Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Part 2 of My Interview with Artist Tomás Morón

I've been getting some nice e-mails and comments about my story. Thanks. (And keep 'em coming.)

But now, as promised, here's the second part of my interview with artist Tomás Morón. THIS PORTION CONTAINS SPOILERS. So if you haven't read the story yet, mouse your way over to the right and click on the story icon, read it, and then come back. (You'll be glad you did.)

I’m interested in your thoughts on the story “The Customer Is Always Right.” What do you remember about your first reaction to the script?

First, I thought it was a great story, and with 5 pages, the characters and the situations were great, too. And it has a werewolf!

Can you explain your approach to designing the characters in "Customer"?  What were some of the things that stood out--that drew you in? 

First, I read your desciptions and tried to approach the words and the sense they gave me. In the Ben character, I tried to reflect his fatigue for his situation and how desperate he was. In Donny, I tried to do the same--but with a character with low moral values and who does illegal things--so I tried to give him a threatening look. I hope I got it.

Oh, yes. Definitely. In bringing this story to life, what were some of the influences you drew from?

I don´t know, but I think I remember some of the Creepy issues or Terror stories from the seventies with that B&W and grays that were so strong.

Was there a part of the story that was more challenging than other parts?

Well, on the fourth page, many things happened, and it was hard for me to draw the panel where Ben faints, hits the table, and Donny stands up.

You've been drawing and teaching comics for awhile now: What kinds of classes do you teach? 

I've taught for 15 years, and I've done a bit of everything. I teach classes on comics, inking, manga, and some years ago, history of comics. But now I do comics, inking, and manga.

What are some of the key things you stress to your students?

First of all, they have to think before drawing. And the most important part of comics is having the right layout to tell the story. If the panel or page don't work for the story, it is useless.

Does teaching illustration force you to raise your skills? I would think you'd feel a need to stay ahead of your students.

Yes, and if I discover some new technique or some new tools, I tell them and try to teach them the best I can. And I try to teach them how you have to interview with editors and how to show your portfolio and what you have to put in it.

What kinds of advice do you have for artists just getting started?

First, they must know that the job is great, but it means working many hours and you need to have a strong attitude. It's also important that you try to never fail to meet a deadline.

Who are some of the writers you would like to work with?

Robert Kirkman, Alan Moore, Dan Slott, Geoff Johns, and, of course, TDR Bach.

And finally, would you like to list some of the things you've worked on in the past and what you are working on now?

Well, in the comic field, I've worked for several Spanish and foreign publishers. I worked for Comicon doing the comics from Digimon for Germany. I did the inks for a Conan story for Marvel Italy, and worked in pocket comics for Semic with characters like Zembla. I also did a short story for an anthology published by Narwain Publishing from a Shannon Denton script as well as the comic prequel for the movie Zoom, Academy for Superheroes, published by Viper Comics. And finally this year, I was a part of an anthology named Fairy Tales that Chris Stevens edited and that was born in the Digital Webbing forums. I've also worked in publicity doing cartoons, children's illustrations, storyboards, etc. And now I’m working on children's illustation for Vimartic and doing a graphic novel for Kickstart comics.

Tomás Morón is also the artist on "The Customer Is Always Right," which you've hopefully read by now. (If not, click the link above.) Check out his fine work here:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Interview with Artist Tomás Morón, Part 1

It's my pleasure to present to you the first part of a two-part interview with my Customer partner in crime, Tomás Morón, who provided the spectacular art that goes with my words. You can check out his work here:

In this first part of our conversation, we discuss his influences, his technique, and his tools of the trade. BTW,if you haven't read our story yet, check it out to the right.

Let’s talk about your early influences: How did you get interested in drawing comics?

Well, I don’t remember exactly but I wanted to draw comics since I was a child. I always had a pencil in my hands and drawing all day. But the first time I remember wanting to do comics was when I first reading the Bruguera and Vertice comics (these were Spanish publishers with characters like Mortadelo, Superlopez; and Vertice did the Marvel Spanish editions) and the Mazinguer anime.

What are some of your favorite comics of all time?

There are so many, but some of I never tire of reading are Conan the Barbarian, from Barry Windsor-Smith and the early John Buscema issues; Mutant World, and all of Richard Corben's stuff; all of Alan Moore's Superman stories and some of the John Byrne issues. And some more current ones, such as Ultimates (the Millar issues), Ultimate Spider-Man, and Preacher. Garth Ennis rules!

Who are some of your biggest artistic influences from art, comics, film, etc.?

I think one of my big influences is John Buscema, but some of the others are Corben, Mike Wieringo, Carlos Pacheco, and, one of my friends, Juan Santacruz.

What comic books are you reading now or have recently read?

I’m waiting for every new issue of Invincible, The Walking Dead, Scalped, and Ultimate Spider-Man.

Now I’d like to know a little about how you draw. How do you begin working on a story? For example, do you highlight the script, take notes, then maybe sketch?

First, I read the script and began doing some little sketches for some of panels. And then I looked for some pictures for references for the guns, cars, of some real places, etc. I do the first layout of the pages, and then I do an scan of it and print in a big size to use like sketch for the final pencils. I use a light box for that, and when all is approved by the writer or publisher, I do the inks with brush and pens.

What kind of tools do you use? Do you work on paper or on a computer tablet?  What kind of pens, paper, etc., do you use?

I use paper for the drawing but the fx or the greys tones I do with the computer and my tablet, a Wacom. My pencil is a 2H, and if I have time, I like to ink with brush, “ Da Vinci “ number 2. If I have less time, I ink with pens of different sizes of Unipin line. The paper is Geler Mate.

How long does it normally take you to do a page?

With the first layout through the inks, maybe 1 or 2 days.

Your grayscale coloring is fantastic: it provides the story with a rich, deep luster.

Well, I like the Corben grayscales, and I try to do the same sense of volume and ambience.


Next time we'll talk about the story itself and get into the grisly guts of storytelling.