Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Research is a very important aspect of any artist's job, but particularly a comic book artist's. If there is something that is not drawn correctly, like a real life building, it's pretty easy to tell. When I do research, I like to actually see the thing I'm drawing close up. That's not always possible. The first time I did any kind of extensive research was for a scene that took place in the Oval Office of the White House. Obviously I couldn't go there so I had to discover the layout of the office by looking for photos of it. The only problem was that this was back in 1996, and there was no such thing as Google. Today, all the information that I needed was a mere click of the mouse away. This was not so back then. I spent hours in the basement of Loyola University's library looking through bound copies of the magazine Newsweek in order to get an up to date look at President Clinton's Oval. What made this a little more challenging was that Clinton didn't redecorate the Oval Office right away after becoming President, but waited over a year (Barack Obama did the same thing). Because of this there were different decorations in the office depending on when the pictures were taken.  I was unable to take the bound volumes out of the library, so I literally had to make sketches while I was there. It took some time, but I was able to get a fairly accurate layout. These drawings were done in January 1996:

The interesting outcome of this project was that I now pay very close attention to the changes that are made to the office each time a new person becomes President.

It's important not only to be accurate, but it's just as important to remain up to date. The same can be said for clothing fashions and hair styles. Because these are things that constantly change, keeping up with them becomes a job itself.