Sunday, December 19, 2010

Questions 20: Aaron Lopresti

Aaron Lopresti spend year at Oregon State, and left to pursue his second love, film.   He headed to the USC film school in Los Angeles.    After film school and he spent a year reading scripts for Tri-Star Pictures. But after three years in Los Angeles he moved back to Portland and getting a job at Art Farm Studios.   Aaron’s first big break came in 1993 when Publisher Dave Olbrich and Editor-in-Chief Chris Ulm hired Aaron for Malibu Comics' new Ultraverse line to draw for the comic book series Sludge.   .     In 1995 he founded the successful comic art studio, Studiosaurus that lasted until 1998.     Since that time he has created artwork for Marvel, DC, Image and Dark Horse.  Some of the titles he’s worked on include The Hulk, X-men, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, Batman, The Avengers, Plastic Man, Star Trek, Superman and many more including the self published Atomic Toybox

Aaron lists his art influences in two categories, comic and illustration.     His comic fluences are: Frazetta, Berni Wrightson, Neal Adams, Michael Golden, Steranko, Brian Bolland, and anyone else who is good.   Illustrators who have influenced Aaron over the years are: Frazetta(again), James Bama, William Stout, JC Leyendecker, Brian Froud, Robert McGinnis and Chuck Jones.    

Check out his amazing Fantastical Creatures Field Guide: How to Hunt Them Down and Draw Them Where They Live  and his site to look at his diverse illustrations.

What projects are you working on currently?
 I am penciling JLI: Generation Lost (every third issue), I am penciling and inking the covers to R.E.B.E.L.S (starting with issue #25) and I am writing and drawing a feature called Garbage Man which will appear in DC's new anthology series, Weird Worlds, which comes out in January.

DD:   What is your writing Process?
I work through the plot in my head so I know where I am starting and where I am going to end up.   Then I break it down page by page so I can be sure that the story will fit within the page constraints I am working with.   Then I just start writing.   When I get done, I will go through and rewrite the dialogue.   Then when I pencil the book, sometimes I will change it as I am drawing because i will get ideas that better help tell the story.  After I am done penciling I will go through and rewrite the dialogue again.  

What Comic/ Trade would you recommend?
 Unfortunately I don't read them anymore.   I do occasionally pick up issues of the "Modern Masters" series if it is an artist that I like.  I get most of my industry information online from places like Comic Book Resources and Broken Frontier, etc.

What Comic/ Trade would you recommend to someone new to comics?
 See above.

When are story illustrator, how involved in guiding the plot of the story?
 Really not at all unless I am also writing.  Sometimes a writer or editor will ask, "what do you want to draw?"  Then you have an opportunity to interject some story ideas but most of the time you get a script and start drawing.

What skill would you like to learn?
 I would like to become a good oil painter and I would also like to find the time to improve my photoshop skills.

DD:   Do you have a collection?   If so, what is one of the items you're most proud of?
 I collect comics, some movie posters, dinosaur items, and some original art.   I have Amazing Spiderman #2 and up and some single issues that I am pretty pleased to have include Sgt. Fury #13 (NM), Shock Suspense #13 (VF/NM), Strange Tales #114, Tales of Suspense #59, Journey into Mystery #112, National Comics #26 all high grade.  I have a ton of other nice books as well including a high grade run of Silver Surfer and Conan.   I also have a vintage (1978) Wrightson original.  A lot of cool stuff fills my studio.

DD:   What is your favorite genre of Comics?
Monster and Fantasy/Adventure.  Anything Burroughs related or barbarian in general.   Some of my favorite comics growing up were Marvel's John Carter of Mars series, as well as Ploog and Buscema's Weird World stuff.   I am very much a child of 70's comics when Burroughs, Robert E. Howard and Tolkien stuff was all the rage.

DD:   Do you have an Ipad?   If so what do use it for the most.
 No.  I have a Mac Tower but that is as far as my trendy computing goes.

DD:   What is your favorite TV show/ movie?
I did watch LOST but I was so disappointed by the final season and their inability to adequately explain the events of the series that I swore to never get hooked on a show again.

My all time favorite movie is JAWS.

DD:   What was your first comic convention?
I went to Richard Finn's Portland Comic Book shows when he had them at the Masonic Temple back when I was in high school.   The first big one I went to was San Diego back in 1986.

DD:   What is your favorite part of comic conventions?
Talking with people and shopping for cool weird stuff you can't find anywhere else.  Also, getting to hook up with other professionals.

DD:   If you weren’t doing comics what would you do?
I would be writing and drawing children's books which is something I am trying to get into now.   If not art, I would be a chef.

DD:   Do you have a favorite restaurant that you would recommend?
Chef Paul's restaurant in New Orleans.  Locally I really like Giovanni's in Beaverton.

DD:   How long have you lived in Portland, what made you choose Portland?
I was born and grew up in Beaverton.   I couldn't wait to leave the state.  I don't like the politics or the weather.   I left and went to school in LA but eventually ended up back here.  I then moved to Florida to work at CrossGen but family brought us back to Oregon again.   I will probably die here wishing I lived somewhere else.   

DD:   What is your favorite part of Portland?
All of the old book and magazine stores.  NW Portland was a pretty cool place to hang out when I was young.  

DD:   Where in Portland/ Oregon would you most like to visit?
I have never been to Bend, Oregon.  

DD:   Would you like to write/illustrate for another media? or conversely, would you like to illustrate a popular character from a different media,  for example, Dr. Who, James Bond?  What would you explore?
John Carter of Mars or the Herculoids!

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