Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spotlight on Legends of the Guard creator: Jason Shawn Alexander:
David Petersen: Jason, You lead two different artistic lives it seems, one as a comic book artist and the other as a fine art/gallery show painter. Do you see these as being very different or is creating work all part of the same process for you?

Jason Shawn Alexander: Right now they are very different. Aesthetically, socially, and in my process. My personal work has no story to tell. If it does, it's subconscious. It's becomes more and more abstract. It's a release. It has a thought process that is very personal and very private. Very different from comics. My comics work is what I do, not for fun, but for pure enjoyment. there's a difference. The process of visual story-telling is incredible to me. I know I'll do it till the day I die. I would just like to break the seal and do nothing but my own stories. But that includes getting to run wild with other titles, like Mouse Guard.

David: How did working on your Legends story differ from your other comic work like Abe Sapien: The Drowning, or Damn Nation?

Jason: Because it's my story, well, it was up to me to write/adapt. I love nothing more than being in control and laying out my own pages without a panel by panel script. The story-telling aspect is the pay-off for me.

David: How did you come to the idea of doing an adaptation of an Edgar Allen Poe story?

Jason: I've wanted to adapt this poem for so long, but who wants to see another gothy Johnny Depp and crows.....well, I'm sure a lot of people, but not me. When MG came along, it rang out perfectly. A truly unique take on an icon of loneliness and despair.

David: Can you talk about your process? do you thumbnail? do you work directly on the final paper surface?

Jason: I thumbnail. That's how I script. Even when I full write my own stories, I write them in screenplay form. The panel by panel portion comes from me reading and pacing it out in thumbnails. Then very loose pencils and the the rest is all quill and ink.

David: What materials do you use to pencil and ink with?

Jason: A cheap mechanical pencil. Sharpening pencils irritates me. Then a Gillott 303 nib. Nothing has proven better for me and I've tried tons. I still buy new brands of nibs to see if anything works better for some things, but nothing has. Ink is different. I use a LOT. So I buy cheap. I buy Blick brand Black Cat ink for my nibs and then Speedball ink for my solid black brush work. All on Strathmore 400 series water color paper. 15x22 in.

David: Would you say most of the ‘work’ is in the penciling or the inking? That is to say, are your pencils just a guide for the ink work, or are your pencils a tighter recipe for where the ink needs to go?

Jason: Everything happens in the ink. If I pencil too much it becomes stiff and I feel like I'm tracing. I need that fear to keep me focused and excited.

David: Where can people find out more about you and your work Jason?

Jason: www.bloodandwhisky.blogspot.com/ or http://www.jasonshawnalexander.com/
Jason's story appears in Legends of the Guard issue 3

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey David

I saw a picture on your twitter page of a new Mouse Guard print and it was awesome! My only regret is that you cant ship some prints to those who cant make a convention. I love to show my support for your work by purchasing stuff from you then to get ripped off on Ebay!! Its sad that your fans that cant make the treck to the cons are held hostage by these Ebay goons but i understand your position!! Anyways keep up the great work!!


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