I don't know if you knew this but for the last eight months I've been deep in professional territory interning with two different Minnesotan comics artists. This is the final week of my internship experiences, and next tuesday I start my last semester at MCAD.
I just wanted to write a little about my experience and show some of the amazing projects I've been lucky enough to work on!
My first internship started this last summer. Ryan Kelly and I met about once to twice a week and I was happy to help him with three projects: The Unwritten #17, Batman 80-Page Giant 2010, and The New York Five. A link to Ryan Kelly's blog is here.
The Unwritten #17 took up the bulk of my interning hours. This comic is published by Vertigo and was nominated for two Eisner awards: Best Continuing Series and Best New Series. It is writtin by Mike Carey, drawn by Peter Gross and on this particular issue, Ryan Kelly did the finishes. Below is the cover:
I helped do black spotting and panel borders with this project, as well as assisting with some background inking in some of the panels. On one splash page I was even lucky enough to ink a demon monster! It was a pretty amazing experience that taught me much about craft and process. Below is the title page I helped work. I think I actually inked a lot of the background in that second panel.
The second project was Batman 80-Page Giant 2010. I can't tell you how excited I was to help out with a Batman comic! I did a lot of black spotting for this piece, a few backgrounds, and also inked a couple police officers in one small panel. Below is the cover:
And below is a page I helped work on. I think I helped ink a bit of the Gotham background. I really love how Ryan Kelly draws Catwoman.
I also helped a little bit with the The New York Five, but not enough to post pictures and highlight the small portions where my pen hit the page. The artwork in both The New York Four and The New York Five is amazing. I feel really lucky to have worked with Ryan Kelly on these amazing projects. Not only is he a super talented and hyper-fast comics illustrator, but he's also a really nice guy and an appreciator of Mexican Cuisine (which is always a plus in my book).
Just this week I am finishing up my internship with Zak Sally at La Mano 21. To see Zak's Minnesota Original feature click here. Zak Sally has been sorta instrumental in guiding me as a cartoonist. He has been the instructor at MCAD responsible for most of my storytelling training and was gracious to take me on as an intern.
With Zak Sally, I helped him collate and organize The Kim Deitch Files(this link will also take you to Zak's La Mano 21 website).
These files are prints of some rare penciled Kim Deitch pages printed on Zak Sally's A.B. Dick Offset Lithgraph Press. I got to see Zak work with this crazy machine. My job was to look at each print for quality and then organize them all in their correct sets. I think every single print in both the deluxe and regular edition have ran under my eyes, somewhere along the lines of 13,000 prints. Kim Deitch is an amazing artist and Zak Sally is a talented and unique printmaker. You will not find a product like this anywhere else. For me it is an appreciation of the transitional, the transitory nature of comics process and printmaking. Quality.
Zak Sally's whole operation is a standard of integrity and I am a huge fan of Sammy the Mouse. I'm actually really sad that our student/instructor/internship correspondence is ending. He's taught me a lot about what it means to be a cartoonist: both the futility and glory of it all. Scholars will quote Zak Sally's musings on cartooning one day.
I will follow the careers of both of these comics artists until the bitter end. And if you, reading this, happen to be one of these artists, then thank you, from the bottom of my heart!