Monday, February 27, 2006

Kazu Kibuishi

Kazu Kibuishi
When I started lines and colors last summer, Kazu Kibuishi’s beautiful web comic Copper was the topic of one of my first posts.

Kibuishi is the creator of several other comics, including Daisy Cutter and Clive and Cabbage and is the driving force behind Flight, a terrific series of comics anthologies. He is currently working on a new graphic novel series called Amulet. His freelance work includes clients like Walt Disney Animation, Mattel, Nickelodeon Magazine and Sony Computer Entertainment.

If you aren’t familiar with Copper, you’re in for a treat. I’ll repeat the advice I gave in my original post: go to the Copper page, look at one of the current strips to see how beautiful they are, then scroll to page bottom, start with the earliest and read them all. When you’re looking for more (and you will be) there are previews for Copper stories in the Flight anthologies here and here.

Kibuishi has recently updated his site to include a superb multi-page tutorial on the making of Copper (images above). He starts with the thumbnail sketches, moves to layout, though pencil drawing, inking, scanning and finally right down to the details of applying digital color in Photoshop. In the process he discusses his tools and materials, both traditional and digital, even to the point of posting images of his pens, papers and work space. The whole process, in fact, is supplemented with wonderfully large, detailed images. (Here is the final page for the process shown in the tutorial.)

You could consider this a mini-course in modern comic creation methods. Kibuishi points out, however, that his approach to Copper is different than his usual process when working on longer format comics. He discusses the difference and talks about how long it takes to draw a Copper page in this post on his blog.

For those in the Los Angeles area, you have the opportunity to learn about the process in person. Kibuishi is giving a Graphic Narrative Workshop at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra on Sunday, March 5th.

The latest edition of the Flight comics anthology, Flight Volume Three, is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Flight Volume 1 and Flight Volume 2 are also available, along with Kibuishi’s Daisy Kutter: The Last Train comics album.

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