One of the things we like to do here at Comic Impact is feature various comic book artists each month. Some you may know and some that are new to you. The idea is to make people aware of the amazing talent that’s out there and hopefully to get you interested in reading new books! This month we’re taking a look into the mind of GABO
1-Who are you and what are you known for?
I AM GABO. In other publications I am known as Gabriel Bautista, in darker circles of the internetz I’m known as GALVO. I am known for working on comics such as THE LIFE AFTER(ONI PRESS), ELEPHANTMEN(IMAGE), CHARLEY LOVES ROBOTS(IMAGE), ALBERT THE ALIEN(THRILLBENT). I’ve also colored a few comics here n there for DC, (The Spirit, All Star Western), and earned an Eisner and Harvey award for my work in COMIC BOOK TATTOO(IMAGE). I’m also the creator of comic battle website ENTERVOID.COM.
2-Who do you currently represent and what are you working on?
Currently I represent the human race in the court of interstellar art exchange. We are working on bridging the gap between humans and the rest of the galactic art community. It’s pretty exciting. Other than that I represent several companies including Oni Press and Thrillbent. I’m working on a monthly on going series called THE LIFE AFTER, written by Joshua Hale Fialkov, published through Oni Press. I’m also working on an all ages webcomic presented on Mark Waid’s webcomic platform Thrillbent.com called ALBERT THE ALIEN, written by Trevor Mueller.
3-How did you get into the world of comic art?
In the early 2000’s I created a website called ENTERVOID.COM, a website designed to hone the skills of comic artists both amateur and professional through comic battles. Through this website I managed to befriend and battle many artist, including the likes of Kenneth Rocafort, James Stokoe, Marley Zarcone, Aluísio Cervelle Santos, Michael Dialynas, to name drop a few. Through those friendships I managed to meet one of my mentors MORITAT (Elephantmen, All- Star Western), and he then introduced me to Richard Starkings (Elephantmen, Comicraft) who then essentially took me under his wing and taught me boat loads of industry secrets. Attending conventions with Richard and sitting as his tables really opened my eyes to this world, and through him I ended up meeting a lot of writers, editors etc. Including Josh Fialkov, who ultimately asked if I was interested in working with him. AND SO THAT’S IT. CRASHIN THROUGH, LIKE A GUIDED MISSILE.
4-Did you ever think as a kid that you would be working in the comics industry?
I never expected to really work in comics- I felt that someday I would be doing something art related, but as a kid I was made to understand (by grownups of course) that the chances of me being a professional artist would be a long shot. As I got older I started to realize the amount of positions available in this industry is pretty low compared to the population of amazing artists in this world, so that sort of reaffirmed what the grownups around me had been saying- getting into the comics game would be tough.
5-Do you read comics and if so, what are your favorite titles?
I’ve never been big on reading, which is a real shame because I know there’s amazing stories out there. People get angry at me when I tell them that I haven’t read Saga, or Y The Last Man, but I can assure you I’ve looked through these books at least once … or twice. It’s really awful, but I probably read anywhere from one to five issues a year. I buy books all the time, and I sift through them on my way home, but I never sit down and actually read them. I wish I could say that I spend my time watching tv, or playing video games, or even reading novels- but to tell you the truth, 90% of my time is spent working on comics, so any time I have to myself is spent on my family, friends and personal art projects. Maybe someday I’ll be able to relax and catch up on these great books everyone keeps telling me about!
6-Who is your favorite comic book character?
This is a tough one, because like I said before, I don’t read comics. If I had to pick someone though, I’d say Ernest Hemingway on the book I’m currently working on, THE LIFE AFTER. He’s such a hard ass, but compassionate and inspiring at the same time. I love drawing this dude, to me he IS “the most interesting man in the world.”
7-What artists or writers are your biggest influences?
Akira Toriyama and Jean “Moebius” Giraud. Moebius is really the last person I lost my mind over, after him I haven’t been able to get addicted to anyone else. That’s not to say that I don’t see amazing artists everyday, but nobody has grabbed me whole heartedly like those two have. Although I must say, Kenneth Rocafort’s daily paintings on his Facebook page really do inspire me- mostly because its traditional media, and I’ve been exploring that stuff for a few years now.
8-Who is the one character that you’ve always wished you could put your artistic touch on?
If I had totally freedom on what I could do, I would want to do either Batman, Spider-Man 2099 or Wolverine. All 3 would have to be in the future though haha.
I never got a chance to read it, but seeing the covers of Age of Apocalypse with wolverine missing a hand and looking older than normal really made me wonder what he’d look like in 200 years (Old Man Logan solved that I guess.) Rebooting Spider-Man 2099 would be a dream book for me- I hold that first issue dear to my heart. It was probably the first comic that I went nuts over and had to have. The only way I could get comics as a kid was through my best friend in junior high, so when i saw ads for that I forfeited my lunch money to get it haha.
In the end though- something that I’d really love to do would be a future batman. I’m not talking Batman Beyond style though- I’m talking way further into the future, a baron wasteland Batman, where his costume isn’t even black, but all sorts of grays and browns to match the scorched Earth he lives in. But we all know how difficult it is to get DC or Marvel to budge on something super fresh, original and off the wall- so I’ll just stick to inventing my own stuff 😉
9-How long does it take for you to complete a project, issue, or cover?
Issues usually 3-4 weeks, as I typically do pencils, inks and colors (and in some cases the lettering as well.) A cover usually takes me a day or two, those are the best. I get to put a lot of energy and thought into just one piece, but at the same time it can be nerve wrecking because hey— we all judge books by there covers… right?
10-What is your basic creative process for each project?
I just DO IT. I know that sounds kinda simple and silly- but literally thats what I do. I have friends that go through a whole process of gathering reference materials and do research on specific characters or eras in what they’re drawing before the begin a project— but for me- the only time I do that is when its absolutely necessary. I get a script, give it a read and wait a day or two before starting. I sorta let what I just read bake in my head, like a turkey in an oven. The next step is breakdowns/thumbnail/sketches of the script, after those are approved I go straight into pencils, then inks. Then depending on the project I move on to coloring it up and lettering it. I try my best not to think to hard, cause when I do that I start to second guess my decisions. If something looks awful, and I miss it- someone will point it out to me, and then I can fix it, or work on that problem in the future. The key is to move forward. I’m far too old to be taking steps backwards.
11-Do you do most of your work traditionally, digitally, or a combination?
I tend to do traditional inking, sometimes it’s a whole lot faster than digital inking, and also it gives fans the opportunity to buy original art from me, most of which can be found at http://comiconart.com/artist/Gabo
The only time I do traditional color, is when I do watercolor pieces. Issue 50 of Elephantmen, which I drew, was about 90% watercolor. The other 10% was color correction and other various edits via photoshop.
If I could get someone to pay me to do a 100% watercolor comic, I think I might explode.
12-Have you ever met anyone you were star struck over?
One of my greatest powers (and probably greatest weaknesses) is that I don’t know who anybody IS. There’s been countless of times where someone incredibly famous will stop by and chat with Richard Starkings while I’m signing at his table, and he of course introduces me to them- but I still don’t know who they are. It’s not till I ask what they do that their response then sends some shocks into my system, but by then I’m already cool and collected. In the past decade, the only person that I’ve lost my composure with was Matthew Lilard, and thats because ..well everyone knows what that dude looks like. That and he let me draw him a picture of his D&D character, which was amazing.
And then there was the time Walter Simonson came by the table and we chatted it up the power of drawing in different styles. It wasn’t until the following week that I found out who he was.
13-Do you buy any toys, busts and etc. based on some of your work?
I WOULD IF THEY EXISTED YES. I don’t buy a lot of toys though, over the past few years I’ve learned that the feeling I get from buying a toy, opening it and playing with it often dissipates in a matter of seconds, and then the toy gets devoured by my pug or worse yet- suffers a life of dust collecting. If busts/statues weren’t so damn expensive I’d probably have a nice lil collection of those, great for reference with lighting n such.
14-What does your workspace look like?
It’s a godamn mess. I have a drafting table that is more of a book/trash shelf than anything else. Crumpled up paper all over the place, left over dishes cause I’m too lazy to take them up stairs. It’s a war zone in here.
15-What is the strangest thing that someone has asked you to draw?
Carnage having sex with Venom. It probably didn’t help that I was given free creative control over that piece. Carnage ended up ravaging Venom like a Hentai tentacle cock monster would.
16-Do you have any upcoming projects or plans you can share with us?
At the moment I’m nearly complete with a book that I plan to kickstart called JUPITER. It’s 200pg storybook with 100 illustrations and 100 micro fiction stories to accompany the art. Each story is completely different and they share only one thing- they all take place on Jupiter billions of years ago when the planet was still close enough to the sun to sustain life. You can see how the book will be set up in the sample below. It’s going to be a 4×6 hard cloth cover book, I’m really excited to see how people receive it.
ALSO! The Life After Vol 1 comes out on 1/28! So be sure you harass your local comic shop for copies! It’s only $9.99!
17-Where can people find you and interact with you?
I’m always on Facebook, like ALWAYS. I have a problem. But you can easily find me on twitter & instagram @galvosaur, I post daily paintings/sketches on my Instagram as well. Most of my work can be seen on galvo.tumblr.com, as well as yogabogabo.com. For those interested in original art or commissions, just hit up @comiconart on twitter, or visit comiconart.com/artist/Gabo!
I do A LOT of conventions throughout this glorious country, including: ECCC, WonderCon, Phoenix Comic Con (maybe), ACEN(anime con in chicago), C2E2, Wizard World Chicago, SDCC, NYCC. I usually post all sorts of details of where I’ll be once the time comes around!