For me, it’s always about the story. My job, as I see it, is to visually tell Greg’s story as clearly and dramatically as I can, using all the tools at my disposal. That can include composition, shape and size of panels, even the gutters between the panels.
I’m self taught but, fortunately, my school had an impressive array of adjunct professors. They had names like Kirby, Eisner, Toth, and Caniff. I probably learned something from the art of every artist I ever looked at, even if it was how not to do something. While, stylistically these artists were all over the map, they all had the same starting point: tell the story.
It took me a long time to determine what it is about comics that totally captivates me, makes me want to not just be a reader and a fan, but to earn my living doing this. It’s something I refer to as The Magic Trick. It’s a sleight of hand the writer and the artist perform that convinces the reader that those ink lines on a piece of paper (or, in this case, pixels on a screen) are actually living breathing people who think and feel and laugh and cry. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does….
Greg and I worked on a Batman story once where we put a character through some tough times. We received a fan letter from a reader who was so outraged at what we had done to this character that he vowed to never read anything either of us ever did again. When you think about it, that’s really a nice complement. We had performed the Magic trick.
So, sit back, relax, and stick around for some Magic.