It's been a hell of a year.
I've never made so many comics in my life. I'm actually exhausted and I really need some rest. But it was totally worth it.
Worked on Christmas and I'm gonna work tomorrow and the day after, but it's all worth it.
Comics are great.
I believe we've done something special with The Umbrella Academy. I feel really proud of it. And that kept me working all these times.
Last night I was finishing it, alone in the studio, late at night, and I felt like registering it. Fábio wears suits on his last days on each project. Well, I'm not the fancy one.
It's no great movie, but it's just to say that I've done it. I went all the way, and I'd do it again anytime. So let's do it again next year.
Oh yeah, I couldn't help putting the song as the soundtrack. It's actually one I like.
Happy New Year to all of you.
Monday, December 31, 2007
It's been a hell of a year.
Friday, December 28, 2007
My bags are packed and I'm ready to go.
The new year awaits.
For good things to happen, we have to make it happen. Here's wishing next year brings a lot of good things for us, and for everybody. When midnight comes, on the 31st, I'll be watching fireworks with my feet buried in the sand of a beautiful beach, the sea gently breaking against my ankles, and I'll throw flowers and say thank you, and I'll make wishes and enjoy another good year.
Hopefully, I won't be alone, and we will all have new stories to tell.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
A Couple of months ago I gave this interview to Fanboy Confidencial about Umbrella Academy and comics in general and it's finally online.
It's a good way to close this year with something that has been so much talked about.
Click here to listen to it.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Before the year ends, the apocalypse begins.
Or so it goes on the new issue of the Umbrella Academy. As I write this, Bá is working on the the final issue, on it's final pages. Issue six promises to be one of the best from the series, and the artwork is just mind blowing. Wait for it and you'll see.
While you wait, issue four is out, on comicbook stores everywhere. Go get your copy and let us know what you think.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
David Lloyd is in São Paulo this week for the release of his new book about the city. As part of a series, each book by a different artist and portraying a different brazilian city, his was one of the most difficult for the publisher to put together, since São Paulo is such a huge city and demanded a lot more time and research than the other cities.
Four years ago, when the publisher started talking about the book with the mayor's office (in order to get financial and logistic aid), Will Eisner was in talks to do the book. He liked São Paulo quite a lot, and had visited many times
As I flip through David's book, I wonder what kind of book Will would have made. I close my eyes and I almost can see it. While David Lloyd began with the airplane he arrived, I think will would have begun with the rain that fell all that month during the research period, and the people that had to go to work anyway, running on the wet river-like sidewalks, or waiting for the bus at the crowded bus stop. São Paulo doesn't steam like Eisner's New York, and it isn't foggy like Lloyd's London (it's really Brighton, but London is cooler). It is just her own monster, roaring to her visitors, inviting them all to see the wonders, and dare them to survive.
Friday, December 07, 2007
This past Sunday edition of the Washington Post published their A List for Titles that earned the top grades from their reviewers, which, in their comics section, included Luxuria: Casanova, Vol 1, by Matt Fraction and Gabriel Bá.
Works at the end of the year tend to pile up around here, and December is usually one of our most busy months of the year. It's nice to see little things like this while you're working. Makes it feel that, while we're very isolated when working, the work we do in getting seen, and read, and remembered.
Back to work.
But also, before I go, here and here you'll find reviews of the most recent Casanova issue.
Now back to work.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I just received my copies. Just read it in my hands. I'm so used to the strong blue by now that I think it will be impossible to go back to a lighter color on the next albums.
Anyway, this is probably my favorite issue, artwise. From my issues, of course, 'cause Bá rocks in another dimention entirely.
I even liked my bit on the backmatter. I think I'm getting good at this "where does my ideas come from" thing.
Monday, November 26, 2007
I mentioned in the backmatter of Casanova 10 how it felt right that I was doing the secret cinema people at the same time Bá was also drawing another group of well dressed black tie individuals, right?
I guess it's pretty obvious now what I was talking about.
Now, the storylines from Umbrella and Casanova are moving very far apart, and we're drawing completely different things.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
This will be my final issue drawing Casanova. Acconding to the cover, all characters will move to Cuba, join the revolution and shoot crows.
Or become crows.
And their passports will have Casanova Quinn stamped on them on the way in.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
How much color!
Until last year, 90% of our work was in black and white, which we love, but now we're producing more and more in color. If mayve Dave Stewart wasn't doing these glorious colors, it would be easy to continue just doing black and white.
The third Umbrella will be out in two weeks.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Summer rain falls all the time since yesterday. It's a shitty weather, today, and working seems inadequate. I still need some sort of work done, so it doesn't matter if it doesn't fit the way the world looks from my window. Right now, I wished it wasn't such a big window, which accounts to such a big shitty weather.
But, hey, it's summer. When it's not raining, the days are very hot. It's hot while it's raining, even.
That's summer. That's nice.
But I'm working. Still working. Always working.
I wish I didn't love work so much on sundays. I wish sundays looked like sundays to me, but they don't. They look like mondays, or tuesdays, and I work on mondays and tuesdays.
I love doing comics, and it's hard to do comics all the time in the summer.
The rain makes it easier, even with the shitty weather.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Newsarama has a preview of Casanova 10, which comes out tomorrow. Check it out and see for yourself how strange and bizarre this story-line is turning out to be, which throws me into a different place artistically.
I'm not changing my style or anything, but there are certainly scenes I never thought I would have to draw in a comic.
Here's the first page of said issue:
This is the first issue I did after I started doing Sugarshosk, and I guess the more fluid and somewhat cartoony aspect of Sugarshock went into this as well. One thing is for sure, with every new issue, Casanova is getting more graphic and "designy". Issue 12 should be a blast in that sense.
Wait and see. But, first, go buy Casanova 10 and let me know what you thought of it.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
So, the new Umbrella Academy, issue two of the first series, has arrived. Have you got your copy yet? Tell us what did you think of it. We really want to know, even if it's bad. But, if it's bad, why is it bad, and how would it be good (if you didn't think it was good).
I really liked issue two, but what I can't wait is issue four. December is far away for all the regular readers, and Bá is just doing pages I never imagined possible.
Anyway, it's late here, and tomorrow morning we're leaving for a brazilian convention. We're releasing a new book here, and we'll have a panel on Sunday. Before that, we'll hang around with Eduardo Risso, Giancarlo Berardi and many other fine guests of the festival (such as ourselves). It's the best festival in Brazil to meet the independent artists, and it's a great way to see the fans of comics at large. We'll have our copies of 5 (which are not that many, and we might sell out of our stash), as well as our other cool books.
There are french guests, argentinean guests, american guests and even japanese guests. It's a very good festival, and we hope to meet a lot of new people, and see old friends.
I haven't seen Eduardo in three years.
To sleep now.
Next week, Casanova enters it's countdown as I officially enter "the last three issues" period. (By the way, issue 11 of Casanova is my best issue yet. I'm having a lot of fun with that crazy blue).
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Bá finished another Casanova cover, two issues from the issue I'm still at. hopefully, less than two months from now (or just two months from now), I'll be drawing what we talked about when he had this idea.
This is the my future, happening right now, and it's strange how that's the way things work in comics.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Man, I'm late.
I'm still finishing issue 11 of Casanova. I'll finish it this week, and then go right into 12, but still I feel I'm late. Even if I'm my own colorist, my own inker, and so mostly the art is all up to me, still I feel like I'm late.
It sucks to feel like that.
Meanwhile, have you already read the last Sugarshock chapter at DHP? It's online, waiting for you. (as well as the previous chapters and Bá's umbrella story on the first issue of DHP)
Also, you can read the entire Casanova issue 8 online as well, so there's no excuse for anyone if you have no idea what I'm drawing at the moment.
Since the robot story I did for the second 24Seven was also previewed at MySpace, this year all the books I'm currently working on had either previews or entire runs on MySpace.
This is so weird. I like paper. I like to turn the page. I like to read comics in the bathroom. Suddenly, all of my work is primary online. Weird.
Also, it seems the internet sales of our work are starting to grow, as we keep showing up over at the Khepri top 5 list almost every week.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
When I started working on Sugarshock, the only thing I knew before getting the first script was that the girls should be cute. Then, there was something about a robot and them all being a band.
Okay, I thought. Simple enough.
After I've done all three chapters, I can say I have drawn stuff I never imagined could be in the same story of the "cute girls in a band with a robot" story, which comes as a lesson to any artist. You should always be prepared to draw everything, and should always be learning how to draw and show new things. The artist should be always curious, asking questions with his or her eyes, learning from what it's around. Look at those trees, aren't they big? They're branches only start all the way up there, twenty feet from the ground. That other tree is fat, and twisted, and has branches from the height of your midget friend up to the top of those other trees you saw first.
Artists must always be looking for the stuff. You know, stuff is a bit vague, but so is looking. Anything could be the stuff, and you should look every where to everything you see.
And then you have to make all this reality look like something you make up when you draw. Or make the stuff you make up look like reality. Or a little of both.
The next sugarshock chapter is coming. It's the end of the first story. Yet again, I had to draw stuff I haven't drawn before on the story (maybe on my life), and I kept thinking when would I draw those characters again. Maybe I could keep drawing them for myself, as sketches on my notebook.
I remember the first drawings I did of the character. I did them on my notebook, the little one I carry all around with me. So, even if I don't know if I'll ever draw these characters again, they're always with me. They're close.
Of course, you don't need a notebook to keep them close. Nor should you.
But it's nice, isn't it?
Friday, September 28, 2007
When we started talking about 5, one of the early ideas was that of drawing animals with our characters. We never ended up using the rhino, but I just wanted to draw it anyway because it's cool as hell to draw.
Khepri.com is doing a great job at making sure you can get our book anywhere you are. From September 16th to September 22nd, not only 5 was the best selling item, but Casanova 2 was number three and Casanova 6 was number five. De:TALES was there too, on the best seller graphic novels, at number four. If you look at it, I think it might be the first time during this entire year that there isn't a Brian Wood book or comic on the top five best selling items at Khepri. A clear sign of the apocalypse, or a good start for the rest of us, comic book creators?
Becky seems to be well represented as well, with Nebuli, MINIS and American Virgin popping up on the list. This was a good week for the 5 crew.
click on the images above to get any of these AWESOME comics and get your fix on all things "twins". (well, maybe not all, but it's a good start)
Monday, September 24, 2007
Comics Should be Good have another review (from Brad Curran) of the first The Umbrella Academy issue. There's also one at The X-Axis.
Aint it Cool News also have a nice review up.
I think that, past issue 2, people will start to get into the story and not discuss so much the "MCR" factor. They're already impressed that Gerard seems to know how to tell a good story, and I think future issues will only make this clearer.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I like to think our stories make an impression on readers and that the characters really touch them. You know that your job was well done when you get a letter telling a touching story about how your story changed someone's life or how someone gave your book as a birthday present or just to win a cute girl into reading comics. Every response from the readers is a victory. And fan art is just about that too.
On our stories, we usually get more letters than fan art. I got very little fan art of Casanova. I'm getting some fan art of The Umbrella Academy already, but I have to point one out, because it's the first professional fan art we've got so far and that makes me feel really happy. This drawing on the top of the post was done by our very own Becky Cloonan, this monster of modern comics, who not just amazes everyone by being one of the few girls in comics, but also is this "out-of-this-world" machine who makes 2 comics at the same time and manages to make pinups and all sorts of cool artwork.
Becky is the best. She's fucking foda.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Well, the first issue of The Umbrella Academy is finally on the stands (or out of them, as I hope we get out of print fast) and people will finally check it out.
There's a short but sweet interview with me nd Gerard about The Umbrella Academy at Publishers Weekly.
Click HERE to check it out.
There also are already some reviews at Silver Bullet Comics.
What about you, who already have the comic... what did you think of it?
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Another interview with Bá about The Umbrella Academy is up. We're only one week away from the release of the first issue, Bá will finish his third issue today and we'll move along just fine.
I often said that while Bá was drawing Casanova, and I keep saying it as he continues on Umbrella: his pages just keep getting better and better and he's doing a fantastic job, making it look easy, this art of telling stories.
Today, I got my copies of Casanova 9, and so should the comicbook stores. It\s the one with the alien girl on the cover. The only complaint I got about issue 8 was fixed this time around, and the book looks beautiful. My favorite sequence so far is in it, and we first meet two new characters I created for this volume. I'm currently drawing issue 11, which takes place inside a casino, and I also have created new characters for this issue. It's somewhat easier to create a character than drawing the ones Bá drew so much, but at the same time, it's fun to do my version of Rubi Berzerko. And Cornelius is fun as well.
Back to the pages, as we travel on Friday to a brazillian comics festival.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Casanova 9 is coming out this wednesday as we follow up the questions from last issue's last page: WHEN IS CASANOVA QUINN?
It's the second issue I did, and I felt much more confident this time around. I created two new characters and explored more the crazy hair syndrome all the characters I created for the series have.
Bá did the lovely cover, as he always does.
Talking about Bá, the clock is ticking and the release date for The Umbrella Academy is approaching. Searching the internet after news of the book, I found some preview cards of some of the great moments from issue 1. Here they are:
And, if you still haven't read 5, our new comic with world sensations Becky Cloonan, Vasilis Lolos and Rafael Grampá, you can get your copy online at Khepri.com (where 5 has been on the top five best sellers since the end of July). For a fresh look into the comic, here's a sketch I did while working on the comic (showing the cute duo of authors/characters from the comic):
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
The newest issue of Dark Horse Presentson MySpace went online today, and so has my second SUGARSHOCK! story. If you think Joss wrote a fun and strange story on the first chapter, wait for this second one (actually, wait for the third one)
Enjoy this new chapter on the band's story, filled with twist and action and ... well, go read it. It's free.
Most of all, it's fun.
Coincidentally, I just finished the next chapter today, and I think all ends up really nice. After three chapters of the and, I really feel I have a good handle of these characters, and they come out pretty easily.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Click here to read one of the first interviews Bá gives about The Umbrella Academy. Most of the media's attention focus on Gerard, for obvious reasons, and his plans for the series, and it's nice to have a different perspective on ths project.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
August is turning out to be one of the busiest months of the year. Casanova, Umbrella, Sugarshock and more, all this month. All at the same time.
I guess that's life. A zillion things happening at the same time, and it's in you the possibility to make it all happen, to make it all possible, to make it all come true.
It's up to you.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Mike Wieringo passed away. He was one of the nicest people I've met in the american market, always very enthusiastic about comics, always humble about his own talent and always very supportive of my work. For me, it was great to find someone who been working for so long and hear him talk about discovering new artists, and then realize I caught his attention and was discovered by him.
We never met personally, only exchanging emails and comments on each other's blog. I visited Mike's blog regularly and was always impressed with his discipline. He would do a sketch almost every day just for the blog before he started working on his pages. I talked to my brother all the time about meeting Mike, but we never got the chance.
Thank you, Mike.
We'll miss you.
Friday, August 10, 2007
I've know Brian, owner of Khepri, since 1999. He did the very first review of Roland back then and has been very close to us through all these years. AND he has the most amazing web retail store to find and get comics with amazing prices.
Now, if you could not attend San Diego Comic Con and still want a copy of our exclusive comic "5", you can get it from Brian. Just click HERE and enjoy.
And do it fast, he has not many and they are gonna run out fast.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Casanova 8 is out and about. What did you think of it?
New art style should create some interesting opinions, even if they remain silent. I remember always noticing when a book changed styles (even if the same artist changed his own style on purpose) and it was great when the new style worked for the book.
I'm wondering if I'm working for the book, but I guess, after only one issue in, is still too early to know.
Monday, August 06, 2007
One of the few sketches Bá did at the convention that we photographed, and clearly a very intellectual concern of the modern artist.
But, seriously, where are all the girls? Maybe doing comics like Sugarshock will bring girls to comics. Maybe The Umbrella Academy will bring girls to comics. Maybe even the crazy sexual violence of Casanova will bring girls to comics. I can't answer that yet.
One thing I know, though.
We - my brother and I - bring girls to comics. We write for them, about them and in ways so that guys can understand girls, girls can understand guys, and we all can understand each other.
Friday, August 03, 2007
After we laughed out loud with her review of Pirates of Coney Island, Casey McKinnon does it again at the Comicon, and we just happened to be on her path to destruction (actually, she went to talk to Vasilis, since she had already reviewed his comic, and Vasilis had just released Last Call, but I guess the freak factor of interviewing twins always wins at the editing room).
Also, Dark Horse editor Scott Allie Speaks with Gerard Way and Bá about Umbrella Academy and the story included on the new Dark Horse Presents at MySpace.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
As incredible as it may sound, after going 11 straight times, this year's San Diego Comic Con was unique, in good and bad ways. Every year we learn new things, meet new people and realize why we're once more there, among so many people who love comics.
The top spot on the most amazing things about this year was joining with Becky and Vasilis, that's for sure. We've known each other for some 3 or 4 years, but we always had very little time to spend together and talk and have fun. This year, we've made "5", the COOLEST COMIC of the year, hands down the most wanted item of the convention, and we were practically STUCK in our table together, just having fun and freezing under the air-conditioning from Hell. Our table, by the way, was only possible because of Ivan Brandon who had asked for 2 tables at the Image booth and passed one along to us. He has been doing amazing work in comics and has been putting great people together on his projects, like the amazing second volume of 24seven. The table was another great thing he's done for the sake of good comics.
As it was expected, everyone was amazed with GRAMPÁ's cover of "5", as well as all the other art he had in there. The awe for his work was only matched by his absence on the show, as he was truly missed and tons of people now want to see more of him.
Our table was, as we so accurately described, FUCKING FODA! Like a well balanced meal, it had all sort of colors, a variety of genres and all the powerful range of stuff we all are able to do. Next to our amazing and best-selling "5", we had Becky's MINIS, an amazing collection of her early mini-comics, and East Coast Rising, her Eisner nominated series from Tokyo Pop; and we had Vasilis' brand new graphic novel Last Call, as well as his mini-comic Hats and Pirates of Coney Island, published by Image; also their collaborate work on Nebuli, the first time I saw Vasilis' work and the starting point of the urge for us to make something together; And Fábio and I had the brand new CASANOVA #8, as well as the hardcover edition, alongside copies of the "who-are-these-amazing-brazilians" ROCK'N'ROLL we have made with Bruno and Kako. We got some FCBD comic from the Dark Horse booth, as well as the free poster and our one copy of our Eisner nominated De:TALES to show people and point them to the DH booth to buy it.
Speaking of Eisner Awards, this year was a great sample of independent authors and amazing different works and I think the most significant nominees and winners were from outside the mainstream comics, or super-heroes. As much as we were disappointed to lose, we could not have lost to a better book. The first time I've seen Jason's work I thought "we're so gonna lose to him". One of the things I regret about this year is that I didn't have any time to check out all these comics and creators on the floor, at the convention, because we were always selling at the booth or at some important meeting. I'd love to get American Born Chinese and Fun Home, as well as Jason's award winner The Left Bank Gang. One thing I'm definitely going to chase is Eric Powel's Satan's Sodomy Baby. I'm getting everything from Brian at Khepri.com.
Shout out to our awarded friends Jill Thompson (painter), James Jean (cover), Dave Stewart (colors) and Paul Pope (writer/artist - series). And Sam, congrats again and thanks for the Old Boy edition.
As it would be expected of someone who have been publishing constantly in the US for the last 5 years, our work's following of fans have increased considerably and we were happy to witness statements of gratitude, admiration and respect from lots of people who would stop by our table, as well as other fellow authors during all four days of the convention. It all started on our beloved USA Hostel, where we've been staying for the last 6 years. Our roommates, 2 funny auzies, not only have seen ROCK'N'ROLL, but also would not believe when they connected the dots between us and CASANOVA and Umbrella Academy that we would share that room with them. They were the nicest and funniest roommates we'd had in years. And it was full of amazingly hot women all the time, awesome and talented Ky-tee in particular. As much as nobody would believe or understand why we stayed in the hostel, and that this have been probably the last time we stay there, you won't meet so many different and interesting people from all over the world in the hotels.
Moving to a whole other level of stardom and recognition, this year had obvious aspects of our work that called a lot more attention, like my collaboration on The Umbrella Academy, written by Gerard Way. The same way I'm having a blast working on this book and I'm really proud of the results so far, Gerard could not be happier with our creation and the first thing he said to me was "thank you for this wonderful job". On the couple of hours we spent together on saturday, we did an one-hour signing for 80 lucky ticket winners, surrounded by an unbelievable sea of teenagers with cameras flashing, shouts and laughs, and It was really amazing to me when someone would come with a copy of CASANOVA, De:TALES, URSULA and "5" among the Umbrella Academy or My Chemical Romance items. As Gerard himself have put on an interview for MySpace, the main idea of making this comic is acknowledging the fact that he has millions of fans and use that to see if he can bring more people to know comics, not only our, but all comic that he loves. He just want to see comics do better and reach more people, and so do I.
various moments of the time with Gerard, the madness of the signing and at the bottom, the Umbrella team: Nate Piekos (letters), Dave Stewart (colors), me (art) and Gerard.
Another moment on the Olympus of fame was when Joss Whedon came to our table to finally meet Fábio, who's been working with him on his brand-new Sugar Shock comic for Dark Horse Presents. Everyone around was so excited and thrilled and whispering "oh my god, it's Joss Whedon", while Joss was excited and thrilled and whispering "oh my god, it's Fábio Moon". Promotional genius that he is, he asked Fábio to draw the main character of the book on a T-shirt that he would wear on his panel and signings and Fábio stood up for the task and made an amazing job, right there on the fly. Joss would parade with his new T-shirt for the next 3 days (on top of clean clothes, ok) and he even wore it on the exclusive EW party on saturday night. Walking around with Nisha Gopalan, the lovely girl who was kind enough to include and interview us for the TOP 100 EW list, we asked to be introduced to J. J. Abrams, who said he loved Joss' T-shirt, to which Fábio answered "well, write a comic for me to work on and I'll make you a T-shirt".
Fábio and Joss Whedon...
... and the famous Dandelion T-shirt.
This year we had a lot of time to talk to Diana Schutz, our godmother, our light and guide trough the helm of comics. We owe her so much that it cannot be described with words. Only making amazing comics we can honor our debt with her.
Fábio and Diana.
We had our share of meetings and projects are indeed moving forward, as the doors have been open wide to us and we have to make sure they won't close. As usual, we hanged out a lot with other creators on lunches, dinners and late at night at the Hyatt bar. We've met M.K. Perker, an amazing and hilarious artist from Turkey, we were introduced to John Cassaday and talked a lot to Jim Lee, who was really impressed with Becky's work. The dead-dog party that wraps the convention was one of the best I've ever been to, where all the creators present were really happy with the show and the direction comics are going. With lots of drunk smiles and sincere joy and respect from one another, we ended our trip with hugs and toast and, as I was making fun of Paul Pope and Jim Pascoe that "if I wasn't wearing this hat, I would be on your "messy-hair" team", he said to me in a natural voice and with an honest smile on his face:
"You are on our team. We're all on the same team".