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By Blazej Szpakowicz     July 23, 2006

Welcome to thelatest edition of the DCG Artist Spotlight!

Our victim today(and only six years late, which is early by his standards!) isMilleniumBum.

Comics2Film (C2F):The inevitable question: When and how did you get into art in generaland manipping in particular?

MilleniumBum (MB):I was always the kid in my family with the most outrageous imagination. Myparents pushed crayons in my face as early as age 4 just to let all thosecreative juices out (the walls suffered so much!). I think I first startedmanipping in 1999 when I came across some great manips online. That lead meto a Yahoo group where I met Marrow2000 and the rest is history.

C2F:What software do you use?

MB:I mainly use Photoshop for the manips and a bit of Poser (if I never findthe pose I want in existing pics). I'm scared to try anything else (read: lazy).

C2F:What is your background in art?

MB:I started out as a copycat. I loved to trace when I was a kid. When I was ateenager, I was consumed with copying the art in my comic books. But for thetechnicalities, I took up Fine Arts in college.

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

MB:The conceptualization stage is the absolute best for me. This is when I startto think about the character/s I wanna manip, the layouts, the techniquesused, etc. It gives me that extra adrenaline rush to actually get the projectdone. We all know how big a slacker I am. *wink*

C2F:What do you see as your greatest strength as an artist?

MB:My imagination. It may not be enough compared to others or maybe too wild, butI think that's what motivates me. Also, I am so nitpicky with details,especially when I manip costumes and accessories. Everything has to be doneas faithfully as possible to the source material.

C2F:What do you think is your best pic?

MB:Hmm... It's really tough to single out just one pic. I guess would have to beboth of my Jordan Bayne Wonder Woman pics[1 and2].I struggled to produce a decentWonder Woman pic for years and I ended up making two. Also, I got to practice(and improved) on metalwork techniques on those manips (thanks to dperceful'sAMAZING tutorials).

C2F:What image (or images) do you see as your turning point(s) as anartist?

MB:That would definitely have to be my Thundercatsseries! That series challengedme in a lot of ways and I overcame them all. I learned that working undertime pressure without having to have the quality suffer IS possible. That project also dragged my sorry butt out of the couch long enough for me tofinish all the characters.

C2F:What is your guiding philosophy as an artist?

MB:Never thought about that before. It would have to be faithfulness and dedicationto your work. If you're not the dedicated type, it would show up in your artin the worst possible manner. Also, one must strive to continually improve, nomatter how small or big the improvement needs to be.

C2F:Of the various media you've worked in (manips, pencils, colouring),which do you enjoy the most? Which do you find the most challenging?

MB:I find photomanipulation to be my favorite medium because you can do virtuallyanything you can think of. Penciling, on the other hand, challenges me a lot.I can never be too sure if my proportions are just right or if the actualoutcome is rendered closely to my imagined outcome. But, hey! If all elsefails, there's always the eraser close by.

C2F:Who are your influences, either in the DCG or in the wider world ofcomics and art?

MB:I've had the honor and pleasure of meeting some of the most outstanding artistshere in the DCG. I look up to the likes of Essex,Marrow,JuvenileMike,B,Zac,etc. Each artist is different and has a unique attack on art and I try to followthe techniques whenever I can without having to be a cheap knock-off. In comics,my main influences are Adam Hughes, Jim Lee, Brian Bolland, John Byrne andGeorge Perez. Recent additions include Greg Land, Phil Jimenez and Matthew Clark.

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

MB:I get inspired by anything and everything: going on nature walks, afterwatching a good movie, seeing a Great White shark eating a seal on AnimalPlanet. And when I get that stroke of inspiration, that's when the ideasstart pouring in.

C2F:Who are some of your favourite DCG artists?

MB:Oh, jeez, a lot! Aside from the artists I mentioned earlier, there's alsoLady D,WWG,Trygonez,Ms. Jellybrain,kev_incal,(gotta love his Legion stuff),effektdmentalityand a whole lot more.

C2F:Which pic took you the longest to complete? Do you have any horrorstories of delays and procrastination to share? (As the Maven ofprocrastination, you should! ;) Ever have that experience of working onsomething for EVER but never quite getting it to look right?

MB:Oh... uh... well, there was this little theme day for original characters and Ifailed to complete *someone's* character on time. [That would beTHIS one...-ed.] The manip had to be includedin the next update. I believe the character's name wasEve(sheepish grin).The only horror stories I have are from when I submit my pieces late. Andthere have been more than just Eve. My therapist advised me to block theseinstances from memory.

C2F:Some of your most noted recent (well, fairly recent) work was yourexcellent 70s Legion series. What inspired it? Looking back, which picfrom that series are you happiest with and what do you think of theseries as a whole?

MB:It actually started while I was watching "That 70s Show" one day and thought,"Mila Kunis would make a great Violet." Then I thought about the other castmembers and BAM! "That 70s Legion" was born. I loved the way theSaturn Girlmanip turned out. Dperceful's comment that it was the way the color whiteshould be done flattered me to no end. I would have wanted to do more onthe series like re-manipping the characters in the Legion's costumes fromthe 70s but, typically, I slacked off.

C2F:What was the best piece of advice you ever received from anotherartist?

MB:My professor told me once that improvement is an important factor by which agood artist is measured. Stagnation kills the talent. Pretty appropriate,wouldn't you think?

C2F:What was your favourite theme day?

MB:Always the Christmas theme days! Any opportunity to heavily distort anotherDCGer should be taken at once! Seriously, I love giving gifts and the Christmastheme days are perfect. You just gotta love it when you receive really warmcomments from your gift recipients.

C2F:What's the single best thing about being a member of the DCG?

MB:The community! This group is a big family. When one needs help, others aremore than willing to give it. The DCG is a great place to grow as an artist.

C2F:Any unfinished masterpieces sitting on your hard drive?

MB:You know me so well. I've got tons of work that needs to be finished. I hopeto finish my follow-up to "That 70s Legion": "Smallville 3000"! I've startedwork on Apparition, Spark and Mon El. There are also some other characters Ihaven't completed yet: Ravager, Artemis in Wonder Woman garb and my very firstStorm.

C2F:Who are some of your favourite comic book characters?

MB:Anything Amazon: Wonder Woman, Donna Troy, Wonder Girl, Artemis, Hippolyta.Psylocke is very dear to me, as well as Batman's rogues.

C2F:Finally, the biggie: DC or Marvel? Why?

MB:DC all the way! They have the characters I grew up with. I'm a sucker for icons.

For more of MilleniumBum's art,check out his DCGgallery.

Interviewer:Blazej Szpakowicz


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