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Gabe / on Wed, Apr 5 2006 at 8:09 am

Art and junk

During the panel at the Emerald City comic con I promised to post a couple things. Someone in the audience asked about Penny Arcade toys and I informed them that I had just completed the turnarounds for the characters. For those of you unfamiliar with the term it just means I drew each character from the front and from the back. It’s pretty boring stuff so I never posted it. Apparently this guy at the con was an animation student and he spends a good chunk of everyday thinking about or making turnarounds. So he asked me to post mine.

So here you go. These are not the poses for the toys just reference for the sculptor. I still need to draw each character in the pose I’d like to see for the toy.

 

Click for the big version
I also told a story during the panel about the Oblivion comic we did a few days ago. See I wanted Gabe to pass out on the couch because he was so bored. I had this vision of his head just flopping back but I could not fucking draw it. I literally spent four hours trying to make it look right and I just couldn’t do it. So I remembered that I had recently been added to a mailing list by that son of a bitch Scott Kurtz (AKA Steve Kuntz) and it might be just what I needed. See Scott is a real comic book artist so he has all these comic book friends that just happen to be super famous and insanely talented. For some reason (maybe as a joke) Scott added me to this little email group and I decided I’d use it for my own selfish needs.
 
I sent my concept to all these guys along with what I had and I begged for help. I got some awesome advice and Mike Wieringo actually sent me this little sketch of Gabe.
 

  

His sketch was so fucking perfect and he must have just knocked it out in a couple minutes. I would have banged my head against my desk all day if it hadn’t been for his drawing. The title of that strip should have been “this comic brought to you by Mike Wieringo.”

I learned so much just from his little sketch that I couldn’t help wishing there was some sort of Mike Wieringo school I could attend. What’s funny is last weekend I ran into Stephen Silver at the Emerald City ComiCon. I’ve mentioned it here before but Stephen is easily the biggest influence on the way I draw. In fact for a couple years there I was trying to draw exactly like him. I feel like I’ve sort of got my own thing now so I don’t feel quite as embarrassed when I meet him. Anyway I asked him what he was doing now and he said Kim Possible got picked up for a fourth season, and he also mentioned that he was teaching character design out of his house in California.

What a fucking opportunity that would be. He said he’s only taking in six students at a time and immediately I imagined it as a sort of martial arts drawing dojo. I pictured his students all kneeling in a row with their sketchbooks in front of them. Stephen behind them shouting “Draw what you see, not what you think you see!”

“Yes sensei!”

I would love the opportunity to learn from someone like Stephen. The fact is Penny Arcade has become this ridiculous success and now I’m a cartoonist but I don’t feel like I deserve it yet. If you look at the work in the first couple of years and compare it to what I’m doing now you’ll see a pretty big change. That isn’t just a natural progression. That is a conscious effort on my part to learn this craft and earn what I have. Just when I start to feel comfortable I meet up with Stephen again or I see Mike knock out a sketch like the one above and I realize how far I still have to go.

Also I’m a fucking idiot. The spacing for the text in the comic has been screwed up lately and I didn’t even notice. Somehow my text settings got changed around. It’s fixed now though, so thanks for the mail. I apologize, that shit is fucking amateur hour.

-Gabe out


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