Mon, 25 July 2011
Jeff Preston is many things. He's an illustrator. He's southern. He's old school. He's also our pal and a fun guy to hang out with!
Dwight and I met him at a Dragon*Con a few years ago (Adrian has yet to) and we've all been buds ever since. It's cool being friends with someone who's been doing this for 26 years, and whose artistic lineage goes back to Howard Pyle (yep, that's right).
Looking at his gallery, you'll notice Jeff has a penchant for the macabre — monsters, ghouls, zombies. Basically anything that goes bump in the proverbial night. Which is funny considering many of the assignments he's gotten over his career have come from religious publishers (drawing Jesus by day, and Dracula by night).
And hey, don't let the old school comment fool you. This man does work traditionally (his marker technique — oh my God!), but he also rocks the digital tools. He taught Photoshop courses for a while at a college in his native Tennessee.
Prepare to regaled by Preston's rich stories and tall tales. I say tall tales in jest. Jeff's experiences are all honest and real. In some cases pretty funny, too. He was a hoot!
And we do get into some process for all you tech-heads out there. Jeff wields a Copic marker like Thor wields his hammer — and there's just as much thunder and lightning as a result. You can quote me on that!
His partial client list: Famous Monsters of Filmland, Darkhorse Comics, Lifeway Christian Resources, The United Methodist Publishing House, MGM/UA Home Video, Haunted Hill Productions, Spencer Gifts, Harcourt Publishing, McDonalds, Flynn/Sabitino/Day Advertising, Fantasy Flight Games, 5/3rd Bank, U.S. Post Office and more.
Here's a link to Amdale Media's latest in their Masters of Art Video Tutorial series. A DVD featuring Jeff and his incredible marker technique. Gobble it up, folks.
Sat, 16 July 2011
Lately, I've become a huge fan of crime fiction in comics. I'm lovin' me some Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, and Scalped by Jason Aaron and R. M. Guerra. And it looks like Loose Ends, the new 4-issue limited series from 12 Gauge Comics, is on its way to joining those gully ranks.
Written by Jason Latour, and illustrated by artist Chris Brunner and colorist Rico Renzi (aka the Kickstand Kids), Loose Ends delivers big time. So, why not have the writer and co-creator of the book on to chat about career and his new project, right?
Though coming into his own as a writer, you'll probably know Jason best as an artist whose star is fast on the rise. His partial resume is listed below with more to come, but by all means, please pick up Loose Ends #1 (out right now). It's Southern-fried crime noir, but it's served up scattered, smothered and covered — just the way we like it!
Chris and Rico, Latour's collaborators, are doing some of the best work of their careers on the art and Jason's dialogue in the script is dead on.
As alluded to above, the story takes place in the Dirty South with specific mentions of some Atlanta landmarks. And since the entire SiDEBAR crew lives in the metro Atlanta area, we've figuratively met these characters before and literally been to several of these places (... no, we weren't slangin' in "the trap").
In the interview, we get some background on Jason's upbringing, how he broke into comics, how he almost broke out (ha), and how Noche Roja, an OGN from Vertigo's recently departed "Crime Noir" line, turned it all around for him.
Hats off to JLa and the Kickstand Kids for putting it down with their first creator-owned book. A lot of people in comics talk about doing one, and while Ends was a long time coming, they did it.
Nuff respect, fellas.