Thursday, December 28, 2006

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The basic.

Looking back at the workshops we did this year, I realized how much potential comic book artists we have if we can just push the right buttons.

If you look at the pictures above, taken from our last workshop in Brasilia, you'll notice how basic are the drawings. This is the kind of class we like to give, stripping the craft to the bare bones of the creation of comics: how do we tell a story mixing images and words? How do we lead the reader's eye through the panel, through the page and into the next? How do you write your dialogues, your narration and your thought balloons (these poor forgotten tools) and how you lay them on the page to help the flow of the story?

Creating a comic book is not about how well you draw, it's how well you tell the story. And all you need to tell the story is the right understanding of the tools you have.

The best aspect to this "back to the basic" workshops is how they help both the aspiring writers and the aspiring writers. You have to think about the pictures to write, and you have to think about the words to draw.

Casanova - the entire first issue.

Click on the link and read the entire first issue of Casanova!

I have learned more about a monthly book with Casanova than with any other book I've done, and I'm not even drawing the book. I watch Ba receive the scripts, I see him go through his thumbnails, and I see all the pages, from early pencil stage to final inks, and finally with "the green". Combined with the back-and-forth talk with Matt that goes around on the internet, Ba is creating an entire work routine here, and a very chaotic one.

But I believe it's from chaos that great things arise.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

What's next?

I did a one page story this week, remembering how pleasant it can be to do short stories. When you're creating a longer piece, you may think about each page as a whole and try to compose the panels in a way they'll feel balanced and complete, and yet they must lead to the next page, but when you're doing a one page story, you take this notion to the ultimate level.

One page stories are like comic strips. They're jokes, even if they're not funny.

You have to have a punch-line.

And then, you're done. It's so fast you just want to keep going, keep drawing, creating yet another story, another character, another world.

You don't have to wait the end of the year to start thinking ahead, but when the year ends, you feel something is closing and start to wonder what's going to begin next.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Covering Luxuria.

This is the cover of the first Casanova collection.

Ba has outdone himself with all Casanova covers, specially if you consider that, before starting on the series, he didn't like to do covers, and didn't think much of the few covers he had done before.

Not only the covers have a visual identity, but they also are not just one image made by the same artist who did the interior artwork, which means that this image (and all other covers) has to look like a cover, like one image that tells a lot without showing everything.

You don't need the logo to see this is a cover.

Likewise, Becky's latest cover for "Pirates of Coney Island" is perhaps the most graphic she did for the series, and maybe that's the reason it is the one that works the most to grab the reader's attention.

For O Alienista, which I just finished, Bá and I will collaborate on the cover. Let's see where that will lead us.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Everybody asks us if we always looked alike. You know, we're twins, after all. Yes, we always looked very much alike. More even when we were kids.

As babies, there was no telling us apart. Our mom knew, of course, but our father used the t-shit colors as his guide.

That was nice, and it still is. The problem was, when we were kids, we had the same art style. Maybe we both lacked the same amount of style and, like many children do, we drew copying from every artist we read. All those poor imitations just made clear how much we liked comics, no matter if they were super heroes, alternative, erotic or european, or even japanese, there were we drawing what we saw.

For a while, that helped. We got to think about the difference in each style, each approach, but it became clear that we were not really showing our personality on those drawings. Even if we were to draw ourselves (we always were our own favorite characters), we were not finding our way with the art. There was no telling who did what, who created what, and that was not good.

Specially if you're a twin and your life revolves around "who's who" and "who did what".

It wasn't until we were mid-way through college that we developed a personal style, one that evolved into what we do today.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


"Yes?", could be the translation for what the strange guy is saying. "May I help you?"

Like this, I have started a new story. I always wanted to start a story with a question posed with the character asking it looking at the readers, as if he's asking it to them. It's like you're entering this new story, and that's the reason the character is opening a door to welcome us and ask us what do we want.

After all, what do you want when you start a new story?

Are we ready for a new story, or we just want more of the same? Do we know what to expect before entering, or it's out of curiosity that we start every journey? All is considered when one must start a story, be it the artist, the storyteller or the reader.

And then we start it and we discover it to be completely different from what we expected.

Do we continue, then?

That's how I wanted to finish the first chapter of this new story, asking the character, and the reader, if they'll continue on the path that was open for her.

So I ask the question on the last panel of the first chapter:

"Are you in?"

This story will appear on the second volume of De:TALES.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Matt Fraction.

Matt Fraction writes comics, but he used to write prescriptions in Kansas (or was it Missouri) for hurricane victims. While still on his teens, he discovered the magic of books, which he described as " prescriptions with a lot of pages", and decided he wanted to write them. The amount of pages actually involved in those big prescription that people bought in those "book stores" seemed too big for our little bearded man, so he decided to find a middle ground.

Comic books, he decided, had more or less the amount of words he felt were enough to satisfy people and still let them hanging for more - more being the drawings.

But Matt can't draw.

Well, he can, but he doesn't know it yet. Still, comics required drawings, so Matt went on a journey to find people to draw his prescriptions. His journey led him to South America and, since he didn't spoke spanish, he decided to go to Brazil, where they also didn't speak spanish, assuming he would feel right at home.

That's where he found us.

And that's how Ba became the artist on Casanova.

Casanova, on many languages, can be translated to "new house", which was Matt's ultimate prescription to all the hurricane victims he encountered throughout his life.

Nowadays, enjoying the success Matt has acquired, he developed a hobby: biographer. Right now, he's researching Lincoln, but since he's dead, it's really hard to get a hold on him. He seems to be somewhere else, and not available for interviews.


Matt is not easily beaten, and so he decided to practice his skills becoming our official biographer!

He's doing a terrific job so far, but let's hope he doesn't let go of his prescriptions' job just yet.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What are you looking for?

What are you looking for when you try a book you never heard of? I'm sure the cover must grab your attention, maybe the title has a strangeness that appeals to you, but once you have the book in your hands and flip through it, what do you see that makes you want to take this book home to look at it and read it for more than those ten seconds at the store?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, Matt Fraction!

It's rare when I actually read super-heroes these days. I don't follow any hero month in and month out anymore, but some times I look through some comics on the stands to see what's going on. Other times, I check the internet previews across the news sites.

I read the preview pages from Punisher War Journal on the internet. They read like a Matt Fraction book. Nothing more natural, I suppose, since he's writing it.

Some people might find this bad, but for me, it's good. I hate writers with no "voice". They'll write whatever you want, it can be great, but you may never remember their names when you're remembering the story afterwards.

Matt has a "voice".

He's a rambling mumbling talks a lot kind of guy.

Happy Birthday, Matt.

Not much to say today.