Tag Archives: Lettering

Artist Feature: Ángel Rams

We’re excited to welcome Valencia-born and Leipzig-based comic book artist and illustrator Ángel Rams to the LIFESTYLE collective. Angel sheds light on the roles of Reflection during the process of interpreting an author’s scene and Response as the illustrator’s goal to tell the story through that interpretation. He goes in on the importance of telling a story without sacrificing the narrative for superfluous illustrations that only aim to impress readers. Ángel showcases these different features of the creative process using dope examples from his portfolio. He also sheds light on exciting future projects such as serving as the artist for  Alfred Ngubane‘s book Shaka Zulu, the upcoming release of a graphic novel set in post-WWII, and his participation in the 2014 Egmont Graphic Novel Contest with his graphic novel Cayuco. Check out the dialogue below accompanied by samples from Angel’s eclectic collection and links to various projects he’s got going on.

Ángel Rams

 

One of the main rules of sequential art is that you are here to entertain people, telling them a story throughout panels, not to gather a bunch of cool pin-ups on a page. A good comic book page can be understood without the dialogue on it, because it responds to the script.

– Ángel Rams

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AR: My name is Ángel Rams. I´m a comic book artist and illustrator born in Valencia, Spain. I currently reside in Leipzig, Germany.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AR: I consider myself a comic book artist that takes occasional illustration commissions. The bulk of my artwork is what we call “sequential artwork”, in plain English: comic book pages. So I guess I should respond as a comic book artist. I believe Reflection and Response are a great part of a comic book artist’s work.

I would say Reflection describes my intention when I draw a scene, an object or a character. I try to capture on paper how I conceive that scene, object or that character. I try to reflect my perception of reality through my artistic skills. Of course that reality doesn’t really exist; it’s a reality the writer created. My task is to read, interprete and reflect. And that leads us to the next question: Response.

I understand Response as the artist’s level of commitment and efficiency toward the story. Rule number one is: tell the story. The closer my drawings are to the writer’s initial idea, the better Response I provided as a professional. In my opinion, a good comic book is the one where art and dialogues work along so well that it makes you wonder if it was made by a team or by one single creator. For this to happen you need a collaborative effort between writer and artist, or such a complete, well written script, that it gives the artist information enough to provide a good Response. Luckily I’ve been in both situations.

One of the main rules of sequential art is that you are here to entertain people, telling them a story throughout panels, not to gather a bunch of cool pin-ups on a page. Sadly, many artists focus their efforts on showcasing lots of boobs, muscle and plasma beams in cool postures rather than telling the story effectively. They adapt the story to the art and it should be the other way around, and that creates divergences. There’s nothing worse than divergences between artwork and dialogues. Seeing a character doing something or showing a body language that doesn’t match what they say, drives you out of the story and makes it less believable. A good comic book page can be understood without the dialogue on it, because it responds to the script. You don’t really know what they are saying but you know what’s going on.

Ángel Rams - Tunnel, page 9

Ángel Rams - Tunnel, page 10

How does your work fit in with that definition?

AR: When you look at the pages [from Tunnel] above, even with no lettering work on them, they convey the defenselessness and vulnerability the wounded character is feeling at that point of the story. His posture laying on bed, the martial mood of the military character that’s talking to him, the dark empty infirmary room, how the doctor approaches step by step with his apron stained with blood… All of this is telling you that wounded dude is in trouble. My task as an artist is to convey that idea throughout the page, to respond to the writer’s idea. Even the page layout imitates the shape of the window’s grid. All these elements subconsciously affect the reader, they create a mood and make the story believable. They all work together to tell the story.

At the same time, I have to reflect on the look of the room (it’s not a civil hospital, but a camp hospital), the ethnicities of the characters (the doc is Japanese) and every single object in an effective way. That means hours of documentation and study before even picking up the pencil. How many amateur comics did you see where cars look like shoe boxes? That happens because they don’t reflect real objects properly.

The next scene, below, [is] pretty much the same. The female character has the sensation of being observed, and so does the reader, because  the position of the statues, the deer head and the empty library convey that feeling.

Ángel Rams - Tunnel, page 23

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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MEOW

So, the other day, a cat well known round the LIFESTYLE came by with a surprise…dropped off a little flavor our way. Hope yall digg it. Peep the PAW PRINTS…

Reflection and Response.

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Patchwork: Questions, No. 2

Installment No. 2: The Things That Bring People Together.

The Patchwork: Questions collaboration series involves a process of reconstructing the written word. Through weaving together words from Samuel Bostick’s Questions project, I seek to create opportunities for readers to visually interact with original texts. The content for this piece comes from Questions, Take 3.

From Patchwork: Questions, No. 1 (All Good Things Don’t Last)

I’ve always been interested in the aesthetics of words and lettering, and Samuel’s “Questions, Take 2” from a couple weeks ago inspired me to explore this interest in a new way. I built this piece similarly to how one would build a poem word by word, line by line, but I looked at re-interpreting several visual characteristics such as font, color, size, and placement. Starting at the beginning of Samuel’s poem, I gradually wrote down each line,  but without a linear structure. Lines that were successively linked in the original writing were separated, and other lines were either layered over them or woven through them.

To me, breaking down and re-creating the original poem opens up the text to multiple new meanings and readings that may have been submerged previously. Words and lines that are woven together or placed near each other can be read separately to retain their original meanings but can also be read together to form new sentences with expanded meaning. This is another example of what I think of as “visual sampling,”  where the viewer’s interaction with the piece is a central part of the process of visually breaking-down and reconstructing Samuel’s powerful words.

Reflection and Response

V.

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Patchwork: Questions

I’ve always been interested in the aesthetics of words and lettering, and Samuel’s “Questions, Take 2” from a couple weeks ago inspired me to explore this interest in a new way. I built this piece similarly to how one would build a poem word by word, line by line, but I looked at re-interpreting several visual characteristics such as font, color, size, and placement. Starting at the beginning of Samuel’s poem, I gradually wrote down each line,  but without a linear structure. Lines that were successively linked in the original writing were separated, and other lines were either layered over them or woven through them.

To me, breaking down and re-creating the original poem opens up the text to multiple new meanings and readings that may have been submerged previously. Words and lines that are woven together or placed near each other can be read separately to retain their original meanings but can also be read together to form new sentences with expanded meaning. This is another example of what I think of as “visual sampling,”  where the viewer’s interaction with the piece is a central part of the process of visually breaking-down and reconstructing Samuel’s powerful words!

Lets have a running dialogue in the comments section considering patchwork phrases and meanings that resonate with y’all! Looking forward to your input.

Reflection and Response

V.

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Patchwork: Jade Eyes

Patchwork: Jade Eyes

Jade Eyes

These jade eyes are straight lies that bind us / These jade eyes  (x4)

These jade eyes are straight lies that bind us/ One mind we design our own island/ Or so I thought as I thrust my paw on her/ Didn’t think that I could do her such dishonor/ Back away and I nod my head/ These pretty lights can really play and they’re rocking it/ And these kids eat it up like Lox and spread/ As the clock is lost and we forget our beds/ The jade eyes stay with me and I see her/ Kissing on the dude who arrived in the beamer/ Guess I had weak pop tonight Elisa Steamer/ The jade just caught the light and all disappears/ But she stays florescent cold as December in this northern state that’s the greyest in the hemisphere/ Just like lemmings I follow the trap/ Wonder if she gets off on withholding that vag because

These jade eyes are straight lies that bind us / These jade eyes (x4)

Contradiction many been up her blouse/ But my fingers are some splinters she can do without/ This week’s been weak grime and grout/ Games every day every way tagged out/ But I’m glad for the no’s the strep and the colds/ The effect of the soul/ Is it’s left invincible/ Try me all you want these jade eyes still haunt me/ Thought if I got her I’d find some sense of belonging/ After the show all filed out to rides home/ Chose to feign fatigue said peace to the folks/ Got home restless with the image in my mind/ Of her curves her shirt and her perfect jade eyes/ And I dealt with it the only way I know how/ With the guitar and drums turned up way too loud/And as all else slept and tired of the bass/ In it’s beautiful hum I found a place

These jade eyes are straight lies that bind us / These jade eyes (x4)

Jade Eyes is another classic original track from P. A deep story that’s woven through dope rhymes, wordplay and guitar. The hook on this track has always stuck with me – To me, P’s words and delivery in these lines express the core of what this song is about. Using acrylic paint on 4 rectangular pieces of plexiglass, I created Patchwork: Jade Eyes. I approached this project like a “sampling” project, chopping up the words from the hook into the different panes of plexiglass to create another flexible hook that expresses the original meaning in a new way…

Reflection and Response.

V.

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POW! BLAM!

Paint marker on canvas.

These are from a couple years back – bought my sister a blank pair of off-white Toms for her birthday, but I took a couple of paint markers to ’em first..

That classic comic lettering. POW! BLAM! one step at a time..

Reflection and Response.

V.

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PETER MULLER LIVE LRR

Friday January 27th 2012 is the date of my first show here in Madrid. I will be performing originals tracks featured on the LIFESTYLE, such as Jade Eyes, in addition to covers with some talented vocalists. We are also supplying the PA for the show as well as the microphones and cables. We’re turning a room of the Anglet Cafe in Madrid into our own performance space in Reflection and Response fashion. Anglet Cafe gigs hopefully will be a regular occurrence and feature performances from other local artists and new LRR #Collective members.

 

Peep the Facebook event page for more info:

http://www.facebook.com/events/283765688343885/

 

The above flier was finished by V late Monday night. Using only 2 permanent markers, he was able to include a whole array of brushstrokes, from the razor thin border to the block letters of my name, to the central piece of the name of the cafe complete with shadowing and subtle textures. When I ask V to help out with publicity for shows It’s always dope to see what he comes up with.  He included both Spanish and English and threw up the LIFESTYLE along with the info for the gig.

LRR LIVE @the Anglet Cafe in Madrid.

-Reflection and Response

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