Hey Stuart! I actually have a question…
I love the centrifolia sketch book releases. Wondering if there is any plans of releasing a third volume in the near future? Maybe feature some behind the scenes works while you were in X-Men or any runs on other comics you’ve done to justify a new edition? Your sketches are always fascinating and insightful into your creative process.
I’ve taken the liberty of copying your ask to a public post, but will gladly remove it on request.
Thanks for your comments regarding the Centifolia books and my process posts here. I’d be happy to compile a third volume at some point, but frankly, we are still sitting on quite a few copies of one and two, and I’d prefer to have those go away first. I wish I could say that sales were huge, but it’s actually been a pretty modest endeavour.
As to the possible inclusion of Marvel (or similar)-related work, despite being a possible sales hook, it’s a flat no-go as far as I’m concerned. Not only am I not legally permitted to publish that stuff, I’m not in the least interested in doing so. I think it’s a bad idea. It frustrates me to see members of the comic arts community take advantage of the publishers’ lax rights-enforcement stance by printing their homegrown Silver Surver t-shirts, their Ant-Man digital prints, their Wonder Woman sketch portfolios. They bite the hand that feeds and by example, open the door to imitators hoping to make a fast buck at conventions. Sketching an original for a fan is one thing, but profiting by printing multiples of someone else’s copyrighted material is wrong. Just because Marvel and DC are “big” is no excuse; if there is to be respect for smaller enterprises, personal works, creator-owned books, then the same rules need to apply across the board. You can’t yell about Redbubble or whomever stealing and printing your personal work and then turn around and print and sell a sketchbook filled with characters you don’t own.
I know a lot of people don’t agree with this and I expect there will be a lot of folks looking for anomalies in my own behaviour. I’m trying.
Again, thanks for your question. There may yet be a CENTI III— if and when it happens, you’ll be first to know.
Hello and thanks for the kind words.
1) I’ve never considered quitting per se, but I have periodically gotten very very tired, sometimes mentally, sometimes physically. I try to take more weekends off now, to get regular exercise and have recently cut way, way back on personal appearances.
About eight or ten years ago, K and I redoubled our commitment to create (or finish) the stories we’ve always talked about doing, and I have found that. despite the added workload of webcomics (Never As Bad As You Think) or OGNs (Moving Pictures, Russian Olive to Red King), the effort is worth it on its own merits as well as having a rejuvenating effect on work to which I am already committed. A change is as good as a rest, you know.
2) Oh, every page has some frustration, but I expect that’s due to my own limits, perceived or real. I find sci-fi environs in general very challenging and feel my efforts often come up short. Hair is hard. Explosions. Trees. Babies. Hats.
3) See above. Every new day, every new page is an opportunity to improve. Knowing there are people waiting for work to get turned in means sometimes letting less-than-perfect drawings go out the door. Tomorrow there will be better drawings. And free beer.
4) I could make something up, or you could take your pick of inspirational aphorisms by which to live, but I honestly don’t give the subject too much thought. My job is telling stories with pictures. That’s what I’ve committed to do, so I don’t waste a lot of time brooding about whether or not the muse is with me on a given day. I wake up and get to work. It was good enough for Kirby.
Thanks for your continued support.
We met at university. I was asleep in a hallway. Then we went and saw “Brazil”. Make of it what you will.
edited to add: asleep in a hallway… like a hobo. And Stuart was wearing a Cramps t-shirt.
Hello and thanks to you.
Most days I think we both feel like we don’t really belong in either camp, actually.
Our interests as far as consumption goes straddle the (arbitrary) divide, so I suppose it makes sense that we would find stories worth telling regardless of genre. I was in the video store (yes, they still exist) this week and the clerk asked what kind of movies I liked. I don’t think she believed me when I said I would watch anything, even when I came away with The American, Thirst and Kieslowski’s Three Colors. Stories are stories; why limit yourself?
Haven’t looked at the title since John Byrne left. Liked it well enough. Kathryn says she’s all for stunt casting.
Not really. Because we share the same work space, whomever needs to concentrate more gets to choose what helps them do that best. For a long time the default was just the ipod on shuffle but Stuart’s got a little too much Woody Guthrie in there and we both got tired of diving for the skip button. Our taste is pretty diverse but it basically stops around 1990.
Mostly now, we let the Shaw satellite tv radio play in the next room and there’s a French nostalgia station that is like the soundtrack for the French version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. And that’s basically perfect. As is the 70s station on the days when it decides to be mainly Roberta Flack and Marvin Gaye.
We will take your non-question. Thank you very much.
If Warren wrote it, Nick Lowe edited it, Marvel scheduled it, and I was asked to draw it, I would be all over it but I suspect that ship sailed a long time ago.
First, as one not-so-secret JiM lover to another, thank you. It was a tremendously good time. And second, at the risk of sounding obvious, the highlight was 100% making a book with Valerio Schiti. He was a delightful companion and a hilarious collaborator right from the get go. And I think we both, inexplicably, ‘got’ Sif in the same way… fierce and elegant, dorky and awkwardly literal… all in equal measure. Totally incapable of telling a knock knock joke, she was our enormously gifted, sometimes misguided and mistaken, Asgardian giraffe. I hope that some of what we were able to do with that character sticks going forward.
This tumblr recently had a series of posts about the last 26 years I’ve spent in comics and I’m sure there are a dozen interviews floating around in which I detail how and why I got in the business. Working for Marvel is great; it’s not the only thing I do.
Personal projects are professional work, but I understand your meaning.
I’ve use the slate for Marvel gigs (see above for example) as well as on Russian Olive and SNIPE. I like it fine and I’m happy to have some facility with a 100% digital workflow since it makes certain tasks (or entire jobs) available to me that would be otherwise harder or even impossible to do. That being said, I wouldn’t cross the street to draw on a computer screen.