I talked with Barry for a little bit today over IM about his process for creating a drawing characters. He’s been at it for about 15 years now, but this is the first formal comic he has done.
Tom: where do you get ideas for characters, how do you start?
Barry: Ugh. It's fairly random. I can usually hack something out.
Tom: well, if I were to ask you how you do it, what would you tell me?
Barry: 1st I have to decide which gender the character is. That determines a lot aside from general shapes, such as posing, hairstyles, eye shape/placement etc.
Tom: so you've settled on Suzanne as a woman, then what?
Barry: If there is already character traits for them that greatly influences dress, how they hold themselves, how their facial expressions will work. Details are more of a sporadic impulse of what I think works at that time. If it doesn't work I nix it the next try.
Tom: how long have you been actively drawing, in the sense that you worked specifically on comic illustrations?
Barry: At least 15 yrs. Before that I tried to imitate anime I was watching. I didn't really get into comics until I borrowed X-Men #17. That's when I started to learn anatomy and better techniques drawing people. Very little towards storytelling illustrations. A few paltry half/over hearted attempts. I got "The New Official Marvel Try-Out Book," thinking I would use it to break into comics. I did get about a page and a half done. Some reason I couldn't push myself past the pinup illustrations. Great for cover art or character study.
Tom: how do you feel right now?
Barry: I'm not going to get anything done tonight. Whoever's upstairs is blaring their music, it sounds as if it's at 11 right next to each ear. I am nursing a growing, throbbing, rage-filled headache. 3 hrs and going strong.