The Comics Pimp: J. Bone Interview Part 1
About a year ago, I had the pleasure of meeting J. Bone, a penciler, inker, and colorist who has worked for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, IDW, as well as his own work, Alison Dare. Visiting his blog is always fun, since you can catch one of his great sketches.
When did you realize you could draw?
Really early on. Like most kids I drew a lot. When I got older and most of my friends were joining sports teams and jumping dirt bikes off homemade ramps, I was inside drawing. Eventually I must have been good enough that my parents realized drawing was my “thing” and they started signing me up for art classes at the local gallery.
How did you get into comics?
After college I worked for three years at Nelvana (the animation company responsible for, among many other shows, the Care Bears, Beetlejuice, and Franklin the Turtle which was the show I worked on). I was buying comic books every week but the few sample pages I’d sent out always came back with rejection letters. Nelvana owned the rights to Barbarella and were slowly developing an animated movie for the character. I submitted a few drawings and actually started drawing a comic book story. My drawings were rejected but I was having fun so I kept working on the story – which eventually became my first published work, SOLAR STELLA. I quit Nelvana to work on Solar Stella full time. I was also drawing the first Alison Dare book at that time.
Then I met Darwyn Cooke, started working with him, and then my comics career really took off.
How long have you been a professional comics artist?
SOLAR STELLA came out in 1999 or 2000, so I’ve been working as a comics artist for a little over a decade.
What are your biggest influences in comics?
There are so many. Kirby is my favourite, and picking up any one of his books is just so informative when it comes to how I want to approach comic books. But, in all honesty, my biggest influence really is Darwyn Cooke. I’ve worked with him a lot and he’s probably the one person I’ve learned a great deal from in my career. Both from the business aspect and the art of comics. Darwyn is a terrific storyteller and artist. When I want a really dynamic action sequence I sit at my desk and think “What would Darwyn do?”. He’s just got a knack for pushing (he calls it “plus-ing”) an action sequence and making even the slower scenes dynamic. From the business aspect he’s always pursued projects he really feels a strong connection to and works at making the best story he can. He and I work well together because neither one of us likes to be late with our books…another aspect of his business professionalism
If you would like to meet Mister Bone in the flesh, and you happen to be in Boston at the end of April, drop by the Boston Comic Con.
Part II follows next month.