Friday, March 31, 2006


Over at the ENGINE, I've started this discussion about how much do artists leave on their pencils to be completed on their inks. I do that a lot, and some others seem to do it also. It's very interesting to see different pencils and even more different inks.

The picture above is a great page from Smoke and Guns and, as you can see, a lot of the light and shadow work on the background was done straight with the brush. There was no reason to do all that twice, now was there?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

One gesture.

I love how expressive thumbnails can be. If you can narrow down gestures in a few small lines, you'll know your drawing will work when you actually do it.

. . .

Ba and I have been thinking about what to do next. Mini-series, graphic novel, one-shot, mini-comics... we don't really know yet. We have until next week to come up with a good idea for a short story, and that has been the main subject on all our conversations.

We have been looking for our cheat tickets to San Diego for SDCC, but so far the tickets are not that cheap. Since we already know where we're staying, the plane ticket is the only remaining detail left.

Well, that and to get there already knowing what to do next.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

before we close for the day.

Here we have the pencil art and the inked version, side by side. I have planned to paint the background black from the start, but it's good to see how it works and how it really bring the characters up on the viewer's eyes. The black background frames the characters nicely.

I ink with a brush. The Winsor & Newton series 7 number 2 brush, which is a rather expensive brush, if you ask me. But there's just no equal. I've tried, and I keep trying, different brands and types of brush, and what I can achieve with one single brush is just incredible. In the end, it pays off to buy this brush.

Ba inks with those disposable ink pens, which he's great at (and is always improving), but that's no brush. We've been talking about finally trying to do something in which he pencils and I ink, instead of just collaborating on the story. It surely will look nothing like we have made before, and we'll finally be able to say we had a third twin brother that also writes and draws, but was kept secret since his birth, just working and eating some strange tropical brazilian fruits from inside our basement (which we don;t have, but we would if we had a third twin brother) . He grew up to be quite a strange twin, pale and silent, and his art style was unique and yet similar to both his brother's works. His first work would be no longer than 10 pages long. His next story, however, would have more than a thousand pages.

Faced with such a talent, we would again hide our third twin brother on the basement and keep doing comics just the two of us, at our own rather slow pace.

To begin the day.

This was the way yesterday ended, actually. Ba was doing the colors on some Casanova pages and I was working on some storyboards. It was well past midnight and we were tired. I decided it would be better to go to sleep, but not before capturing that strange moment working side by side in the middle of the night.

I was going to ink it this morning, but I decided (just after beginning to ink that face) to show some pencil work here. My work looks so much different when it's inked - which is okay with me, I like that way - that I realized this was a good example of how many decisions I make only when I'm inking.

Later on the day, I'll post the inked version. I just have to do some more storyboards first. Before that, I must have some lunch.

Must. Have. Lunch.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I drew one of the stories on this anthology. Most of the fun was trying to draw in a more "horror comic" style, with a lot of blacks, a lot of mood and a lot of zombies. I'm not sure I did so well regarding the amount of zombies, but the ones that do show up looked great. The second page is my favorite and the last page has the best zombie I ever did.

With the undead out of the way, I can go back to love stories, fantastic realism and the fairy tales of modern life.

. . .

Out this week is the new book by Becky Cloonan, East Coas Rising. I can't wait to see it, and none of you should wait anymore either. She's a great talent and I want to read everything she does.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The middle of the road.

First, you have nothing to show. You start out just because you want to tell stories. Maybe you want to draw them, maybe you just want to write them. Maybe, just like my case, you want to do both. Either way, you start from scratch.

Notebooks are filled with drawings, characters you're so eager to create, to draw and show the world. Most of them are drawn only once, without any story behind them. They were made because you start out making everything you want to make at the same time.

We all start out of control. Control is not a very artistic thing, one may think when picture him or herself as an artist-to-be.

You then realize that you have started more stories than you'll ever be able to finish in about one week, so you probably give them all up and start from scratch once more on new stories you think you'll be able to finish. Eventually, you finish your first story.

And it sucks.

I don't care if my first story did suck, I did it from beginning to end and I was proud of it. You should be, too. But, if it really did suck, I had to do better the next time. And so should you.

That's what I did. I hope.

Many stories later, you'll find yourself in the middle of the road. And that's when you realize you're not waiting for it to happen anymore. It's already happening. Wait no more. You're waiting thing to begin, maybe you're waiting things to end, but you're never waiting things to continue. They continue if you continue. You have to carry on on your own, for yourself, or it will all be over.

The middle of the road is the place where you'll find yourself an artist. You can either be the artist you became, or you can be someone else. Those are the paths, but you have to follow those paths, and not wait for them to follow you.

Life follow the ones who walk, not the ones who keep still.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


I saw this on The Engine and it made me smile.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

As long as it takes.

Some times I worry I'm not telling enough stories.

Which I'm not.

Then, I think that I rather be telling good stories, even if they take a long time to come out in the open. A good story lasts forever. That's worth all the time I have.

So I wait. The time for each story will come.


Everybody looks different, and that's the best part about drawing people. When it comes to drawing, there's no such thing as "ugly" people. They're all "interesting". Most of the times, the more "abnormal" the person, the better, which just means that these people have more personality in it's features.

Maybe that's why drawing girls is so hard. Their soft skin and delicate faces are so hard to do and still mold to the emotion you're trying to convey. A wrong line can turn your princess into an old witch, or even worse, into a man.

But I love drawing girls.

And, if there is just one reason why I ink with a brush, it's to ink women.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

End of the day, end of the story.

It's five in the morning and I'm wide awake since yesterday. I just finished my new story and, as the tradition I started with Smoke and Guns must continue, I worked on my last day on this story wearing my best suit.

I'm not sure when this new story will be published, or in what language it will come out first, but it sure feels great to be done with all the pages.

Off we go to more and more stories.

Oh, and since Casanova will be ON THE COVER of this month's PREVIEWS for books arriving in June, I think it's okay to show it to you the way it will come out.

I answered some questions for Publishers Weekly also, but I'm starting to gat sleepy and can't trust my fingers anymore, so no more typing today.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The spy and the fat hero.

the Image Comics solicitation for comics shipping in June is up on the net. There, you will finally find the solicitation for the first issue of Casanova, along with the first cover.

Which is this:

Two articles down on the main page (for now, as the internet moves so fast), you'll also find a preview for a comic book called Planetary Brigade, written by Keith Giffen and J.M DeMatteis. It's like their own Justice League. It's published by Boom! Studios.

Oh, and I'm one of the artists in it.

It's the first time I ever drew super heroes outside of my childhood's sketchbooks, and I did it out of curiosity. What would a script from Keith Giffen look like? How would I handle super heroes, action and those strange clothes? Could I do the pages no matter what I thought about the story, about the characters, about the book?

I mostly do my own stories, which means I mostly draw stories I believe in. I tried before to be just the artist and, in most cases, my art suffered a lot just because I didn't quite liked the stories I was drawing. One of the consequences of that was my giving up on trying to do the super heroes I grew up reading. I just didn't like the stories anymore, it all went too stupid and too different from the way I read it as a kid, that I felt I wouldn't like to draw those characters in such idiotic scripts.

Things chance and people grow. I still don't think I'm the kind of artist who can draw every story and make it look awesome, and I'm still pretty sure super heroes are not for me, but I can now work on somebody else's book without a sweat. Smoke and Guns, as much as I enjoyed it, wasn't my story, but I think I did a pretty good job in it. And I did it fast. After Smoke and Guns, I did not have any more problems finishing one page a day, at least. There was a pleasure hidden in working on somebody else's story, a challenge all it's own. "How will I make this work?"

Drawing other people's stories will make you a better artist, for it will make you draw things you wouldn't draw normally, just because you tend to write your stories having in mind what you already know how to draw. When you drawing for others, you have to draw the most unimaginable things.

That's the best part of it.

Planetary Brigade was work for hire. I was paid to do the pages, I received the scripts and I did the pages. I didn't create any characters (except for the monsters with wings, but they all die) and I didn't suggest anything regarding the script. I think the pages turned out okay as well, and it was very strange to see other people coloring my pages and lettering them. I'm very used to being a one-in-all kind of guy, and that was something new (or, at least, something that had not happened since 1999 when I finished Roland).

Here's one page.

You're always learning. You should never stop, or you'll be forgotten. Time waits for no men.

Neither do women. If you're stuck, they'll move on.

Everybody gotta keep dancing.

Let's tell more stories now, shall we?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Favorite subject.

Continuing our never ending study of the woman's form, here are more studies done by my brother for an upcoming issue of Casanova. Probably, none of these poses will be in the actual book, but it's always nice to get the hand warmed up on the smoothness of the woman's body before creating your characters out of thin air.

This week, it's all about the comics. I'm finishing the new story we're doing, Ba is doing Casanova and we have to start thinking of a new short story for an anthology. And we're already making plans for San Diego, or at least trying to find cheap plane tickets.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Day of the woman.

Every day, the woman is queen. Even if she doesn't know it.
Today is the day to remind her she's beautiful.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Raw words.
Read yourself RAW, which seems to be a virtual magazine, has some small words for our De:Tales book. After you're done with the small words, then you can go and read all the Alan Moore related articles in there as well.

Friday, March 03, 2006


I'm doing a new story, and I've made some sketches before I started. This is one. I'm pretty much doing two pages every day, and the story should soon be done.

Things would be much simpler if we didn't have to make money all the time and could just create stories for the joy of creation, and for others to read.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

They won't understand.

It feels great to finish a comic book and start the next.
It's like nobody can touch you.
You're in the zone.
You hear the music.
You live the life.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

And the work begins once more.

Ba started working on Casanova 2 today.