Issuu on Google+

10yearbook-CONTINUED.qxd:Layout 1

C

O

4/2/09

N

T

3:28 PM

I

Page 11

N

U

I

N

G

THE FIRST DECADE

C

H

A

P

T

E

11 R


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:29 AM

Page 156

ANDREA WICKLUND

PHIL HALE

THE

JEREMY GEDDES

ART OF IDW C

H

A

P

T

E

R

11

After a series of art books that focused on his own work, Ashley Wood decided to produce a new title, Swallow, that would feature a variety of artists. The first issue of Swallow was launched in early 2005 and quickly became a successful series for IDW. In 2006, Wood and IDW launched the Sparrow series–a line of square, hardcover books that focused on a single artist. Ted and Ash discuss the history of both series and Ash’s editorial approach. 156

CELIA CALLE

KENT WILLIAMS

TA: Ash, talk about the art books that you produce for IDW. The first one was Swallow Vol. 1, which came out in 2005. What made you want to put together a book that would feature other artists? AW: I just wanted to make a book that I wanted to pick up in a store. Every time I go into a store there’s always a book with maybe one good artist or a couple of good pictures and I have to buy the rest of

_____________________________________________________ The art in this chapter comes from all five volumes of Sparrow.

the crummy book or magazine just to get those couple of pictures that I like. So I thought, “I want to put together a book that’s got tons of good art by tons of great artists.” I did it for me, featuring artists that I like. TA: With Swallow it seems like you’ve included both well-established artists and also up-and-coming or lesser-known artists. Was that your intention? 157


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:29 AM

Page 156

ANDREA WICKLUND

PHIL HALE

THE

JEREMY GEDDES

ART OF IDW C

H

A

P

T

E

R

11

After a series of art books that focused on his own work, Ashley Wood decided to produce a new title, Swallow, that would feature a variety of artists. The first issue of Swallow was launched in early 2005 and quickly became a successful series for IDW. In 2006, Wood and IDW launched the Sparrow series–a line of square, hardcover books that focused on a single artist. Ted and Ash discuss the history of both series and Ash’s editorial approach. 156

CELIA CALLE

KENT WILLIAMS

TA: Ash, talk about the art books that you produce for IDW. The first one was Swallow Vol. 1, which came out in 2005. What made you want to put together a book that would feature other artists? AW: I just wanted to make a book that I wanted to pick up in a store. Every time I go into a store there’s always a book with maybe one good artist or a couple of good pictures and I have to buy the rest of

_____________________________________________________ The art in this chapter comes from all five volumes of Sparrow.

the crummy book or magazine just to get those couple of pictures that I like. So I thought, “I want to put together a book that’s got tons of good art by tons of great artists.” I did it for me, featuring artists that I like. TA: With Swallow it seems like you’ve included both well-established artists and also up-and-coming or lesser-known artists. Was that your intention? 157


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:29 AM

Page 158

GEORGE PRATT

GLENN BARR

KELSEY SHANNON

MIKE HUDDLESTON

AW: Absolutely. It doesn’t matter how great we think we are, there are people who are just starting out who are 18 years old that are great. I’m a big fan of a lot of artists that have never had anything published. It’s such a thrill when you get your stuff published early on and seeing it in print inspires you to do better. It’d be nice to think that, hopefully, I’ve helped someone. Their work is being seen because of Swallow. I’m not sure if that’s true or not but it’s done for the right reason of trying to broaden the people viewing their art. 158

ASHLEY WOOD

TA: When Swallow Volume 1 came out, it was a new product from IDW and our readers and retailers didn’t really know what to expect, but that first volume sold out quickly and it really was a great selection of artists. It’s you and George Pratt and Kent Williams and Phil Hale. An impressive collection of artists. The first volume did well, which led to volume 2, and ultimately, volumes 3, 4, and 5, and one thing you’ve done consistently is adding more pages and more artists with each subsequent volume. Did you reach a point where artists were

TEAM KITTEN

starting to approach you or were you still going out and finding people that you liked and admired? AW: I think it was a bit of both. Doing the first volume was kind of hard because everyone was like, “These ensemble books usually suck and I don’t want my art to be outshined by someone.” It doesn’t matter how great they are, all artists have the same concerns. But I think when people saw it, they realized it wasn’t just three pages of three little images per page–it was full images per page. 159


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:29 AM

Page 158

GEORGE PRATT

GLENN BARR

KELSEY SHANNON

MIKE HUDDLESTON

AW: Absolutely. It doesn’t matter how great we think we are, there are people who are just starting out who are 18 years old that are great. I’m a big fan of a lot of artists that have never had anything published. It’s such a thrill when you get your stuff published early on and seeing it in print inspires you to do better. It’d be nice to think that, hopefully, I’ve helped someone. Their work is being seen because of Swallow. I’m not sure if that’s true or not but it’s done for the right reason of trying to broaden the people viewing their art. 158

ASHLEY WOOD

TA: When Swallow Volume 1 came out, it was a new product from IDW and our readers and retailers didn’t really know what to expect, but that first volume sold out quickly and it really was a great selection of artists. It’s you and George Pratt and Kent Williams and Phil Hale. An impressive collection of artists. The first volume did well, which led to volume 2, and ultimately, volumes 3, 4, and 5, and one thing you’ve done consistently is adding more pages and more artists with each subsequent volume. Did you reach a point where artists were

TEAM KITTEN

starting to approach you or were you still going out and finding people that you liked and admired? AW: I think it was a bit of both. Doing the first volume was kind of hard because everyone was like, “These ensemble books usually suck and I don’t want my art to be outshined by someone.” It doesn’t matter how great they are, all artists have the same concerns. But I think when people saw it, they realized it wasn’t just three pages of three little images per page–it was full images per page. 159


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:29 AM

Page 160

BENGAL

JASON ALEXANDER

JAMES JEAN

JO CHEN

FRAZER IRVING

NICOLAS NEMIRI

Everyone gets the same spotlight. You don’t lose out even though you’re with a bunch of great guys. I think that led to a lot more doors opening and certainly a lot people have contacted me, but it’s still me, asking and looking around for people that I’m excited about–people that I want to put in Swallow. Swallow’s not the watermark for the best illustrators in the world, it’s more my own little backyard that I like to play around in and I like to put the people in there that I’m excited about. That’s really what it 160

comes down to. It’s been pretty cool to discover new people and have one or two people that I didn’t think I could ever actually contact. So it’s still how it started out–me looking around and asking artists to be in it. I guess the page count ebbs and flows based on who at that moment has got the goods to hand over and what we’re doing. I think that’s a great thing about Swallow. You’re not a tyrannical publisher, saying that I have to do it the same way every time and it’s sort of a natural wax and wane.

TA: One thing I like about Swallow beyond your selection of artists is that there’s also a little bit of text. AW: A little, little bit. TA: You can learn something about the artist and their approach and I think that’s nice. AW: I like that, too. I think there’s been some pretty enlightening stuff in the text in some of the Swallows.

JIM MAHFOOD 161


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:29 AM

Page 160

BENGAL

JASON ALEXANDER

JAMES JEAN

JO CHEN

FRAZER IRVING

NICOLAS NEMIRI

Everyone gets the same spotlight. You don’t lose out even though you’re with a bunch of great guys. I think that led to a lot more doors opening and certainly a lot people have contacted me, but it’s still me, asking and looking around for people that I’m excited about–people that I want to put in Swallow. Swallow’s not the watermark for the best illustrators in the world, it’s more my own little backyard that I like to play around in and I like to put the people in there that I’m excited about. That’s really what it 160

comes down to. It’s been pretty cool to discover new people and have one or two people that I didn’t think I could ever actually contact. So it’s still how it started out–me looking around and asking artists to be in it. I guess the page count ebbs and flows based on who at that moment has got the goods to hand over and what we’re doing. I think that’s a great thing about Swallow. You’re not a tyrannical publisher, saying that I have to do it the same way every time and it’s sort of a natural wax and wane.

TA: One thing I like about Swallow beyond your selection of artists is that there’s also a little bit of text. AW: A little, little bit. TA: You can learn something about the artist and their approach and I think that’s nice. AW: I like that, too. I think there’s been some pretty enlightening stuff in the text in some of the Swallows.

JIM MAHFOOD 161


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:29 AM

Page 162

BARRON STOREY

ILANA KOHN

ROBH RUPPEL

DAVID CHOE

TED MCKEEVER

RIAN HUGHES

FRANK STOCKTON

JOCK

If people read it carefully enough, I think there’s some very valuable tidbits to be learned about art. I’m very proud of Swallow. It’s something I didn’t think I could do and it’s one of the things I’m most proud of doing. I’ve actually enjoyed them more than doing my own art books. I’m more excited about them. I love them. TA: In some cases you know the artist already–artists like Jim Mahfood and Kent Williams, where you

162

already have relationships with them–but when you’re approaching an artist that you don’t know personally, you’re just sending them an e-mail and saying, “Hey, would you like to be in the book?” Is that the process? AW: Pretty much. I just e-mail them and, hopefully, they’ve heard of me or Swallow. You know I’ve got to say, all ego aside, I am happy when they’ve actually heard of Swallow or they know of me. That opens the

doors, I guess. You know it’s people like Al Columbia, now here’s a super-talented artist who is well known for not being well known. The fact that I e-mailed him and he was willing to be in the book, he knew who I was–that was a huge thrill for me. I’m a massive fan of his art and the fact that he knew who I was and was willing to participate in Swallow is exciting. TA: Swallow is obviously a collection of a variety of artists and, around the same time, you had the idea

to do smaller books that focused on one specific artist at a time, so we started the Sparrow series. What was your thinking on Sparrow? AW: As much as I wish I could take the complete props for Sparrow, it was actually Robbie who came up with the square little hardbound format. IDW was considering selling it into gift shops and Robbie thought it would be a good idea to do small books. He sent me a hardcover mock-up and said run with it. 163


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:29 AM

Page 162

BARRON STOREY

ILANA KOHN

ROBH RUPPEL

DAVID CHOE

TED MCKEEVER

RIAN HUGHES

FRANK STOCKTON

JOCK

If people read it carefully enough, I think there’s some very valuable tidbits to be learned about art. I’m very proud of Swallow. It’s something I didn’t think I could do and it’s one of the things I’m most proud of doing. I’ve actually enjoyed them more than doing my own art books. I’m more excited about them. I love them. TA: In some cases you know the artist already–artists like Jim Mahfood and Kent Williams, where you

162

already have relationships with them–but when you’re approaching an artist that you don’t know personally, you’re just sending them an e-mail and saying, “Hey, would you like to be in the book?” Is that the process? AW: Pretty much. I just e-mail them and, hopefully, they’ve heard of me or Swallow. You know I’ve got to say, all ego aside, I am happy when they’ve actually heard of Swallow or they know of me. That opens the

doors, I guess. You know it’s people like Al Columbia, now here’s a super-talented artist who is well known for not being well known. The fact that I e-mailed him and he was willing to be in the book, he knew who I was–that was a huge thrill for me. I’m a massive fan of his art and the fact that he knew who I was and was willing to participate in Swallow is exciting. TA: Swallow is obviously a collection of a variety of artists and, around the same time, you had the idea

to do smaller books that focused on one specific artist at a time, so we started the Sparrow series. What was your thinking on Sparrow? AW: As much as I wish I could take the complete props for Sparrow, it was actually Robbie who came up with the square little hardbound format. IDW was considering selling it into gift shops and Robbie thought it would be a good idea to do small books. He sent me a hardcover mock-up and said run with it. 163


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:30 AM

Page 164

ANDREW ROBINSON

..

UWE HEIDSCHOTTER

TA: That's right–we thought we were going to have an inroad to getting some books into Starbucks. So, we were going to do something around the same size as a CD so it would be able to rack in the POP displays on the counter of a Starbucks. I'd forgotten about that–that also reminds me that for the first couple of books we tried to keep the content more “PG” so that it could potentially have a home at Starbucks. And then, ultimately, we never were able to get them placed at Starbucks.

164

GREG STAPLES

SEAN PHILLIPS

LOUIE DEL CARMEN

RONNIE DEL CARMEN

GLYN DILLON

DUNCAN FEGREDO

AW: Which is, I think, for the best.

AW: That’s true.

TA: The thing I liked about the Starbucks opportunity, although frankly it turned out never to be much of an opportunity, was that it would be new distribution for IDW. There was the potential to get these really cool artists in front of people who would not have been exposed to them otherwise. I liked that part of it. Starbucks has that ability to reach a really broad range of people–people who are never going to go into a comic store.

TA: We must have given up on Starbucks by the Shane Glines book because there’s definitely nudity in this one. AW: Well, yeah, because I kept bitching and moaning about it. When I did the first one, the prototype, it had to be pretty tame. Which meant I had to scrounge around for art that’s tame.

TA: The real restriction was no nudity. I’m looking at your first one and it’s definitely got some great art. So the good news is that we tried to build this product for a specific retail outlet and that didn’t work out but it ended up being successful enough through our normal distribution that we’ve now done eight books and the ninth one is going to press as we have this conversation. It’s turned into a little juggernaut of an art series. There are plenty of comic books that don't reach eight issues, let alone a series of art books. 165


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:30 AM

Page 164

ANDREW ROBINSON

..

UWE HEIDSCHOTTER

TA: That's right–we thought we were going to have an inroad to getting some books into Starbucks. So, we were going to do something around the same size as a CD so it would be able to rack in the POP displays on the counter of a Starbucks. I'd forgotten about that–that also reminds me that for the first couple of books we tried to keep the content more “PG” so that it could potentially have a home at Starbucks. And then, ultimately, we never were able to get them placed at Starbucks.

164

GREG STAPLES

SEAN PHILLIPS

LOUIE DEL CARMEN

RONNIE DEL CARMEN

GLYN DILLON

DUNCAN FEGREDO

AW: Which is, I think, for the best.

AW: That’s true.

TA: The thing I liked about the Starbucks opportunity, although frankly it turned out never to be much of an opportunity, was that it would be new distribution for IDW. There was the potential to get these really cool artists in front of people who would not have been exposed to them otherwise. I liked that part of it. Starbucks has that ability to reach a really broad range of people–people who are never going to go into a comic store.

TA: We must have given up on Starbucks by the Shane Glines book because there’s definitely nudity in this one. AW: Well, yeah, because I kept bitching and moaning about it. When I did the first one, the prototype, it had to be pretty tame. Which meant I had to scrounge around for art that’s tame.

TA: The real restriction was no nudity. I’m looking at your first one and it’s definitely got some great art. So the good news is that we tried to build this product for a specific retail outlet and that didn’t work out but it ended up being successful enough through our normal distribution that we’ve now done eight books and the ninth one is going to press as we have this conversation. It’s turned into a little juggernaut of an art series. There are plenty of comic books that don't reach eight issues, let alone a series of art books. 165


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:30 AM

Page 166

ANDREW HEM

BROM

BILL PRESING

TOBY CYPRESS

VANIA ZOURAVLIOV

AW: It’s because you can’t help but like them. To me, it’s like a course in art–in modern illustration and art. You can look at that and if you pour over the first eight, there’s enough talent and ideas in there that it can educate you more than some dumbass lecturer at some two-bit art school. You go and buy the boxed set and the other four books and really look into it and study what all the people have done. It’s an awesome thing.

I just remembered–you and Robbie had nothing to do with Sparrow. It was all my idea. TA: I didn't have much to do with it. I was the guy that was approached by Starbucks or by the guy who said he knew somebody at Starbucks, that was my contribution.

SHANE GLINES 166

PAUL POPE

AW: No, you guys started it. That’s why we make a good team. 167


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:30 AM

Page 166

ANDREW HEM

BROM

BILL PRESING

TOBY CYPRESS

VANIA ZOURAVLIOV

AW: It’s because you can’t help but like them. To me, it’s like a course in art–in modern illustration and art. You can look at that and if you pour over the first eight, there’s enough talent and ideas in there that it can educate you more than some dumbass lecturer at some two-bit art school. You go and buy the boxed set and the other four books and really look into it and study what all the people have done. It’s an awesome thing.

I just remembered–you and Robbie had nothing to do with Sparrow. It was all my idea. TA: I didn't have much to do with it. I was the guy that was approached by Starbucks or by the guy who said he knew somebody at Starbucks, that was my contribution.

SHANE GLINES 166

PAUL POPE

AW: No, you guys started it. That’s why we make a good team. 167


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:30 AM

Page 168

TEDDY KRISTIANSEN

AL COLUMBIA

DAVE COOPER

CAMILLA d’ERRICO

BARNABY WARD

TIM BISKUP

SAM WEBER

JOHN WATKISS

TA:What have you got planned for the future?

TA: Peli?

AW: I think we’re making history and I think we’ve only just begun. I think the next year’s art books [2009] is like the next generation. I've got amazing artists lined up for Swallow and Sparrow. And the new one’s called Peli, as in pelican not albatross.

AW: Yup, it’s going to be called Peli, like pelican. The full title is Peli Informative. TA: What’s that series going to be about? AW: I’m going to prototype the first one about me. It will be an interview with me about what I like and

168

what has influenced me and how my career has been up until this point. And, if I say, “I like Gustav Klimt,” there’ll be a five-page article that branches off just about Klimt and his art. Sometimes when you make a reference point to an influence, there’s a good deal of people who will not know anything about that person. So if I call out Alex Toth, there’ll be information about Alex Toth, so maybe the reader can correlate the information and the influences and get more out of it than just calling out names.

It will also look more like a magazine. There’ll be a folio, then an interview, then the other informative stuff and maybe some other ways to twist it around. By the end, I want people to really have learned something and hopefully be inspired. TA: I look forward to publishing it.

IDW

169


10yearbook-FULL.qxd:Layout 1

3/19/09

9:30 AM

Page 168

TEDDY KRISTIANSEN

AL COLUMBIA

DAVE COOPER

CAMILLA d’ERRICO

BARNABY WARD

TIM BISKUP

SAM WEBER

JOHN WATKISS

TA:What have you got planned for the future?

TA: Peli?

AW: I think we’re making history and I think we’ve only just begun. I think the next year’s art books [2009] is like the next generation. I've got amazing artists lined up for Swallow and Sparrow. And the new one’s called Peli, as in pelican not albatross.

AW: Yup, it’s going to be called Peli, like pelican. The full title is Peli Informative. TA: What’s that series going to be about? AW: I’m going to prototype the first one about me. It will be an interview with me about what I like and

168

what has influenced me and how my career has been up until this point. And, if I say, “I like Gustav Klimt,” there’ll be a five-page article that branches off just about Klimt and his art. Sometimes when you make a reference point to an influence, there’s a good deal of people who will not know anything about that person. So if I call out Alex Toth, there’ll be information about Alex Toth, so maybe the reader can correlate the information and the influences and get more out of it than just calling out names.

It will also look more like a magazine. There’ll be a folio, then an interview, then the other informative stuff and maybe some other ways to twist it around. By the end, I want people to really have learned something and hopefully be inspired. TA: I look forward to publishing it.

IDW

169


IDW: The First Decade Chapter 11