Freestyle Friday: slowing down

4 Nov
By Darryl Ayo

Artist’s name is “Paula,” no surname. Artist is also apparently 14 years old, but…not to be presumptuous, but I don’t believe that. I can’t believe that. I cannot sleep, I can only weep. Fourteen years ago, I was older than she is now and…just wow.

So the biggest news in comic books lately is that DC just released the cover for the new deluxe edition of Flex Mentallo, a comic by Frank Quitely and Grant Morrison.

I understand that some of the Comix Cube readers may not be familiar with Frank Quitely’s work. He’s the person who made All-Star Superman, the first story arc of Batman and Robin, launched New X Men, as well as doing a story about cyborg murder-pets called We3. His collaborator for these works is the comic book idea-man and wordsmith Grant Morrison, who is a magician like Alan Moore. Which is to say that both Morrison and Moore literally practice magic. But neither of them have, on their own, concocted the wizardry that Quitely performs on the page. I would suggest that anybody who hasn’t already, please read Matt Seneca’s lengthy analysis of Frank Quitely at Death to the Universe.


Peanuts by Charles Schulz.


Rob Liefeld’s Prophet returns in a series by Simon Roy and Brandon Graham. That series comes out next year and you can bet your sweet ass I’m going to get every issue the day they are released.


Sometimes I draw as well:




However, most of the time, I think things through halfway:

I don’t like pulling back the curtain too much because it’s not like I’m releasing pearls of wisdom or anything–but here’s a look behind the curtain. This is what most of my stuff looks like these days. I’ve been working digitally for like a year and a half, but not particularly prolifically.

Here’s what I’m currently too tired to finish inking:

I find that I really like cartoon cliches when talking. It’s easy to grab this imagery that’s understood by most people, even if they’re not into comics. People understand desert islands, rowboats and waterfalls and stuff like that; those sorts of ideas are part of the collective reservoir of understood symbols. I totally get why The New Yorker cartoons have so many such well-worn tropes. Familiar ideas communicate a sense of context very quickly.


in the Carroll Street F/G train station, on the Queens-bound side.


This is actually Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Which is practically Poland, I guess.


This is ElectroMaster, a brutal iPhone video game where you’re an electro-blast-having girl who has to zap endless hoards of other girls in order to save your sister. The mechanics are easy, but the stress is almost unbearable. I came to the edge of a panic attack playing this.


Greenpoint Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard. Two blocks from The Command Center.


Wonder Woman by Cliff Chiang and Brian Azzarello. I’m the only person who read this wand didn’t think too much of it. I was actually let down. This was widely discussed as the best series to come out of DC Comics’ “New 52” relaunch. I don’t know if it’s me or what; but this one meant absolutely nothing to me. I don’t know what I expected but I expected more…somehow. I don’t know.





Bedford Avenue and North 7th street. Ground Zero Williamsburg.


Marceline the Vampire Queen. From Adventure Time.

3 Responses to “Freestyle Friday: slowing down”

  1. Mark P Hensel November 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    Are you using MangaStudio? I started using that a couple years ago and it’s made me a lot faster.

    • darrylayo November 4, 2011 at 11:14 am #

      Yes, Manga Studio. It helps me organize for a lot of elements in comic creation.
      Especially since my penciling is so sloppy that physical pencils often end up a super-smudge!

  2. ross November 5, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    i wouldn’t be surprised if that artist is older than 14 and it was a typo or the artist goofing off, but i also wouldn’t be surprised if she WAS 14 years old, i’d believe it. i regularly find artists, mostly if not all female, age 15-22 that are just phenomenal and whose skills blow me out of the water, both currently as a 31 year old and when i was their age. i think it has something to do with the internet being readily available to this current and upcoming generations of artists, there’s so much to observe and absorb and learn online, and all without paying a cent for art courses, not to mention the ease of using tablets and digital art, it’s all ripe for the taking. an entire generation of new ass-kicking artists waiting to grind me into the dirt. and obviously there are artists of our generation who are better than these kids and they did it without all that stuff, but sometimes i wonder how much better i would be if i had the internet and photoshop when i was a kid.

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