hello! I am doing a project for school and would be rally grateful if you could answer this question: When you make a comic, how do you do to create a nice flow/bring life to it? thank you :)
You mean Dynamism? I guess that just takes watching how others did it, learn what they did, and do it in your own way. Tweak it to the point where you feel life from it. Knowing anatomy and how to move it around is essential, exaggerating any punches or whatever you want to get across. Don’t know if that answers your question, it’s a hard one to explain!
I've been paying attention to your frequent responses on here and was wondering if there was any way I could possibly purchase a commission mailed from you or at least get put on a waiting list for one since I'm all the way down here in Texas missing out on the conventions across the country that you've popped up at. Haven't asked an artist for anything like this before and have actually been a bit nervous about doing so, but just let me know if that's in any way possible. Keep up the good work!
Don’t be nervous at all! Least that could happen is I say “No”! And yeah, my answer is No. Heh.
I only draw commissions at cons. Too busy with work right now to squeeze anything else in. Thanks for the interest though!
I heard you were coming to C2E2 in Chicago and I lost my shit! How can I contact you to get on a commission list while you're there? (I know its not for like 5 months, but I've been regretting not getting on the NYCC 2012 list for a year) Thanks!
The way I do commissions is at the convention you come find me at my table as early as possible, see my prices and see if I still have spots available on my list, and if you agree to prices and there is room on my list then you pay me, tell me what you’d like me to draw, then I stay up late and draw it, by the next day it’ll be ready for you to pick up, at that time we high five and part ways.
Hey, I was wondering how did you get started in the comic book industry. I'm starting my own comic and I wondered if you have some pointers or any advice for someone trying to get out there. I know it's a hard industry to crack but you can't sway me, in committed. I can honestly say I love your art and I hold you as an example, so your advice is very important to me. Also thank you for your kindness at baltimore comic con, we took a picture, it made my life!
At First I thought to say that it takes really hard work. But that’s not right. I don’t look back at all my years of drawing before I had a job as “work”. It was a hobby, a hobby I really enjoyed. I knew I wasn’t great, but wanted to be, and knew I could get better if I tried. I’d pick a weakness I had in drawing and I’d have fun studying and working on it to get better. Eventually I collaborated with writers and did short comic stories, then Robert Kirkman found me by clicking on my links and saw I could draw sequential art and he contacted me. So get good at drawing, have an online presence, keep drawing comics, even if you have to write them yourself. Enjoy it. Oh, and get good at recognizing your weaknesses, that’s a big one. Don’t listen to Mom and friends compliments, they are usually too nice. I heard stuff like, “well you are good enough to work in comics right now! Why doesn’t Marvel hire you?!” They don’t know what they are talking about! Go to comic message boards online and post art, take the criticisms. And get better! If no one comments on your art, that’s a critique in itself! It usually means you got some serious work to do. Whoops, there’s that “work” word again. Not work! Just enjoy seeing your weaknesses and strengthening them. To get better at anything I really think a person needs to be passionately obsessed for a few years, meaning thats most of what you do. Watch less entertainment, hang out less with friends, do less chores around the house, haha, just draw. Draw all the time! OCD! Obsessive Compulsive Drawing!
Hey ryan, dev here. A huge fan. Im a comic book artist from india, just stepping into the pro comic book world. Had one question. I have often seen you use motion lines which are drawn according to perspective and are drawn absolutely straight, and fanning out. For example lines following a punched Mark as he hurtles towards the reader. My question is, how do you ink those lines so consistently straight? cause they look like a lot of work, but they look so damn cool. Is it a practice thing?
A ruler and a vanishing point and a little bit of time is all you need for speed lines.
Hey, it's me again... Sorry but you give great answers! What would be your best advice for figuring out which lines in a drawing get the thick treatment and which ones get the thin? When I look at your pencil work, it's like you've mastered that balance that puts the drawing in perfect rendering. Is it trial and error? Or just experience? P.S. I'm already a fan of Cory Walker he's one of my faves... and you're right, he is a beast at character design!
Whatever line is facing the light source gets the thinnest treatment. The bottom line to things are thicker due to shadow. I mostly think about this with inks. Check amazing artists that ink themselves, like Frank Cho, Dave Johnson. You’ll see the pattern much more clearly I think.
Hey, do you remember what kind if pencils you used when you did portraits?
The brand never mattered, but I used lots of different shades, I’d usually start off with a Hb, then darken with 2b and keep going darker from there until I’d finish off with a charcoal pencil. Charcoal is always what made the portrait pop I thought.
Don't play coy with us. You know as well as we do that Dinosaurus is going to come back in a big way!
What character has truly come back from absolute death in Invincible? Eve? But that is part of her power. Who else? I can’t think of anyone. Angstrom and conquest never really died. Trust me, Dino is dead!
What's up Ryan, Are the best characters that are created drawn out first? Or brainstormed through writing down traits and key characteristics before drawing them? Which do you prefer? I'm having a tough time approaching character design at the moment.
When Robert wants a new character he usually has a name and a power for me up front, then I design the character based on that. Character design can be extremely difficult, because you don’t want the character to look like a throwaway quickly designed character. The better the design, the more believable the character will be to the reader. If its just a dude with a belt and red tights fighting Spider-Man, would you care? You would drop out of the story quickly.
It’s a tough balance to make a character interesting, cool, and simplistic. Overdoing it can ruin it also. I’d say the best character designer out there is Cory Walker. Go check out his blog, he redesigns characters all the time and they are amazing. Scroll through his blog here> http://corenthal.blogspot.com/?m=1
Hi Ryan, I only found this tumblr a few days ago so I'm excited to see your responses to questions. I'm an animation student and long time comic book fan. I've been a huge fan of you and Walker since the start of Invincible and I've always dreamed of seeing Invincible animated. And -- I was wondering if you had any tips for learning how to draw armor and/or clothing. I know drawing from life is important but I've hit a wall in learning how to draw clothing. Keep up the amazing work.
There are a few art books that teach tips on clothing. Can’t remember them off hand but I think Andrew Loomis covers everything in his books so you might want to give him a try. I know there is a Byrne Hogarth clothing book that’s pretty good. Also, practice from clothing mags, movies, whatever you can.
Hey Ryan! I know that the comics industry ride on strict deadlines so an issue can be out on a specific date. I'm wondering, as a penciller, how much time do you have to finish an entire issue of Invincible? And what about the inks and the colors? How much time do they have to be done? Also, what is your routine to make an issue?
I pencil an issue normally in 3 to 4 weeks. An inker and colorist has the same amount of time since they immediately get the page to work on, with days to spare of course, since they are the last to touch the page.
do you ink bluelines or directly onto the pencils? i tried to ink over pencils directly and i spent hours just cleaning up the images digitally lol
I do ink over pencils. There are ways to clean up image in photoshop without spending hours. Try: adjustments; Threshhold, and set it to around 160. Makes lines all the way black, takes out gray pencil lines. Hope that helps.
Hey Mr. Ottley, I'm in the process of pencilling my own comic. Ive done many comics before now but I've decided to practice inking so Since I'm aware you ink your own stuff I have a question for you. Do you finish pencilling a page and ink it or do you pencil all the pages and then ink over them? Thanks for your time.
Well I have Cliff Rathburn on interior inks these days! But back when I was inking all my own pages I’d pencil a few then ink etc. a lot of times I would pencil two pages one day, Ink them the next, and get started on the next days layouts.
Will your bigcartel store be updated within the next couple of months, or are you working on a set of prints like you did the last time it was running? Sorry if this message has already been asked beforehand. Me and my girlfriend love your work with Invincible!
Thank you! Yeah I don’t know what to tell you about my store. It just takes too much of my time. I do have a new print, maybe I’ll send it to my art dealer to sell. That might be the best way. Stay tuned! Splashpageart.com
Are you ever apprehensive about drawing these crazy massive battles and having characters blowing up planets in Invincible because of how it sets a precedent for future content? How do you and Robert keep evolving the action while avoiding a tedious treadmill of DragonBall Z style power leveling?
It’s easy to handle if you just don’t do it for a while. Like flying through a planet and blowing it up, fans dug it, but if we did that all the time we’d start to hear lots of complaints. So really it seems Robert does other interesting things for a while until another huge clash is done cooking and ready to serve!
Um, 'scuse me Ryan. If it's not too much trouble, was wondering if you or Robert could shoot any old comic book script my way to hone my drawering skillz. My entire life I've been just drawing figures on whiteness, and I really need to improve my backgrounds/surroundings, as well as my ability to draw characters from different angles. T'would be an enormous help! Cheers! P. S. I love you
Well thank you, I love you too. But I cannot send any scripts. Robert does put a script in the back of each hardcover I think. Maybe that helps?