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How to Draw Your Own Comic [Interview]

luciuscrossWe sat down with Biowars artist Lucius Cross to learn a little about his inspiration in drawing Biowars’ characters and universe, and how a beginning artist can establish themselves and start their own comic.

How do you begin the process of developing a character’s unique appearance?

I like to start with establishing a character’s silhouette first and foremost, as a unique and distinguishable silhouette is key in making a character instantly recognizable regardless of what distance he’s being viewed from. Once you establish the silhouette, you can start detailing and fleshing the character out, keeping in mind that a well thought out color scheme also goes a long way in injecting life into a character’s appearance.

For Biowars, what did you use as inspiration for your designs?

Honestly, it was a matter of trying a number of different approaches until one of them started to click. I wouldn’t say that I was inspired by any certain thing, at least not directly. We especially tried to stay away from referencing real world biology too much when establishing the aesthetics of Biowars, instead opting to try to give the Biocosmos and its denizens an alien-like, otherworldly appearance. Something off the beaten path, if you will. I think we managed to do that pretty well.

How can someone who’s interested in illustration break into the comic book industry?

The paramount thing is to work on building up your skill set as an artist. This is by far the most important thing you can do, and it takes many, many years to do it. Once you have industry-level skills and a solid portfolio, then it’s just a matter of presenting it to potential publishers in hopes that they will take a liking to your work. If comic book illustration is what you want to do, try to focus most of your work in that direction. You can try creating your own webcomic, or draw fan art of already established comic book characters to show that you’re comfortable working in that style. Build your portfolio around comic book art and things that relate to it. The rest will fall into place naturally.

What advice do you have for comic lovers interested in creating their own book?

Study the art of storytelling. Knowing how to frame shots effectively as well as what camera angles use to convey a scene in a clear yet visually interesting way is key. Each panel needs to concisely flow into the next and read in a natural fashion so that the reader is never confused about where his eye should go next. A good way to figure this out is to learn by example. Read a lot of comic books, pay close attention to the artist’s panel composition and camera angles and try to occasionally ask yourself why the artist chose to frame a particular shot the way he did and why it works as well as it does. The answers will start to reveal themselves and you’ll start to pick up on what works and what doesn’t over time.

What are your personal favorite comic books?

Killing Joke, Kingdom Come, Dark Knight Returns, Amazing Spider-Man, Astonishing X-Men, Blade of the Immortal and Death Note are some of my favorites.

If you still haven’t read the first issue of Biowars, read it online free now.

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