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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