For those of you stopping by from MySpace, thanks for coming. So you do leave dissapointed, here's the interview once more. I swear, I'll figure out how to make these posts sticky some day. Enjoy! = )
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All right, this week I have something special for everyone. Recently, an artist whose work I've been groovin' on for a while now offered anyone within Internet-based shouting distance to send him five questions. He'll answer them and (hopefully) those who asked will post them.
Who is this madman? Who would be willing to put it all on the line to answer random questions from even more random people? Why am I asking all these questions instead of getting to the point?*
The man: Aaron Alexovich.
His body of work: Development Art on "Tutenstien," Character Designs on "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and "Invader Zim." His comic book work includes artwork for "Fables" and "Confessions of a Blabbermouth," creator of "Serenity Rose" and the just released "Kimmee66."
Well, after I drained out all the Fanboy that I could from my questions, I sent him a couple. Being the stand-up guy he is; he got back to me. Here's how it went...
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EKA) Let's start with the basics. About how long have you been working on comics/cartoons for and where was your start?
Aaron A) Well, technically, I've been making comics and cartoons since I was a kid. I used to give my dad Star Trek spoof comics and whatnot for Christmas every year, a fact which I'm sure is conjuring up plenty of images of a very cool, socially-well-adjusted, athletic young Aaron. Most artists have stories like that, though. It's kind of like being a dancer or pianist or whatever... To be really good you kind of have to grow up with it.
Professionally, I've been drawing cartoons in some form or another since 2000. I got my first job when Jhonen Vasquez saw a student film of mine (starring Serenity Rose) and decided to take me on as a "character clean-up artist" on his Nickelodeon show, Invader Zim. It was just blind, dumb luck that he saw my film, too. That's kind of how the animation industry works.
I worked in animation for a few years, then decided I'd rather tell my own stories my own way. Comics is the easiest way to do that.
EKA) Now that we have that out of the way, let's hit on your comic work. Your work on Serenity Rose was straight pencils/no inks. What are the pros and cons of working almost completely in pencil?
AA) I'd say the biggest pro is warmth. There's a richness to pencil shading that I can't really seem to get any other way. It all feels so... cozy, y'know?
The biggest con is definitely time. It takes at least three days to do a page, which is at least one day longer than I'd like. I don't seem to be getting any faster with time, either...
EKA) On animation: It's been a couple of years since you did the Serenity cartoon on your site. Have you ever thought of doing other cartoon shorts online?
AA) Actually, that Serenity cartoon was my student film from 2000, the one that scored me a job on Zim. So it's been kind of a while. I'd love to do more, but animation takes just forever. Even a little 4-minute thing like that would eat up months and months. I can't really justify taking that kind of time away from the comics right now, to be honest.
Someday, though! It's a lot of fun to get into the performances, particularly. Dialogue is great.
EKA) Since the first question was two parts and I'm out of non-fanboy style questions, I'll wrap this up. This one is pretty much a free space for shout-outs, recommended reading/watching/listening, name dropping or anything else you wish to say.
AA) No shout-outs, really, and I've already done my name-drop, but I'll give you a reading, a watching, and a listening:
Reading: Death Note. Brilliant design work, really fascinating characters... This series has sort of gotten me back into manga after many, many years of pure ignore-ment.
Watching: Just yesterday I watched this really cool little movie called Fido. I had no expectations for it, but there were zombies involved so it had to be rented. The thing is set in the 1950's, is all about a boy and his pet zombies, and is every bit as fun as that premise sounds.
Listening: I've been listening to this band Ima Robot a lot lately, especially "Monument to the Masses." Very poppy rocky electroniccy sing-along-type stuff. I just love it. My musical tastes are kind of simple like that.
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I'd like to give a huge thanks to the newly married Mr. Aaron A. for not only offering up the chance to interview him for fans like myself and others but also for doing the great work he does. If you'd like to find out more about Aaron and his work, swing by his personal site at HeartShapedSkull dot Com. For a glimpse at his latest book, Kimmie66, click the link you just passed and enjoy!
*Answer: Dramatic Tension.