remove that myth if you sights are in this direction.


J.G. Jones does a lot of comicbook covers, notable amongst these are for ‘Doc Savage’ although we also see a lot of material for ‘Strange Fruit’ comicbook that he drew and painted from a Mark Waid script and the freedom of the black slaves. There are also a lot of useful information along the way. I knew cheap paints have a tendency to bleach in the sun but I wasn’t aware that it could also happen to Dr. Martin’s designer watercolours. Mind you, the odd times I experimented with them, I never left the finished paintings exposed to the sunlight. If you have any originals on your walls containing them, then I suggest you do something about your lighting arrangements. There’s also a sharp reminder for those of you who are seeking a career in art in any format that even with a degree it’s a hard road. It’s also nice to know that Jones was influenced by Andrew Loomis’ books when young with an emphasis that you need to draw from life rather copy out of comicbooks. Likewise, there’s a sharp warning that if you do break into the industry, it plays havoc with your married and social life, especially as life is full of tight deadlines and late night working.

Jerry Ordway shows off his comicbook cover work and sometimes doing two versions of a cover, that of the editor’s design and then his own interpretation, the latter at his own cost of time against money. Although only one cover was paid for, it was his version that was used. Seeing the samples here, I can understand the change in dynamics. It also brings out an invariable truth that art editors know what they want but not necessarily explain it adequately. If you’re in the industry, check with your editor if you can do this though.

There’s also an interview with Khoi Phan, who broke into the comicbook industry in his 30s and whose work is mostly digital now. Although I think his work is largely stylised, I like his quick warm-up digital sketches, helped along by a paint fill.

Mike Manley and Brett Blevins give several pages of tips in ‘Comic Art Bootcamp’ for those who want to break into the industry. It goes without saying that you need to live and breathe drawing and to have as varied a portfolio to show samples of as possible. Everything has to interest you because you can be sure that tiny break will come from something you might have drawn in passing that will appeal to any art editor. Jamar Nicholas looks at Japanese art supplies and although you don’t necessarily have to go to Tokyo to buy them, knowing what kinds of pens or brushes to look out for to try out is always useful to know.

If you haven’t discovered ‘Draw!’ before then you’re missing out on a wealth of information that can help the amateur and pro-artist alike and if you just like looking at the art and how it’s done, then you’ll be equally happy.

GF Willmetts

December 2015

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 8.95 (US). ISBN: 82658-27764-2. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 7.61 (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com and http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_59&products_id=1199&zenid=22bdfd0ac0ba81afc98e53d0c20f79d6

Category: Comics, Magazines

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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