terça-feira, 13 de novembro de 2007

segunda-feira, 12 de novembro de 2007

Gung Ho

Days, Weeks and Months rushed past my window, it seems, and I feel accomplished in diferent ways without having accomplished none of what I set out to do. But hey, man, you can't put a price on self-knowledge.

It may sound a like zen-ish crap but it comes to me that true understandment or insight is mostly silent. So I won't burden myself with trying to express any of those conclusions.

I draw 5 x better waiting for some chick to finish the bacon sandwich I just ordered then sitting on my desk, with the white sterile light and a nice and confortable 60' degrees inclination.

if brought to a certain stillness, a state of no expectation, I don't even realize that anything is happening at all. Boom, a drawing and a bacon sandwich.

segunda-feira, 29 de outubro de 2007

Explosions in the Sky

Concistency is a gift. One I surely do not posess. I haven't manage to get back to Bulbs and have been feeling a growing disgust for line drawing. (a.k.a. - what I did my entire life) .

but I did make considerable progress with my skills concerning color and volume. I discovered that my detail obsessed personality actually made me lose considerable amount of time with lines and eventually fucking up any serious attempt at anything, wich allowed me good results only working from calm and thoughtless intuition. And even so was sporadic and far inbetween.

As a sudden realization, it came to me that my whole life I studied lines eventually aiming at this crossing... at being able to depict what the fuck ever came to me in full blasting color. It feels safer now, I'm accepting my newbieness again. Though it may seem a bit of a paradox, it's easier to make progress this way.

but, still a long way to go from anywhere.

quarta-feira, 17 de outubro de 2007

yesterday's Morning Sketch

"hello, I'm Feng Zhu and this is Gnomon Workshop"

Blogger is giving me a hardtime uploading images lately. This is a quick concept design of should be a speedster or something I did following instructions from a gnomon DVD.

Working with markers is usually a lot of fun. Quick values appear like magic and blend easily and seamlessly. Fun. It's been a while since a didn't draw technology.

All traditional, ink and marker sketch

terça-feira, 2 de outubro de 2007

segunda-feira, 1 de outubro de 2007

morning sketch - V.

just show some love for V and the ingenious Mr Moore.

domingo, 30 de setembro de 2007

Trying to get back to bulbs, did a quick ink and tone style tryout just to see what it might look like.

I'll probably lose the perspective screen-tone on the ground or at least make it less coarse. I like a lot the smeary toning style but I'm not yet sure about the colors and all that white is not doing it for me.

I guess it's back to photoshop.


a little more color in lightbulb land

I'll deal with the blue shade later. not good yet. I think the color half tone went great lengths for giving the perspective feel together with the pinkish ink-blots/clouds

just think the foreground is not interesting enough yet


domingo, 23 de setembro de 2007

The Sad Misfortune of All Carbon Based Life-forms

After que making of this half-assed attempt at full-digital drawing in painter, the most puzzling and hermetic of all graphical applications, I fell in deep profissional depression. Lost 2 and a half days to beer, meat-balls, counter-strike and sid meyers civilization 2. (Which is still a great game by the way). My girlfriend went away for the last 2 days to visit her parents and it didn't help.

Brazilian country music is driving me to madness and I really oughtta just refrain from social contact with the people here. I had this image that people out of big centres were smarter and less affected by consumer frenzy. I thought they were more aware of the "real" things. But what I've found is people even more dominated by tv and marketing, things which they crave for with bigger angst hence it's harder for them to get.

My coming from the cultural center of the country and the biggest tv station and subsequent afirmation that it was all a big joke probably didn't make me very popular. My girlfriend said that it as if I'm an alien amongst them, as if I was some tv-show character made real. If I was smarter I might had used that to my advantage.

Back to beer. Heineken is cheaper here, but I'm all out of hash. Guess I should try drawing a little more.

quarta-feira, 5 de setembro de 2007

INTERVIEW - Ross Campbell

I love Ross Campbell's work. So I offered to do an interview with him for a brazilian comics portal (www.hqmaniacs.com.br )which was never published god knows why. They provided part of the questions. So here is the full interview with the author of "The Abandoned" and "Wet Moon". The interview was done in march and some info may not be up-to-date.

Hi, Ross. First of all, how’s your hand doing? I read somewhere you were considering to stop inking your work… (which he did, as far as wetmoon 3 is concerned)

actually my hand and arm have been feeling better as of late, thanks for asking! i started taking Aleve everyday and that seemed to help. but i'm still thinking that i'm going to do my next book, Wet Moon 3, in pencil. i haven't decided yet, i have to do a test page and see how it goes...

How comics became a part of your life and eventually your career choice? What and who inspired you?

the first comics i ever got were some of the old Eastman & Laird Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. i think i had like one issue of the Archie series, too, but i never got into that stuff. the Eastman & Laird comics, along with Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes, set me on the comics road. i used to do crazy, comedic superhero comics and gag strips in middle school, but after that i wasn't really serious about comics again until late college. i didn't even draw my own comics in high school at all, instead i was busy with a stupid sci-fi fantasy novel i wrote and just pin-ups and stuff.

You write and draw, what’s your workflow? Do you enjoy any particular part of the process best?

i think i like the writing part the best. i love writing the dialogue and figuring out how the story's going to go and who the characters are and what they're thinking, but of course the drawing part is fun, too. usually the writing changes during the drawing/thumbnailing, too, like i'll cut parts out or add sequences on the fly, so it's typically all tied up together into an ongoing process until the whole book is finished.

Tell us a little about “Water Baby”, soon out by the controversial DC comics series “Minx”. What’s it about? Are there any other plans concerning you and DC comics?

i'm not sure how much i'm allowed to say about Water Baby, but basically it's about a surfer girl, Brody, who gets her leg bitten off by a shark, and then has to deal with her nomadic ex-boyfriend showing up and overstaying his welcome, and also shark-related hallucinations and nightmares. then she has to go on a road trip to get rid of the guy once and for all. i'm hoping to get to do more stuff with DC, i'm working on some more pitches for them, but there's nothing concrete as of now. stay tuned...

So, it seems that The Abandoned is not having a sequel after all, at least at Tokyopop. Is >that a fact? Why? What are you going to do about it?

things are still really up in the air with The Abandoned 2. i had pitched it to a different company with some alterations (since TP pretty much owns the property), but now it looks like it won't happen, so i may head back to Tokyopop and do it. i don't know yet. i still really want to do the story, i think it would be sweet, but it all depends on what other projects i get and whether Tokyopop is even still interested. i don't really think TP is the right home for my Abandoned/zombie stuff, but since they co-own it that's where it has to be. i thought about coming up with a new zombie premise altogether that i could do elsewhere, but i don't know. we'll see, i guess.

Wet Moon is maybe your most personal work, tell us about it. How’s it working for Oni Press?

Oni is great, they're all great people. yeah, they don't pay much and i could never live on what they offer, but i love that they pretty much let me do whatever i want and they leave me alone while i'm working on a book. i feel like even if i can't get any work elsewhere and i'm working some crappy day job, that i could always work on something on the side and Oni would be interested. i don't think Wet Moon could be at any other publisher, except maybe Slave Labor, but i think Oni is a perfect fit. they do a lot of that quasi-not-quite-mainstream-but-not-quite-typical-indie stuff, stuff that kinda straddles the line. Wet Moon is on one hand pretty "indie," but then on another it's not quite that indie because its core is a fairly mainstreamy serial teen drama type set-up, but that drama stuff is presented in a non-mainstream way, and i think that's a lot of what Oni is about. anyway, while it would be awesome to get to do Wet Moon full-time, i'm happy with it being at Oni and i don't see myself taking it anywhere else. for some reason i can't see any other publisher putting up with Wet Moon's meandering pace for very long, either, heh heh.
and yeah, Wet Moon is definitely my most personal thing, another reason why it's great with Oni because i keep all ownership and it would never be tampered with by editors or other company people. i'd get so frustrated otherwise, and i'd be crushed if stuff was edited or messed around with like things were on The Abandoned, say.

Did you feel any substantial difference between working for DC and smaller publishers?

DC was really great to work with on Water Baby, there wasn't much difference at all, except i talk to my DC editor a lot, whereas with Oni i only really talk to my editor there maybe twice a year. but so far i've had a great experience with DC. i guess the main difference is the perceived pressure and attention, like i let the cover image for Water Baby slip for a day or two and suddenly it's up on comics news sites and message boards, and everybody is talking about the Minx stuff, too. but with my indie stuff, i could post pages and talk about the plot and all sorts of stuff and it seemed like nobody beyond deviantart cared. i've never experienced the industry/reader attention that Water Baby is getting, it's kinda scary. i think i liked it better when nobody was paying attention, heh.

Adolescence and sexual identity are frequent subjects in your work. These are controversial themes. Is that an intentional choice? If so, why? What are your sources of inspiration? How do publishers react?

i'm definitely not trying to be controversial on purpose, i just write about what i like to write about. and if it's controversial or if it's not, then that's cool, so be it. but all three of my publishers have reacted differently: i thought i got away with murder with The Abandoned, although Tokyopop did edit one part of dialogue they didn't like. but i was really surprised with what they let me do. DC's been really good, too, although i initially had wanted Water Baby to be much, much raunchier, but DC suggested otherwise and i definitely think the book turned out for the better the way it ended up being. and Oni, well, they're cool with whatever, heh heh. my main inspirations are just real life and real people, and i'm always interested in youth and that sort of weird phase of adolescence and how strange people tend to be during that time of their lives (not that adults are any less weird [or even weirder?], of course, just in a different sort of way). i also like the vigor and energy that typically comes with adolescence, when people are really excited about themselves and their interests. i think at some point i'll start writing more about older characters, but right now it feels right working with teens and early 20-somethings. i'm also a very nostalgic person, i guess, and although i wouldn't want to relive anything in the past, it's fun thinking about it and remembering funny events and how weird things were in high school and college. so i like to draw on that a lot, too, and have my characters go through those sort of experiences that lend themselves to the "remember that time..." variety later in life.

Your drawing style strikes as quite an unique mixture of “honest” anatomy and some very cartoony features. You really seem to make girls look real and enticing no matter how far they are from beauty standards. [now, maybe that’s just my opinion] What are your influences?

just like my influences for writing and themes are real people and real life, it's the same thing for the visuals, too. my girls are obviously cartoony, and all cartoons still have their basis in real life, but there's definitely a sort of "cartoony realism" or something going on, heh heh. i don't know what to call it. i think when you look at people in real life, there are so many of them that have very cartoonish features, especially when you start to scrutinize people's features. you start thinking "wow, that guy has a HUGE head" or "her nose is gigantic!!" and i think that's part of it. i take that stuff and try to push it even further. so sometimes i'll see a person with unusual features or something, and that really influences me and gets my mind going. then i try to push my characters' features even more to make them more distinct from one another. and i find so many different sorts of girls attractive, there's never any beauty standards in there except my own which i guess encompass everyone.

How do you feel about how women are usually depicted in mainstream comics? Do you have a position about it or you’re just concerned with relatable characters and good storytelling?

i was asked this same question in another interview last year or something, and i wish i gave a better answer then. i've been reading a lot of feminist comics blog stuff as of late, and much of it is really blowhardy and often people just looking for something to complain about and be outraged about, but some of it is really great and has great points and everything. so i guess basically i don't mind the way females are portrayed, but i notice a lot more things that bug me about the subject these days. but i'm still really passive about the whole thing, too, so even if there was something i really disagreed with, like say the current Supergirl series/character, who am i to tell the creators how or what to do, you know? i don't know. it's a tough call. i don't have a problem with cheesecake, i think my own work has a frequently cheesecakey quality, it's more the the way female characters are written that i have problems with. and even though i think the current Supergirl is drawn really badly and the series is kinda creepy in a way, there's still a place for it and there are people who are into it, it's just not for me. i mean, it would be awesome if more women in mainstream comics were kicking ass and stuff instead of playing second tier to all the guys, and it would be cool if the men and women were equally as sexualized, too, but again, while i can make my opinions known about it i don't think it's my place to push these people to do what i want them to do. just don't buy the book and read what you like. and i love a good ridiculous Emma Frost costume as much as the next guy, i guess. i think there's a line of variable thickness, too, between that sort of "creepy" sexualization and good a-okay fun, at least for me. i can make the distinction between classy skimpy like the Quitely Emma Frost designs, and the weird "oh come on" gratuitous sort of thing going on with Supergirl or Masamune Shirow's more recent work or something. but like, at the same time, with Shirow and similar artists, the dude just loves tits and asses, is that so wrong? haha. sometimes i get concerned that my work is crossing over into this gratuitous area, like maybe it's getting creepy in its [over]sexualization of teenage girls. like i said, tough call.

What would bring you the most professional satisfaction? [besides making giant monsters out of welded metal]

haha, making giant metal monsters would definitely be awesome. i'll get to do it someday. i also want to get into computer music, like making little instrumental songs in one of those music-making programs. but right now i'm good with doing the best comics i can do, they take enough time as it is.

Where do you think the comic industry is heading? How do you think you will fit in it in the next decades, with the rise of smaller publishers and all the attention alternative comics have been getting?

i don't know where comics are headed, i can't tell if they're on the decline or the ascent. sometimes i get really depressed about it, i feel like the medium is just dying or something, like nobody is reading comics anymore and i think about how all these comic readers are aging and getting old but no new generation is replacing them. but then i go to conventions and i see a lot of young kids and teens picking up Oni and Marvel books and stuff and it makes me feel a little better. and i guess even if comics as an industry does tank in the future, there will always be people making mini-comics and self-publishing stuff, and i don't buy into something needing a huge reader/viewership to be important. i would be content with doing a comic and printing just 500 copies. but i don't know a lot about the numbers and sales of what comics are doing, so maybe things are going well. i think at some point i'd like to see the serial issue abolished and comics make a full switch to the "graphic novel" format, as it were. issues are fun, but i don't think they really lend themselves well to reaching out to new readers, especially since most of them are sold primarily in comic stores, which also don't reach out very well to new readers, heh heh. i'd like to see the money and energy put into making book-format comics instead, stuff that would be sold at bookstores. which is happening, too, since lots of bookstores now have a comics section which is getting bigger.
i don't know where i'll fit in, i guess i just hope that i'll still be doing comics for years to come.

Do you have any future projects that you would like to share with us?

i'm doing a short comic for the next Meathaus anthology, and also probably a new Mountain Girl mini-comic for SDCC. i'm also doing an issue of Tales of the TMNT later this year, but i don't know much about that yet. besides Wet Moon 3, i don't have any other big books slated after that, unless i get some more work from DC, in which case i'll probably see if Tokyopop is still interested in another zombie book or i'll pitch them a Godzilla-style giant monster book i've been thinking about for a couple years. i also might be pitching to Dark Horse, but we'll see.

If given the chance to whisper inside the mind of every struggling kid dreaming of making comics, what would you say?

there is no crying in comics!

segunda-feira, 3 de setembro de 2007

Eviscerate Your Fragile Frame

this post is just a bundle of images

sábado, 1 de setembro de 2007

Well you're in your little room, and you're working on something good, but if it's really good, you're gonna need a bigger room...

The pressure for comercial efficiency I put on myself is so that I stopped bulbs on half to work on freelance linearts and a couple of pieces for my studio's portfolio. Having a studio in Brazil is not so much either... it's just a raised flag to attract freelance opportunitys and allow me to take no regular job and keep honing my skills.

Here are the four line arts. Now comes coloring, my associates part of the job.

www.fotolog.net/gatz - if you wanna check some of his stuff out.

keep coming back. There's more to come and it'll be always better, no doubt.

next: sketches and my endless quest to learn 3d texture mapping.

quarta-feira, 22 de agosto de 2007

We are Vagabonds, we travel without seatbelts on.

There's not one day that goes by that I don't find a way to remind myself how "not good enough" I am at the moment and if the 2006 was an year of imense progress, 2007 was half wasted in a stupid internship at brazils biggest tv station - oh man, what a scham.


It's depressing to think that they think of themselves as the elite of the craft, while all the really good people seem to be braking there backs with marketing. People like Grampá and João Ruas... I used to think that getting anywhere near where these guys are artistically would be garanteed success, fame, personal artbooks, moving out of the country and drawing full time.

other 2 months wasted getting settled here in my personal paradise, that thanks god becomes more edenical each day. So I'm gonna keep hacking like I was (wait, I guess I am) level 1.

morning sketch and panel from bulbs. Also a Freelance line-art. And thats was all made like in the last 10 days, just so you can see how all over the place I am in terms of style.

sexta-feira, 17 de agosto de 2007

Getting the old vibe again. Curiosity and will to succed used to be my formula for artistic growth and it took me where I am today - a dark misty place somewhere between "complete shit" and "hey, that kid's got something going there".

So I go and read comic con reports and check new stuff coming from people not-so-older-then-me and pull out a A. Loomis book or stare for long minutes at Mignola sketches and the good o' brain starts squirting good o' serotonine with out need of any external help and I fool myself once more into believing that comics is a beautiful beautiful thing. Yeah.

Sketched a full body Nico for the first time. She looks a little clumsy but that's what you get for drawing and making dinner at the same time. She's a character of another project I'm working on.

Also, composition sketches and studies for an illustration that showed up at a bad moment.

quinta-feira, 16 de agosto de 2007

With Silken Wings and Powdery Dust


They are all over the Place. I woke up one morning and found one dead on my tooth brush. So now I've got this small collection of moth-corpses inside a charming glass jar (hermetically sealed to avoid intrusion of the hungry ants that destroyed the first collection).

So. Bulbs.

It it weren't fot bulbs I wouldn't have any Moths. That got me thinking, about bulbs and consequently ideas, brain cells, quantum mechanics and reality itself.

What is the Essence of Light? The electrical Mistery behind an Idea?

How much of our realities is just and only a matter of state of being?

Truthfully, My mini-comic won't present valid answers for any of such questions and its is all in the name of good practice and visual experiment.

check the first page out... that first panel is bulls#it, though, it will have to be redone.

ps: (I guess) mini-comic is a concept created by Becky Cloonan. I think it's more charming then "zine" or something else, so I use it here. Guess she wouldn't mind.

To Wreak Havoc

First post.

I'll write this blog mostly in english and it IS an illustration, drawing, comics related blog. Recently I've trying to put myself in a more "pro-ish" routine. So there will be, hopefully, plenty of morning sketches and sketched pages for the next few days, and if the metheor showers, floods and general destruction doesn't get to me by then, inking processes to be seen all coming from a eager begginer. Luckily we'll see some progress too.

I'm about a quarter way trough the making of a "mini-comic"... Although it's real simple and has close to no background, I'm having trouble keeping the a 1 a day page-rate, mostly due to concentration issues.

but no more talking.

Morning sketch, real quick. I was sad because of Mike Wieringo passing away. I liked his style and felt so much empathy for him mainly cause he seemed just as paranoid as I am and he kept hacking at it inspite of all the S#it you have to take. So this one if for him, and for everybody else who just keeps hacking at it inspite the fact that the world is gonna end real soon due to money-hungry and war-mongering fools.

Bye, Mike.