Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Conversation with Duncan Fegredo

In the following interview, we cover very mundane topics that may only appeal to other artists. Be forewarned.

Brian Churilla: I'm a process junkie and lately have been looking at your HB pages quite a bit. I'm very impressed with the quality of the line and found myself curious as to what you use. What material do you prefer to work with? What's your process generally like?

Duncan Fegredo: Prepare to be disappointed by my crap choices of materials! I generally pencil with a standard b/2b, either a real or mechanical pencil, 0.9 mm.

It changes from issue to issue but right now I'm laying pages out at printed size, quickly 'inking' them with the same fine line markers I use for inking the final art. Next, scan, Photoshop and print out in blue on the back of the art board at art size... where it looks messy as heck and in need of refining so I go in whit Colerase blue pencil. I used to have both pencil art and ink art to sell but no longer, inks just over the blue lines.

For inks I used to like the Faber Castel Pitt series, 's' size for the line work and the brush tip for all else. I loved he brush tips but even with reversing the nib they crap out way too quickly so now I'm using a Japanese Pentel cartridge brush pen. It's taken a bit of getting use too but now I really like it. I should use a real brush but that never seems to work for me and I just fuck 'em up too fast! For the line work I'm using Faber Castel Ecco Pigment pens, mostly a 0.3 but also a 0.4, they have a slightly rounder tip and feel a bit smoother to use. Or it could be my imagination, who knows?

The one thing I've learned over time is that it never helps if I get too precious over the materials... if I use expensive materials I'm more likely to fuck up, weird but true!

BC: Yeah, those Pitt brush pens are a laughable, they keep a nice tip for about one minute, then they're blasted out and have to be thrown away. I've been meaning to try out one of those Pentel brush pens. People rave about them. Even though I like using a good ol' sable for all my inking, I still experiment with new tools.

DF: Ultimately if you are comfortable with a real brush I'd stick with it, and judging by your inks on the Anchor pages on your blog I'd say you look pretty comfortable- looks a lot of fun by the way!

BC: I really admire your ability to lead the eye through the page (just as an example: Darkness Calls #3 pg 15, #4 pg 1). Beautiful combined use of structural elements, framing and shadow to lead the eyeball through... Do you put much thought into this? Or does it happen naturally after so many years?

DF: I always have tried to do good storytelling but it usually gets lost under cluttered inking and balloon placements caused by me not leaving enough room and bad letterers! Hellboy is an odd case though as I have had to reign in some of my wilder tendencies for throwing the camera around- Mike has his own techniques that I have had to meld with although it is mostly for the better, more in keeping with HB. Mike used to do a lot of thumbnails for me as he found it easier to explain what he wanted, now though I'm left more to my own devices and get notes from Mike on any problems.

BC: When you lay out a page, what things run through your mind? Is there a pragmatic process, or is it something more instinctual?

DF: I think it is more instinctive now, I used to think of it as performing all the parts in a play, let it act out as I read the script, try to spot the key focus of each page/scene -it's all about pace and mood. There are always pages that are harder to solve though, a real pain but satisfying when you crack it.

BC: Are you an artist that sees something in your mind's eye quite clearly and can convey it on paper with little trouble (à la Moebius), or are you someone that has to grind it out, drawing and erasing over and over again in order to get things right (more akin to Mignola's process)?

DF: Very much a case of both. Sometimes things just flow, right up until the point when they don't. That's a real drag and not an infrequent occurrence unfortunately. I've wasted countless hours (months over the years!) trying to solve an issue or simply remembering how to draw, it's horrible. The idea is that should inspiration fail you should be able to fall back on craft but thats a bunch of crap most of the time! Sometimes it's best to put the pencil down and go play Halo to clear your head instead!

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Monday, December 28, 2009


Leary "Peanut" Churilla.

Best. Cat. Ever. She will be sorely missed.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happry B-Day, Jeez-O

Sunday, December 20, 2009


It has its flaws, for sure, but I forgive them because as a whole, it's an amazing film. In the past, whenever there were entirely CG characters on screen, the reptilian, primordial part of my brain subconsciously picked up on all the subtle inconsistencies and unnatural movements, alerting me in a very visceral way, as if it's telling me, "Hey - that character's computer-generated". And that sensation would run like a nagging loop in my brain, making it hard to fully enjoy the movie. No matter how great the effect has been, it has always looked computer-generated.

Avatar is totally different.

The nuanced expressiveness of the CG Na'vi characters is absolutely spectacular, and they are the most convincing, organic CG characters ever. This, and due to the fact that the 3D is totally unobtrusive yet completely convincing makes Avatar the most immersive film I've ever experienced.

Sure, the plot is to some extent, an amalgam of a lot of other genre movies, but how many awesome movies that you love are wholly original properties unto themselves, owing nothing to other films and totally non-derivative? Yeah, not many. In short, shut up, haters. The flick is good.

And that alien chick is smoking hot.

Too bad we'll all have to see folks crow-barring themselves into skimpy Na'vi costumes at conventions for the rest of our natural lives.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

The Anchor #6 cover art

Hey. Get this broad off my chin.

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Belbury Poly - From an Ancient Star (2009)

Anyone who knows me also knows that I am a big fan of analog synthesizers, and in particular the modern bands who champion the obsolete behemoths. Belbury Poly is one such group who utilizes this arcane technology to produce some of the most enchanting, catchy electronic music this fat piece of shit has ever fucked his earholes with (I hope you can find it in your heart cockles to forgive the expletives). 3.82 out of 5 bloody earholes

Listen here.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Trusty Henchmen LOVE The Engineer!

They also make a good point: the book makes a perfect, last minute holiday gift.

Here's the review.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Krallice - Dimensional Bleedthrough (2009)

I've seen this labeled as Black Metal, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it that. To me this recording sounds like an indie post-rock instrumental group deciding to form a Black Metal side project. That's not a bad thing though. Really technical instrumentation (one of their guitarists is in Dysrhythmia), coupled with a very hypnotic, wall-of-sound, er, sound. Worth checking out. 3.5 out of 5 knuckles.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

The Anchor #3 layouts

I did most of them on a single, 11" X 17" piece of paper. I have no idea what kind of paper it is, as I bought a huuuuge stack of it at a garage sale of all places (they were selling a crap-load of unused art junk, which I surmised was the bi-product of someone buying a bunch of art crud, being all inspired one moment, then casting it aside the next when said inspiration had dissipated). Anyhoos, I'm a process nerd, so I post this stuff for like-minded doucheryboodles like myself.

Also, I recently sent said sheet of layouts, along with a few other sketches and designs as a bonus to someone who bought an original page. That's right folks, you get extra goodies when you buy original art. You never know what you'll get...

Want some original art? Contact me. EVERYTHING IS FOR SALE. Well, almost everything.


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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Guess who gets eye surgery?

This guy. Monday morning. A series of needles will be inserted into my eye in an attempt to tack down the loose tissue (the cause of all of the aforementioned problems). Best part? I'll be fully awake, watching as said needles are inserted into my eye.


Baroness continues with their own brand of southern-fried prog-rock. They are experimenting more with vocal harmonies, and there are some down right poppy hooks in here (though mostly I refer to the six-string variety). Some amazing stuff here. A great follow-up to their last album, "Red Record". Mucca/Pushead album artwork provided by their frontman. 4 out of 5 rectal warts

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The Engineer: Konstrukt Hardcover Collection

$9.95 for a 140-page hardcover, folks! You can't beat it!

The Anchor #3!!!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TPB Loves The Engineer

The kind folks over at Tales from the Parent's Basement gave a glowing review of The Engineer HC.

"...Shepherd + Churilla= pure sci-fi ecstasy."

Click here for more. And while you're at it, show some love and subscribe to their awesome podcast. And after doing that, leave a 5-star review of them on iTunes.

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Recurring corneal erosion disease is rad.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Engineer collected hardcover in stores this Wednesday!!!!

It's finally here, and how can you resist a 138-page hardcover for only $9.95? Check out the extendo-matic preview below.

The Engineer: Konstrukt
Created and written by Brian Churilla and Jeremy Shepherd
Artwork by Brian Churilla
Colors by Jeremy Shepherd

Foreword by Kurt Busiek!

Also featuring artwork by Matt Wagner, Guy Davis, Phil Hester, Alex Sheikman and Keu Cha

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The Anchor #3 in stores this Wednesday!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Anchor #3 preview

Alternate cover by Dan Brereton

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Immortal - All Shall Fall (2009)

Immortal returns! Sad to say it, this album PALES in comparison to their previous effort, and is sadly a return to the open chorded guitar style of their earlier albums. I miss the galloping Bathory-inspired riffage of "Sons of Northern Darkness", Damned in Black" and "At the Heart of Winter". The galloping, syncopated staccato riffing is sadly lacking on this record, and in my mind, was one of the things that set them apart from everyone else. Maybe Abbath has developed some tendinitis of carpal tunnel that prevents him from playing in the same style he used to. Maybe he suffered an injury like Demonaz did. Did Abbath even play guitar on this? Don't know. Not to say this is a bad record, it isn't. Quite the contrary. It's damn great. The reversion to the old (more typical) BM guitar technique is a tad counter-intuitive and disappointing. I thought they'd carry on the "Sons" canon, but whatever. Abbath is still the best BM vocalist ever. 3.666 out of 5 shitty ass B.C. Rich guitars

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tales from the Parent's Basement Interview!

I was recently interviewed by the kind doods at the Tales from the Parent's Basement podcast. Click here to check it out, and if so inclined, do the guys a favor and subscribe, and hell, if you dig the show, leave them an awesome five-star rating at iTunes.

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Converge- Axe to Fall (2009)

In my opinion, Converge is the meanest, most brilliant hardcore group in existence. This is another stupefyingly amazing album in a long line of stupefyingly amazing albums. Inspiring, heart-wrenching, frenzied, berzerker hardcore not for the faint of heart or constitution. 5 out of 5 broken tibiae.

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