OUR NEW BLOG SERIES FOR MANGA BEGINNERS, A COMIC LIFE, COVERS THE BEST TOOLS FOR CONQUERING THE WILD, WILD WEST OF SELF-PUBLISHING AND WEBCOMICS.
This is blog series that continues our association with PLASQ, developer of the award-winning comics creation software, COMIC LIFE and new product, COMIC DRAW. They supported our recent fan art tournament MARCH ART MADNESS which helped to promote talented amateur artists from around the world.
Today, we interview comicbook artist and Comic Life/ Comic Draw user, Alex Ogle!
Saturday A.M: What was it like growing up in Kansas?
Alex: Quiet and flat. There wasn't a lot to do growing up. I found I enjoyed drawing and creating characters.
Saturday A.M: What motivated you to move to Tennessee?
Alex: I moved mainly to have better opportunities and I knew there were several comic artists in Atlanta that I wanted to meet.
One of Alex Ogle's early inspirations from Marvel Comics - Excalibur cover art by the legendary Alan Davis.
Saturday A.M: How were you introduced to comics?
Alex: I went with my Mom to the grocery store and they sold comics in the Magazine section. I spent all my time in front of the comic rack looking at books.
Saturday A.M: From what I understand, you are a self-taught artist. Did you learn through drawing fan art of your favorite characters or did you learn by sketching from life?
Alex: I learned from copying art that I liked at the time. I was into Alan Davis’s work on Excalibur (1987) then I studied Marc Silvestri’s work on X-Men and Wolverine. I was a Marvel kid.
Saturday A.M: Looking through your art, I couldn't help but notice most of your work appears to be done in traditional Noir. What prompts you to produce black and white artwork?
Alex: I've been a fan of Black and White art since the 80’s. Indie books usually could not afford color printing so you could really see the ink work.
Saturday A.M: Could you tell us a little about your role atTubatomic?
Alex: Tubatomic is a company I co-founded to do design and animation projects.
Saturday A.M: Could you tell us about your previous project JONNI NITRO, and what surprising opportunities did it lead to?
Alex: Jonni Nitro started off as a comic book idea that we did some Black & White animation to call attention online to the book. The animation went viral and spread across the internet. It wasn't long until we sold the rights to an entertainment startup and worked on producing the animation for their site.
Saturday A.M: There was a period in time when you had to put your comic book career on hold. Could you tell us what happened?
Alex: Tubatomic took off and we started designing for companies. Compared to being a freelance artist trying to make indie comics working in design is still artistically satisfying and is easier to earn a decent living. I focused completely on designing and didn’t do any comic work for 13 years.
Saturday A.M: How did you make your triumphant return to the comic book industry?
Alex: Kickstarter had just started up and print on demand intrigued me. It made the investment of self-publishing much lower. Suddenly I could make the comics I want in my spare time. My first project was Infinity Pilot. It went very well for me and was a lot of fun. Now I’m hooked on doing Kickstarter campaigns and try to do one a year.
Saturday A.M: How did your usage of Instagram lead to a job at Marvel?
Alex: So one of the worst things about being a comic artist is dealing with rejection when submitting portfolios. I got lucky and an Art director at Marvel found my stuff on Instagram. He contacted me about doing art for pin-up style art for Marvel.
Saturday A.M: How often does social media lead to a freelance job?
Alex: I’m not sure how often. But if you watch panels on Youtube about breaking into comics. The advice is to post and the publishers will find you. I didn’t think that would work but it did!
Saturday A.M: What was it like doing freelance work for Marvel?
Alex: I always feel honored to contribute. I’m still a Marvel kid inside.
Saturday A.M: How did it feel to draw your favorite Marvel characters officially?
Alex: It feels amazing. I’ve drawn art for all the characters that have appeared on Netflix and I’ve done promotional art for the latest Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The latest art I've done are characters from Spider-Man.
Saturday A.M: How important do you feel, is the factor of mystery within entertainment?
Alex: Keeping the audience's attention is very important. In comics, I think we give too much away. Let’s make projects more like filming Jaws. Don’t show the shark.
HERO CATS: Midnight over Stellar City featuring art by Alex Ogle.
Saturday A.M: Could you tell us a little about your current publishing house ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT?
Alex: Action Lab Entertainment publishes Hero Cats which is a series created by Kyle Puttkammer. Kyle wanted to spin off a new series focusing on the Black Cat of the team, Midnight.
Saturday A.M: Ah! So, could you tell us about that series, MIDNIGHT OVER STELLAR CITY?
Alex: Midnight Over Stellar City is about a cat that doesn't like criminals. I did a short three issue series last year and we are currently releasing the next three issues in 2017.
Saturday A.M: Could you tell us about your recent art book?
Alex: I did a Kickstarter campaign to collect many of the commissions and art that I have done into one book. It’s 70 pages in B&W of my work. I’m very proud of it.
Saturday A.M: What type of digital art equipment do you use?
Alex: I’ve always been a Mac user. I use a 27 inch iMac and a smallish Wacom tablet. Then when I want to work mobile I use an iPad Pro.
Saturday AM: Do you use portable comic creation Apps like Comic Draw or Comic Life?
Alex: I’ve started using Comic Draw for sketching out my page layouts. Drawing apps have traditionally only been single page documents. I’ve really enjoyed being able to flip pages and plan an entire book. Comic Life has been great for lettering. I remember feeling like lettering took forever. Now I really enjoy placing in all the balloons and captions.
Saturday AM: Which do you prefer, working for a publishing house or creating indie comics?
Alex: I like both equally. It’s very rewarding to invent your own characters and get feedback from your audience about the story. I love to try and draw an interesting version of a character that we have seen forever and that has a rich history. As long as I’m drawing I’m happy.
Saturday AM: Thanks, Alex!
FOLLOW ALEX OGLE
Learn about the software that Alex Ogle uses called COMIC DRAW by clicking the link above.