Posts Tagged ‘arts’


Hullo Scribes! I have been working, working, working, on lots of things. One of them is interviewing the different writers/artists we are having in for events  where I work, and since the interviews are my own I thought I’d share with it you as well. For the sake of clarity, I’m leaving the ‘his way’   to prevent anyone from crying ‘ this is plagiarized’. For all intents and purposes with interviews, I am His Way.  Enjoy!

HIS WAY:  There are a great many graphic novels/comic books available today, what in particular sets your stories apart?

MEL TODD: My stories show what sin and God does to the soul. I deal with deep issues of healing in a creative visual way. I haven’t seen many graphic novels show or deal with our relationship with God in the intense, “raw” way I try to illustrate and tell in words.

HIS WAY: How would you describe your drawing style?

MEL TODD: My style is a mixture of abstract and semi-realistic. I have a little bit of a manga influence, but it is more of a Western style. My ink work is this wavy,  fluid style that lends to the abstract in some ways.

HIS WAY: In writing a traditional story, words are used to paint pictures in the readers’ imagination. The reverse can be said of a graphic novel, that they take pictures to write messages in their readers minds. What message burns like a fire in your bones and smolders from your fingertips to the page in your work?

MEL TODD: The biggest message that burns in me is GOD IS GOOD. I can’t say I hit the mark every time in my work, but my goal is to tell people that God is not evil and He loves us and wants the best for us.

HIS WAY: Christians are often leery (and rightly so) of this particular genre, what are you, and others like you,  doing to bring the message of Christ into a very secular venue?

MEL TODD: I believe sharing the Gospel in a creative way opens the door to the world. Different Christian creators do it in different ways; from superheroes to Bible adaptions, from drama to manga,  and so on. I personally try to preach in my books. Others don’t think we should be as preachy and be more subtle like Tolkien. Which is fine, but the funny thing is; secular reviews of my work never find my stories preachy. That’s funny because that is what I’m trying to do. I feel if you share the Gospel and the truth it will touch lives and plant seeds in non-believer’s hearts. The Bible says the word is sent out and does not return void. The word of God is the incorruptible seed. We do our part and let God do his.

HIS WAY: If a young artist is interested in pursuing the idea of creating a graphic novel or comic book, where should they start?

MEL TODD: Start from the basics. The book Drawing Comics the Marvel Way is a great resource. There’s been a lot of  How to comic books that have come out, but this one will start you off in the right direction. Plus, draw, draw and draw. And study, study, study everything you can about drawing. Which means go find more books or look on the internet for tutorials and books. Always be open to learn, learn and learn.

HIS WAY:  What books or other resources have helped you grow  as a graphic artist?

MEL TODD: Besides that Marvel book, mainly a boatload of comic books and graphic novels that I have studied through the years. I would study my favorite artists’ styles and try to figure out what their methods were.

HIS WAY:  If you  could pick one goal for your work to achieve in your life time, what would that be?

MEL TODD:  A movie. Live action. I say that because I can see it as animation and it going over well. But as a live action flick with real people and CGI, that would be tough I think for mainstream viewers to accept.

HIS WAY: Other than your own work, what graphic novels and comic books would you recommend for reading?

MEL TODD:  R-Squared Comics just released Lightweightz: The Anthology part 1  It’s a different take on the teen superhero genre.

Kingstone Media  produces some great Biblical adaptions and other comics

Conquer and Conqueris by Marc Moran is a great teen superhero graphic novel.

The best place though,  to check out some good Christian comic books/graphic novels is at R-Squared comics links on the right side of the home page

HIS WAY: Where can those who are interested keep up with what you are doing? What’s the best place to stay in touch with you, on the internet?

MEL TODD:  My web site is My CONTACT link is the best way to reach me.


Hope you enjoyed that look at the inner workings of a graphic novelist’ mind  and picked up some tips too! 

Squire at the joust 2011 Ren Faire

I’m working right now (well kinda right now) on fleshing out the description of one of my characters. Remember I said I was tightening the camera? Part of that is splurging,  while Mirriam Neal is still having her ridiculous art sale, and having her draw another of my characters for me.

Having a picture of the character helps me get a handle on how they look, how they talk,  and how they move. The best I can do on my own is a composite of notes and badly sketched eyeballs (which is about the extent of my artistic talent. It really has withered due to neglect) and it’s just not enough.   Mirriam is fantastic at reaching into the creative  wibbly-wobbly aether (which can be detected with a thing that goes *ding* when there’s stuff)  and pulling out the likeness of characters.

Really, you should take her up on her offer. $10 for a sketch sheet? $30 for a portrait?  You aren’t going to get better prices than that.  I believe today is the last day for it.

Right now, I’m going through pictures online and trying to find the ones I think look the most like my character  so she has some visuals to work with. Usually I go through magazines (JC Penny ©, Macy’s ©, Cold Water Creek ©) and cut out the models that seem to fit the characters I have,  but I’ve used celebrities as well for character image stand-ins.

I’ve also gotten very adept at snapping pictures of innocent by standers. See that fellow up there? The poor guy’s trying to have a moment’s peace  and get his over long curly hair tucked into his cap before the horses and knights come out into the arena again. But did I give him that chance? Nope. *Snap* And now he’s Luicus, a character that’s been on the side lines whispering intriguing bits about himself to me for some time.  Whenever I go to the Ren Faire out here, I take my camera. I think I snap two to three hundred pictures each time I’m there, taking pictures of cosplayers, costumers, and fans that have dressed up. Most, I’ve found, are delighted to pose if you ask them.  I’ve taken pictures at historical places too like Williamsburg and Mt. Vernon, and they’ve worked into my folder of “character references”. So that’s what I’m up to tonight, Scribes, tightening the camera and commissioning some art. How do you put faces to your paper tigers? Do you base them off of friends and family members?  Actors? Or, like me, are you out and about with your cameras (or phones) snap-snap-snapping away at reenactment professionals? Tell me in the comments below.