Anime, Comics, and Art

Star BlazersDuring the 80’s, I grew up watching cartoons such as Star Blazers, Voltron, Transformers and Robotech, just to name a few. At the time I had no idea that they were anime, but I was drawn to the art style and quality of animation. I was also exposed to comic books from my brothers and my brother-in-law, who were avid readers and collectors. I would often read whatever they had, which was mostly Marvel Comics like X-Men, Thor, Avengers, and Wolverine, from what I remember. My brother, Daniel, was the one who inspired me to start drawing. He was also into drawing, and often drew sketches of his favorite Marvel hero, Thor. Aside from my attempts at drawing your typical Sunday morning comic strip characters like Snoopy and Garfield, I’d say my first doodles were of the Ninja Turtles during my elementary school days. I found it enjoyable to draw because they were comic book characters just like my brother drew. Also, because they were turtles it was a bit easier to deal with since it was less muscle structure to learn, with the shell over their torso and all. I drew them as sort of a hybrid of the television show and the comic/toy. Unfortunately I don’t have any of those doodles on hand, but I went ahead and drew one again for the sake of this post. (It is also one of my first drawings using a tablet, so excuse the roughness). Needless to say, with the popularity of the show, I also gained a bit of a reputation amongst my peers. I was asked to draw pictures of them for my classmates, which I did. That probably kept me from being bullied or picked on much because aside from my drawing, I was just a quiet and shy kid.

In middle school, with the new found freedom to pick classes, I decided to go ahead and try an art class. I ended up getting a C in the course because I was too picky with my work. I basically took my time on assignments because I wasn’t satisfied with the results. I suppose I was a bit of a perfectionist, and it cost me because of that. Looking back now, I wish I took more art courses to give me more of a foundation, but not much I can do about that now.

I decided to get a sketchbook during my high school years. My interest in anime picked up around that time as I discovered a store through my brother-in-law called Vallejo Baseball where they rented out anime VHS cassettes and sold various anime products. Even though the dubs were horrible, and the language was coarse, I always enjoyed picking up new tapes. I saw shows like Dangaioh, Guyver, Gunbuster, Kimagure Orange Road, Lodoss Wars, Ranma, Dragon Ball, Robotech, and Akira. I mostly tried to draw in the style of anime and I would often pause the tapes I would rent so I could draw from the reference.

First comic, courtesy from my brother DanielOnce I got out of high school, I fell out of anime since Vallejo Baseball went out of business and I moved on to another city for college. I still drew every now and then, but I didn’t dedicate as much time to drawing as I did back then. I would usually just doodle on the corners of my notes here and there. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to get back into anime and have been plowing through shows since. You could check my watch list on MyAnimeList. I also eventually got back into drawing as well. My current sketchbook was just a purchase out of the blue during a shopping run. During this time, I decided to screen some shows that might be suitable for my daughter, like HeartCatch Precure, K-ON, Lilpri, and Yumeiro Patissiere. She’s pretty much become an anime fan since. Her MP3 player is filled with anime related songs and she has even started drawing because of me. I’ll probably upload some of her drawings in the near future.

So that’s the background story to some of my interests. You can see most of my recent sketches in the Art section of this page. Like I’ve said before, I know I’m nowhere near professional nor as good as some of the artists I’ve seen out there, but it’s something I enjoy doing.