Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vassilis Gogtzilas, and Hollows.

Here's a montage of Hollow's art - i'm blown away and thankful retailers have ordered the first issue! Without fans and the few comic stores still out there, I wouldn't even still be working in comics, so a big THANK YOU to everyone who supports my goofy art style.

I know Hollows may not be for everyone. You might dig my old stuff or a less lose style than i'm using on the Hollows, but heck...  I'm always just surprised when anyone picks up a creator owned book anymore! No one gets rich of these suckers, their a labor of love.

Here's a Hollows piece you may have seen already, but if not...

Also those three Fantastic Four covers I drew for the Heros Charity are up if anyone's interested..  

Apologies i've been sluggish in posts the last few weeks.  Playing catch up on hollows last two issues left me kinda spent. But i'm recharging my creative battery so don't worry, new posts are in the works!


I waned to talk in this post about my old pal Vassilis Gogtzilas. Like a few other artists he saw my work when he first read comics, and gradually grew into a story that is his own. I did the same, tried to copy the styes of others when first read, then later trying to break in.

I tried to drag Vassilis into working with me on Nola... and he always blew me away with his amazing art. In the end I decided I wanted to draw that particular story myself. It was tough call, because I had become good friends  with him by then, be he understood why. No rejection of him, and he's been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.

See, the secret i never told Vassilis, was that while i asked him to help me on Nola... truth was i learned a lot from him. I think I learn from every artist i work with, but Vass is  special. He's so versatile,  humble, and one of the fastest artists i've ever met!

His art can get as 'big-foot' or cartoony as my cousin Dave Feiss's style got sometimes.

In fact i sorta flash back to Fred Flower and Uncle Italian Moose or the Cow and Chicken days when Vassilis is in cartoony mode. Yet his style is it's on animal here too.

Cartoons or Illustration.. either way: Frantic, energetic and full and life.

Another thing I admire is he can move to things like this... portraits and figure drawing that's solid as a rock, yet his pen or brush style stays lose...

Vassilis CAN add the detail, but like Eddie Campbell or Sienkiewicz do,

Vass has the skill to use a scratch pen style that strips the face bare... and seems to carves everything extraneous away.

Then he'll pop back over to something like this big-jawed guy.

This is why i love his stuff.  All over the place, in a good way!  (Plus bonus points because he's not afraid to draw big butts too!)

I'd be a fool NOT to learn and absorb from artists like Josh Hagler, Jon Way$hak, Vassilis, they 'teach" me things... change me, affect me... every time I look at their art.  Even if we never directly speak about it. Some of them may be young enough to look upon me how i look upon older comic pros. But that's irrelevant now.

They emerged from the shadow of my 'style' like I fought to emerge from being a Berni Wrightson or Bill Sienkiewicz clone, or a  clone of illustrators like Bernie Fuches or Bob Peak, or painters like the women of Klimt,  beauty/ugly of Schiele,  whimsy of Paul Klee,  elongated faces of Modigliani, or even variety of styles Kandinsky tried. Not throwing those names out to seem pretentious, but they all inspired when i first discovered them.

Then later when trying to break into comics.. their immense talent, skills, pure imagination... intimidated the hell out of me.

But i did tried to do.... what Way$ak, Hagler and Vassilis succeeded at. Emerging from another artists's shadow or style.  Now it's their OWN styles they get to enjoys the fruits of.  Or be frustrated by. Sure, questions still swirl in all our minds:

Am i just a clone of.......?

Do i look to much like........?

Meanwhile, as the questions fade, the good news is all we're all left with is ART. Cool art, different art. People miles apart that hardly look anything like one another now, but once part of a long chain or guys and gals inspire by each other.

So, this post is dedicated to Vassilis, one of the best kept secrets in comics in my humble view.  He's his own guy now, and his secret is starting to seep out.

Well known writer J.M. Dematteis talks about working with Vass on a new comic called Augusta Wind too - check it out!  

There's also lots of cool art from Vass in this piece too.

Okay, enough already, i will get back to throwing some of my crap up next post. I'll leave you with two sepia looking pages Vass drew from a comic, dealing with ordinary people. Seems appropriate since we've been talking about artists insecurities and failures.