When I was first breaking into comics, everyone I knew was pretty much fixated on Jack Kirby. I always have loved the energy in Jack’s work, and he’s still a big influence on me. But there were so many other really great folks that were under the radar of my generation. One of them was the Spanish artist Carlos Gimenez, who’s work both Walter Simonson and Howard Chaykin introduced me to.
What struck me was the relatively clean style reminiscent of Wally Wood ( certainly someone Gimenez was looking at), but a sense of fun and whimsy unlike anything I saw in American comics. He also had a wide range, as his stories often centered on the horror of the Spanish Civil War; in fact Guillermo del Toro used him to storyboard what I think is his best film, The Devil’s Backbone.
Most of the work I saw of Gimenez was in Delta 99 and in Dani Futuro. The latter was certainly my inspiration (the artist word for plagiarism) for a lot of the costumes and characters I used in the Starfire strip I did for DC, as well as some of my independent Linda Lovecraft tales for Star*Reach. I don’t know how many of you comic book fans are aware of the work of Carlos Gimenez, but he is certainly someone to check out.
Mad Mummy #5 finally went off to iVerse this week. It should be up for sale in another few weeks. I was quite proud of the work on this one…and it was a lot of fun to do.
For years I’ve been using my neighbor Bob Edward’s incredible garden as subjects for my sketchbook, taking the figure studies done in class and adding in cacti and flowers and shrubs at a later date. Lately I’ve been using the growth my lovely wife Annie has planted in our own yard for models. Nature is certainly the best teacher for discovering form and pattern. (Bob’s partner, by the way, is John Claude Gummoe, who wrote and sang the pop song “Rhythm of the Rain.” They have been good neighbors and better friends for years.)
I have a young assistant, Leyanna Hartonian, who’s been helping me on the Mad Mummy book, doing a lot of the tedious work of setting in blocks on coloring in Photoshop, and typing in and positioning the lettering balloons. Last year I did a seminar at nearby Crescenta Valley HS and Leyanna was one of students. Now she has graduated and is going to Glendale Community College…and has the dubious honor of working with me part time. She brings her enthusiasm to the job and puts up with my constant choice of music. She has also been putting together these blogs for me. Wait till she sees just how much she to scan in for this weeks Update.
Here are some examples of Leyanna's artwork...as well as some pics
of us hard at work.