Illustrators, graphic designers become comic creator hopefuls

Students involved in California Baptist University’s arts programs who may want to enter the field of writing and drawing comic books have many opportunities, including two different visual arts programs available in different departments on campus.

Caron Rand, adjunct professor of CBU’s fine arts illustration courses, urges arts students to take courses in graphic design and illustration. She said she believes it would help students to be more well-rounded in freelancing for major comic book companies.

“Those individuals who can draw and sketch art and then put that into the computer to manipulate their designs have that much more to give an employer,” Rand said. “If they are unable to give technical skills, they may not be as valuable to a company.”

Brogan Wassell, a CBU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and visual media, offers advice to students considering creating comics.

“Learn Photoshop painting skills, as now coloring your comics digitally is much more viable than analogue methods,” Wassell said. “Read comics, know what is good and not good. Fill multiple hats and take chances.”

Lloyd Briggery, events coordinator for The Kubert School in Dover, New Jersey, offered advice to aspiring comics creators.“Keep doing it over and over again,” Briggery said.

“The more you work at it, the better you get. Draw everything. In a page of comics you might have to draw a building, interior, exterior or even people.”

Several alumni from The Kubert School are currently working as freelancers for Marvel and DC including Amanda Conner of “Harley Quinn” and Alex Maleev of “Daredevil.”

Garry Brown, a former DC and Marvel artist who is also an alumnus of The Kubert School, encouraged students to draw each and every day. He also inspired students to look at projects that might be outside of Marvel and DC, including working with Image comics.

“Just start drawing a comic,” Brown said. “I mean you have to look at a comic and know what it is. If you find a writer or if you want to write something with a script, just write.”

Brown drew the most recent volume of  “Catwoman” from DC comics until the series was abruptly cancelled. Brown quickly rebounded, finding himself drawing a series titled “Black Road” with “Star Wars” alumnus and best-selling author Brian Wood writing the brand new comic.

Alex Chung, an up-and-coming writer, sought out comic books after attending Fullerton’s film program. Chung brought an early comics project, “Zayra,” to several conventions on the West Coast including Long Beach Comic Con, where he charged $4, and signed the comic for fans who approached his table at the convention.

“I majored in film at Cal State, Fullerton, and concentrated on screenwriting,” Chung said. “I was interested in writing and combining comics, and got the bug to make actual comics. All you have to do is find an artist. Comics aren’t limited by budgets, only by imagination.”

About Alexander Jones

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