Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Otis Frampton is one of the good guys in the world of comics and cartooning. We made Internet contact a while ago and met briefly at the San Diego Comic-Cons in 2005 and 2006. Otis was among the first and most encouraging of the friendly creative people I've met. I think his work shows a lot of talent and heart.
Lately, Otis has kept pretty busy drawing official trading cards of characters from Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Marvel Comics. He's also the creator of the "Oddly Normal" series published by Viper Comics, the first four issues of which were recently collected in a trade paperback. Oddly is a 10-year-old half-witch, half-human misfit whose birthday wish goes horribly awry and sends her into a strange magical world, where she makes new friends and enemies. It's a little pre-teen angst, Wizard of Oz, Wendy and Casper, Harry Potter, plus a lot of Otis.
At any rate, in the back of his first Oddly Normal paperback collection, Otis published a few pages of artwork done by friends who interpreted his characters in their own styles. He extended the same invitation to me for his second Oddly book, which will be out sometime next year. I happily accepted.
Remember (and as Otis reminded me), the point of the guest art gallery isn't to copy Otis. When I started to sketch, I asked myself what Oddly would look like if I'd created her. With Otis's permission, here's my take:
The little yellow critter is her pet/pal Oopie. By the way, in light of my manifesto of August 25, you may be surprised to find that although I inked the black line art by hand, I did the colors in Photoshop. Conscious choice: Otis's art is all digital, very crisp and clean. Although my Oddly looks very different, I thought she should share that aesthetic. But it'd be interesting to see how she'd appear in watercolor, pastel, pencil, etc.
My thanks to Otis for letting me play in his universe for a moment. I enjoyed it.