Thursday, October 22, 2009

Doug TenNapel

Back in the 90's, gateway computers had a cool game pack that you could get with your computer, including one game in particular called "The Neverhood". I'm sure everyone at FableVision knows about it now, since a. I think I casually bring it up in conversation once every 3 months, and b. I have it proudly perched next to my computer at work.

The game is fantastic and I recommend anyone who can get their hands on it, BUY IT! You wont be disappointed. It's the perfect combination of humor, logic and story. -plus the fact that they created everything out of clay!

I realized one day, I never really looked into who made it. I just always played it for what it was, an awesome game. So I found his name, it being Doug TenNapel. I had a flurry of excitement when I started uncovering that the same guy who did this game, also did Earthworm Jim (another obvious favorite from the nineties) and Skullmonkeys.

I found that Doug has definitely been keeping busy. He currently has about 8 comics under his belt (or more), and doesn't sound like he's going to be slowing down any time soon. So to keep a long story short, I immediately bought one online that day.

I purchased Earthboy Jacobus, and I have to say, it is probably one of the best books I've bought in a long time. The thing that struck me about his comic, is the raw brush work. It just felt very hand made. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I create almost 100% of my art on the computer now, but it instantly reminded me of what exactly we are doing as artists. Creating art. Yes you have to think about your audience, the story, etc. etc. At the end of the day tho, you are still just making your mark, no matter what kind of story goes along with it. I think spending so much time away from traditional materials, I've become a bit disconnected. Instead of sitting down with my trusty Isabey watercolor brushes, and just letting myself be creative, I have to be pained with a program riddled with bugs. But that can all be resolved very easily. I just need to pick up my brushes again! ha.

Which leads me to my next point. I've been following Jake Parkers" Inktober", which by the way, check out his blog, awesome stuff. Yesterday he posted a sketch that had a similar vibe to Mignola and TenNapel. Long story short, I was pointed to this video of TenNapel doing a quick demo, inking one of his comics. It's just always great to hear someones point of view, their process, and to actually SEE it happening, super cool. Which is actually the entire reason for me posting.

Check it out the following video, I hope it inspires you, I know I was!

1 comment:

Bob Flynn said...

It's almost a no-brainer, folks. The computer gives you an insane amount of control (great for all the perfectionists out there...UNDO is your savior). I've mentioned this to more than a couple people, maybe because I've become known for my Flash tutorials and I'm now guilty.

The digital world simply doesn't stand up to the real deal. It's not even close. Flash feels good, it's quick, it's sharp. You can coach your brain for a year or 2 to adapt to the tablet. But Doug nails it in this video—where's the soul? You can't smell the ink or taste the paint. You don't get messy.

As a comic artist who has inked comics in Flash, the experience is incredibly different. Inking on computer=cold, zoomed-in, sterile, accurate. Inking on paper=risky, exciting, big-picture, pure. And you can hold it in your hands when you're done.

Maybe I just turned 30 and I'm getting on my cranky soapbox. But do yourself a favor, open up a sketchbook and put a pen, pencil, or brush to the paper. For balance, if nothing else. Inktober is almost done!