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Guinea Pig: Pet Shop Private Eye #1, Hamster and Cheese

Guinea Pig: Pet Shop Private Eye #1, Hamster and Cheese

Following up last week’s focus on Tintin Pantoja, I have another Artist Spotlight. This time I asked the same questions of Stephanie Yue. Stephanie is the artist behind our exciting new series Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye by Colleen AF Venable.

Q. What computer programs and/or what kind of pens, pencils and brushes do you use?

A. I use a blue Col-Erase pencil to lay in rough shapes and compositions, and then a mechanical pencil for the more detailed drawing (blasphemy, I know, but it works for me!). Then I go over the drawing lightly with a kneadable eraser before inking. For inking, I usually use a combination of brush pens with different widths and tips. They’re less messy to use than a brush, but depending on the scale, sometimes I’ll break out my Winsor & Newton Series 7 brush (size 0 – 3), dipped in Deleter Black. I like Microns for inking more mechanical-looking things, too. Oh, and Photoshop with a Wacom Intuous tablet allows me to cheat a bit, clean up linework, and fix mistakes!

Q. What music (if any) do you listen to while drawing?

A. I like a lot of guitar or piano, something with a good beat or nice atmosphere. Often, I listen to podcasts, like This American Life, or A Way With Words, BBC documentaries. I’m a fan of TV on DVD, and will sometimes put on a show I’ve already seen and listen to it in the background—there’s always a good rotation going.

Q. What are your favorite comics right now, either online or in print?

A. I’m devouring Shaun Tan’s work right now, especially Tales from Outer Suburbia. I’m also really liking Mouse Guard by David Peterson.

Q. What comics did you read growing up?

A. I loved Calvin & Hobbes as a kid, and would marathon-read my dad’s collection in his study. I also distinctly remember discovering Tintin at my school’s library and marathon-reading those too. Hmm, do we notice a pattern?

Q. Did you go to college for art and/or comics, or for something else? Which college?

Spread from Guinea Pig: Pet Shop Private Eye #1, Hamster and Cheese

Spread from Guinea Pig: Pet Shop Private Eye #1, Hamster and Cheese

A. I studied illustration at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

Q. What is the next convention you plan to go to?

A. I’ll be set up at the Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art (MoCCA) Festival in 2010!

Q. What is your favorite comics convention?

A. MoCCA is probably my favorite, for the people that show and the people who attend. It’s altogether a great environment, and you can meet all sorts of interesting people face to face!

The Lost Key by Melinda Thielbar, art by Tintin PantojaMy name is Erin and I’m the intern here at Graphic Universe. It’s up to me to write this week’s blog entry while Carol is in Minnesota.

I decided to ask several of our artists the same questions for an Artist Spotlight series. This week I interviewed Tintin Pantoja, the artist behind the Manga Math Mysteries.

Q. Which computer programs and/or what kind of pens, pencils and brushes do you use?

A. I love to use Crayola color pencils when I make my rough thumbnails and drawings because I love how thick and waxy they feel on paper. Plus, it’s always fun to draw in different colors! Then, I scan the roughs into a computer, use Photoshop to turn the different colors into light cyan, and print that out. Then I ink over the cyan printout in india ink, using my Raphael Round #0 brush ( but it’s been used so often that the hairs keep falling off, so the tip is actually smaller than a normal #0 size). For small details in the drawings, I use ink or gel pens. Eventually I’d love to be able to draw entirely on the computer, but I’d have to practice much more.

Q. What music (if any) do our you listen to while drawing? It can be a genre or specific bands or songs.

A. I actually like to listen to stories wihle I draw- they help me to keep concentrating. One half of my brain is occupied by drawing, the other half by listening. Otherwise i get fidgety. I love to listen to British radio programs on BBC7 or British TV shows because I really love their accents!

The Hundred-Dollar RobberQ. What comics did you read growing up? What are your favorite comics right now, either online or in print?

A. I grew up reading Archie annd Tintin comics (of course!) so those will always have a place in my heart. Later on I devoured X-men comics. Currently I enjoy reading Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder, which she calls “aboriginal sci-fi.” I also absolutely love Locas by Jaime Hernandez and follow certain manga series such as Hellsing by Kohta Hirano and anything by Fumi Yoshinaga or Yuuho Ashibe.

Q. Did you go to college for art and/or comics, or something else? Which college?

A. I went to the School of Visual Arts in New York and got a BFA in Cartooning.

Q. What is the next convention you plan to go to? (This doesn’t have to be definite.)

A. There aren’t too many conventions where I live, although there are a couple of small ones called Komikons, but I’d love to make it to the New York Comic Con next year if possible.

Q. What is your favorite comics convention (if any)?

A. My absolute favorite is the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art Convention (MoCCA) because most of the comics sold there are independent comics. I’ve also got fond memories of going to Otakon in Baltimore. Many times, the artists are selling their own books so you get to talk to them directly about their stories and techniques. Seriously, you find really good stuff!

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