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Waiting For Tommy XXVIII
By Richard Johnston
 
Right. It's been two weeks since Joe Quesada turned spinning top on me. I'm fully recovered. Time for a nice, normal interview now, promise, with Erik Ko, head honcho of UDON (don't call them UDON Studio, as I found to my cost), artists to the stars.

You may not know their name, but they're often known for their 'anime' work, seemingly, specialising in an 'anime' style for a variety of publishers. With anime and manga become ever more popular, is the future theirs? I talked to Erik as he confirmed his new license signing. But he wanted to make something clear. He even put down his cup of noodles as we began.

ERIK KO: First and foremost - unlike some other groups or company, we are not an 'Anime Style' only group. I guess we stand out more as an anime style group because we are asked to do a lot of those projects. But we actually do offer a lot more than that.

ROBOTECH #1 - REMARKED VERSION

If you look at what we have done, our artists can do a lot of different art style from digital painting (various cover work with Marvel, DC, etc.), computer rendering (Marvel Recharge Cards and HeroClix Packaging), traditional American Comic colours (Citizen V, Spider-Girl), to Anime Cel cuts (Robotech, Battle of the Planets). No doubt that most of us we are heavily influenced by a lot of Japanese artists, but we are also very inspired by local American guys like Jim Lee, Joe Madureira, J.Scott Campbell, Alex Ross, etc. for their art, and Liquid and Haberline for their coloring!

I am hoping one day, some day, people can just look at our stuff as art. I am always kinda upset when people go 'this is manga style' or 'this is anime style'.

As manga and anime are such generic terms (manga is the Japanese word for Comic Book, and anime is the Japanese short form for Animation), the term 'manga style comic art' really translates to 'comic book style comic art' which means nothing! And just like the American Comics, Japanese comics do have a lot of variety of styles and genre. Here, we have the old Golden age style from Bob Kane, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, to the silver age /modern style like Jim Lee, and the Image gang. Right now, we are experimenting on a lot of different approach. And great new talents like Kaare Andrews is doing some very innovative stuff; Keron Grant, the Led Heavy guys, LeSean, etc, are all taking a whole new approach to doing comics. Consider this as another evolution that we have a whole new bunch of artists doing different things. I believe the art style in comics does evolve with the audience.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Continued Here...

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