Every now and then an artist will share a little bit of themselves and show us how they work their magic. Byron Wilkins of “1977 The Comic” webcomic and TR1 Studios (click here for his website) has done just that. He has made a YouTube video on how he draws. Byron and I have met a few times and have enjoyed a pizza and White Castle sliders so I can tell you first hand this is a real cartoonist. He takes his job seriously with a little whimsy on the side.
I learned long ago, when I was a commercial/graphic/industrial artist, that the absolute best way to learn the craft was to quietly sit and watch my boss work. This video brings that opportunity. You can see Byron’s technique with the brush strokes. We both use the same drawing program so it was informative for me to see how he used it to created the piece of art. Learning new ways. If you watch as he draws, to the right of the drawing program a couple of times the “History” box is opened instead of the “Layers”. You can see what brushes he chooses and how he used them. You get to see how he applies color and then the shadows. A lot to learn here. And a lot of fun to watch.
It really is seldom an artist of Byron’s caliber makes a video like this. But when they, and he, does it should not be missed.
The comic published 23 JAN 15 is not an advertisement for McDonald’s. However McDonald’s is an important part of my early life. It was the first REAL job I had and they taught me, a teenager in high school, how to do a job correctly and have a little fun doing it. The picture above IS the McDonald’s I worked at on 23rd Avenue, Moline, IL. It looked exactly back then (1966-67) as this picture looks. I was hired as the “Fry Guy.” I made fries. Simple job you say? Nope. To make fries I first had to go to the basement and bring up 25lbs of potatoes. Then I rinsed them off and put them in the potato peeler. The peeler was a big, black metal drum that looked like a small cement mixer. The walls were like metal sandpaper. After a few minutes tumbling in there the spuds were sans peels. Then after another rinse I would place the spuds, one by one, in a slicer. The slicer was a round metal ring with crisscrossing, sharp metal blades. It had a long metal handle and when you pulled it down the potato was sliced into fries. Then the fries went into baskets and were blanched for a little bit. After that I would put them on a tall rack to let dry. THEN after about 1 hour I could put them into the fryer as needed.
McDonald’s gave me a strong work ethic and taught me many ways to clean. We cleaned everything almost on the 1/2 hour. It was fun and I still love all the products they make. Always will.
When I first started Life On 66 I made the decision to keep it family friendly. A comic strip that everyone could recommend to anyone. And since I use a lot of real people in the strips I do not want them to feel awkward that they gave me their permission to use their name and likeness.
I was first guided by the now obsolete Comic Code Authority rules. If you notice on my books I state that it would have qualified to earn the seal. It is easy to do. Old fashion humor and knee slapping laughs. Now to the point of this post. There really is no rating system for comics any longer. The Comic Code Authority went by the wayside years ago. There is a movie rating system but that is extremely arbitrary and ratings assign by unknown people who you cannot argue with. In a documentary on this rating system it seems SONY has ruled this for years by keeping their people on the rating board.
There is a ad-hoc rating system that follows the gaming world (video and board). It runs from E=Everyone to T=Teen to M=Mature. There are no guidelines as to how to earn a rating letter and it is very all inclusive if you want to place a letter on your work.
So…Life On 66, even though I have and will make it a little ‘racier’ (just a little) the strip will still earn the CC seal, a G (sometimes a PGish) and a E ratings. As always there will never be drugs, profanity, alcohol, guns or sex scenes in the strip.
The other day I receive very nice gift in the mail. The new book in the Starlette Universe, “Christmas ‘Lilly'”, written by Kathy Johnson and illustrated by my friend, Dick Kulpa, A.K.A. Captain Cartoon.
The books in this series are very unique in that they are full of puns. Entirely written with puns to explore the many ways a single word can be said.
The story contains a wide range of characters form a Christmas cow, a boy with mistletoe, a Guardian Angel, pets and of course the big man himself, Santa Claus.
The illustrations are above board. Colorful and fun. Capt. Cartoon has a knack of finding the right settings and the right expressions using color as an enhancement and not a statement. Perfect.
This book is fun and clever and well worth being in your library.