All of these graphic novels were awesome! If you are new to the genre, I especially suggest the Explorer series by Kazu Kibuishi, because they are an anthology with work from various authors. So, they are a great way to find what art styles, stories and authors you enjoy the most.
What are your favorite graphic novels? Do you have any recs?
Recently read Amulet book 7, had a lunch break and whipped up some fanart for @boltcity of the elf prince Trellis, probably my favorite character in the series… I have a thing for character arcs like his. Kazu’s style at times reminds me of that old school 70s anime look (Galaxy Express 999, Captain Harlock, Space Battleship Yamato etc), which I tried referencing a bit here.
Apart of fanfic, what books or authors you prefer ?
Oooh, thanks for this question. This is for everyone:
I read a lot of genres, to be honest. But because of the style I use and type of fanfics I write, I find it especially helpful to read a lot of “juvenile” fiction. This kind of books is usually frowned upon since critics (and people that like to think of themselves as superior to everyone else) believe that they have nothing good to offer. And while I won’t deny that a big part of this genre’s too basic and in some cases, it’s even badly-written, I think there are tons of incredible novels out there.
So, my first big series was Harry Potter. I started reading it on my own when I was 6, and I read every book as it got out. So, even though in time I’ve come to realize that there are so many things Rowling did wrong (I think of her as a 6/10 author, honestly; I don’t think she’s particularly good at her job), this entire saga is one of my favorites. I read them all in order once a year during my winter break, and it never disappoints me.
I have The Complete Seriesedition in my bookcase, in English, and with all that fantastic art by Kazu Kibuishi. I just love it.
A couple of years ago I was going on a 20 hours road trip in a car, and I wanted to have something to read during those boring hours, so I went to a bookstore near my house and started looking for something interesting to read. I decided to buy “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan, and HOLY SHIT.
The first thing I did when I got to the new town (I kid you not), was going to the closest bookstore and buy the other 4 books of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians saga. I devoured them in a week or two. Since then I’ve bought the other 5 books of the Heroes of Olympus saga, the trilogy of The Kane Chronicles, the first book of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard and the first book of The Trials of Apollo, all of them by Rick Riordan and all part of his amazing universe. So I have 15 books from good ol’ Rick.
Well, that’s because Rick Riordan is my favorite author of all time, and I try my hardest to imitate his style, even though I add some of my personal touches. Too bad they fucked up the movies (TOTALLY NOT HIS FAULT, HE HATES THEM TOO), if they did justice to them they could have a Cinematic Universe that would give Marvel a run for their money.
IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE PERCY JACKSON SAGA BUY IT AND DO IT NOW.
(also, @viria , one of my favorite artist out there, is doing the official art for Riordan’s page, which is awesome)
But my ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOK SAGA is…
Memorias de Idhún, by Laura Gallego García.
I don’t know if there’s an English version of them. I suppose there is, and I hope there is since this 6 book saga is the best thing I’ve ever read in my life. So many plot lines without feeling confusing, so many interesting twists, so much romance (the love triangle here is like nothing you’ve ever seen, I bet you $500 you’ve never read anything like it), SO MUCH FRICKING AWESOME ACTION. It has magic, it has Gods, it has new races, it has dragons, it has a wonderful world, it has prophecies, it has… IT HAS EVERYTHING!
Look it up and read it, if you can. You won’t be disappointed.
(this is an image of the comic, but check out the novels)
Ready for Amulet 6: Escape From Lucien?! Here’s a sneak peek of one of the scenes from Kazu Kibuishi (boltcity) PLUS an explanation of how each page comes to be!
First Photo - Blue Line: While many of the pages in Amulet begin with a very rough and scribbly version of the page, this is one of the examples where I let the art direct me where to go with the dialogue and story. I knew I wanted to draw the large panel of the Colossus being prepared for battle, so I went right ahead and began penciling the page with a blue pencil and added dialogue after the drawings were done. I use a blue line so that when I go to ink the page, I can cancel out the blue color in the computer and leave only the clean black lines on the page. This process feels a bit like I’m drawing with invisible ink or pencil.
Second Photo - Inked Page: I call this the “inking” stage, but what I’m really doing here is using a regular graphite pencil and drawing over a large printed copy of the blue line image. After the page is “inked”, I scan the image into the computer and adjust the contrast of the penciled linework to make it look more like ink. Using a pencil is not only easier on my hand, but it creates a nice, flowing line that makes the image look a little bit like it’s moving. This is also the stage where most of the dialogue writing occurs. The font is one that is based on my own hand lettering, and I just type drafts of dialogue on the inked pages until I feel the dialogue works.
Third Photo - Colors: Once the inks are scanned into the computer, cleaned up, and adjusted, we add colors digitally. Working digitally allows us to paint a lot faster and adjust things much easier than if we painted everything on paper or canvas. We use Adobe Photoshop to achieve a painted look and feel. This stage is overseen by Jason Caffoe (jcaffoe), who works with me to establish the colors and settings in the books. On this particular page, I simply gave Jason notes on what kind of setting I wanted to see, and he established the imagery in the background. After working with me for so many years, Jason has a good sense of what I’m looking to achieve, and nearly always hits the mark.
so after that Aquamarine mess I figured I ought to do some serious art again so I tried my hand at a realistic portrait for the first time in literal months. Prince Trellis from the Amulet book series ~
Despite being “the chosen one”–destined to save Ailuros, stop the Xerx invasion, defeat Octavian, and bring peace to the entire galaxy–young Cleopatra still has to deal with school. It’s seriously not fair, but there’s an upside: She gets to take Target Practice: a subject where Cleo can excel.
Meet Sarah Marino, a Background Painter on Shimmer and Shine! We sat down with her to talk about her career, what inspires her, and (of course) Kenan and Kel.
Read on to learn more about this wonderful artist!
1) What is your role here at NAS? How long have you worked here? I’m currently a Background Painter on the Nick Jr. show Shimmer and Shine. I just had my two year work-iversary in February!
2) How did you get started in Animation? After graduating from Ringling College of Art and Design in 2009, I relocated to Dallas, Texas, where I freelanced for the commercial division at Reel FX. After freelancing for a year, I started full-time as a production assistant in February of 2011 on the Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas special. I then worked as a production coordinator on the “Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem” ride before I was promoted in April 2012 to a visual development artist on Reel FX’s second feature, The Book of Life. I had the wonderful opportunity to come out to LA and start at Nickelodeon in 2014, and it’s just been amazing. A lot of hard work, persistence, and networking helped get me to where I am today!
3) What is your day-to-day like? Any interesting routines? Come in, eat breakfast, check emails, queue up my Hulu, Netflix and YouTube shows, then get to work! No two days are exactly the same at my job, as I’m constantly painting fun new environments and characters drawn by the design team. Our world of Shimmer and Shine is growing, and I can’t wait for everyone to see Season 2!
As for unique routines, every morning while I’m getting ready for work, I listen to the Diane Rehm show on NPR. It helps keep me informed on what’s going on in the world outside of my happy animation bubble! During the work day, I always try to take an afternoon walk around Downtown Burbank – I get a little sun (vitamin D is necessary, people!) and it’s a great time to catch up with coworkers.
4) What continues to motivate you to be an artist and work in animation? Telling stories that resonate with people of all ages. Knowing that what you’re doing matters, even if it is just a silly cartoon to some, because for others it makes a world of difference.
5) What are your favorite parts of the job? My coworkers! Nickelodeon really has the most wonderful, talented, and fun people in the entire industry! That, and getting to tell stories for a living. Could anything be more awesome?
6) Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career? Speaking on a panel at San Diego Comic-Con last summer was definitely a career highlight! I loved getting to share my story with people, and how there are careers out there that will totally embrace you and your weirdness. And even though I’ve now had several credits in both TV and film, the feeling you get when you see your name on the screen is just as awesome as the very first time you saw it. I always make sure to sit through the credits of anything I watch – so many people work so hard to entertain us and I love to acknowledge them in my own way.
7) What/who inspires you? I’m inspired by so many things! From movies to anime, books to music – I am a nerd through and through (and I’ve got the action figure collection to prove it)! As for artists and creators who’ve inspired me:
Naoko Takeuchi, Hayao Miyazaki, JK Rowling, Annette Marnat, Pascal Campion, Yoshitaka Amano, Erwin Madrid, Studio Trigger, Chris Appelhans, Mary GrandPre, Loish, Tadahiro Uesugi, Edmond Kiraz, Tetsuya Nomura, John Singer Sargent, Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, Kazu Kibuishi, Lisa Keene, Eyvind Earle, Paul Lasaine… and SO many more!
8) What is your advice for aspiring artists or people interested in entering animation? Work hard and be humble! Having a great portfolio is a way to get noticed, but being a great person is the way to get hired! Social media and networking are so very important. Don’t be afraid to put your work out there!
9) Who was your mentor and what advice did they give you that inspired you to continue pursuing your dreams/career goals? Advice you’ve give to aspiring artists in the industry? I’ve had so many kind, generous, and talented people help me along the way; from my parents, to my teachers, to my friends and coworkers. It’s hard to pinpoint just one person. I think that’s really important – find people you trust, that are honest with you and rooting for you, that will be there through the good times and the bad. I wouldn’t be who I am without my support network and I’m eternally grateful to everyone who has helped me get where I am today.
10) What are your favorite hobbies? Drawing, playing video games, watching cartoons, cosplay… not much has changed over the years!
11) What is one of the most challenging aspects of your job? Choosing which glitter brush is most appropriate for the occasion.
12) What is your Spirit Animal? Ilana from Broad City...
13) Favorite Nickelodeon Show? Doug and Avatar!
14) Favorite Nickelodeon Quote or Catch Phase? “Who loves orange soda? KEL LOVES ORANGE SODA.”
(I asked my sister what she thought of my choice, and she said: “I think that is your favorite quote. At least it def was in 1998.” Sister approved.)
15) Favorite Snack? Starbucks Very Berry Hibiscus.
#1 New York Times best-seller, Amulet, is a great series to introduce your kids to the fantastic world of comics as created by Kazu Kibuishi.
After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids’ mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.