Friday, June 21, 2013

Portland Comics Questions 53 : Kevin Cross

Born again Skateboarder Kevin Cross, is an illustrator and cartoonist currently living in Portland, Oregon with his wife and new daughter. He has worked as a professional illustrator for 13 years. He has also written and illustrated his owns comics. He has been playing guitar for various punk rock outfits since 1985.

His personal portfolio

Kevin co-hosts Big Illustration Party Time with  co-host Joshua Kemble. This is a podcast that follows the two illustrators as they discuss the ins and outs of freelance illustrators. The show was started in 2009 and you can see how their life experiences, such as becoming a new father, affected their life in illustration.

Illustrator * Punk * Skateboarder * Dad

Doug Dorr: What projects are you working on currently? –
When I'm not working on client work, which I usually can't talk 
about while I'm working on it, I'm
working on a children's book and scripting a four issue story arc for a new comic series that I will get to after the children's book is finished.

DD:   What is your artistic Process? –
First I write, rewrite, then rewrite some more. Then I thumbnail and pencil digitally. When that's done, I print the digital pencils out using a non-photo color and ink traditionally with brush and ink on bristol. I do this because then I can sell the originals. A must for illustrators these days, I think. Then I scan the page into the computer and finish coloring with Photoshop. I hate Adobe illustrator and am starting to hate digital fonts, so Adobe Illustrator is getting phased out. When its all finished, I pat myself on the back and go skateboarding.

DD:   When are writing, what is your process working with the writer?
When working with a writer for children's books, I breakdown the script into beats and thumbnail the illustration keeping in mind that I want the art to further the story and not just be a visual representation of what is written. I haven't worked with a writer in comics, who isn't me, but I'm 99.9 percent sure my process would be the same. However, I have a short list of comic writers I'd like to work with as I'd rather stick to doing my own work.

DD:   What Comic/ Trade would you recommend?
Anything by Roger Langridge!!!

DD:   What Comic/ Trade would you recommend to someone new to comics?
That's tough because I'd need to know what kind of stuff said person is into, but again... anything by Roger Langridge is high on the list. Also, "Three Shadows" by Ceril Pedrosa is fantastic and is a great example of how great this medium can be.

DD:   What skill would you like to learn?
I'd love to be able to pull off a McTwist.

DD:   What's the most important thing you've learned?
Don't judge your art against someone else's. Compare and despair!

DD:   Do you have a collection? If so, what is one of the items you're most proud of?
Yes, I do. Its mostly Bronze Age stuff and I'm stoked that I have the whole run of "Howard the

DD:   What is your favorite genre of Comics?
All of them, especially if comedy is part of it.

DD:   What is your favorite TV show/ movie?
The original "Jonny Quest" cartoon from Hanna-Barbera is my favorite TV show. "Planet of the Apes" (the original, not that Tim Burton version) is tied with "Conan the Barbarian" (again the original with Arnold) for my favorite movie. Funny thing... while I love those movies, they are an example of having to separate the artists from the art because I can't stand Heston or Schwarzenegger's right wing politics. 
DD:   How does the Portland comics culture shapes your work?
I don't know if it has. I feel like an outsider when it comes to the comic scene here.

DD:   What was your first comic convention?
APE in SF. A long time ago.

DD:   If you weren’t doing comics what would you do?
Making money.

DD:   Do you have a favorite restaurant that you would recommend?
Los Gorditos!

DD:   How long have you lived in Portland, what made you choose Portland?
I've been here almost 7 years. I moved here because San Francisco got way too expensive for a native who is an artist to live there because of everyone moving there from everywhere to work in the tech/computer industry. I didn't want to leave, but I also fell in love with a girl who lived here and the long distance relationship was getting way too expensive too. Now we are married with a one year old daughter. So... here I am.

DD:   What is your favorite part of Portland?
Food carts and record stores.

DD:   Where in Portland/ Oregon would you most like to visit?
The airport. I really need to visit my family and friends soon!

DD:   Would you like to write/Illustrate for another media? Or write a character from another media, for example, Dr. Who, James Bond? What would you explore?
I wouldn't mind working on licensed characters in or out of comics as long as it paid a decent rate. Otherwise, I'd rather just work on my own books.


Roger Langridge said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Kevin!

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