Cursed Pirate Girl: Jeremy Bastian's Gorgeous Comic Book Began Life on 26 Feet of Computer Paper
|Images courtesy of Archaia|
Century Guild is the parent company which Olympian Publishing belongs to. I am very fortunate that every year I am allowed to set up a table at their San Diego Comic Con booth and hock my wares. I have done a couple of pieces for the Century Guild Grand Guignol show they put on in Chicago in October of 2011. They have been extremely supportive of my work and I don't think I would be the artist I am today if Olympian didn't allow me to produce CPG at my own pace. It really let me explore the limits of my imagination and gave me the time to do it right. Century Guild has moved their gallery from Chicago to L.A. and we had always talked about a gallery show featuring work from the book. I was really thrilled that I was going to be their inaugural show, and a bit terrified.
What are the challenges that come with creating such detailed art for the comic book format? How do you handle those challenges?
I think my biggest challenge is time. If I were working for a mainstream comic company there's no way they'd put up with how slow I am. The only way I'm able to handle that problem is because of Tom Negovan of Century Guild. He acts as my patron and gives me the financial freedom I need to work on the book and not have to cut corners or speed up my production rate. I want to create something that is totally free of compromise and to the best of my ability. If I'm putting out a comic it has to be the best I can do and so I'm always trying to improve.
Briefly, what's your background in art? Were you always interested in comic books?
Images courtesy of Archaia
Oh yes, I knew I wanted to be a comic artist since I was maybe 3 feet tall and that was 3 feet 4 inches ago, so you know it's been a while. Art is a big part of my family and there are lots of artists in my family. It was the one thing I could always do fairly easily, and I knew it was the only path in life that would make me happy.
My father was a janitor for GM, a job he didn't really relish, but he had a family to support and he needed the security it gave him. He brought us up saying that having a job you love is the best thing you could ever hope for. My parents have always been encouraging and accepting of what I wanted to do with my life. My cousin Erin introduced me to comic books and I've been hooked ever since.
I started by copying Silvestri, Arthur Adams, Bill Sienkiewicz, and so many more, building up my "comicbook" anatomy skills. I did a couple of little comic book stories for my high school creative publication the Palladium. And then I went off to Art School, my dream of after high school education. I went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and graduated two years later, moved back home and started working on a comic book portfolio to show to editors.
Who or what have been your biggest inspirations for Cursed Pirate Girl?
A lot of the inspiration comes from the story books I read as a kid. I would go to the library and pick up any book of fairy tales or mythology I could find. Later I got into following the artists that made those works come to life, Arthur Rackham, Kay Nielsen, Walter Crane, Maxfield Parrish and so on. Then I really got into Dore and Durer and an even older world of illustration. CPG is kinda a lengthy love letter to all the stuff I love to look at.
"Jeremy Bastian: Cursed Pirate Girl" will be on view again at Century Guild from December 6-8. The gallery is located at 6150 Washington Blvd., Culver City.