Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Joshua W. Cotter
















Joshua W. Cotter splashed onto the small press comix scene in 2004, with his self published comic Skyscrapers of the Midwest. Cotter’s distinct “old-time-y” style of meticulously rendering his cartoons in black ink cross hatches, and little, scratchy lines hearkens to old underground comics of the 1960’s & 70’s.. His character’s are sometimes anthropomorphic, or humans with “cartoon animal” characteristics. Skyscrapers of the Midwest explores the trauma of childhood, and limitless imagination of two brothers growing up in the American Heartland .

After the collected edition hard-cover of Skyscrapers of the Midwest was published, Cotter would chronicle a difficult period of his life in his next book, Driven by Lemons, both published by AdHouse.

Today, you can follow updates of Cotter’s next comic, Nod Away, on the website, Study Group Comics. It’s a sci-fi drama/character study about a scientist working on a mysterious A.I. project up in a space station called USS Integrity. This story, and another that Cotter is currently working on will be the meat of his next book, also titled Nod Away.

You can learn more about Cotter’s process, and see more of his art on his tumblr site here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 12/18/14 under artists,cartoon,comic,illustrationfriday,Interviews,pen/brush and ink,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Leslie Stein











Artist/musician/bartender/comics brew-master Leslie Stein has been making comics since the early 2000’s. She started making her comics by cutting & pasting construction paper into colorful silhouettes. Her work has continued to morph, and evolve over the years. Today, you can see how she’s broken down her characters, and stories into minimal line work, expressive colors, and animated typography!

Leslie Stein began self-publishing her personal anthology Eye of the Majestic Creature in 2004. The series stars her cartoon alter ego Larrybear(along with a colorful cast of characters based off of real life friends), and has transformed over the years from mostly fictional stories to semi-autobiographical stories, today.

Fantagraphics Books has published two collections of Stein’s comics, and is publishing a collection of her Diary Comics in 2015.

You can read new, regularly updated Diary Comics on Leslie’s tumblr site here, and VICE features a weekly comic by her, as well.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 11/26/14 under artists,cartoon,comic,illustrationfriday,Interviews,papercuts/silhouettes,pen/brush and ink,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Noah Van Sciver

















Cartoonist Noah Van Sciver has been crafting his own special brand of throwback indy comix since the mid-2000’s. His one man anthology, Blammo, is up to issue #9, and it would fit quite comfortably between classic Eightball’s & Yummyfur’s on the funny book racks! It was with Fantagraphics’ critically acclaimed anthology series, Mome, that Noah started to reach a wider audience, and soon after that his first graphic novel would be published; The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln. Van Sciver was born in New Jersey, but has lived in Denver, CO for most of his adult life, where his oft times publisher Kilgore Books & Comics is located.

AdHouse Books recently published a collection of his comics titled Youth is Wasted, and Fantagraphics has 2 more upcoming projects with Noah in 2015: Saint Cole & Fante Bukowski.

Noah has been nominated multiple times for an Ignatz Award(which is sort of like an Oscar for Small Press comics…), and has had his work featured in the prestigious Best American Comics annual.

You can check out more of Noah Van Sciver’s comics like his day-to-day “Diary Comics”, and other serialized stories on his tumblr site here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 10/24/14 under artists,cartoon,comic,illustrationfriday,Interviews,pen/brush and ink,questions,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Julia Gfrörer












Julia Gfrörer studied illustration at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts before graduating with a double major in printmaking and painting. She was encouraged to get into making comics by her good friend, the late comics historian, publisher & cartoonist ,Dylan Williams. She started off making a few hand made zines like Ariadne auf Naxos, and Stupid Tales of Wolverine, but then found great critical success with her comic Flesh and Bone, published by Sparkplug Books. Tonally, her work is deeply rooted in Victorian gothic horror, and classic Medieval romances. I see a lot of David Lynch rubbing off in her stories, and a little Larry Clark in her raw approach to sex.

Her graphic novel, Black is the Color, was published by Fantagraphics in 2013. Her work has also appeared in The Thickness comics anthology, Arthur Magazine, Study Group Magazine, Black Eye, and The Best American Comics collection.

Julia Gfrörer also writes a regular comics analysis column for the Comics Journal called Symbol Reader. You can follow that here.

You can order Julia Gfrörer’s latest zine, Palm Ash, and get the latest news on her website here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 09/24/14 under artists,comic,illustrationfriday,Interviews,pen/brush and ink,questions,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Farel Dalrymple










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Farel Dalrymple is a comics illustrator who’s been relentlessly chugging away at his craft for the last dozen years, or so.. His brand new graphic novel, The Wrenchies, takes place in the same post-apocalyptic future as his previous work, It Will All Hurt, and follows a group of kids who have to fight the evil shadowsmen to survive. Farel’s unique style reminds me a little of Maurice Sendak, and Tim Burton, but still wholly his own voice. The Wrenchies is an exciting work, in that it represents an artist reaching a new level of excellence in their craft.

Farel is also co-founder of the New York based Meathaus art collective, as well as a regular contributor to the Portland based Study Group Comics Magazine. He recently had a collection of early work, sketchbook art & rarities published by AdHouse Books, titled Delusional. He was recently a part of the stable of great artists that contributed their hand to the recent Prophet comic book relaunch, written & curated by Brandon Graham.

His early comics work, Pop Gun Warwas a Xeric Grant winner and won a gold medal from The Society of Illustrators.

You can follow the latest Farel Dalrymple news on his website here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 09/10/14 under artists,comic,illustrationfriday,Interviews,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Malachi Ward

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Malachi Ward has been building up steam in the small press comics world the last few years. His latest release, Ritual 3: Vile Decay, has been met with critical acclaim, and he continues his strong creative collaboration with writer/artist/friend Matt Sheean on their self-published title, Expansion, and Prophet from Image Comics. His earliest works, Utu & Scout, introduced his distinctive character-driven, surreal, sci-fi stories to readers, and you can find similar themes explored in his paintings, as well.

Malachi Ward was raised in Yucaipa, California, and studied drawing & painting in college. Some of his biggest influences growing up included Calvin and Hobbes, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Spider-man comics. He currently lives in South Pasadena, CA with his wife Keiko.

Malachi will be attending the San Francisco Zine Fest this coming Labor Day weekend, Small Press Expo in North Bethesda, MD on September 13th & 14th, and Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco on October 4th & 5th. His work with Matt Sheean continues in Prophet Strikefile, hitting comics shops in the next few weeks.

You can order a copy of Ritual 3: Vile Decay at the Alternative Comics website.

You can follow Malachi Ward on his tumblr site here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 08/27/14 under artists,illustrationfriday,Interviews,weekly topics
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Lauren R. Weinstein










Lauren R. Weinstein is a cartoonist, illustrator, and graphic storytelling teacher based out of New Jersey. Her work is distinct in it’s raw, humorous approach to the human condition, and sometimes ventures into the realm of a dark, surreal head trip. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis, her first comics would start popping up in various publications like the Seattle Stranger, and Then, a few years, she would debut the critically acclaimed Inside Vineyland, her first collection of comics. Girl Stories, a memoir of her teenage years, and the over-sized Goddess of War, a tale about the God of Thunder’s great-granddaughter’s exploits, would soon follow.

Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Glamour,, Lucky Peach, and Kramer’s Ergot.

She was a recipient of the Xeric Foundation’s grant for self-publishing comics for Inside Vineyland, and her comics have been featured in The Best American Comics book series twice.

She is currently teaching at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and working on her next graphic novel, a follow-up to Girl Stories.

You can read her latest work Carriers, a very personal webcomic about a very serious health situation with her unborn child, and the life lessons she took away from that experience.

You can keep up with the latest news, and see more of Lauren R. Weinstein’s art on her website.

Click here to read my interview with Lauren R. Weinstein.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 07/02/14 under artists,comic,Interviews,weekly topics
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Illustrator Jim Rugg

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Jim Rugg is an illustrator, graphic designer, comics artist, and visual narrative instructor at the School of Visual Arts. He broke into the comics scene in 2004 with the publication of his comic book Street Angel from Slave Labor Graphics, which he created, and co-wrote with friend Brian Maruca. Since that time Rugg has worked on a number of high profile comics projects including The Guild for Dark Horse, The Plain Janes for DC/MINX, and more recently, Adventure Time for Boom! Studios. He’s also contributed cover illustrations for LA Weekly, Sleazy Slice, and IDW’s G.I. Joe Special Missions. In 2009 AdHouse Books published his Street Angel spin-off, Afrodisiac, to much critical acclaim, and next month will see the release of the new Street Angel hardcover collection.

Jim Rugg’s art has been exhibited at Iam8bit, Gallery1988, Mondo, and the Society of Illustrators. His work has been honored with an Ignatz Award for outstanding achievement in cartooning, and AIGA’s 50 Books/50 Covers Selection for best designed books.

You can see more of Jim Rugg’s work on his website.

You can read more about other great artists working in comics at my website here.

Posted by Andy Yates on 06/06/14 under artists,comic,editorial submissions,Interviews
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81 Audio Interviews with Illustrators, Art Directors, and Art Reps


During the years 2009-2012, Illustrator Thomas James recorded 81 in-depth interviews with Illustrators, Art Directors, and Art Reps about the business of illustration. The Escape from Illustration Island series proved to be immensely popular due to its broad-ranging look at the industry and its long list of well-known guests such as Dave McKean, Drew Struzan, Christoph Niemann, Josh Cochran, and Marshall Arisman, just to name a few.

Even though the series released its final episode in September 2012, it is still a valuable source of knowledge and insight about the business of freelance illustration, and you can still enjoy all 81 episodes while working in your studio.

For your convenience, you can find a comprehensive archive of all 81 episodes here.

Posted by Thomas James on 05/23/14 under Interviews
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This week we had the pleasure of catching up with Scott Brundage. Scott is an editorial illustrator best known for his humorous paintings, often involving a monkey. He also does book covers, bar mitzvahs, and birthdays.

Hi! Thanks for joining us on Illustration Friday, where we sketch to new words/topics every week. We like to draw on Fridays. What do you do to keep up your chops when not working on client work?

At any given time, I have 2-5 sketchbooks in various states of completion. I tend to collect them habitually and if a certain book has a cool texture/paper type/tone I’ll probably buy it. I try to keep 2 or 3 with me in a bag so I can sketch in transit or whenever I have downtime. Mainly brainless observational or stream of consciousness drawings or a blend of both. Plenty of pages begin with the old lady sitting across from me, then end with that old lady being courted by a minotaur.   Similarly, I try to pick up new media when I have open time in my schedule. I picked up a bunch of inks and dyes then made a series of small paintings of scraps of whatever paper I had in my studio. Basically trying anything but my usual paint and usual brand of watercolor paper. Made a nice bunch of glorious failures (mostly monkey pictures), but NOW I can incorporate a lot of it into my work


More practically, I have, on more than one occasion, gotten so wrapped up in one particular project that I end up finishing and realize no one has heard from me in months. To counteract that, I keep a steady stream of back burner projects. A stack of possible paintings that I really want to do but probably won’t be hired for until I have a similar sample. This has served me well in the past. Most of my current work is from personal projects that fit a market I’ve been aiming for for years, but only just now had a chance to create real samples for.

Why did you become an illustrator? Why art, why not fine art, why not a designer?


All I knew before art school was that I really wanted to draw for a living. The how-to-get-paid aspect a mystery. I had a lot of interest in comics and animation and figured I’d find my direction at a school that had a major for illustration and animation. I found I really liked the storytelling and problem solving aspect of illustration a lot more than the grind of animation. I also really liked having a finished product to look at and move on from. Animation’s process seemed too long term for me personally. But I did supplement a lot of my illustration classes with drawing studios meant for animators.   I think, if left to my own devices, I’d still end up painting illustrations. Even if I wanted to make fine art, I imagine I’d keep injecting a narrative or a joke.   And regarding graphic design, I admire people who find a real love for it. I could never really scratch my own creative itch by moving type around. I’d never disparage it because when it’s done well, it’s so freaking beautiful. I just know I’d crash and burn if I ever attempted to make money with it.


How did you find your first client, or how did they find you?


On the advice of several mentors, I started sending out postcards well before I thought my work was professional level. I had a functioning, if simple, website portfolio, and I would send out cards every other month. The third or fourth of these mailers got me a call from Eric Seidman at The AARP Bulletin. When he called, I initially thought it was a prank from a friend trying to mess with me. Turns out it was legit and he really liked the small drawing I had printed on the back of the mailer (me slouched on my desk chair looking longingly at my phone, which is on a very fancy pillow).



What were the biggest mistakes you made early in your career? What did you learn?


I think John Hendrix said something along the lines of “getting work in illustration is like staying on a floating log. It’s really difficult to start, but once you start, you just need to keep moving” (definitely butchered the actually quote, my apologies).   When I started getting a handful of clients, I was too ignorant to realize how good the handful I had were. And then I started taking them for granted, and the work slowly deteriorated. With a new client, I’d want to blow them out of the water with an epic painting. Then after a couple jobs, I’d just get it done.  Well, I learned that the AD’s may stop calling, and even if one AD is still happy with my work, he or she may leave the next week. If the replacement doesn’t dig what I’ve been creating for their publication, I’m donezo. Now I treat each job like it may well be my last one.


What advice would you give to up-and-coming illustrators who want to break in?

My favorite quote about the lifestyle of an artist is from Steve Brodner, “The most important drawing is the next one.”  Getting into a mindset where you are always creating is the best thing you can do for yourself. The earlier you adopt it, the better. Look at any of your heroes and you’ll see they spent xxx amount of time simply toiling and struggling to figure out what their work is. Instead of fearing that or hiding from it, produce as much work as possible, then when you finally make a piece you like, start another one.The easiest and hardest thing in the world.

Posted by Thomas James on 04/28/14 under artists,Interviews
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