Checkout our first humor piece featuring our very own Ananya Vahal & yours truly on Fuss Class News. The first South Asian-American satirical publication created by Rani Shah.
On November 11, 2017 I was invited to teach how to teach how to make comic book pages using the Comic Draw App. This event was held at General Assembly, an educational center that specializes teaching in-demand skills.
I had the privilege to share my expertise with attendees from all over Atlanta. It was a good time with a host of talent in the room so of course we had to bust out the #pvsketch challenge.
Checkout the pics below, find new artists to follow and go ahead and download Comic Draw App for yourself FREE.
Click here for more #PVSketch drawings.
Prime Vice Studios is available for teaching engagements. Book us for your next event and invite the joy of comic creation to your function. 😎
Tales From La Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology is a collection of comics created by top and emerging contemporary Latinx comic artists including myself.
Exploring Latinx Identity
The anthology explores the diverse experiences of being Latinx. For La Vida I contributed a comic that reflected on Afro-Latinx identity. I titled it “____-American” due to the nature of having to navigate and justify yourself through “hyphen Americanness."
I sincerely hope this book gets widespread attention and proper due. The Latinx experience makes up a large part of the Western Hemisphere yet it’s reflection is negligible in most mediums.
Tales from La Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology Reviews
Click the picture below to checkout the article written by Chris C Hernandez for Comicosity.com
Our very own content editor Ananya Vahal has written a wonderful review through her blog as well. Click on her image to check it out.
Below you will find the summary reviews from Amazon.com.
In the Latinx comics community, there is much to celebrate today, with more Latinx comic book artists than ever before. The resplendent visual-verbal storyworlds of these artists reach into and radically transform so many visual and storytelling genres. Tales from la Vida celebrates this space by bringing together more than eighty contributions by extraordinary Latinx creators. Their short visual-verbal narratives spring from autobiographical experience as situated within the language, culture, and history that inform Latinx identity and life. Tales from la Vida showcases the huge variety of styles and worldviews of today’s Latinx comic book and visual creators.
Whether it’s detailing the complexities of growing up—mono- or multilingual, bicultural, straight, queer, or feminist Latinx—or focusing on aspects of pop culture, these graphic vignettes demonstrate the expansive complexity of Latinx identities. Taken individually and together, these creators—including such legendary artists as Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Roberta Gregory, and Kat Fajardo, to name a few—and their works show the world that when it comes to Latinx comics, there are no limits to matters of content and form. As we travel from one story to the next and experience the unique ways that each creator chooses to craft his or her story, our hearts and minds wake to the complex ways that Latinxs live within and actively transform the world.
“The auspicious result features a manifold cast from the most established to as-yet-unproven discoveries, each working in varied styles, methods, lengths. . . . As testimony and magnification of the multitudinous Latinx experience, La Vida bursts forth con fuerte.” --Booklist
“The best collection of Latinxdad—humor, pathos, politics, and DESMADRE—since the empanada.” --Gustavo Arellano, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America
“These stories represent the independent voice for Latinxs in comics today and Professor Aldama is the ‘cerebro’ that had the vision to pull them all together.” --Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, La Borinqueña, https://www.somosarte.com
“This is comic book storytelling at its best. These deftly constructed stories shake us to our core selves, waking us and the world to the sweeping spectrum of Latinx identities and experiences. Mind blowing!” --Keith Knight, The Knight Life and K Chronicles
“You want cutting edge? Tales from la Vida showcases the best of the best. This bounty of Latinx talent opens eyes and hearts to the extraordinary possibilities of comic book storytelling!” --Jeff Smith, Bone
“Tales from la Vida gives me vida! The sheer volume of testimonies bearing witness to the depth and complexities of being Brown and Latinx, of being an interesting sentient being, of being a vato/a nerd, of being a wordsmith and visual creative—and the broad range of intelligence and artistry displayed in these biting comics is mind-bogglingly astonishing, and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with any seminal, canonical anthology of American poetry or prose. We are gifted here with double-barreled throwdowns of resistance, rebellion, and love from some of the most genius Latinx (and American!) comics creators in the land—all mitigated by the judicious and generous inimitable scholar-artist himself, the Good Doctor, Frederick Luis Aldama! Vaya!!!” --Tony Medina, I Am Alfonso Jones
“An eclectic and artistically stunning collection of work overflowing with emotional resonance and cultural reverence, Tales from la Vida is a gift to cherish.” —David Walker, Luke Cage and Bitter Root
About the Author
Frederick Luis Aldama is the author, coauthor, and editor of over thirty books, including recently Long Stories Cut Short: Fictions from the Borderlands and Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics. He is Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor, University Distinguished Scholar, and Director of the award-winning LASER (Latinx Space for Enrichment & Research) at The Ohio State University.
I’ve been doing some live drawing and inviting the world to come jam with me while I work on upcoming PVS publications, play original music in the background and engage with my audience.
Checkout the videos in the Comic Draw: Live Drawing playlist on YouTube and make sure you follow us on social media to tune in for the next live session.
Comic Draw Live Drawing Sessions
Click the links to checkout our live drawing session playlists. These will be updated regularly.
Robert K. Jeffrey
"I love creating these worlds that people can get lost in, just like I did as a kid growing up whenever I picked up a book."
A freelance writer with over 13 years of experience, Robert was chosen along with 5 other writers (out of more than a thousand applicants,) to take part in the 2017 DC Comics Writers Workshop. He’s the creator/ writer of the Glyph Comics Award nominated/ winning comic book series Route 3, Editor In Chief of BlackSci-Fi.com, has contributed to such anthologies like Dark Universe: Bright Empire, and is co-writer of the Glyph Comics Award nominated Radio Free Amerika. His client work includes work done for the Centers for Disease Control and Nitto Tires, and he currently co-hosts the New Wakanda podcast.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from the southside of Chicago.
Where did you grow up?
We moved around a bit when I was growing up. So I’ve actually lived in California (Los Angeles, Pasadena), Chicago, and now Atlanta. I’ve been in Georgia the longest and love it down here.
How did your experiences affect your stories/ writing?
As a kid who loved things like Star Trek, Batman, X-Men, Spiderman, Back To The Future, Hook, etc I began to notice a pattern.
Though folks who looked like me were found in a lot of these fantastical stories, we were often not at the forefront. I had a problem with that and continue to even now. I was surrounded by no shortage of black people who took charge in their own stories on a day by day basis. Sure, they weren’t going out and leaping from rooftops to fight crime, or trekking the stars, seeking new life and new civilizations. The point was, they were handling their ‘ish, and weren’t being relegated to sidekick/ support status, or the comic relief.
I told myself that wasn’t going to be the case in the stories that I wrote, that featured people who looked like me. Though I pride myself on being able to write just about anything and anyone, when it comes to focusing on characters of color I like to make them the power players in these larger than life stories that I like to tell.
Its worked out so far, so I’ll keep doing it. ?
You have been working with DC with their writing program. How has been that experience?
The 2017 DC Writers Workshop was a great experience. Having a chance to learn from an industry legend like Scott Snyder was an experience that I’ll never forget, and the information I took from the workshop has become crucial in helping my growth as a writer.
I also learned A LOT from my fellow workshop participants, and I’ve seen development in my scripts since doing the workshop.
What type of stories do you like to make comics about?
Where to begin? Lol. I write whatever gets me hyped as a creator. I’m kind of selfish in that when I start brainstorming an idea for a script that I focus on things that will keep me entertained and connected to. I try to do that when seeking out client work.
So, my interests in terms of stories that I like to make comics about vary across the board. Route 3 is a coming of age super heroic, espionage thriller. Mine to Avenge: The Book of Layla is a cyber punk/ action horror series. RET: CON is an Afrofuturist time traveling adventure. To say my interests in what I like to create run a wide a gamut is an understatement. The same goes for any client work. I pride myself on being a varied hired gun when it comes to writing for prospective employers.
You can’t limit yourself as a writer. You just can’t. You miss out on countless opportunities like that, and since my goal is to eventually do this full time, I keep myself open to a variety of different things to write about.
Whats your process? Elaborate on how you work through your projects. How do you break up your time for your projects at different stages?
I usually begin with brainstorming, then moving to outlining. I find that unless I have a specific set of steps to follow in building my story, my mind wanders.
Brainstorming can begin with a simple kernel of an idea, which I then build into something more. I try to follow the tried and true model of establishing your “Set Up, Conflict, & Resolution” for the story. It simplifies things in the long run, in terms of giving me a template of sorts to follow. Now, not to say that this template might be switched around for the sake of storytelling, but to have a basic story skeleton of sorts to follow is crucial for me to follow.
After that I’ll begin writing a first draft, just to get the thoughts down on paper. Storytelling is key here, as I’m partly putting together a script that the artist is going to enjoy drawing, just as much as whoever might buy the book will enjoy reading. I try not to over direct when it comes to panel descriptions but provide just enough direction where both I as the writer and the artist know how the page is going to flow.
I find that writing dialogue is a favorite part of the process of mine as it helps me to feel out the various characters in a scene. So, after writing the dialogue, panel descriptions, location captions, thought captions, etc. it all come together to move the story forward.
The first draft is usually followed by a second and third draft where I’m fine tuning everything within the script. After that, it’s off to my editor, comes back to me for another pass, then it goes to the art team.
What do you recommend to aspiring writers that you wish you had known much earlier? What would you tell yourself 20 years ago?
Life is a fickle beast, and it will complicate things every chance that it gets. When that happens, just keep pushing forward. Also, stay out of your head. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Just don’t.
And have more confidence in yourself. Keep learning as much as you can about writing, stay open to constructive criticism, don’t treat people horribly, and just do your best to be the best person you can be. Also, stay out of your head, and have more confidence in yourself. Did I say that already? ?
What do you love best about writing comics?
I love creating these worlds that people can get lost in, just like I did as a kid growing up whenever I picked up a book. To provide an escape, or an alternative to all the BS that surrounds us 24/7, that’s a blessing.
What do you wish was different about the comics industry?
I wish that the industry would realize that EVERY-FRIGGIN-ONE loves these books. Find ways to tap into that, and just build, and build, and build. And some publishers, more so than others have realized that. Continue to reflect the world that exists NOW, and your readership that exists NOW.
Which books do you recommend writers should have in their reference library? Favorite instructional material?
Jim Zub’s Tutorials for creating comics: http://www.jimzub.com/
Alan Moore’s Writing For Comics: Alan Moore
Powers Scriptbook by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming
Writing for Comics & Graphic Novels with Peter David: Peter David
Making Comics: Scott McCloud
Understanding Comics: Scott McCloud
The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics: Dennis O’Neill
Words For Pictures: Brian Michael Bendis
Top 5 favorite writers.
1. Dwayne McDuffie
2. Geoffrey Thorne
3. Octavia Butler
4. Greg Rucka
5. Brandon Thomas
Favorite comic characters.
5. Tara Chace
8. Woke AF’ Cyclops
Top 5 favorite comics and graphic novels.
1. Static Shock: Rebirth of the Cool
2. New Frontier
3. Icon: A Heroes Welcome
3. Queen and Country: The Definitive Editions, Vol. 1-4
4. The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury
5. Prodigal: Egg of First Light
7. Batman: The Long Halloween
8. Gotham Central: In The Line of Duty
9. Invincible: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1
10. Noble Vol 1.: God Shots
What type of work are you interested in doing? Now? In the future?
I’m always interested in doing more comics work. I’m open to writing anything. I’m having a great time working for publishers like 133 Art and Evoluzione Publishing. I’d love to work for publishers like Lion Forge, Valiant, Boom! Studios, Dark Horse, IDW, etc. I’ve got a bucket list of licensed characters that I’d like to pitch for including characters/ franchises like Rocket (Milestone Media), Overwatch, Star Trek, The Orville, and heck even my favorite cult classic, Sliders.
In addition to the comics work, I’m trying my hand at writing for table top gaming with New Agenda Publishing, and I’d really like to learn more about, and eventually jump into video game writing. Lastly, I’m going to get back into writing prose fiction by the end of this year, and am currently looking into getting my certification for technical writing.
How can others find and purchase your work?
This week’s tutorial goes over how use color to enhance your comic art.
Adding color to your comics adds vibrancy and extra dimension but first you must choreograph your palette. Make sure to choose colors that serve the mood of the scene.
Choreograph you color scheme.
According to color theory certain colors create indications of temperature, emotion and movement in space.
Warm colors push forward in space.
Warm colors which includes reds, oranges & yellows are indicative of intensity or anger and moves forward in space.
Cool Colors recede back into space.
Cool colors which includes blues, most greens & various grays often indicate calmness & tranquility and receding back into space.
Comic Coloring Rules of Thumb
Keep these principles in mind to make the best decisions in coloring your comics.
Decide on areas of focus.
The focus area will be the most saturated and have the most intense color.
Color details need to enhance the line art.
The line art should inform how you color.
Work from dark to light.
Indicate the shady areas and shadows.
Shading gives your art more depth.
Reinforce the light source.
The brush must serve the line work.
Does the texture of your brush help or hinder the artwork?
Model your figures and objects using values.
Simple modeling works best to not muddy the line work.
Enhancing the narrative.
These basic principles are helpful when setting up spatial planes, indicating mood or emotion, when framing and establishing focal points.
Always consider the context of the scene.
Color application is useful for adding emotional impact and extra dimension to line art. Apply these principles consciously to enhance aspects of the visual narrative.
Thank you for checking out this week’s tutorial. I hope you’ve found it useful. Please add any comments below. I love to read and follow up on my fellow artists. Additionally, Prime Vice Studios is available to help people on their comic creation journeys. Hire us for professional assistance at any level of your creative process. From conception to creation we are experts at helping others develop their vision.
Download the cheat sheet below for your own reference. Check out the additional resources below for links to the references & materials used.
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