By Christian Beranek
This Wednesday May 5th the Contropussy team of co-creators Emma Caulfield and Camilla Rantsen, artist Christian Meesey and myself will be signing at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles from 6 – 8pm You can view full details here.
A lot of the focus has been on the two lovely and talented ladies who script Contro’s adventures, but who is the mysterious man sitting at the drawing board — the aforementioned Meesey himself? Well my trusted readers, let’s find out…
Christian Beranek: You’re the artist on the popular web comic Contropussy. Can you tell us how that project came to be?
Christian Meesey: It was a dark and stormy night…actually, it was a typically gorgeous Los Angeles morning. The lovely and talented Emma (Caulfield) and Camilla (Rantsen) had created Contropussy. They had written and produced some test animations, but were looking for an artist to re-design and illustrate it as a web-comic. I was brought in and introduced by a mutual friend (Christian Beranek), and we hit it off. From initial introduction, to actual production, it’s been one of the smoothest creative experiences I’ve been lucky to be a part of.
Beranek: Can you tell us about MOTLEY and other creator owned projects?
Meesey: After graduating from Art school in Miami, Florida, I was lucky enough to immediately exhibit and publish two MOTLEY graphic novels, thanks to the endlessly generous Brook Dorsch( http://dorschgallery.com/past/ ). I’m currently working on new MOTLEY material, possibly to take the form of a web-comic later this year or next. NUCLEAR NEAL is a super hero parody book published through lulu.com and also available on AmazonJ.
Beranek: Who are some of your influences?
Meesey: A few notable mentors and influences (though it’s impossible to name every awesome and inspiring artist) are Tom Richmond, Ed Steckley, Jordan Massengale, Stephen Silver, Peter deSeve, Kyle Baker, Jack Davis, Mort Drucker, Alex Toth, T.S.Sullivant, Travis Charest, Claire Wendling, John K., Chris Ware, David Mazzuchelli, Carter Goodrich, Carlos Nine, Chris Sanders, Frazetta, Will Eisner, Frank Stockton, Sterling Hundley, Wolfgang Reitherman, Frank Miller, Paul Pope, Dave Mckean, Arthur Adams…and a few thousand others.
Beranek: What is your work process — can you take us through the steps of making a webcomic strip?
Meesey: First, I go through the script and figure out and track down any research needed. Second, I fill up a few sketchbook pages with layouts and character drawings. Third, the strip is penciled and inked onto 40lb paper stock. Fourth, I scan and color it in Adobe Photoshop. Then, I down a bottle of Dewar’s scotch. By the time I wake up two days later, the strip has been masterfully lettered by Thomas Mauer, and uploaded to the internets by the gentlemanly Nick Beranek!
Beranek: You have 20% coming out soon, a webcomic about a restaurant in Hell. What can you tell us about it?
Meesey: 20% is a blast to work on, and I can’t wait for it to launch. It gives a chance to draw regular folks in wild yet relatable scenarios, as well as crazy-ass demons and various creatures. Not to mention psychotic, cleaver-wielding chickens. It’s good times. In Hell!
Beranek: What are some comics you’re reading these days?
Meesey: Comic Book Mafia and other goodies at The Webcomic Factory, of course. Morrison and Murphy’s Joe the Barbarian is a lot of fun, Brubaker’s Criminal and Incognito…Anything by Darwyn Cooke, David Mazzuchelli, Herman Mejia, Cyril Pedrosa, Mike Mignola, Chris Moreno, Jeffrey Brown…and whatever else that looks compelling at my local library.
Beranek: Anything else you’d care to share with our readers?
Meesey: Sometimes when drawing, it’s great to listen to cool podcasts like Dwa and Swa at Sidebar.typepad.com, or Bobby Chiu’s words of artistic inspiration and wisdom…But mostly I just hum the theme song from Xanadu. Thanks for having me!
Christian Meesey’s blog:
Christian Beranek is a writer, musician, actor, film/tv producer and webcomic entrepreneur. He co-runs The Webcomic Factory with Tony DiGerolamo and is hard at work on several original graphic novels. He is also co-starring in High School Sucks The Musical for Lakeshore Entertainment and PDFlo Films. He is never late for dinner and invites you to add him on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/beranek.