Friday, February 27, 2015

Bá and Moon fonts

There's a much bigger text to be written here, about the time we started lettering our photocopied independent comics in the computer, about when we started having our comics lettered by other people, one of those being Nate Piekos, of Blambot fame (who, as we came to learn, had designed many fonts we were already using), and about the moment we decided to have our comics look a little more ours by lettering them by hand again.
Hand lettering a comic is a lot of work. And, when you're publishing your stories in at least two languages (english and portuguese), it's impossible to do it all on the page. Because of that, even if we started hand lettering our comics, we decided it was time to turn our hand writing into computer fonts. And that's when we came back to Nate.
Besides being an awesome letterer (he lettered Umbrella Academy and Sugarshock for us), he also is a great font designer, and has made a lot of custom fonts for artists.


First, Nate turned Bá's hand lettering into fonts. We were on the final stages of our new book, "Two Brothers", which we were already negotiating to be published in portuguese, in french, in english and in italian, and we really wanted it to have Bá's lettering in all versions.
Both Bá and I have been hand-lettering our weekly strip at the brazilian newspaper, "Quase Nada", since 2008 (even though we replaced the letters with computer fonts for print), but since 2013 I have restarted to hand letter some short stories I was doing, to get better at it, and do try and really define my style. After the incredible results of Bá's custom font, we knew it was only a matter of time until we would hire Nate to do his magic on my font.


I plan on continuing to hand-letter my comics whenever I can. More and more, I'm trying to make everything blend a little better, from the drawing, and the inking, and the balloons, and the letters, and the colors.
Now, with these custom fonts, we can do that all around the world.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Two Brothers

After 4 long years working on this book almost in secrecy, we can finally talk a little bit about it. 
Our new book, TWO BROTHERS, is an adaptation of the novel “The brothers” (Dois Irmãos, in Portuguese), by Brazilian novelist Milton Hatoum. It’s the story of twin brothers Yaqub and Omar, and their family of Lebanese immigrants living in the port city of Manaus, on the riverbanks of the Amazon. It’s a story about identity, love, loss, deception, and the dissolution of blood ties. A strong story worth the huge challenge of adapting it.

It’ll be publisher by Dark Horse and it’ll come out only in October, but you can see a 10 page preview at Publishers' Weekly.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

CMYK- Farewell

Over the last three volumes of these color themed anthologies, I’ve told the story of these characters who, faced with the inevitability of change, have to reflect about what they do, and the importance of where they are, or how they got there and, the power of the memories that the objects we keep can carry and, finally, in the end, where they’re headed.

I came up with the idea to tell a story about change the moment the editor, Will Dennis, told me about his desire to put together this four anthologies based on the primary colors. And, I don’t know exactly why, I never imagined that I would choose only one color. I already thought that the best way to explore the artistic possibilities of this approach to the story would be to think of four stand-alone-yet-somehow-connected tales, so I could show how to change gears as we moved from one “color” to the next, and so that we could really reflect a little longer over one subject as seen at four different lights.

Tomorrow, Vertigo will publish CMYK-K, the last issue of the anthology, and with it, the last chapter of my story. It’s called “Farewell”. I hope you pick it up.

Here’s the first page.

There’s a nod to one of the very first Vertigo stories I ever read on this page. There are others, throughout these four little stories, but this one is pretty easy to spot.

Not all references need to be obscure, or hidden.

Wear your passions on your sleeve, I say.

We’ll be all right.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Once you get it, it works.

I like acquiring a rhythm as I draw new pages every day. Each new page gets easier and flows better as I get into the zone, and by drawing every day, working on the story and seeing it grow in front of my eyes, my hand remembers the characters, the places, the mood. Still, working on a deadline can have its disadvantages, and I worry that sometimes having to finish a book that month, or even a page that day, might hurt your story in the end.

Wednesday, I went to sleep at 2AM because I stayed up late inking a page to finish that day's work. I usually work during the day, and my usual long days of labor end around 10PM, so Wednesday was a very long day even for my standards.

Yesterday, having a penciled page ready to ink if I had another very long day, I wasn't so sure finishing a page that day was the best choice for my story.

I wasn't happy with the last panel, and with the main character on that panel, to be precise. He wasn't badly drawn, he worked on the scene, but there was something weird about the body language. Something off. In a failed attempt to convey a natural pose, I ended up stiffing it, and had I inked it, it would be forever there, not quite there, not quite the pose that the character was supposed to have at that particular time. And one of the things I like most when drawing is getting the body language right, it's one of the strongest visual tools a storyteller has (one of the reasons Frank Quitely is SO GOOD is his complete control over the most sutil movement of his characters), so I decided, around 10:30PM, to stop drawing and rest. The next day I'd try again, talk it over with Bá, maybe do some preliminary sketches, or take some reference pictures.

That's what I did, and today, after going in and out of my "drawing zone", and indeed talking it over with Bá AND taking reference pictures, I finally got the pose I wanted, one I think tells the story even if there were no words on that panel.

It is almost 1AM. I am tired again, but happy. I don't think I'm going to ink any of these pages tonight, because I can still mess it up with the inking, and I also really enjoy inking and want to have fun while doing it, so I'll probably ink three pages tomorrow, and I'll be much more inspired because I got it right, and I waited and erased and redrew it over and over, and then I got it.

Once you get it, everything else works.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Helping you find us

In an attempt to help you find us, I have created a page inside our tumblr called "FIND US -APPEARANCES". I'll do my best to keep it updated, and I'm sure I'll end up missing something somewhere along the way, but it's a start.

Right now, there are only three events in there: The Salon du Livre in Paris, in March, San Diego Comic Con in July, and Comic Con Experience here in São Paulo, in December.

We'll have more french dates in March soon, as soon as we lock our little book tour for the french release of our new book, Deux Frères. I'll even put the dates for the brazilian release of the book here in São Paulo pretty soon.

We're in final talks about some other US conventions, so stay tuned.

If we bump into your hometown, come say hi.