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Drawn Together

HyenaHell at 12:00AM, April 21, 2017

Let me start off by distracting y'all from my complete and total failure to even show up last week by saying, hey! to celebrate TEN YEARS of PUTRID MEAT, Pit Face has made this special behind the scenes “the making of…” video for y'all! Check it out!

And also by wishing a very happy Iggy Pop's Birthday to each and every one of ya.

Anyhow! When I can't think of a good topic I say to myself, well what have I been doin' or thinkin' about or lookin' at this week? Sometimes that amounts to subject matter wholly inappropriate for a public forum. By sometimes I mean usually. Always. Crap. Sometimes I can twist it enough to coax it into a suitable blog. This may or may not be one of them times; let's find out together!

That's actually just what i'ma talk to ya about this week: working together! Well, working with other artists and writers, that is: collaboration! I've had my good and bad experiences with it myself, and generally fall into the “does not play well with others” category. I was the control freak kid in group projects that would end up doin' all the work myself on account of being totally convinced my peers would just fuck it up. But this week I was lucky enough to get a visit from my favorite (read: to date, only successful) collaborator, so I did a lot of that.

I'ma assume we all know basic comic industry history and that for the most part, titles will have separate individuals writing, penciling, inking, lettering, and coloring books. For mass production and monthly deadlines that's just more efficient. I'ma also go out on s limb and assume most of y'all, like myself, do all the heavy lifting yer own self. While working solo gives you complete creative control, which the control freak kid in me pretty much demands, I do dig workin' with like-minded artists and seeing how riffing off their work or working with their characters or ideas influences the decisions I make working on a piece or a comic.

There are lots of fun comic jam type exercises you can do: have one person script, another pencil, and yet another ink; trade off doing panels or pages of the same story. Or just pass a page back and forth until it's done. The possibilities are pretty endless. In this drawing I did the pencils, my collaborator laid down color, then we both inked.

Here's another that I started pencils on, then came back in to finish after he had laid down color and some basic linework.

Here's the pencils before his inks.

This one is interesting because some of the decisions I made inking were based on how he interpreted (or in cases misinterpreted) my original lines. I definitely recognize my hand in the drawing here, but there's a looseness and dimensionality to it that wouldn't have been there had I drawn the piece alone.

Another reason I dig working with or around others is seeing different tricks or aspects of others' process that I might not come up with on my own. I'm constantly mining for techniques to borrow (read: blatantly rip off) and apply to my own stuff.

So whattaya think? Did I pull it off? Is this a blog? Can I go back to drawing comics now? What about y'all- what's yer best or worst collaboration experiences? Good ideas for projects with pals? C'mon, let's collaborate on this here thing so I feel less like I'm coppin' out!

image credits: Josh Bayer and Hyena Hell. You can find more of Josh's work on Instagram, Facebook, or anywhere on the internet seriously the dude is prolific as fuck. Check out his anthology series “suspect device” or his latest project, “All Time Comics” with Fantagraphics at yer local comic shop or the internet, again.



KimLuster at 6:45AM, April 22, 2017

This is just awesome!! Maybe someday I'll let go of my control-freakiness and collaborate with someone.... Pfffhhaaa haha yeah Right!! I do admire people who can!

Banes at 8:31AM, April 21, 2017

Really amazing collaborations you posted here! Damn fine artists damn finely working damn together! ...Damn!

Ozoneocean at 4:04AM, April 21, 2017

I like working with other artists. Having Banes as writer on Bottomless waitress was cool, it was so nice to be able to interpret the writing of another person for once. And when I had Pitface and Tantz draw pages it was amazing to only focus on colouring instead of all the drawing stuff, it was great to see how they interpreted the images from Bane's writing!

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