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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 06/30/2010 : 07:53:41 AM
Neal Von Flue
Artist for The Kids of Widney High: Beyond the Sky's the Limit
Published by: Atomic Basement
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Rich: How did you become one of the artists on "The Kids of Widney High"?
Neal: It all started with the mighty Mike Wellman, who orchestrated the project. We had often talked about working together and he invited me to participate when it was still just a rough idea, far before the Kids had come up with their story lines. I enjoy anything combining music and comics, so I was on-board from the first time he told me about it.
Rich: What character did you enjoy illustrating the most in KOWH?
Neal: The lead character in my section of the story is Daniel Cubas, who happens to be visually impaired. I found this the most appealing character to draw. He has a couple of monologues and that left plenty of room to find interesting ways to present his information visually.
Rich: How would you describe your art style on this comic?
Neal: I did the pages in pencil then digitally painted in greyscale values in a program called Artrage (http://ambientdesign.com).This is the process I use for most of my comics and illustrations. I enjoy the look of rough pencils with an underlying layer of painting, very loose and brushy, much like acrylics or oils would look in a physical painting.
Rich: Why would someone want to pick up this comic?
Neal: I would hope Fans of the Kids of Widney High would want it, as well as fans of the many other talented people who contributed to it; Rafael Navarro, Chuck BB, Rikki Neihaus, and many more (of which I am the least known!)
Rich: What is the Von Flue Studio and how was it started?
Neal: It's a comprehensive art studio run by my wife, Dawn and myself. We've been in business for over ten years and make everything from comics to public and private murals, fine art, faux and interior design, ceramics, illustration and much more. We also teach classes for children and adults in many of these same areas.
Rich: What does Dawn contribute to the Studio?
Neal: Although we have our own artistic pursuits we are each proficient in many of the services we provide, and often have the opportunity to work side-by-side on larger projects
Rich: Why are you in the artistic field?
Neal: Because I didn't realize I was a musician until it was far too late.
Rich: Do you like contributing to anthologies? Would you prefer doing an entire comic?
Neal: I had an opportunity to do a full-length graphic novel a while back and I failed to make it happen through of combination of time mismanagement and fear at the task of drawing 100 consecutive pages. I've found that smaller projects fit my workload easier for the time being; especially extracurricular projects like this comic.
Rich: How do you promote interest in art?
Neal: Teaching classes to children is the straightest way to promote art. Providing kids with the tools to make art in an unrestricted but guided fashion, provides our future with more artists. Or at the very least, it helps make interested patrons of the arts in the future. I figure we win either way!
Rich: What comics are you currently working on and do you have planned for the future?
Neal: I'm currently working on the last two stories in an anthology comic based on American folk songs, adapted by Sam Costello (http://www.samcostello.net/) which should be due out later this year. Folk songs are some of my favorite material and Sam brings out the creepier undertones that reside in much of them.
Rich: How do you spend your free time when you have it?
Neal: With my 3 kids. And if they're asleep, I play some music with a group of friends collectively called Hang Dog Expression (http://www.hangdogexpression.com/). We had the honor of opening for the Kids of Widney High for the comic book launch party. it was a fantastic evening and the Kids are amazing live, even in a comic shop!
Rich: Why do you think webcomics are becoming more popular?
Neal: Because of their mode of delivery. Webcomics are as easy to spread around as anything on the internet. Much of my interest in webcomics has been formal, such as "Five Ways to Love A Cockroach" with Alexander Danner (http://www.twentysevenletters.com/comics/cockroach/content.html) or "The Halcyon Years-Redux" (http://ape-law.com/hypercomics/images/halcyon/lastditch/redux) and I feel that the ease of delivery is only one part of the fantastically unique qualities that webcomics have at their disposal. It's safe to say that many webcomics now are only using the incredibly potent features of the web sparingly. But this is a tangent so I'll stop here!
Rich: How can someone contact you?
Neal: Through my website: http://www.vonflueart.com
Rich: Any final words of advice?
Neal: None I can think of!
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