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Comics Features - Artist Spotlight

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By Blazej Szpakowicz     April 16, 2006

Welcome to thelatest edition of the DCG Artist Spotlight!

Our victim today isC2F's resident Joker fanatic, Sonic1002.

Comics2Film (C2F):When and why did you start manipping?

Sonic1002:I started way back in 2003 (I know, it's hard to believe, huh?). Totell you the truth, the only reason why I began to manip was because ofComics2Film. I saw all of these great artists doing AMAZING things withpictures and I wanted to TRY and be apart of that. And I gotta say, I don'tregret that choice!

C2F:What software do you use?

Sonic:I first started out with a lil thing called Microsoft PictureIt. Iwould just like to tell anyone who wants to start manipping these few,simple words: DO NOT USE THAT PROGRAM. I learned quickly that that programwas meant only for photo retouching, hence it was a bit difficult to use.Now, I work on Photoshop 6 for manips. I also use Paint and Alias SketchbookPro 1.1 for my drawings.

C2F:What is your favourite of your own art?

Sonic:I have two favorites, actually. I'm going to have to agree with justabout EVERYBODY who saw this piece:Sub-Zero.I'm not quite sure whathappened with that piece. I only worked 3 days on it and about 2 or 3 hourseach time on it. I got into a zone into which I have yet to find my wayback. I'm convinced that that picture was a fluke, but others seem to thinkI have some skill. So, I'll go with what they say!

For my second favorite piece, I'd have to say"Game2Film: The Deathof Aeris". It comes from my second favorite video game of all time (KingdomHearts is first in my heart). It was my first scene picture. Also, it was myfirst picture to try and frankenstein the hell out of it; each person iscomposed of like 5 or 6 different pictures.

C2F:What image would you consider your turning point as an artist? (Notnecessarily the best, but the ones where you feel you learned the most, orthe one where you found your voice as an artist.)

Sonic:I think that I had 2 turning points, actually. My first one was my"Games2film:Ganondorf" manip of Jason Isaacs. With that piece, I learnedthat I could not only recolor very well, but that I could also createaccessories from scratch (and they looked convincing!)

My second turning point was with"Game2Film:The Death of Aeris". AsI said before, it was an experimental piece that I just wanted to trysomething completely new to me. And, personally, I like the outcome!

C2F:What do you wish you could do in a manip, but can't?

Sonic:I wish that I could do GOOD metal (I can do metal, but it's not thatgreat). I would also like to work on reflections and a better ability to doscenes.

C2F:How do you start a manip?

Sonic:This is kind of a hard question to answer, seeing as I start each alittle differently. Lately, I've found that if I start out with a sketch, Ican frankenstein and paint what I want over that to get a better picture. Mybest use of that technique was with my Sub-Zero piece.

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

Sonic:I get inspiration from many places. TV shows, movies, pictures, evenmy friends inspire me to do a piece. No one thing can be attributed to myinspiration.

C2F:Who are your favourite DCG artists?

Sonic:My favorite artists... Wow, there are so many. For manips, I'm goingto have to sayDperceful(the man who keeps this boat floating),Essex,Welshcat,kev_incal,QuantumFX, my interviewerB,Bill Turner, andZac. Fortraditional art, I'd sayTemporal Dave andSydney Lecter.

C2F:What about your favourite comic book or mainstream artists?

Sonic:I only have one favorite comic book artist. He is Alex Ross.

C2F:What do you enjoy most about the DCG?

Sonic:The DCG is such a close knit group of weirdoes... I meankind-hearted people. There is a definite sense of community here. Everyonehelps each other to become even better than they were before.

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

Sonic:Never give up, especially in beginning. Trust me, I had my share offrustrations when first starting off, because I thought I could start and beas good as Dperceful or Essex. But, I learned that this, like any other artform, is all about practice. The more you do it, the better you become.

C2F:What's your favourite comic book?

Sonic:If you all couldn't tell, it's Batman! He's the most humancharacter, even more so than someone like the Punisher. He's an ordinarybillionaire who uses his money and resources to better the world. (Watchout, ya all! The Trumpinator just may start cropping up, saving the day.)

C2F:What are your favourite comic book movies?

Sonic:Batman (1989), X-men 1 & 2, Spider-Man 2, Punisher, and *drum roll*Batman Begins.

C2F:You've done, *ahem*, one or two pics of the Joker in your time.Which do you think have been the best ones? Which ones have been the mostchallenging?

Sonic:*coughs* Yes, a few people have told me that I MAY have a 'slight'obsession with the character.

"Ha, ha, ha"is definitely my BEST Joker picture. I decided to gocompletely and utter psycho with this picture, from bulgy eyes to killingsmile. "See,I Do Listen to Advice" was my first crazy Joker, where Ifinally listened to what everyone told me about my 'tame' Jokers. Also, Ilike my "The Joker"Picture with Paul Bettany. This is how I picture a realistic Joker.

If you want to see some sucky Jokers, look at any"Lacky Hulme asthe Joker" and all Jokers before that. Most of those (except for"Batman: the Clown Cometh","A Dance with the Devil",and any of the paint drawings) were just god awful, now that I look back at them.

"Ha, ha, ha"was definitely challenging for me, because it was thefirst time I went completely out of control with the character. It was oneof the times were I was experimenting to get a new effect. Also,"That'sGonna Sting..." was challenging for me because everything except for theBatman reflection in the eye was made from scratch.

C2F:What is it about the Joker that makes you keep coming back to him inyour art?

Sonic:Well, other than him being my FAVORITE comic book character, thereare so many possibilities when it comes to him. You can range from demented/Psychotic (as with "Ha,ha, ha"); sorrowful, yet the smile remains becauseit was etched in his face (as with"A Clown's Sorrow");or you can have him with a suave, intelligent look (As with"Batman: the Clown Cometh").He's a highly erratic character. His demeanor is never the same from one moment toanother. So, there is a lot you can do with a character such as him.

For more of Sonic's art,check out his DCG Gallery.

Interviewer: Blazej Szpakowicz


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