Thursday, October 14, 2010

Todd and Sharon's Southern Tour

Meet the gang.

I had so much fun drawing Sam for the Halloween banner that I didn't want to go so long without drawing again. But since I'm on a real roll with the scripts for HAND ME DOWN HORROR (just about 75% done now) I thought it would be prudent to do some character drawings. I started out planning to do another model sheet for Johnny Dyer (our hero!) but got sidetracked. I just felt like drawing Dana suddenly. Before I knew it, I'd drawn the whole gang. So, in order, from left to right, meet Johnny, Dana, Chris, Oscar and Eamon. I was afraid to take it too far because I hadn't really thought much about Chris or Oscar but once I'd pencilled it, I realized these were the folks I see in my head while I'm writing.

I recently had an email discussion with one of Mike's fans about drawing and the question of style came up. I realized that I'd wasted a lot of time trying to force myself to draw like Darwyn Cooke or Javier Pulido. I love the guys who draw with bold strokes. Looking at their work really inspires me and gets me excited about drawing. But, alas, I just don't draw like them at all. So with this one, I tried to keep my style consistent and just draw like me. I've mentioned that I usually fall back on the Darwyn crutch when drawing females because I love how he draws women with those round, open faces. But not this time. I just relaxed and tried to be me. I really like the result. I really feel like I've found my Dana.

Anyway, I hope you like the sketch. I'm actually looking forward to drawing this thing!


Last year, Suzanne and I travelled up to New York to visit Todd and Sharon for a few days and they were very hospitable and showed us around their stomping grounds. We fell in love with their home and wished we could stay longer. Happily, Todd and Sharon turned the tables on us this year and came down to Richmond and stayed at the Ranch with us for a long weekend. Richmond doesn't have a lot to offer that you can't find just about anywhere else but we did our best to show them a good time.

My parents came down on Thursday to spend a day with the whole gang but they had to leave on Friday. That left us plenty of time to show Todd and Sharon around. The Folk Festival was this weekend and we took them to that and walked our rear ends off. (I thought we would gain weight during their visit but we actually ended up losing!) We took them to the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, shopped in Carytown, gave them a tour of VCU (especially the areas where Mike and I spent most of our time in college) and showed them some historic buildings. We took them to several of our favorite restaurants and, on Sunday, Christian, Angie and my Crom-daughter Lilah met us at our favorite watering-hole, Legend Brewery. We even got to have the movie night that Todd, Christian and I had been wishing for. We sat in my den and watched horror flicks until we dropped. Fortunately, the weather while they were down was absolutely fantastic, though the 90-degree temperatures put a real damper on my Halloween groove. I'm actually glad to see it turning cold and wet this week.

Toonces was a good host but Charlie was especially glad to see his Uncle Todd and was really sad to see him and Sharon go home on Monday. And so were we. Thanks for a great weekend, guys! Here's some photos of the visit:

Okay, that's all for now. Later!


Brian said...

Thanks for sharing, Matt, looks like a good time was had by all.

As for the cast "photo," I really like your style and think you should definitely stick with it.

Warren said...

I love that illustration, Matt. Their faces show real personality!

And thanks for sharing the photos. Looks like you guys had a great time.

And I'm glad it's FINALLY turning cool before Halloween also. We had highs in the 90's here almost every day from the end of May until the end of September.

Heywood Jablomie said...

sounds like you guys had a great time with each other. cool beans!

love the look of the cast. so can't wait to see this thing man!

todd said...

oh, yeah--i didn't tell you on the phone, but i loved the cast shot--having seen most of the people that you were basing them on, i am once again amazed and envious of your ability to design them and imbue them with life on paper! they look great and i can't wait to see you put on your artist's hat and dive right into this! sweet!
also, thanks so much for the wonderful time we had down there! big big fun!
and now it's your turn again! if not to see us them, how 'bout the diner?

Matt Wieringo said...

Thanks, Todd. Though, again, the kids aren't so much based on actual people as they are inspired by some of the personalities of people I used to know. Archetypes like "the tough kid", "the smart kid" or "the responsible kid."

For instance, Dana is a mish-mash of about three different people. They weren't really intended to look like anyone specifically. I was trying for looks that matched their personalities.

With Oscar, I was trying for a 14-year-old version of Fargo from EUREKA. Oddly enough, when I started drawing, the person I knew who suggested the personality I gave Oscar actually materialized on paper. I liked it and figured, "Eff it. Meant to be."

Tell the diner to stock up on coffee.