domingo, 8 de febrero de 2015

The return of Yenny Lopez

If you were a loyal reader of Yenny there's not much to say about her previous comic strip adventures. But I bet a lot of questions might be on your head right now regarding this so called "reboot". I used the word "reboot" as a tongue in cheek remark since that seems to be the standard in Hollywood now. The truth is that Yenny's comeback is more of a revision rather than a remake. Yes, there are a few minor revisions regarding the character designs in order to meet the rush of a daily comic strip. Where are Yenny's tiny shorts? You might say. Well there are still there but this time they are suitable for average newspaper readers. During my sabbatical, I was thinking on what to do with the character. At the end of the storyline some stuff like Tomato's pregnancy took relevance on the strip and at the moment a continuing of an older Yenny and friends seemed like the way to go. However, the more I thought of it, the less I liked it. Yenny is about her crazy daily adventures at the beach. Her enviroment is Villa Los Kubos...not some apartment. That's her trademark. Bare feet on the sand not high heels on the street. Another relevant change was her age. At first she was supposed to be 22 years old but she acted way younger than that. So right now she's 18 but still naive and childish. In short, old readers won't feel like they lost the old Yenny and new readers will begin folowing her adventures just like everyone else did. Welcome back to Villa los Kubos. Go check Yenny's return at www.gocomics.com/yenny

sábado, 31 de enero de 2015

Corazón de Chavo

Como todo artista, comencé con muchos sueños y muchos anhelos. Aún esos sueños continuan vivos. Otros están en proceso, y otros por realizarse. En esta competitiva Carrera, una de las cosas que hace que sobrevivas en ella es la rapidez y la puntualidad. Las compañias de comics y animación trabajan bajo presión y para estar a tono con ellos te tienes que convertir en lo que ellos llaman "ser reliable". Eso les encanta. El unico lado negativo de eso es que, sin darte cuenta, vas perdiendo sensibilidad artística. Un dia llegué a esa realización. ¿Cuándo fue la última vez que hice un dibujo con el corazón? La realidad es que no iban semanas o meses...¡iban AÑOS! Hacía años que no hacía nada que sintiera hacer. Todo era por tarea o por obligación. Un día, compré un especial en DVD que se titulaba "Chespirito: El niño que somos".
Era la historia de uno de mis heroes de la infancia, el señor Roberto Gómez Bolaños. Ver ese documental me llenó de inspiración. Me hizo remontarme a mi infancia. A todo lo que me inspiraba en aquel tiempo. Fue un bonito renacer mental. Dias después leo en una página de web la intención de Chespirito de llevar al Chapulín Colorado a una película animada. Eso me pareció fantastico. De los personajes de Chespirito, El Chapulin Colorado era mi favorito. Asi que, aprovechando mi Nuevo "boost" de inspiración decidí hacer mi versión de lo que sería el Chapulín animado si Disney lo hubiera adoptado. Asi que preparé lo que le llaman un "Lineup" de personajes e inmediatamente lo subí a mi página de Facebook. Por alguna razón el dibujo se hizo viral en cuestión de minutos y la gente pensó que en realidad se trataba del diseño oficial para la tan comentada película.
La reacción a ese dibujo me motivó a crear otros diseños animados basados en los personajes de Chespirito los cuales la gente recibió con mucho cariño.
Nuevamente estaba dibujando con el corazón. Y se sentía muy bien. En el camino conozco a un buen amigo y colega llamado Antonio Alfaro quien me motiva a llevar más allá estas obras de Chespirito titulando el conglomerado de los artes como "Corazon de Chavo" (nombre adecuadisisisisisisimo, como diria el Chavo). Haciendo el cuento largo corto, Antonio llevó las obras a Televisa, los cuales recibieron mis dibujos con mucho aprecio y profesionalismo. Por razones por las cuales no quiero entrar, no se logró llevar las obras más allá de lo planificado. Tal vez no necesitaba que mi despertar artístico se convirtiera en otro producto. El propósito que tuvo, lo logró con altos honores, y era el de restaurar el niño en mí y hacerme dibujar nuevamente con el corazón. Si desean ver todas las obras pueden ir a www.facebook.com/DaveAlvarezStudio

My return to the Looney Tunes comics: The looney way to learn

After a long and involuntary absence, I officially return to the DC Comics Looney Tunes comics on issue number 223. This doesn't mean that I've been off the comics at all. But before I get to that, let me say that being laid off the DC comics on the first place made me think a lot about my performance as an artist. In short... What the hell did I do wrong? This is a road of self teaching. The only person who knows how to improve is yourself and the circumstances will teach you either you like it or not. I started working on the Looney Tunes comics while still in college. To me it was a wonderful thing. I enjoyed every story and tried to make every panel fun for the reader. I made more than 50 issues, met 4 different editors and made a lot of books for consumer products. I was enjoying that when all of a sudden I was laid off. I remember asking why and I only got an email with a copy-pasted comment from the licensor that read: "He doesn't know how to draw the Looney Tunes". My mind went numb...I mean... I drew these comics, books and merchandise for so many years... How come I don't know how to draw them now? Did I lose my touch? What was I doing wrong? Sometimes you just have to step back to see the whole landscape and learn about it. And then I realized...It's true! I didn't know how to draw them because I was drawing them in my style. I developed my own style for something that was meant to be an established product. The Looney Tunes are not mine, but drawing them for so many years made me feel like they were and I started doing what was comfortable to me but not loyal to the franchise. I was being careless and I couldn't see that. So I took this moment to self teach myself the ways of character design and consumer products artistry. Long after my forced retirement, I was offered a job as a storyboard cleanup artist for the Looney Tunes Show.
This helped me strengthen my drawing line. Working in animation is more disciplinary because you have to follow a model sheet and keep the characters looking the same on every panel. At some point I was promoted as a character designer for season 2. It was a great learning ride. Shortly after that WB asks me to do some comics for Egmont Publishing. This time, I get to do the whole art, not just pencils. This was a great opportunity because now I get to do things differently. I wanted to give these comic book stories the feel and treatment they from their animation origins. the first thing was the backgrounds. I went and studied all of Maurice Noble's designs. I wanted the stories to have those angled and almost half-colored backgrounds that he used to do.
Then we have the characters. What could I do with the already approved models that could stand out? Simple. I drew them in new animated ways. I still got to do what I wanted but with elegance.
Doing this was a lot more work, but I wanted the readers to finally have what they always wanted. The animation translated to comics on every panel. I made some new comics with this new system for the Egmont books and apparently they worked well. Writer extraordinaire Bill Matheny was called back to write new stories and they were funnier than ever. This new technique brought in other licenses like Scooby Doo and Tom and Jerry.
A year later DC Comics contacted me to make some new Scooby Doo comics for them and eventually the comeback to the Looney Tunes comics by their new editor Jessica Chen. So, this is it, peeps. When someone tells you that you can't do something, prove them wrong by doing it better. Hope you dig the new comics!