So, I’ve been on a Brandon Graham kick of late. There is a podcast called Inkstuds. I think Brandon and the host Robin are neighbors/buddies so he’s on the radio show pretty frequently. I recently joined his Patreon – and you all should too! There are tons of great audio interviews on there and panel recordings.
This was just an extremely inspiring panel. Lately I’ve been struggling with the idea of comics as my main form of expression. As I get comfortable with the medium, I’m realizing you can do anything you want (no budget required!) — and you own the work. Pope and Graham talk a lot about why they do their own work vs. working for the big two.
This isn’t to say they don’t take on gigs. Pope (who sounds more and more like a Rockstar of comic books) imparts advice he got from Frank Miller. “If you get the opportunity to do the work, to do Batman – do it. But don’t stay there.” (I’m paraphrasing here).
For those of you not familiar with Paul Pope’s Batman 100 – it’s a very indie take, and a very cool book. It sets a Batman Story 100 years in the future – with a brand new Batman – (I won’t spoil much for you here). Paul Pope’s style is energetic, kinetic – and very stylized.
And Brandon Graham is doing PROPHET over at IMAGE COMICS. Prophet is this character that spun out of the Rob Liefeld heyday (Youngblood, and all that). Here’s an article that breaks down where Liefeld’s Prophet ends and Brandon Graham’s begins.
I suspect Brandon is ok doing this work because from what I can tell he admits that they let him do whatever he wants. And they definitely do. Prophet was my first book of that kind of zany, I guess you could say…. European/French style Science Fiction. So, for a guy who didn’t even know who Moebius was at the time — Prophet was a mind blower.
The short and the long – Brandon Graham and Paul Pope give a great panel that provides me with a lot of inspiration on Comics as a form of expression and re-affirming the idea that — you really can do anything in comics. It just takes your time and effort.
So, keep drawing!