Masters of Ink Interviews

Richard and I have been drawing for longer than we can remember. For most of that time we’ve been learning as well. As an artist you’ll never achieve perfection but must never stop walking down the path. From cradle to grave an endless pursuit to draw that perfect drawing.

We started on a mission back in the summer of 2008 to interview a wide variety of artists about their tools and techniques. We gave craftsman a chance to geek out on their toolboxes. This was a lot of fun to put together.

Below are forty interviews with creators that we greatly admire and hope that you’ll dig as well. The most revealing parts of these articles was discovering who influenced each respective creator.

Just click on each artist’s name in blue and have at it.

Jason Shawn Alexander is a painter and comic artist living and working in Los Angeles California. His paintings have been featured in numerous gallery showings and he’s drawn comics such as Dead Irons for Dynamite Entertainment and Abe Sapiens: The Drowning for Dark Horse Comics.

Ho Che Anderson is a cartoonist and comics artist who most prominently wrote, designed, and illustrated a series of graphic novels on Martin Luther King, Jr. published by Fantagraphics.
His mastery of multi-media techniques is so subtle that readers are inexorably drawn in and comic artists are left floundering to imitate” – Vice Magazine

Anville is a young up-and-coming artist and illustrator working out of the States. His fine line ink work and attention to detail is both stunning and jaw-dropping. He has designed posters for bands like ISIS and has a series of prints that go under the “Lafourcade” banner that need to be seen to be believed.

Lee Bermejo is an American comic book artist who has constantly been refining his style. He has worked primarily for DC Comics and their Wildstorm division. He worked on Batman / Deathblow with Brian Azzarello and Tim Bradstreet and continued that collaboration with Azzarello on Lex Luthor: Man of Steel and the original graphic novel Joker. Throughout his last couple of projects he has experimented with tone and texture adding in pencil shading and ink washes.

Jim Blanchard is master of all things ink related. His photorealistic portraits are only matched by the likes of Drew Friedman. He is an extremely skilled craftsman who provided his inking talents on Pete Bagge’s HATE and has a book filled with pointillist portraiture of the world’s most legendary scene-makers all published by Fantagraphics. And he’s one of the manliest men in comics.

Andy Brase is an artist and illustrator whos work cannot be easily squeezed into one category. His insanely precise pencil and ink renderings cross through the fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and superhero genres. His covers can be found adorning Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Top cow books. Staring at his art for too long will make you want to quit drawing for good. Kind of like looking into the sun.

Mitch Breitweiser is a comic book artist who renders his characters with a distinct mix of cutting edge and classic techniques. He’s done most of the major iconic Marvel characters but most notably it was his take on Captain America that blew up his fanbase. An extremely gracious and talented artist.

Jacen Burrows is an American artist best known for his work on various comic books from Avatar Press. He drew Warren Ellis’ Scars and Alan Moore’s Yuggoth Cultures and The Courtyard. In recently years he has collaborated with Garth Ennis on 303, Chronicles of Wormwood and Crossed. So he’s tied with Darick Robertson for having to draw the most disturbing sequences in comix.

Kody Chamberlain was our first ever interviewee. He’s an American comic book artist who has worked on 30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales for IDW and Tag for Boom Studios. He’s extremely dedicated to his craft and always trying out new tools and techniques. Drinking beers with him down in Louisiana is on our “life list”.

Michael Cho is a freelance illustrator, cartoonist based in Toronto, Canada. His artwork is extremely addictive and we can’t seem to get enough of it. Regardless of the subject matter Cho certainly puts his stamp on it.

Becky Cloonan is at the forefront of the new wave of American Comic artists that emerged in the early 2000’s. She cut her teeth on minicomics before collaborating with Brian Wood on Channel Zero: Jennie One. Since then she’s also drawn DEMO for Wood and worked on more personal projects like PIXU with Vasilis Lolos, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá.

David D’Andrea employs an illustration style featuring a highly detailed approach to pen and ink drawing. Based in Oakland, California he has created imagery for bands such as Om and High on Fire and record labels such as Southern Lord Recordings and Rise Above Records.

Rufus Dayglo is a London-based comics artist working for 2000 AD in the United Kingdom, and IDW Publishing in the United States. He worked on Snaked with writer Clifford Meth and a number of Tank Girl books with Alan Martin. We wish he could clone himself so that he could spread more of his delightful lunacy throughout the comics industry.

Brian Denham is an accomplished comic artist most known for his work on Iron Man: Hypervelocity. He has also worked on Nova. He stopped drawing and inking with a pencil and brush a few years ago but we don’t hold that against him. He has since mastered Adobe Illustrator and the Cintiq.

Tom Denney is an artist and jack of all trades. He designs images for t-shirts, prints, album covers, storyboards, motion graphics and also does video/sound editing. But it was his drawings that caught our eye. He has an intensely personal style and philosophy that has governed his career.

Ming Doyle is a comic artist and illustrator working out of Boston Massachussets. Her illustrations have covered the Las Vegas Weekly and she has done comics for Image, BOOM and TOKYOPOP. And she knows how to rock the pen and ink. Someone needs to give her a 500-page project to work on pronto.

Tim Doyle Tim Doyle is a comic book artist, painter, t-shirt designer and runs an awesome online store called NAKATOMI INC. He designs posters that make us giddy as all hell.

Nathan Fox is a comic artist and illustrator living in Kansas City, His work has appeared in The New York Times, Interview, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Wired, ESPN Magazine, Print, Mother Jones, Spin, Mad Magazine, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics and Heavy Metal Magazine. His pen and ink illustrations make us happy to be alive.

Christopher Gibbs is an up and comer based out of New Hampshire, USA. It was his liberal use of black ink (and I mean a lot) that made him kindred spirits with us at Optimum Wound. We expect cool things from this dude.

Godmachine is a freelance designer and illustrator. He creates badass images for tour posters, gig flyers, band merch, clothing companies, album covers and skateboards. His artwork is both ferocious and comic at the same time. And awesome.

Ryan Jones (Humanburger) has a screw loose (or two) and an insane amount of talent, passion and ambition. He’s been working on his comic since the Dark Ages and it will surface one day. He rocks paper with a Sharpie the way Maiden used to rock a stage in the early 80’s.

Tim Lane cares a lot about the work that he creates. He puts his all into his comics and practically bleeds into the pages. He’s almost crafted his own genre of graphic stories. Not quite crime fiction, more social drama complimented with painstakingly rendered artwork and hand lettering.

Michael Lark is a neo-realist (I just made that up) comic artist who can be found drawing books such as Batman for DC and more recently Daredevil for Marvel. He takes the ridiculous concept of men running around in tights and makes it seem believable and real with his raw and gritty inkwork. We are fans for life.

Ed Laroche has done things his own way. He wrote and drew a tightly paced graphic novel (Almighty) and self published it outside “the system”. He showed promise right out of the gate and continues to get better. He knows how to throw ink down on paper and more importantly knows how to tell a good story.

Jim Mahfood aka Food One is an illustrator/comic book artist/muralist/live art rocker residing in LA. And you can usually see his art EVERYWHERE. He draws with the kind of abandon that is often missing in the comics world. He seeks inspiration from everywhere and then distills through his incredible artwork.

Drew Millward draws and designs artwork for posters, record labels, bands and clothing lines. I haven’t seen many artists pull off the cute / evil thing as well as he does and that’s why he’s “the man”. Friendly fella as well.

Tony Moore is a killer comic book artist who mainly works in the horror and science fiction genres. He’s contributed art to The Walking Dead, Fear Agent and The Exterminators. More recently he’s lent his talents to Marvel on Ghost Rider and Punisher adding to his legion of fans.

Dan Mumford is a freelance illustrator/designer/screenprinter working out of central London. He creates miracles with pens, pencils and Photoshop and this interview with him from 2008 continues to bring people to our site. So we owe him a beer or something.

Munk One a.k.a. Jose A. Mercado walks the line between being a contemporary American Illustrator and Fine artist. And he’s sickeningly accomplished at both. It’s nice to have options. He’s designed work for My Chemical Romance, Henry Rollins, Queens of the Stone Age. In addition he is also known for working with world renowned brands, recognized for their artwork and creativity including the likes of Upper Playground, Tribal Gear, True love & False idols.

Sean Gordon Murphy is an illustrator, concepts artist, comic book artist and writer. He’s been quickly blazing a trail through the comics industry and has crossed paths with DC Comics, IDW, Dark Horse, Devil’s Due, Marvel and Oni. Rich and I both became quick fans of his work.

Dan Park is an illustrator working out of New York City. He was a student at the School of Visual Arts and eventually became a teacher himself. He teaches by day and creates art at night.

Darick Robertson is an American artist best known for his work as a comic book illustrator. Highly prolific, Robertson has illustrated hundreds of comics in his twenty plus years in the industry. He also has the (un)enviable job of bringing Garth Ennis’ perverted fantasies to life but does so with a lot of gusto. “The Boys” comic series hauls ass.

Arik Roper creates amazing paintings and drawings in fantastic, horrific and psychedelic universes. He began by creating record and cd covers for bands and has continued forward into the more diverse areas of poster design, graphic illustration, and animation.

Erik Rose is a talented artist working out of Chicago. He is also a neo-realist (is that even a word?) and renders his illustrations in a concise pen and ink style. He recently drew a book called “THE ROBERTS” published by Image Comics. He has an (un)healthy obsession with the Coen Brothers and draws a mean “Dude”.

sAnTos designs, draws and paints album covers and t-shirts for various bands of heavier genres. His artwork is as intricate as it is horrific and makes us long for the good ole days. He has created artwork for Neurosis, Sunn O))), Volcom Skatewear, High on Fire and a whole host of other bands and labels that are cool enough to hire him.

Adam Schmidt works out of Brooklyn New York as a freelance illustrator. His art has been featured in Time Out New York, PLANSPONSOR Magazine, Seattle’s Stanger weekly, NY Times Book Review and Complex Magazine. On top of that it’s awesome as we wouldn’t have interviewed him otherwise.

Richard Serrao is a comic artist and illustrator and co-owner of Optimum Wound Comics. He’s written and drawn the comics Memento Mori and Silent Scream and has a few other things up his sleeve. His style is realistic, bombastic, gritty and maybe with the exception of Frank Miller and Thomas Ott he uses more India Ink then anyone else on the planet in his artwork.

Adam Turman is an illustrator, designer and screen-printer. So basically he creates stuff and then prints it up himself. Resilient fella isn’t he? He makes art for CDs, T-shirt designs, and other graphic-y stuff for various bands, music venues, record labels, clothing companies, fellow artists, and collectors. We’d like to hang out in that bitchin’ garage of his with him and drink beers.

Chris Weston has drawn a lot of comics for both the US and UK comics industries. Like all good British comic creators he did some time at 2000AD and then moved onto working for US companies like DC Vertigo. He’s the dude responsible for melting your eyes away on Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles. He single-handedly makes comics 15% cooler.

is a painter and comic artist living and

working in Los Angeles California. His paintings have been featured

in numerous gallery showings and he’s drawn comics such as Dead

Irons for Dynamite Entertainment and Abe Sapiens: The Drowning for

Dark Horse Comics.