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BikerBot (aka Jab)

By Blazej Szpakowicz     September 17, 2006

Welcome to the latest edition of the DCG Artist Spotlight.

Our interviewee today is Heromorph Webmaster BikerBot (aka Jab at C2F).

Comics2Film (C2F):How did you get into comic book photomanips?

BikerBot (BB):I've always been into comic books, and I use Photoshop professionally.One day, while Googling the Net, I found a link to a Manip page, I thinkit was off of Comics Continuum. That page led me to C2F, believe it or not.

From C2F I found Heromorph, where I became a Pack Rat first. Then someonegot mad at my uploading other people's work, and so I was shamed into creatingmy first Manip. Then, I really appreciated the kudos, and the rest is history,as they say.

C2F:What software do you use?

BB:I use Photoshop for Maniping, and ImageReady for making animated gifs forAvatars. There are a few plugins for Photoshop I've used, most notably EyeCandy 4000.

C2F: Who are some of your favourite C2F and Heromorph artists?

BB:Geez, are you kidding? I wouldn't know where to start. Many of my favoriteartists post both here and there. In alphabetical order, so as to not hurtany feelings ;-) :

4F. Hated by many, but what talent!
Aharmona.One of the first and best.
Android.King of the Brazilian Artist group, bar none.
B.His "Songbird"is really good.
Batmic.
BioHaz Daddy.His "Exiles 38"is a gold standard.
BlackAlchemy. One of the most prolific Manipers of all time.
Divine Monkey.Who's been Maniping for a long time.
DreamSlayer.His work is so glow-y.
FuriousMax, or whatever he calls himself now. Another prolific artist, albeitwith a short fuse. ;-)
Andrew Goh.For being there first, and doing it all with Photoshop 4 (!).
iMiJ Factory.But only when he does gals.
Kev Incal.Especially his Series work, the breadth of it is amazing.
Jr. McDeath.I actually went out and found Jr., he didn't know anythingabout the Maniping Community until I made him come to Heromorph.
Junfan (manipsand 3D work). A Master.
Matrixblur.His "Magdelena"is another gold standard.
Mystic Morgan.
Parker.For being there second. And doing it with Photoshop 4.
Dan Perceful.Because of his "Firestorm 18"cover, among other reasons.
Quantum FX.For his scenes.
Rocinate.He has a way with babes...
Shump.An up and coming Maniper, very prolific.
Bill Turner.It may take him forever to complete a Manip, but it's becausethere is not one square inch that has not been carefully considered and altered.
Welshcat.For his scenes.
Winterhawk.My oldest and bestest Heromorph buddy, he who got me to Manip inthe first place.
Xavix.
Zac.For his "Mr. Freeze".Simply amazing.

There are many I am sure I did not mention here, that's the great thing about acommunty of this size.

C2F: Who's your inspiration?

BB:Hmm. John F. Kennedy. Leonardo DaVinci. Larry Niven. Albert Einstein.John Irving. Robert Heinlein.

C2F:What's your favourite of your own work?

BB:That would be split amongst three:
Walking The Dog #2 - "Sparky"
Wonder Stripper
and You Only Laugh Twice

C2F:What aspect of your work do you think sets you apart from the crowd?

BB:I like to do more "art" oriented Manips, as opposed to Superheroes all the time.

My art is for myself, as opposed to for the people. Although that second onedoesn't really set me apart that much. ;-)

C2F:What do you want to be able to do in a manip, but can't?

BB:Draw.

I couldn't draw to save my life, I don't have a tablet, and if I did it wouldn'thelp. Lol!

I would love to be able to get the detail and depth that artists like Android andJr. McDeath get.

C2F:Wrinkles. Some people like 'em, you don't. Is there any particular reason forthis stylistic preference?

BB:Now, who said I don't like wrinkles? You've been talking to Winterhawk, haven'tyou? rotflmao

I think some artist use excessive wrinkles, Furious Max comes to mind inparticular. I think that drawing costumes on nude women is a sexy thing,and so the women should retain their sexiness, wrinkles remove that.

I also used to suck at making wrinkles. :-)

Now, don't get me started on Shadow Separation, that's my pet peeve...

C2F:What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas from?

BB:Some artists decide they want to Manip a character, and go and look for an imagefor that character. I work from the opposite direction: I look at an image,and decide who that image would be best as.

I get my ideas from all over, there is no shortage of ideas for Maniping.

C2F:What's your favourite part of doing a manip?

BB:Frankensteining. And Googling for parts.

And, believe it or not, the mindless grunt work, like separating the body fromthe background.

C2F: How do you start out a manip?

BB:Seperating the body from the background. The mindless grunt work, of course.Or, you could say, staring at an image, deciding what/who it will be.

C2F: What annoys you about manips as a medium?

BB:Bases:

Images that have been cut off, i.e. legs missing, or arms missing. I like acomplete image to work with.

Low resolution images. Jr. McDeath will take a tiny image and make a hugeimage out of it before he starts Maniping, a tremendously time-consumingproject. I would hate to do that.

Art:

People who rush their work. People who post half finished art and say, "yeah,I know it looks like crap, but I had to post it anyway."

C2F:Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

BB:The same as for aspiring motorcycle riders:

Take your time.
Start out slow, do something simple first.
Learn the basics.
Ask for advice. This actually should be #1.

C2F:You've recently tried your hand at modifying/manipping comics artwork, whatthe HM folks call "Mods." Do you find the process for that is different thanthat for manipping? Is there any other medium (ie, colouring, 3D, etc) thatyou'd like to try out?

BB:Well, the way I Mod, it's not that different from Maniping, really. Ilike Frankesteining, so for Mod work you just find drawn, cartoon/comic-likepieces as opposed to live pieces. I hope that makes sense...

There are a lot of Poser people at Heromorph, I would like to try that.The learning curve seems daunting, however...

C2F:Probably your best-known work (at least to Heromorphers, since you haven't yetposted it at C2F) is your "Walking The Dog" series. This is somewhat uniqueamong C2F/HM artists' best known work, being a series of original SF/Fantasyimages with an ongoing theme. Where did the idea for the series comes from?What's your favourite image in the series? Which one was the most challenging?And are there any more coming?

BB:So many questions...

The idea came from staring at the base image for an hour or so, it is the samegirl (well, body, anyway) throughout the entire series.

My favorite image is "Sparky", as mentioned above.

The most challenging one was undoubtably the most recent one,WalkingThe Dog #4-Snapper.An underwater scene, there are something like 40-50 seperate elements in theimage, it took a long time to finish.

Boy, I gotta tell ya, I am sick of looking at that girl! Lol. there is stillan Ice Planet one and a Jungle one in the works. Probably when I can stand tolook at her again...

C2F:You're one of the webmasters at Heromorph, do you have any thoughts as to howHM and C2F compare? Is there anything you think either could learn from theother?

BB:Well, Heromorph is more dedicated to Art, whereas C2F covers all sorts of stuff,movies, comic books, etc. So, we are more just artists than here.

As far as learning from one another, since so many artists here hang out there, it's already in the works, if you think about it.

I am a strong supporter of the "Crossover Challenge", I like how it promotesteamwork.

I would say the two sites are more alike than dissimilar, actually.

C2F:Continuing the C2F/HM discussion, some of our newer members may not rememberthe bad old days when relations between the two sites were less cordial. Do youhave any thoughts from a Heromorpher's point of view on that antagonism, and onthe current relationship between the two sites?

BB:What a load of cobblers.

I don't think there was ever any real animosity, just a few bad apples on bothsides. (Many of whom no longer play here or there. Thank God. :-D)

I think the two sites get along pretty damn good, currently. Hence the osmosisof the artists from here to there to here.

Is there still any antagonism? I post here and there, and I don't have anyproblems. But then again, I am a pretty nice guy... ;-)

C2F:Moving right along from the sublime to the ridiculous, your avatar at Heromorphis the former second-tier Marvel villain (now turned would-be hero in theThunderbolts series), the Beetle. Why him? Is he a particular favouritecharacter, or is the choice just one of those bizarre historical accidents, likeJr?

BB:You will hate this answer.

When I first signed up at Heromorph, there were not a lot of Avatars to choosefrom. (Boy, did I change _that_ when I became Webmaster!) the Beetle Avatarthey had was in a cool pose, so that's why he was chosen. That and he has asort of "Robot" thing going on, and I am the BikerBot.

Then, Winterhawk made me a new Avatar using him, I made myself several usinghim, and then Matrixblur made a Poser one for me, that's the one I use the most.

How do you like my new one? with Lady Heromorph riding on the back? Yes, it isgood to be Lord... Lol!

Jr. is not a "bizarre historical accident", I made him what he is today... ;-)

C2F:Sorry, I didn't hate that answer. On a similar note, what's up with the "Who'sthe model?" catchphrase?

BB:Well, when I first joined Heromorph, as I said above, I was a Pack Rat. Partof being a good Pack Rat is finding the "before" images of a given Manip. (Ilike to see what the artist has done.) Also, if I like the model, I can go look for more pictures of her, and maybe Manip her myself. But maybe most of all,a good Pack Rat has a good Manip Library, and it is much more enjoyable to surf through your Library and see "Brooke Burke as WonderWoman" and "Adrianna Lima as Wonder Woman" than "Wonder Woman 1", "WonderWoman 2", and so on. ;-)

C2F:Who are your favourite comics characters?

BB:Oy. Seriously? I think I prefer artist over characters, but what the hey:
Wonder Woman. Cause she wears sexy tights. And can kick yer ass.
Harley Quinn. She's so crazy...!
Power Girl. As a matter of fact, there are two things I like about her...
Nova.
Rachel Summers.
She-Hulk.
Mystique.
Excalibur.
The Avengers.
Alpha Flight.
The Legion Of Superheroes.
WB Justice League. (Heck, WB anything.)
The list is rather endless...

C2F:Finally, what is the single best thing about the whole big sprawling C2F/HMcommunity?

BB:The accolades. ;-)

I would say the friendships, actually.


For more of BB's art, takea look at his DCGand heromorph galleries.

Interviewer:Blazej Szpakowicz

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