Dan Magee — featured creator
Dan Magee is the creator of Bad Guy High, which is featured on the Drunk Duck webcomics website. He’s also done quite a few illustrations for the Maneater during his college years. We decided to throw some questions his way before he graduates from MU this month
1. What are you working on now comics-wise?
For the past five years I’ve been working on my webcomic Bad Guy High. It’s a project that I keep very close to my heart and I want to see it through to the end. Unlike most web and print comics I don’t plan on doing it indefinitely. I have a very specific course of events and ending all planned out, and I won’t give up on Bad Guy High till I reach it. After college I eventually plan on doing a semi autobiographical graphic novel based around the rocky love life I’ve had here at school. I’m just narcissistic enough to believe it might actually be interesting.
2. How’s your comic output been the last year? What’s helped or hindered your output?
Since this is my last year it was really important that I focused on school in order to graduate, so updating the comic has been slow. Though I never stopped altogether. I update when I can, and just recently I’ve managed to again meet a three times a week schedule, which I can hopefully maintain for a while before becoming too busy again. Outside of the comic though, I’m still always drawing something. I draw every day of my life. No matter how busy I get I always find the time to get some drawing done. I think that’s something all artists should aspire to do. Make art every day. Even if it’s not something you’d want to show off or showcase, you should still always be working on something. In regards to the comic I just don’t always have the time to scan and color it digitally.
3. Read any good comic books, webcomics, graphic novels lately?
I’ve recently fallen in love with the webcomic: “Girls with Slingshots” by Danielle Corsetto. It’s very clever and you can tell she’s a very traditionally talented artist who uses a stylized model design for her characters that she thoughtfully crafted over a period of time. She’s a good example of having a strong foundation in classic art values and then abstracting that. A lot of artists try and do that the other way around. It’s also refreshing to read a comic written from a female perspective that’s both believable, and not alienating to a male-reader.
4. How about other media … anything good you like lately? (video, music, books, etc.)
I’ve been enjoying the heck out of “Batman: the Brave and the Bold” lately. I think doing a more fun and adventure-oriented Batman is exactly what the character needed in animation. Another show I really like is “Spectacular Spider-man”. I haven’t been able to catch the second season, but Spectacular Spider-man has been incredibly enjoyable. The story line is written to pay homage to all of the best previous Spider-man interpretations while still doing it’s own thing. The design work done by Sean “Cheeks” Galloway is also very impressive. He uses a style that defies traditional animation design work, and yet still distinguishes himself from other designers like Bruce Timm or Jeff Matsuda.
5. You draw fairly fast. How did that come about? Any tips to help others improve their drawing speed?
I draw every day. Whenever there’s paper in front of me I have to draw on it. A piece of plain white paper drives me insane; I have a compulsion to draw whenever I can. So after a lifetime of that, I guess I’ve developed the ability to draw pretty quick. But that’s not necessarily something you should aim for. It’s good to meet deadlines, but you shouldn’t sacrifice skill or quality for speed. If you need the extra time to make something really great, then take your time.
However, if you are looking to draw faster, then just draw more. It’ll never hurt to get more practice, and it’ll help you as an artist at the same time as it helps your speed. Understanding what it is you’re trying to draw will enable you to draw it that much quicker. Artists are always looking for short cuts around things, I know because I’m guilty of it too, but at the end of the day it’s the fundamental skills that will see you through any hurdles you may encounter.
Posted in: Featured creators