On Today’s show I am joined by Independent Comic Creators Neil Segura and Ray Mendivil to discuss their comicbook Forever Freshman! We talk about writing, art technique, tacos, beer, and Metal Gear Solid and more!
Neil Segura and Ray Mendivil first met on the schoolyard of Katherine Edwards Jr. High, in unincorporated Whittier. They soon found they had many common interests such as music, food and avoiding social interactions. In high school they both joined marching band and their reign of coolness continued. Many years later they decided to revisit those high school memories and created a comic about their experiences.
Neil and Ray two wild and crazy cats!
Man vs. Art Pantheon of Awesomeness!
By Luis Escobar!
Shelly was the first and only really creative and knowledgeable comics editor I’ve worked for in all these years in the field. He was rough. He’d tear up my pages if I got too cute, too arty in telling the story. He’d tear them up on the spot and tell me to go home and do ’em over again. I tried to put in all the elements that I thought were important. But they weren’t important. And Shelly was the one who pointed that out to me. He didn’t care how pretty the pictures were if they didn’t develop the story. “Stop trying to be another Michelangelo,” he’d say, “and just tell the story. Just tell the story.” And every time I walked out of his office, I’d learned something–whether I wanted to or not. The direction of action; staging; the importance of dialogue flow, how it should run through a page, panel by panel; what the eye should read first and what you want the eye to see first.
He wasn’t good at it just because he was Alex Toth, he was good at it because he worked harder and was more critical about his work than most of the guys around him. In an web article written by Jesse Hamm we find these quotes:
“Of all the artists I’ve met,” recalls veteran illustrator Greg Theakston,”none have been so quick to crucify their work, and with so much disdain.” Of Toth’s written self-appraisals, cartoonist Derik Badman observed that Toth “spends more time analyzing what went wrong, what he’d like to have done differently, than discussing anything else, as if all he could see were the flaws.”
Jesse Hamm, speculates Toth was a maverick in his approach to learning. He was always willing to throw away what he knew in order to try a new approach. He was willing to start all over by from square one in order to build himself anew. He didn’t simply do what most artist do, finding a formula that works for them and sticking with it. He was always willing to try an new approach that might make him look bad at first but would make him better than everyone else in the long run.
“There came a time when I had to unlearn many things.” ~Alex Toth
“It was great fun, to learn anew. You think you know enough, but you don’t. You must open up; let it in. …be receptive, admit what you don’t know, which few are willing to do. Start from square one. Again!” ~Alex Toth
Toth had guts and it made him an incredible artist. His sense of composition, tone, anatomy, design and story telling is an inspiration.
Toth passed in 1996 at age 77. He was found dead of a heart attack, at his DRAWING DESK.
This past weekend The Cartoonistas got together at Geeks comics to celebrate Jack Kirby’s birthday by giving out free sketches to the public! Good times!