Tuesday, January 27, 2015

CMYK- Farewell

Over the last three volumes of these color themed anthologies, I’ve told the story of these characters who, faced with the inevitability of change, have to reflect about what they do, and the importance of where they are, or how they got there and, the power of the memories that the objects we keep can carry and, finally, in the end, where they’re headed.

I came up with the idea to tell a story about change the moment the editor, Will Dennis, told me about his desire to put together this four anthologies based on the primary colors. And, I don’t know exactly why, I never imagined that I would choose only one color. I already thought that the best way to explore the artistic possibilities of this approach to the story would be to think of four stand-alone-yet-somehow-connected tales, so I could show how to change gears as we moved from one “color” to the next, and so that we could really reflect a little longer over one subject as seen at four different lights.

Tomorrow, Vertigo will publish CMYK-K, the last issue of the anthology, and with it, the last chapter of my story. It’s called “Farewell”. I hope you pick it up.

Here’s the first page.

There’s a nod to one of the very first Vertigo stories I ever read on this page. There are others, throughout these four little stories, but this one is pretty easy to spot.

Not all references need to be obscure, or hidden.

Wear your passions on your sleeve, I say.

We’ll be all right.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Once you get it, it works.

I like acquiring a rhythm as I draw new pages every day. Each new page gets easier and flows better as I get into the zone, and by drawing every day, working on the story and seeing it grow in front of my eyes, my hand remembers the characters, the places, the mood. Still, working on a deadline can have its disadvantages, and I worry that sometimes having to finish a book that month, or even a page that day, might hurt your story in the end.

Wednesday, I went to sleep at 2AM because I stayed up late inking a page to finish that day's work. I usually work during the day, and my usual long days of labor end around 10PM, so Wednesday was a very long day even for my standards.

Yesterday, having a penciled page ready to ink if I had another very long day, I wasn't so sure finishing a page that day was the best choice for my story.

I wasn't happy with the last panel, and with the main character on that panel, to be precise. He wasn't badly drawn, he worked on the scene, but there was something weird about the body language. Something off. In a failed attempt to convey a natural pose, I ended up stiffing it, and had I inked it, it would be forever there, not quite there, not quite the pose that the character was supposed to have at that particular time. And one of the things I like most when drawing is getting the body language right, it's one of the strongest visual tools a storyteller has (one of the reasons Frank Quitely is SO GOOD is his complete control over the most sutil movement of his characters), so I decided, around 10:30PM, to stop drawing and rest. The next day I'd try again, talk it over with Bá, maybe do some preliminary sketches, or take some reference pictures.

That's what I did, and today, after going in and out of my "drawing zone", and indeed talking it over with Bá AND taking reference pictures, I finally got the pose I wanted, one I think tells the story even if there were no words on that panel.

It is almost 1AM. I am tired again, but happy. I don't think I'm going to ink any of these pages tonight, because I can still mess it up with the inking, and I also really enjoy inking and want to have fun while doing it, so I'll probably ink three pages tomorrow, and I'll be much more inspired because I got it right, and I waited and erased and redrew it over and over, and then I got it.

Once you get it, everything else works.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Helping you find us

In an attempt to help you find us, I have created a page inside our tumblr called "FIND US -APPEARANCES". I'll do my best to keep it updated, and I'm sure I'll end up missing something somewhere along the way, but it's a start.

Right now, there are only three events in there: The Salon du Livre in Paris, in March, San Diego Comic Con in July, and Comic Con Experience here in São Paulo, in December.

We'll have more french dates in March soon, as soon as we lock our little book tour for the french release of our new book, Deux Frères. I'll even put the dates for the brazilian release of the book here in São Paulo pretty soon.

We're in final talks about some other US conventions, so stay tuned.

If we bump into your hometown, come say hi.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Choices on Paper

I could already see, with the first new issue of Casanova going to the printer last week, how much more hands-on we’ll be on the production side of our comics once more, just like the way we used to do on the comics we did independently, like 5, Rock’n’Roll and Atelier. I like knowing all aspects of comic making, and I think people can see a different side of your book when every inch of it reflects a decision you made. You’re the author, and it’s your story, your art, but you’re also helping to tell the story by choosing the paper, and thinking about the design that will fit the world you’re trying to create, and carefully deciding the order of the ads you’re putting on the eventual free extra pages inside your book.

On a similar manner, Bá and I are overlooking and, in some parts, working on the design of the brazilian edition of our next book, Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers, in english). Later this week, on thursday, we’ll have a meeting with our editor and with the art department at the publisher to try to make the final decisions regarding the book. Sometimes it’s easier to make books trying to make them look like the books you know, and then it can be more difficult when you want to make your book a little more special. I don’t think overworking the design helps the book, because “too much” will distract the reader from the story, so it’s a matter of finding the right balance.

And sometimes finding the right balance is a simple matter of choosing the right paper.