Archive | May 2014

Contrasts

Today I have two great news:

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Emerald Star announces a switch in their plans: Startburn takes top priority in their production schedule. Issue one is done and we are about to start Issue 2. Still no publishing schedule, but I guess that you will see it before 2014 ends. Starburn will be a 4 issues limited series brought to you by:

Created & Written: Kelly Bender
Illustrations: Brian Balondo
Inks: Cristian Docolomansky
Colors: Laura Lee
Letters: Nic J. Shaw

– The other good news is something you already know, which is the first release signing of the El Viudo book, a chilean webcomic turned into a printed book. We will be at ComicCon chile this weekend, specifically Sun Jun 1st, at 3PM, at the main hall, ANG Stand. Here are the pictures taken from the printer and the mock up copy. ©Oscar Salas/ Dogitía

 

Created & Written: Gonzalo Oyanedel
Illustrations: Rodrigo Campos / Juan Marquez
Inks: Cristian Docolomansky
Letters: Maycols Alfaro

So, two good news, right? After 4 years in the making of El Viudo, the book sees print. And Starburn looks very professional. I am glad to see finished products finally. It is very important, even capital, event in my life to see my work packed, printed, something you can see, despite the fact it would show not my best work, or even worse, a drastic evolution from the first page to the last page. Even thou, I see myself finally making some step forward. 

The contrast is when I face reality. My only goal in this craft is to be the best at it and fight for a gig in one of the Big Two. I would also love working for Image, and it would be great trying Zenescope, Valiant, Aspen or BOOM! and many others. Facing reality means that this is a titanic endeavor, even harder when you have the chance to talk face to face with top creators here and there and almost all of them uses the very same painful 5 word sentence:

“Inking is a dying artform”. Actually that was the subject of my first in-depth post for this blog.

Today I heard that sentence, once again and it won’t be the last.

I don’t know how the other inkers uses to deal with this. But it somehow hurts, feeling that all that work, investment and pages. Oh, God. Lots of pages. Lots of inking tests. Lots of them. Lots of hours. LOTS

Hurts that some day, maybe soon I will have to call it quits. But I am no quitter. But I need to take this off my system.

Everytime I write here I want to show you my best work, my best effort and my professionalism and I always think that making public my supposed inner doubts or even spoke my fears out loud must not find its place in here. Today I want to tell you that despite working in this wonderful craft which I fear for the moment I see myself failing at my dream.

Today I was told “I know the feeling”. Then, the artist put his hand in my shoulder giving me the “I am currently there” look.

Maybe it weren’t the words he said to me that left me wondering about my situation. It was the gesture, the feeling of sharing that after all the glamour and Mad Men-era office stories, despite the tales of creators as mythologic as their creations, beneath all that, there’s some buried feeling that all creators – but the successful ones – fear that this train may be leaving the station.

I will keep running, I will endure my work, making tests, moving portfolios, spending less and less. I can’t miss this train.

So, after all, this day of good news actually turns into a day of contrasts.

Bests

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Ink Test: Hulk by Silvestri + Process

Ink Test HULK Silvestri Combined

I have always wanted to ink this piece which was originally inked by Joe Weems for the Hulk AsUnder #1 for Marvel Comics. I love the results and I have always wanted to try to see how could I deal with such force and energy Marc drops in his pencils.

Materials: Hunt 102 nib, Windsor and Newton Series 7 and Raphael Kolinsky Brushes, Fine liner and some splattering effects.

Hope you like it.

Bests

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EL VIUDO Hits the stores

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Big announcement / Gran anuncio (First time writing in spanish):

After 4 years working on and off in this title, El Viudo, (Futuro Esplendor Publishings / Dogitía) the first two issued I have ever inked will hit the stores. Still are lots of releasing data to be announced, but the first contact with the readers will take place this year’s ComicCon Chile, this very next weekend. The book will be available at the ANG Chile Stand.

The book was created by Gonzalo Oyanedel and Oscar Salas, back in 2010. They asked Rodrigo Campos to be the penciler and he invited me to ink it. I was at the very VERY beginning of my career and last delivered page was actually last month, so you will see the whole evolution of the process of inking.

I have not received any copy so up until today I am not sure how it looks. But I have full confidence in the team that the book will look great and you’ll enjoy it. I am quite thrilled about it and I truly hope it will pay off.

Bests

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—-

Tras 4 años de trabajo con Gonzalo Oyanedel, Oscar SalasJuan Nitrox Márquez y Rodrigo Lindemann saldrá a la luz este fin de semana en el marco de Comic Con Chile – Sitio oficial del evento La Cueca del Manco. Los esperamos, este fin de semana, en el stand de ANG Chile.

slds

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Inking Test: Ed McGuiness + process

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I asked Ed McGuiness if I could take some pieces of his and give it a try. Here’s one of them for an upcoming portfolio.

Materials: Windsor and Newton Series 7 and Raphael Kolinsky Brushes, Fine liner.

Hope you like it.

Bests

CDC

 

 

Auction for a good cause

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Tomorrow will be our own FCBD. Actually, our second. First one was on the original FCBD but Shazam Comics, Chile’s greatest comic book store dedicated the day to help raise funds, comics and art supplies for the huge Valparaíso Fire, which took place last month and destroyed almost 2000 homes. They gathered as many comics as they could and sent it to Valparaíso to entertain the kids in these difficult moments. 

Tomorrow, May 24th there will be a second FCBD, where besides the usual things that you can find in these festivities, Shazam will set a Auction to collect money for the people that became homeless overnight. 

Next week the guys at Futuro Esplendor and Dogitia, will release El Viudo, which is my first comic book published and printed in Chile. I’ve been working with these guys for almost 4 years now and we decided to give one page to auction. This will be see print next week – if things helps. It’s from the second Issue called Las Coplas del Diablo (The Devil’s Couplet) and it’s page 10.

The penciler was Rodrigo Campos, one of the guys who i have inked most pages in my carreer, who is actually quite silent artistically speaking, but he’s still missed.

Hope that it will raise good money for a good cause. 

Bests

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What’s been going on since last month

Hi, there:

Last month was the busiest I h… (uh, first, let me get some coffee, it’s raining outside, so Earth is telling me to get coffee) brb.

… ok… better.

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Like I said, las month was the busiest one however I had to start doing some freelance work on design, my previous carreer. Money was running out and it came just in time to pay some things and making some savings once again. I was in charge with this piece of beauty for Chile’s finest mining fair. After that I did some AutoCAD Blueprints and the I was in charge in other stand. Not that I missed being involved in design duties but I felt comfortable.

But my place is here, inking. For that it has been an interesting month:

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1) I finished inking Kelly Bender’s Starburn Issue #1, over Brian Balondo‘s pencils. Remember that I accepted this back end project for Emerald Star Comics not for the money, but the project. Kelly is a great writer and one of the closest acquaintances in comics and Brian is a great penciler. The surprise was Laura Lee, the colorist who added the look of Leinil’s colorist over our work. Issue #1 looks terrific and can’t wait for you to see.

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2) I sent around my Top Cow themed portfolio, which included inked tests over Marc Silvestri, Luis Inzunza, Eric Balsadua and jorge Molina’s pencils. Hopefully that some one at Top Cow likes it, but I have not stopped ever since. Here you can take a look at it:

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3) I may have several new projects starting June, working with great pencilers as Ruairi Coleman, Luis Inzunza (for a chilean publisher and another abroad which makes me very proud of it if we have success) and the next Starburn. Besides, I may have news soon from my lettering side in the The Urban Legend comic. So, Maybe I’ll be quite busy next month:

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4) … and kept doing samples to keep my hand warm.

So, I hope to be able to be around more often and tell you what’s going on.

See you around

Bests

CDC

 

Which Way is Up – by Le Beau L. Underwood

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I read this on my 4 day trip to southern Chile. And it says perfectly what I am sensing what is to be at the bottom of this pyramid.
 
Le Beau L. Underwood is a killer inker who had worked for DC Comics, Marvel, Image Comics, you name it. He is one of the most accessible known inkers I have known or read. you can see him on Stormwatch, Red Hood and The Outlaws and BatWing. He is a member of the Comicbook Inker Facebook Page, where he uses to post inks tests, ink jobs and his thoughts on being an inker in a manner that you can understand the reality of the inker. Besides he’s accesible enough to give good comments about your own work and receive good comments. 
 
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Here , with his permission is an article he posted on April 23th, called “Which Way is Up”. Take a read. It’s very interesting:
 
I wanted to post something here that I posted on my blog a few days ago, I am hoping that many of you can gain some insight from it. I apologize in advance for its length. 
Which way is up?
Yeah, I know this is the title of a famous (one of my personal favorites) Richard Pryor movie, but the question applies to many in the comic book industry, and one that I ask myself frequently.
See, I feel as if I’ve hit a wall. Not in my work; that takes CONSTANT refinement and effort. I mean, regarding OPPORTUNITY.
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Just to be clear: the hardest part of the comic book industry is not breaking in, it’s staying in. As an inker, it is doubly more difficult. A trend now is more and more publishers are opting to go straight from pencils to colors, so this eliminates opportunities for inkers, both newcomers and established professionals. Only a select few inkers are consistently working. What does this mean, overall? Well, just in my opinion, an inker would be better served by either teaming up with a solid penciler, or become a penciler him/herself. I see many aspiring inkers who suffer from delusions of grandeur ( I did, too) by thinking that somehow, they will manage to overshoot many established pros. I won’t say that that will not happen, but I will say that it is highly unlikely, due to several factors. One: established inkers have proven their ability to not only deliver professional-level work consistently, but they have also established great relationships with their editors. So, when those editors have an opening, they will most likely call upon those who they KNOW can deliver the job. That would be an established professional, not a newcomer, simply because because they are an untried source.
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So, how does one overcome this?
I know a lot of aspiring inkers do not want to hear this, but start SMALL. Meaning: work at smaller publishers, first. This will help you become familiar with the work ethic required to compete at DC or Marvel. Also, you will build a body of published work. Believe it or not, editors DO look for stuff like that. Rarely will a newcomer be offered a gig on the spot with no prior experience, especially nowadays. Put your ego aside: DC Comics and Marvel have both been around for many years, and it is HIGHLY unlikely that they are going anywhere soon, so the opportunity will always be there to shop your work to them at that time. Too many times, aspiring inkers allow their egos to get in the way of their progress (again, it has happened to me). The best bet is to learn from those who are doing this for a living, and incorporate your own perspective into your work.
 
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Also, keep one VERY important fact in mind: you are not competing with the worst, but the BEST that the industry has to offer. Inkers such as Scott Williams, Danny Miki, Jonathan Glapion, John Dell and Mark Morales (among many others) set the bar VERY, VERY high. You are going up against guys like these for the bigger gigs. No editor is going to hire you if you cannot match or surpass them. Period.
But again, this brings me back to the question I posed above: which way is up? I’m a bit of an odd duck, in the sense that, I’ve been in the business for roughly 18 years, total. Beginning with small press work to clients such as DC Comics, Marvel Enterprises, Image Comics and others. So, I am good enough to work for either publisher (and have), yet still haven’t quite landed that ‘dream gig’.
I’ve got the experience, the knowledge and ability. That much is proven.
All I can do, and all ANY of you can do, is persevere and remain diligent. Refine your craft and always seek to grow in your knowledge. The opportunities will present themselves…..
….but, it never hurts to learn another craft while you are waiting. 

My experience, which you can take a look reading my posts here sums the first part of the article. I am working for several indie publishers (BlueWater Productions, Emerald Star, ECV Press, Bad Cog) and despite the fact that they are american publishers, still I have to deal with back end projects, free but still going to print work, moving schedules, but lots of offers. They are the base of the pyramid where I can gain pages, not a salary. I planned to devote one year as an inker to break in comics, but I am on the second year and still there are scheduled to be published many comics, so the road is windy and full of excitement. 

Thanks Le Beau because you have shown how difficult it is and it’s getting me more motivated. 

Bests

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