So it happened. I got the bug. It was only a matter of time before I finally accepted the idea that a comic book creator could and probably should master all aspects of the food chain. But before we get to it… a bit of personal history :
When I was a teenager, I had three main passions : Urban/soul/R&B music, Press and comics. I still have all those passions burning inside of me today. Music… I could sing. Wrote a few songs that very very few people will ever hear (they were close to terrible). But that was it. I could have turned into those music executives that were massively fired in the past 15 years. So, good call. I’m happy it stayed a hobby. But Press and comics were another thing. I always wanted to combine the two.
When I was 16, it was the end of “fanzine era”. But many of them were still active. I couldn’t just start one. I created a bunch of them. Just like a line. Some were editorial and comics, some were just comics. And I was selling them at school and in a few comic shops in Paris that accepted them. So, basically, it’s not a coincidence that I ended up creating Comic Box, mixing those two passions.
Anyhow, I always drew. There were some artists in my family. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a hair dresser. But he was able to draw. My mother drew, I discovered that the day I needed help to complete homework for my art class in junior high school. She was pretty good at it. But never got to develop that talent. For kids of our generation, it was easier. My grandmother was always complaining that I brought comics to read when I was at her place, urging me to take “real books” instead. But I just couldn’t resist. Comics were my thing. And with my brother, there was a lot of emulation.
Cut to the teenage years. My bro and I started drawing comics the American way. One was pencilling, the other inking. It wasn’t really good, but we got tons of ideas, as many other kids had. And one day, I realized that I could never be a full fledged comic book artist because, so I thought, my talent was limited. And it would require me so much work and energy just to be a decent artist, that it was best that I pursue other kind of stuff. Which led me to writing, then graphic design, then comic book writing.
But I recently got the bug again. Due to a situation that I’ll probably disclose one day, I thought that it would be a good opportunity for me to start drawing again. Not sketching. But drawing. I clicked after having a conversations with longtime friend Justin “Moritat” Norman ( a great artist who worked on many books including the Spirit, Elephantmen and All-Star Western).
He convinced me that I should do it and gave me a few tips.
The very next day, I bought Clip Studio Paint (formerly known as Manga Studio) and ordered a Cintiq tablet.
And the drawing you can see below is my first try. I’m pretty happy with it. Even though I have A LOT to learn.
Do I want to be a comic book artist? Not for the moment. But I believe I can end up being a decent illustrator/pinup artist. Be ready to see my art in conventions. And ultimately, it’ll make a finer writer out of me. Because I’ll know what I can/can’t ask to my artists way better.
This is just the beginning…