In addition to the comic book artists at Baltimore Comic-Con there were others who were selling comic book art of their own - a sort of fan fiction in art form. I decided to speak with one of them who was selling pinup art featuring many characters from DC Comics, TV, and fairy tales.
Me: I’m here with Darrel Riley. He has some super hero and fairy tale pinups and Family Guy art. How did you get into this?
Darrel Riley: I started when I was young. Everyone started off drawing Spider-Man and Superman and characters they love. For me it was mostly female characters so it evolved into itself as doing pinups. You have your heroes you admire from the industry - for me it’s people like John Bryne, Jim Lee, and people like that. The stuff that they draw inspires you. When you’re inspired you want to do it yourself. You practice until you get it like “oh my god” and you get better and you get to where you can come to a show and put it on display and people can give you feedback - either you suck or you don’t. (laugh) They will tell you!
Me: That’s very true. What inspires you on each particular piece of art?
DR: Usually it’s something I see on either Tv or in a magazine or walking on the street sometimes. All these inspirations just come at you 24/7 because people in the world are very interesting. Everyone in this place has a story to tell, everyone has a life they can live, and from that you draw all your subject matter. It’s awe-inspiring just to have all these differences in one room and to be all one mind. If you have a Marvel mindset or a DC mindset you’re here in this arena right now. It’s celebrating heroes and pop culture and we love that stuff. And it’s really doing great now in the theaters and in the world.
Me: So basically you might be walking around, you might see something and you might say to yourself “hey, what would that look like if it was Emma Frost or if it was Harley?”
DR: Yes, I would. Because most of our minds work that way. Everyone in here has something similar where they can all draw pretty pictures but somehow you have to make a connection with a customer. It has to spark something in them that makes them think “I wanna purchase that”. It can’t just be a pretty picture - it has to be something that touches them. If it doesn’t have the content, it won’t do anything. It might be technically superior - it might look awesome - but it’s gotta connect with the customer because that’s the human element. Art has a spirit, has a soul. And people can like it, see it, and want to take it home with them.
Me: Thank you for taking the time to talk with me.