A week ago my nephew and I were talking over how really bad most comics in the DC and Marvel universe have become. Horrible. He asked me what comic books I read so I thought I would draw up a quick sketch of the only book I read…
The comic on 06 FEB 15 I once again visit Mr. Fields and his grocery store. There really was a Mr. Fields and his little store held the best candy, the coldest bottles of pop and some fun toys. I grew up passing his store almost daily going to grade school and on hot summer days we in Cliff Heights would cut through the pasture, cut across the cemetery and down the hill to his store and (I swear to God) the coldest bottle of pop dispenser in the world. In the early 60s he fixed up the basement in the store with all kinds of games. Pool, darts and the such. All free. My family moved in 1967 and I only got to go back once. The picture below is the store. Completely remodeled and a 2nd story added.
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.