Comics artist extraordinaire, Dan Panosian, has a 116-page hardcover collection of some of his recent favorite work funding now on Zoop. Comic Book Yeti Media Editor, Byron O'Neal, caught up with Dan to get the scoop on what's in there and some of his motivations behind the Urban Barbarian project.
COMIC BOOK YETI: Let’s dive into Urban Barbarian. Did you just hit a point in your career as an artist/illustrator where you’ve got all this material you just wanted to get out there for our eyeballs to dig into? Why’d you want to do this?
DAN PANOSIAN: It’s been a while since I put out an art book and I have a lot of diversified work that I wanted to share. Maybe too much! I’m big on sharing!
CBY: This isn’t just a bunch of artwork either. From the preview pages it looks like there’s a fair bit of exposition about your inspirations for various sketches.
DP: True. Most art books do have some exposition but I noticed that not a lot of comic book-related art books do. I aim to change that. Why? I’m a trailblazer. And I hate sleep.
CBY: I know a bit about going through and trying to select work myself as a professional photographer. Were you seeking a particular aesthetic or have an ideal in mind when you started culling your work for this?
DP: Basically I’m overly critical of my own work. I tend to pick it apart a day or two after finishing a cover or sequential page of storytelling. So anything in this book has passed some kind of internal critique gatekeeping system. It’s all art I’m proud to showcase.
CBY: Is this more focused on established characters, since you’ve drawn most of them at this point, or more creator-owned things?
DP: Focus is out the window on this book. It contains a little bit of everything. Covers, sequential art pages, character studies, art I’ve drawn on the Original Drink and Draw Social Club’s YouTube channel and little behind-the-scenes art from the various creator-owned books I’ve worked on.
CBY: I was talking with Liam Sharp last month and we were discussing the evolution of his work over time and embracing new ideas and techniques. How much time does this volume cover, and will we see significant style variations in it?
DP: This book contains work from 2018 to the present. I vary my styles quite a bit depending on what I’m working on. So expect the…unexpected!
CBY: Are you drawn, excuse the pun, to different things these days as an artist? What’s inspiring you?
DP: I’m inspired by what I see on Instagram by artists outside of comics. There’s so many amazing artists out there doing mind-blowing work.
CBY: Are you using many digital tools these days or, as the saying goes, are you strictly old school?
DP: I work mostly traditional, but I primarily color digitally.
CBY: What’s super challenging to draw for you? I know for some people, it’s famously horses or architecture.
DP: For me, I like the challenge of drawing things I haven’t drawn before. I guess the most challenging would be trying to find the joy in drawing a particular cover or sequence of a subject that I find boring or tedious and turning it into something exciting for me.
CBY: Is there a favorite in this volume for you or something that you knew, yeah, that’s top of my list for inclusion?
DP: I recently drew a cover that I still don’t hate… What’s nice about putting this book together myself is that it will include very recent work. Probably a cover or two that is seeing print right about when the book is delivered to the people that helped fund it.
CBY: Lots of your favorite work is drawn live on the Original Drink and Draw Social Club YouTube channel which you co-host with Dave Johnson. Talk to me about how that got started and about what you guys get up to there?
DP: When we started Drink and Draw, we didn’t expect it to take off the way it did. There are Drink and Draw chapters all over the world now. It’s incredible. But when the pandemic hit, we couldn’t get together like we did before at bars, etc. So, I decided to take it to YouTube. It’s been a great deal of fun and we can still connect with one another and share our work and talk shop. Plus, we often have guests on the show. It’s fun!
CBY: What advice do you have as a longtime professional for younger artists just starting out?
DP: Be your own worst critic.
CBY: What else have you got going on right now or are there other projects being released in 2022, that you can talk about, of course. I know Alice Ever After is coming out now from BOOM! Studios and Canary on ComiXology.
DP: I have another book that AWA is getting ready to announce and I’m translating John Tiffany, a book originally published by Le Lombard in French, to English. Mad Cave will be releasing it soon. And I have another project I can’t announce yet from Dynamite.
CBY: Cons are back in full swing. Are you hitting any for the remainder of 2022?
DP: I’ll be at the San Francisco Fan Expo, NYCC and…who knows? Probably Heroes Con and then back to SDCC!
CBY: Where can people find you online?
CBY: Big thanks to Dan for chatting with me about Urban Barbarian, that’s got such a nice ring to it, which is funding now on Zoop. Take a moment to head over there and snag yourself a nice sleek hardcover.
DP: Cheers! Thanks for taking the time! Appreciated!
CBY: What’s the timeline for getting this out? It looked like you were hoping for December 2022 which would hopefully be in time for Christmas?
DP: Hmmm. The book is finished, so when the campaign is over the book will go to the printer and we’ll see. Paper seems to be an issue these days but I’m hoping the turnaround is quick!
CBY: This is Byron O’Neal and on behalf of all of us at Comic Book Yeti, thanks for tuning in, and see you next time.
The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.
All Urban Barbarian characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright of Dan Panosian or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.