I think the work of Sean Anderson is a total blast. It's colorful, expressive, and doesn't seem to follow many of the visual "rules" laid down by comics tradition. When I stumbled on his work, I immediately wanted to share it on the blog, but thought it would be interesting to ask him some questions before passing it on to readers.
Josh Siegel: Your artwork draws together visual elements of modern art that aren't usually seen in comics. Are there ever specific artists whose work you set out to reference when you begin a piece?
Sean Anderson: I look at a lot of art and have a lot of favorites throughout time, but I think a lot of the elements in my art gravitate towards 60’s culture and design. Andy Warhol, to me, is the quintessential artist in terms of persona, creed, and design. I also love looking at the background works of Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng in old Looney Tunes and MGM cartoons. Old movie posters, album covers, and LIFE magazines are also a great source for reference and inspiration.
Do you consider your visual style influenced by any particular comics artists?
Chris Bachalo, Skottie Young, Fabio Moon / Gabriel Ba, and Jim Steranko is my Mount Rushmore of Comic Book Artists. Maybe Adam Kubert is the Crazy Horse memorial standing near it (his layouts are mind-blowing) and Windsor McCay is the far-away Washington Monument with his Little Nemo strips.
I basically make a ‘digital collage’ by transferring cut-out shapes from watercolors and photographs and working over them with an array of Photoshop techniques.
Because of the way I cut, paste, and work over elements in my art, I’m afforded to the ability to change things as I go along. I always leave room for ‘happy accidents’.
I found your site after seeing some of your eye-catching superhero portraits. Have they helped draw attention to your creator-owned comic Skyscraper?
It’s weird. I initially started working on the superhero portraits after the Baltimore Comic Con last year thinking it was a great way to get people to my booth to look at my comic book this year; but a month after BCC, my comic book sold really well at SPX (Small Press Expo) and I realized it didn’t sell well at Baltimore because the audience and their expectations were different. I get some inquiries about Skyscraper, but the portraits themselves have taken on an unexpected life of its own.
Could you tell our readers a little about Skyscraper?
Skyscraper is "The Ultimate Swingin’ Urban Fairy Tale" It’s a story about a young bubble gum-peddler's ascent to the top of the criminal underbelly in a city inhabited by half-donkey mobsters, feral cops, fairies, club-owning wolves, red angels, dames, witches, foxes, and of course, skyscrapers.
When's the next con you'll be appearing at (and will your prints be available anywhere else)?
I will definitely be at The Baltimore Comic Con this year and if prints sell well enough, I might be attending a few more in the future. Because of the unexpected early demands, I will be selling a limited run of prints through my website very shortly (www.skyscraper48.com). I'll have also have links on my deviant art (http://skyscraper48.deviantart.com/) and facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Skyscraper48-Studios/133844943341875).
Your website mentions a son on the way. Congrats! When's the release date?
Thanks! Little Dylan Anderson hit the world running on January 5, 2012.
Fantastic! Thanks, Sean!