1) Tell us about your background in art...where did you study and do you have any other professional credits?
Well, I've been big in art for as long as I can remember. High school is when I really started getting more into it. I would go to the art rooms as often as I could, whether I had a study hall or I went after school. I even dropped Orchestra and Foreign Language to take extra art classes. From there I went to The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, NY where I studied Cartooning and Illustration. The only big freelance thing I've really done was for TROMA Film Company. I did an illustration for a Film Festival flyer. I was quite proud of it.
2) Who are some of your major artistic influences, within and outside of the comic field?
Hmmmm, there are so many I could say. I would have to say that Craig Thompson, Nate Powell, Farel Dalrymple, Mike Mignola and James Jean are the main ones for me. They're all just so amazing and I look at their stuff constantly when I work. It's very inspiring.
3) Besides artists, are there any writers, musicians, directors, etc. that influence your art in any way?
To be honest, not really. I've never really thought that deep into those kinds of things. I'm sure I've watched a movie or two, or even read a book that may have possibly given me ideas for my own stories, but I can't recall those specifically.
4) After reading a script page, how do you tackle drawing that particular page? Walk us through the process of doing a page from start to finish...
It was really great to work on someone else's story. The most difficult part for me is just reading the script and sketching out how I want it to look. I see how many panels the page requires and try to figure out where I want them, how big each one is, and what angel I'm going for. Once I've kinda figured that out, I very roughly doodle it. I've changed my pages many times due to either not leaving enough space for dialogue to happen, or because I thought of a better way to display that scene. Once the rough is EXACTLY how I want it, I lay out the real page and start getting to work!
5) What attracted you to working on "Simon Says"?
As I've gotten older, I've kind of lost interest in Superhero comics. They just all seemed too similar to me. I like stories about regular people and their lives. The things they go through on a daily basis. I read the script and Simon Says just seemed like something I'd really enjoy doing. I knew it'd also be a great way to get me back into doing comics. I've never been very confident in my comic book skills, so I wanted to prove to myself I could do it and that it would come out great.
6) Since you helped design several of the characters from "Simon Says", which character was the most fun to develop?
I would actually have to say Eddie. He looks exactly like my Uncle John. And it's funny because he was actually the one who got me into reading comics in the first place. When I showed him the comic he just laughed and said, "Hey, that guy looks like me!”
7) Your husband, Jason Pittman, is also a comic artist. He assisted you with the inking and supplied the cover for this issue (and will be doing the interior artwork for issue 6!). What's it like working with your spouse on a project like this?
It is so much fun working with him. It's really nice because our desks are next to each other, so we can constantly glance over to see each other’s progress or make suggestions if we think something should be fixed or added. He also made sure he made fun of me every time he saw something I drew that was a little off. Like not drawing the right amount of lines on the football field. He also liked making fun of the music I'd have playing while we worked. I can't even begin to tell you how much we laughed. I just loved it so much. He's just awesome.
8) What are some comic titles you enjoy, either current or all-time favorites?
I used to be big into "Cry For Dawn" and "X-Men", but not so much anymore. Any "Hellboy" comics I love, and I'm really big into "The Walking Dead" series at the moment. "Swallow Me Whole" by Nate Powell is really awesome. And I'd have to say that my favorite book ever is "Blankets" by Craig Thompson. I've read that book so many times that it's finally starting to fall apart. I will probably have to go buy a new one soon just so I can have a nice copy.
9) What are your hobbies/interests?
Well, art of course, which of course was obvious. But I do love baking. Nothing is better than homemade Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies and cupcakes. Mmmmmmmm. I want some now just thinking about it. I'm also a fan of video games. I used to call myself The Guitar Hero because of how good I was at the game. Then I stopped playing it for awhile and I sucked again. I like Halo, the few times I played it. I just could never grasp the whole concept of shooting and running at the same time. Oh, and sneaking up on Jason while he's playing a scary game on his computer. That is always a good laugh.
10) What can we next expect to see from you and where can we find you online?
Working on this book has really inspired me go through with my own comic book ideas. So I'm hoping to have my own story "Girl In Orbit" out in time for SPX 2012. It's going to be a bunch of autobiographical stories, both long and short. I plan to start working on that this fall. I actually just had a really nice site made, www.dezpittman.com. You can also find me on Deviant Art, http://xdezx.deviantart.com/. Not all my stuff is on both sites, but I'll be adding more work to both soon.
Til next time,
Til next time,