Monday, July 11, 2011

Periscope Studios

Periscope is a collective of cartoonists, illustrators, writers, concept designers, graphic novelists, and storyboard artists.  I was able to stop by Periscope studios and see some of this great set of artists in action.     The studio is snuggled  downtown in the Oregon Trail Building and sits right next to Portland’s legendary food carts.   The first thing I noticed coming in was the camaraderie between the artists.     Although I have met these artists before, it was great to see them working and interacting together in their natural habitat.  
Periscope is an amazing place.   This studio was formed by Ron Randall, Karl Kesel, Terry Dodson, Matthew Clark, Pete Woods, Rebecca Woods, David Hahn, Paul Guinan, and Steve Lieber  in 2002 as Mercury Studios.   It has grown to 25 people from different backgrounds in the comic book industry.     Steve Lieber described it as being similar to how a bullpen was in the old days of comics;   but not what it was really like but what we always thought it would be.

They all use various tools for the artistic tasks.   Personally I wanted to see how the Cintiq, interactive pen displays, were used in actual practice.    The Cintiq allows an artist to use a stylus on a scratch-resistant glass surface that displays what is on the computer.   The stylus acts just like a pencil, you can even turn it around and use the back as an eraser.     I watched Steve Lieber sketch out a couple figures in his composition.    Because this is on the computer, Steve was able to circle one of the figures he sketched and resize it.   He says his process is to first enter in the text for the page, then he sketches the drawings with Cintiq.   He prints the pages with the sketches in blue ink and the letters black.    He then will ink the page by traditional means.

Watch the amazing artists working at Periscope.    Their tumblr art blog is at this link.   The current members are listed below.   You can read many of there interviews on this blog.

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