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Creating Comics! by Paul Gulacy, Spencer Drate, Judith Salavetz

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Job:05-19413 Title:Creating Comics
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(Text)
Title: Best of Manhattan
Client: New York Press, 2001
Media: Pencil, pen, and paint on paper
Creative Process
This piece was done in 2001 for New York Press.
It was the inside cover for the summer supple-
ment listing the “Best of Manhattan.” This was a
really fun piece to work on. It was warm outside,
so I went out and did a lot of street sketching on
St. Mark’s Place. I enjoyed making up the crazy
characters—based on reality, of course—and
adding funky little details. (Note the Peter Bagge
cover on the paper the man is reading in the
lower-right corner.) The final art was 11” x 14”
(27.9 x 35.6 cm) and was done on cold press
Bristol using watercolor pencils, which were then
painted and inked.
F
ly pulled her first all-nighter trying to copy comics
characters when she was about four years old.
Since the late ’80s, she has been a citizen of
the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where she paints and
draws comics and illustrations, and sometimes paints
murals. Her work has been published by Juxtapoz, the
Comics Journal, the Village Voice, New York Press, the
Villager, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Ray Gun, Fan-
tagraphics’ The Bradleys, World War 3 Illustrated, PUNK,
Maximum Rocknroll, Profane Existence, Stripburger, Slug
and Lettuce, and more.
Fly has been self-publishing comics and ’zines since
the mid-’80s. A collection of these, CHRON!IC!RIOTS!PA!SM!,
was published in 1998 by Autonomedia. In June 2003,
Soft Skull published PEOPs, a collection of 196 portraits
and stories. The PEOPs DVD, produced by Killer Banshee
Studios, was released in September 2006.
Fly is currently working on a postcard book and a new
volume of PEOPs. She is also working on an illustrated
novel, Dog Dayz. Fly has taught a DIY comix and ’zine-
making workshop at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon
Art since 2003.
Fly
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(Text)
Fly
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Fly
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[to the left]
Title: Profane Existence Issue #54 cover art
Client: Profane Existence magazine, 2007
Media: Pencil, ink, and paint on paper, Photoshop
[to the right]
Title: Goddess Garbage
Client: New York Press, 1998
Media: Pencils, pen, and paint on paper
[Below] is a full-color cover I did in 2007, for issue #54 of
Profane Existence, a long-running punk magazine based in
Minneapolis. You can also see the final layout here. The issue
included an interview with me accompanied by my art.
The art was drawn with watercolor pencils on illustration
board and then painted and inked. These days I ink most of my
illustrations by hand, then scan them into Photoshop and tweak,
with the color added last. For this cover I wanted to do it the old-
school way, which takes longer and is scarier because correct-
ing any glitches is harder to do. But once scanned, a traditional
illustration is pretty much done except for some adjustment of
the levels.
Once the illustration was scanned and looked good, I submit-
ted the huge file by FTP. Originally, I’d intended to do the layout
as well as the illustration because I’m a bit of a control freak,
but in the end I had too many other deadlines (as usual), so I
had to trust the magazine to do the job. Thankfully, it turned out
pretty well.
This comic [right] appeared as a full-page
color piece in the ten-year anniversary issue
of New York Press in the summer of 1998. The as-
signment, which had been given to several of the paper’s
regular illustrators, was to do a comic about what you had
been up to ten years previously, in 1988.
The comic is based on the true story of my first time in New
York City. It was really fun to draw but, after it was published, I
felt really bad because I had inadvertently offended Mosaic Man
Jim Power, who had helped me out with a place to crash. Jim
is an icon on the Lower East Side and you can see his beautiful
mosaic work all over the place. This was drawn with watercolor
pencils on cold press Bristol, and then painted and inked. At the
time, I didn’t have a computer, so I had to submit the original
artwork.
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Fly

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