Shining A Spotlight – J Gonzo

vintage_spawnThis week we are shining a spotlight on J Gonzo, former Senior Art Director for TMP International, Inc. / McFarlane Toys and even has a letter of recommendation from Todd McFarlane on his website. Plus Gonzo has three issues of his book La Mano Del Destino that you can download and read for free on the website.

Let’s get to know Gonzo better.

BLEEDING COOL: How did you get started drawing?

J GONZO: As a kid, I loved Saturday Morning Cartoons especially things like the Superfriends and Spider-man and His Amazing Friends and I wanted to do my own versions of those heroes. I always loved the difference from the standard newspaper comic strip style that the Spider-Man strip was and sought to replicate that. I just practiced art when I supposed to be doing other things and ultimately got accepted to the Orange County High School of the Arts’ Visual Arts program and it was there that I got smi-serious about art as a career.

spawn_batmanBC: Who were your biggest inspirations?

GONZO: First and foremost, Jack Kirby (his influence is undeniably noticeable in my work) – then guys like Alex Toth, Alex Raymond, Milton Caniff, as well as fine artists like Toulouse Lautrec and Van Gogh (they showed me impact of synthesized idea over literal reflection of reality) and design guys like Saul Bass and Raymond Loewy.

coverBC: What is your process for doing a page? How long does it take you?

GONZO: I pencil my pages on Bristol fairly loose in some areas since I “ink” and color my own work. I then scan in the pencils and “ink” everything in Illustrator with the pen tool and applied, custom brushes. All mouse and all bezier curves. I then color and letter everything in Illustrator as well. I then take all of the vector art form Illustrator and pull it into Photoshop in layers and add some custom effects to each layer of the process, have each layer multiply each other and it gives the whole page the patina of an old comicbook.

mano__blog_i01_p18-19BC: Where might folks have seen your work previously?

GONZO: I did a pinup in the second issue of the Guild comic book that Dark Horse put out, and a page in 2011’s Liberty Annual from the CBLDF. Just a bunch of pinups and small contributions here and there.

solomonBC: What are you working on now?

GONZO: I am finishing up the last 3 issues of La Mano del Destino  primarily. I have a couple projects in the works that I can’t really talk about yet, but I can say that there will be a pretty good chunk of work coming out from me in the next year – some of it from just me and other projects I am just contributing to.

Mano_i03_p13-WebBC: What is your dream project?

GONZO: Spider-Man. To write, pencil, ink, color and letter a Spider-Man mini. I have a weird superstition about it too. I don’t really draw Spidey because I don’t want to jinx my chances to do him for real. I do have a good outline of the story, but never tell anyone because… you know… jinxed! I also have a Sunfire mini that I really want to do and have the first few pages started (you can see them on my personal site). I have a great B’wana Beast project I comped up and a Challengers of the Unknown story all ready to go – I’d love for either of the big two to ask me what I’ve got – cuz I’ve got some fun stuff for a lot of sidelined characters.




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