Draw #34 winter 2018 (magazine review).

The opening of Draw # 34 has a massive 32 page interview with artist Greg Hildebrandt where he explains how he and his twin brother, Tim, did various creative pursuits before falling into illustration. Doing the poster for 1976 ‘Star Wars’ film at short notice and time sort of cemented themselves into the industry. Mike Manley’s interview is revealing on the various influences they both have. I hadn’t realised until now that we both use Liquitex acrylics when painting. It looks like I’m going to have to explore Dioxazine Purple as a black substitute. Some of the things that come out is never to believe in absolutes and experiment. More so as there’s a lot of misinformation out there, often from pro-artists. A very informative interview.

Jerry Ordway shows how he constructs a Batman montage although I do have to wonder at his customer wanting to having something constructed from old existing imagery than something with a bit more of the Ordway touch.

The 30 page interview with comicbook artist Brad Walker reveals a lot about the current state of business of creating a comicbook page. Mike Manley and him really talk shop on this and some powerful insights. I agree with him on expensive price of PhotoShop but do wonder why he thinks Manga Studio (now called Clip Studio for those who want to buy it) is expensive as it’s a fraction of the price. With so many digital software having similar devices these days, maybe more artists need to explore them more. Then again, I do see Walker’s problem in that he hasn’t got the time or knowledge to learn any of them in depth. Something I hadn’t realised was just how strong the light from a lightbox was if you intend copying onto Bristol board. I did have a ponder on this and wondered why the design wasn’t just enlarged, scanned and printed onto the paper on a light grey or black and white setting. Surely, that would cut the time down a lot. Likewise, aren’t there any courses editors can take to understand panel continuity better? Reading that currently Marvel Comics don’t have any editors with an artistic background is very worrying. I was also appalled at the abuse artists get on-line over their work from so-called ‘fans’. If any of those people are reading here, which I doubt, then get your own portfolio ready and break into the industry if you think you can do better.

Mike Manley and Brett Brevins hands over most of their ‘Comic Art Bootcamp’ to some 14 other artists for their tips. It’s hardly surprising so many said get as much life study drawing done as possible. Oddly, where they all describe flipping a picture to look for mistakes, none of them suggest looking at it in a mirror.

Finally, Jamir Nicholas looks at the new Wacom Mobilestudio Pro, a device that can be used independently of a computer. Not very keen on the price but it’s always useful to know what’s out there.

If you’re into comicbook art and want to see the preliminary designs then ‘Draw!’ is essential for the amateur and pro alike. There’s a lot to learn here about the art and the industry which should make you better prepared.

GF Willmetts

February 2018

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 8.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6882. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 7.61 (US))

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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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