Among the many cartoonists I wasn’t able to see at Stumptown, Farel Dalrymple was high on my list of wish-I-could’ve. I’d recently been introduced to his surreal Pop Gun War (which is nowhere near as violent as the title implies) and wanted to speak to this Irish guy who looks like he is drawing Brooklyn but is currently living in Portland.
Fortunately, I got my chance last week at Floating World Comics. Farel was doing a signing for First Thursday. We got to speak for a while, which is cool because I got to ask a thousand questions – mostly cartoonist shop-talk. A few tidbits:
- He does use a brush, but also employs the PITT pen for detail work. I use the “M” size PITT pen for Falling Rock, but I’ve been contemplating switching to brush. That is something I’m going to experiment with this summer.
- For a guy who uses a lot of perspective (buildings, room interiors, sewers), he basically freehands his lines. However, he does put down “a few” pencil guide lines, just to give himself a frame to work within. This was gratifying for me, since his looser style would look very strange next to crisp, measured perspective lines.
Farel was promoting his new Pop Gun War story, Chain Letter, which he is self-publishing in four installments before collecting the whole shebang into a trade paperback. I picked up the first two chapters, which are just as fantastic (and fantastical) as the original story. A few sample pages:
Guys with tails, a kid with angel wings, a fallen astronaut, creepy sewer men, robot crows…this book has a little something for everyone. If you think those pages are cool, wait until you see the color stuff.