Ok so here's something we think (hope) you'll enjoy, we're going to be doing these type of interviews/rapid fire questions to our crew and post them on the site. We're gonna let you in on who they are, what they think about many topics related and unrelated to comics and you'll et an idea of how their brain operates.
You'll get to know what art supplies they can't live without, what books they read, what sports they follow and the most important question of all... Star Wars or Star Trek! This will be our first installment and Manuel A. Carmona has volunteered to be our guinea pig! :) Let's begin shall we?
How did the idea for NW came about?
The idea came about mostly out of my love for comicbook teams such as the X-Men and Teen Titans. Me wanting to draw Comics when I was clearly not ready for the big leagues gave me time to develop these characters and fall in love with them to the point I feel I know them in real life.
Who has had the biggest influence on your comics career and how has that person influenced Project: New Wave?
Without a shadow of a doubt that person was Todd Mcfarlane. I discovered comics right at the time Image Comics was starting and Spawn caught my attention immediately, then I began reading it (and loved it!) and learning everything I could about Todd; the more I knew about his story and his modem operandi the more I gravitated towards him. Never had the chance to meet him but it's definitely on my bucket list. I also have to give respect to the Kubert family, even more so after I attended their school in Dover, New Jersey. As a student of art I can see subtle changes in their style (Adam and Andy), techniques and tricks they use to work out a problem on the page, their mastery of so many art mediums; true masters of their craft. Their dad Joe Kubert was a legend in the field, an absolute genius storyteller and an inspiration to anyone who wants to make a career out of art. That man doesn't get the respect and/or recognition he deserves. And last but most definitely not least is "The King". Just his imagination, his wok ethic, his humility; he became my comic book idol. Long Live The King.
What tools do you use to create Project: New Wave and what makes them the “right tools”
I learned from Jack "King" Kirby that an artist doesn't need expensive tools to create great art, a great artist can use regular tools and supplies to create a masterpiece; so I took that to heart. With that said I usually buy Strathmore Bristol 11" x 17" 100lb. paper to draw my pages and I use a drafting graphite holder (mechanical pencil) and an eraser that won't smudge, usually those white rectangular ones Strathmore makes. To ink I used to only use MICRON Technical Pens but I recently discovered these Faber Castle markers set and they do the trick. Much cheaper than MICRON pens and work just as good. To color I usually use those cheap acrylic paints you buy at Walmart for like $1.50 EA and use them sort of like watercolor. I like the effect they give, the texture feels great to me. I bought a full set of COPIC Markers and I have to say honestly they were a disappointment. Yes they blend nicely but they drip sometimes ruining your piece and for the price of 5-6 of them I can buy 15-20 acrylic paints and look even better than just paining the piece with markers. So, it's all up to the artist.
To all you young artists who might be reading this interview I have one bit of advice to give you, don't get down on yourself because you can't afford a set of COPICS or a CINTIQ tablet, use the materials you can afford and become a master at using them. Visit MICHAEL'S and get yourself a set of Artist's Loft markers, they're like a knock off version of COPICS and they'll do the trick, or get yourself a Faber Castle set of markers and go nuts. Heck, buy yourself a box of regular ballpoint pens and master them, make ballpoint pen masterpieces. There's an artist Im a fan of, his name is Frank Cho and he just put out a book in which he draws women in ball-point pens; his work is absolutely breathtaking!
What element of your work gives you the most personal satisfaction?
The reaction in people's face when they flip through my book. As an artist I always dread the part of going to conventions and putting myself out there, I never think I'm good enough; so it's nerve-wracking to sit there and see people coming over and start flipping through my portfolio or my books.
What has been the most rewarding thing about Project: New Wave?
Showing my boys what you can do if you put your mind into it, putting all those ideas I've had for so long into paper and seeing the final product delivered at my front door; it's an amazing feeling.
What is your elevator pitch for Project: New Wave?
Imaging being a superhuman teenager with damn near unlimited powers, being raised by the Armed Forces because your parents died tragically when you were a child and then finding out the people who raised you and trained you all your life were responsible for your parents death. How do you proceed? Do you live with it and be a patriot to our Country or take your revenge and become a traitor to the Nation?