Wednesday, August 31, 2005

One should have character.

artwork by Fabio Moon.

For me, all characters should look interesting. Everything in a comic book should look interesting. If I'm doing a ugly house, it must be an interesting looking ugly house.

Smoke and Guns has this one particular character which is not a "hot babe", called Big Peach. As it turns out, she's an important character to the story, for she's Scarlett's boss.

But Big Peach is not pretty. Nor is she young, or thin, or hot.

She's kinda old looking, and fat.

That's when you realize that it's not the outside of a person (or a fictional character) that makes this person interesting, it's the charisma this person has, it's the personality, the way this person approaches life and what this person has to say.

Big Peach doesn't say much, but there's plenty of attitude in her.

She was the most enjoyable character to draw on the book just because you could tell what was going on with her just by looking at her expressions and gestures.

Smoke and Guns is out and about by now. Ask for it at your local comic book store. Or buy it online. Or seek for it somehow. ANd, while you're at it, read this latest review of the book by Randy Lander.

Also, check out the Wizard "Secret Stach" featured Smoke and Guns review.

click on the image for a bigger version.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A girl to color my world.

artwork by Fabio Moon.

I guess I'm still drawing hot girls, if the script I'm reading is any indication.

I'm also reading another script. This is a bigger one. A Graphic Novel, if it gets made. I'm really hoping it does get made, as I'm liking it quite a lot. If it all works out (and a big part of me is leaning in that direction) I might be the artist on it.

The problem is, this story is so nice that I'm thinking this is the kind of story I want to do in color.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Inside the crazy mind of an artist.

artwork by Fabio Moon

I liked this one. It's just for an illustration, but I liked it. Perhaps I can later on create a story for her.

I wonder what's she thinking?

Is she waiting for somebody?

Is she thinking about the same person she's waiting for?

She's in trouble.

note to self: short sentences with good looking drawing are nice and fun.

First thought of the day.

Today, I'm reading this script.
I'm drawing it.
It has super heroes.
Who would have thought?

At least, it has girls in it.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Last days of August.

I'm finishing the last story Diana needs from me for the book we'll have next year. My brother is finishing his as well. As we always say, we truly work better when we're both working at the same time, and that's always in my mind when I think about the workload my brother will have with his new Casanova series. Apart from being just super fun for him, it's going to be a lot of hard work, so I better find myself some candy dandy job as well.


It's always funny when I talk about comics as job, mainly because almost everyone I know complains about their jobs.

Why should I complain about drawing?

About writing?

About creating the world my characters live in?

I wish more people had the same reaction to their jobs as I have with mine.

We would live in a happier world.

Monday, August 22, 2005

I just read this interview with Becky Cloonan, and it's amazing how it reads just the way she talks. Great interview with completely honest answers. And just sweet looking preview pages from both new projects she's doing: East Coast Rising and American Virgin.

I heard she's a red head these days. Suits her reputation better.

Pin up home work.

Today, I sent Matt the pin up for his coming comic book series, Strangeways, in which I was told I could do whatever I wanted as long at it had one of the two key elements from the series somewhere in the picture: horror (or at least one particular furry character of horror stories) and western.


But why should I do the easier thing? Why should anyone do the easier thing? If it's not the best thing to do, there's no good point you could make to convince me to do the easier thing.

Do your best. Always. You never know who'll be watching, who will first get to know your work, or hear your name, because of that one pin up, or that one story. Everything you do reflects what you want and who you are.

Are you easy?

Well, I'm not. I like to give it my best, no matter what I do. So, if I'm doing a western pin up for a story that takes place in Colorado, I'm going to do some research on what I would find about Colorado in the past. Probably nothing I researched ended up on the picture (something did, but a lot did not), but you have more elements to play with if you do your home work.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The pal and the movie.

Dorian chose the very last image I did on Smoke and Guns to illustrate his review of the book.

Marc Mason's Should it be a MOVIE? also reviews the tale of Scarlett and the cigarette girls, concluding that it has all the elements of a box office hit.

Wouldn't it be nice if Smoke and Guns became a movie? If I could help peek the actresses in it, it would be even better.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The near and the not so near future.

So, I was looking around on the internet, checking out what's going on, when I come across the Image Solicitations for November. Imagine my surprise when I got to the fifth comic book on the list:

Romeo and Kelsie just want to go home, but life has other plans. Strange things happen all around in a story about that music that follows you wherever you go. When it comes to rock 'n' roll, you don't have to understand what they're saying to know what they're talking about.
November 16 o 32 pg o BW o $3.50

A short time before San Diego, we received an e-mail from Eric Stephenson asking if we wanted to publish our ROCK'n'ROLL comic book with Image, and we were thrilled, mostly because it brought back good memories.

When my brother and I first met Bruno and Kako (he was called Franco at that time), some fourteen years ago, Image comics was just starting and it was the dream of nine out of ten artists: do your own comic book, with your own characters, or just be a big fan-boy and draw whatever Jim Lee was drawing. For the four of us, Image comics was the first venue of artistic freedom we had contact outside the standard Marvel/DC hero comics, and we dreamed of someday working with them.

That dream came true.

Even more than we expected, since there's more tricks from the Image sleeve along with that rabbit:

This is an ad for a book coming out from Image next year, and you'll be able to see it in all it's glory on the back cover of Fell # 1 when it reaches stores in a few weeks.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Water in the past.

As I read another review of Smoke and Guns, I realized I need something else to work on really fast. As much as I enjoy people talking about my work, I feel like I'm stuck on the past, even if a not very distant one, as I live in that period where I was still drawing the book.

If I don't start something new soon, I'll just keep living as a memory in the review of other people.

Every new week is a new world to explore.

artwork by Gabriel Ba.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

And to finish my day...

"Smoke and Guns is rich with attitude and atmosphere, and it certainly doesn't hurt matters that the book also has one of the hottest covers of the year.

Read more here.

Spreading the word on the liberty to say whatever you want.

I just read on Neil Gaiman's journal that there's several auctions to help the First Amendment Project, and they consist in people interested in bidding for a place (or at least their name and the way they look to) in the next book from a variety of writers, from Stephen King to Michael Chabon to Lemony Snicket to Neil Gaiman himself.

And all the information is up at (or at

I wouldn't mind being a zombie on a Stephen King book, or a Lawyer on a John Grishan book, or anything at a Neil Gaiman book (even a piece of rock with my name engraved).

I'd make a very charming piece of rock.


When I first heard of Flight, I thought "why there's not more of that being published right now?"

Then I kept hearing about the book, and so I discovered the guy behind this great effort: Kazu Kibuishi. Not far after, I found his blog and then I discovered so much more than what I was looking for.

His copper strips are beautiful.

His Daysy Cutter Graphic Novel is the most fun I had this year reading a comic book.

And every new image off his next graphic novel just makes me smile. That's what some comics should be about, in my opinion: something beautiful that brings smiles at everyone's faces.

We need more artists that can do that.

Artwork by Kazu Kibuishi.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Damaged head.

Steven Grant wrote a lot of Punisher comics I read as a kid. That's the image I have of him: that guy. Now, he's still doing comics, but he's just another comic book creator I see at conventions. I know what he's doing right now, but it's not as a fan that I look at him.

It's strange the way this things chance and you actually becomes part of what once was only a distant world you only knew existed.

Anyway, over at his Permanent Damage column, he reviews both Gunned Down and Smoke and Guns, one on top of the other. "An excellent anthology for a great price" is the punch line for his review of our beloved western.

Gunned Down won't be solicited in PREVIEWS, so if you want the book, contact Terra Major and see with publisher/writer Shane Amaya how you can get this already available beautiful book.

Smoke and Guns should be at fine stores all around at the end of the month.

Tape that.

Apparently, I lost Matt Fraction's mention of Gunned Down as a comic he "dug lately" on his and Joe Casey's Basement tapes, but a sharpen eyed friend pointed it to me, and so I read their conversation for the last two weeks: Word does not get across so good on how to make people know your book even exist.

Earlier, they talk about hype as the "word of mouth" that spreads before the book is available. Personally, I really don't put my money on hype. Proper word of mouth, on the other hand, means that people who read the book liked enough to tell other people about it. That's something we're all a little short these days.

Differently from hype, I believe that we need a bigger effort on "getting people to know who you are and what you do". There's a lot of stuff coming out, and we should make it easier for the reader, for the retailer - even for the publisher who may hire you - to know why they should care about your work or at least give it a chance when they never heard of you. Specially when your work does not involve super-heroes.

Me, I love comics. I've been reading comics since forever, I think it's a great way to tell a story in ways that merge what a book can do with what a movie can do, then add something only comics can do. I want to be a storyteller, and I want to tell my stories in comic books.

And I want people to know my stories exist.

Nothing will stop me.

Nothing can.

When you love what you do, you can do it all your life.

I'm still pretty young, so I got that going for me.

Monday, August 08, 2005

What have you been reading?

cover artwork by Fabio Moon.
Johnny Bacardy and Ian Brill take their turns to review Smoke and Guns. Their response to my artwork seems to be as positive as the others who already reviewed the book.

Sometimes I remember this is the first book I work without my brother, and that all the artwork was my responsibility. Also, I remember that this is the longest page-length project I've worked as an artist, since all the other books I've worked on had less pages drawn by me than Smoke and Guns.

If you always have to keep growing, than I think the next thing I do will just have to be longer, not to say better, than Smoke and Guns. That's the challenge.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Illustration work.

Newspaper illustration by Gabriel Ba.

Not really a lot to say this weekend.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Images from this week and words about what's to come.

There's something magical bout doing comic books. Something I don't find anywhere else.

Next week, we start creating new characters. We don't usually do a lot of drawings of characters before starting to draw a story, but this time I think it will take a lot of character studies to get the grip of this particular bunch of people. And we don't want the character to change the way they look every 10 pages or so, at least in the beginning where we're still getting used to them. So, a lot o pre-production this time.

This time, it's a little different.

This time, it will come out every month, so we better be ready.

You should be ready too.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Past and present.

One of the good things about old stuff is the fact that's very easy for you to forget you actually did that. It's more like looking at something you remember having read instead of having done. The two images in this post came from Roland - days of wrath, the first mini-series we published in the US back in 1999. Now, it's coming out in portuguese and I've been looking at it constantly.

And here are a couple of reviews of Smoke and Guns, one by Ken and another by Jog.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Shooting words part 2.
More bullets and more reviews!

Sean Maher put a very interesting review of Smoke and Guns over at Bookshelf Comics. A lot of nice words about the art. Yes, he says a lot of nice things about the story as well, as he should in such a fun tale of our beloved cigarette girls, but he really seemed to think my artwork is "fantastic".

Shooting words.

Shane Amaya, writer and publisher of Terra Major, did an interview at Newsarama about our already epic western anthology book, Gunned Down. The interview even has a comment posted by Jimmy Palmiotti.

Anyway, if you want the book, go to the Terra Major website and write Shane about it. Your best bet is the internet, and both the publisher's site and can hook you up for a copy of this beautiful book.

To finish up this one, a picture: the first one I finished for the book. It was made to propose the book for a brazilian publisher house, and to advertise the book, and it's not part of the actual content of the book.

But it's nice.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Busy week, like all should be.

My brother and I will spend most of this week very busy. This week, we're doing a 6 page story for a brazilian newspaper, celebrating the book-fair of children books and comics that starts soon. Instead of running a written piece to describe what's happening relating to comics, the newspaper asked us to come up with a story that would tell of all this things in a less journalistic fashion.

I think it's great when we have the chance to do comics that will be seen and read by people who don't usually read comics.

This is really fun, but it's six pages in three days. IN COLOR!

Back to work, then.