Friday, 6 May 2016

Feature Friday #6 - Drew Sumner

What got you into art?

I’d been into comics and animation as long as I can remember, I loved anything Image comics put out as a kid though I realise how cringeworthy most of that stuff is now, the ‘edge’ of it all really appealed to me. We also hadasterix books and tin tin around the house growing up so I got a lot of that european style when I was young.

 I drew like mad growing up, first copying characters then filling this little hardbound sketch books with my own. To be honest I stopped entirely around 16 for about ten years and finally got back into things when I discovered web comics and the sheer variety of stuff available, the fact that you didn’t have to be a professional level artist and you could effective publish your stuff for free. That really got me going so I began a daily diary webcomic and things went from there.

Who is your favourite character to draw?

It changes a fair bit, a lot of the time it’s Jupiter (see here for our review of the first issue), though recently I did a children’s book where the main character was an anthropomorphic rabbit in a Hawaiian shirt that was a blast to do.

What do you hate drawing?

I wouldn’t say I hate drawing anything, certain environments and objects can definitely be challenges but I think there’s a certain enjoyment in tackling an area you’re weak on like a cityscape and improving your abilities to draw it. Horses can fuck off though, they’re ridiculous.

Favourite artists?

Tradd Moore is up there for sure, his layouts and the way he makes action flow are amazing to look at. James Stokoe does some amazing stuff and I think his use of colour is unmatched. Other folks who get me feeling jealous of their ability would include Fiona Staples, Becky Cloonan, Adam Cadwell and Sammy Borras who was kind enough to do a pin up for the second issue of Jupiter

What mediums do you use?

I do far more with digital now than I did even a year ago. I still like to start off with pencil and paper but that gets scanned, blue lined, printed, inked with a brush pen and fineliner then rescanned and the rest is usually done in photoshop. I’m certain there’s quicker ways to do it all and my process is constantly changing as I learn how to use digital tools more.

When you're drawing,  what do you put on in the background?

I listen to a lot of podcasts, The Adventure Zone, Last Podcast on the Left, Serial, How Did This Get Made?, Make it Then Tell Everyone stuff like that.
 I’ll occasionally have a movie or tv box set on but only things I’ve seen a bunch before otherwise I get distracted. Batman The Animated Series is a frequent favourite.

What's your greatest achievement?

In life, I’d say marrying my wife who is crazy supportive of this thing I do which doesn’t earn as much money as I’d like it to. There’s been a few times where I’ve seriously considered getting into something that pays better and she just doesn’t let me!

 Comics and Illustration wise I’d say getting onto Forbidden Planet’s ‘Top Ten in 2015’ list was a real validation for me. I actually saw that my friend Rachael (Smith, creator of The Rabbit and House Party) made onto the list on Facebook and I messaged her to congratulate her, she congratulated me back which confused me, she then mentioned I should actually go read the list. I definitely wasn’t expecting it.

What would you say to any aspiring artists?

A lot of the people I speak to seem to be afraid of doing anything because they’re worried it’ll be bad and I say ‘yeah, it probably will be’ but that’s fine, almost everybody’s first attempt is shitty, several of my early comics were dreadful. But it’s through that that you refine what you do, you find your voice and the things that make you a unique artist. Just jump in and do it, don’t worry so much about what it’ll end up like.

Do you have any projects lined up?

I’ll be wrapping up the Jupiter mini series this year and I’m trying to figure out a way to maybe crowdsource a graphic novel with some long form Jupiter biz. I’ve got another children’s book I’m about to begin on and a lot of folks have said they want more Turbo Teens so I’m trying to see what I can do about that

Marvel or DC?

Marvel for sure, DC has it’s moments but there’s definitely more Marvel books in my monthly pull list

Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate man, praise jeebus for the cocoa bean

Captain America or Iron Man?

I guess we’ll see won’t we

Finally if you could take any character and draw them in a new comic ,  who would it be and who would you choose to write it?

I’d love to see a good Thundercats book, maybe I could get Jeff Lemire to write that for me? Somebody get Jeff on the phone, tell him Drew’s got a great idea

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