The first time I saw Dave Acosta's work was on Zenescope's Tales From Oz #3 as he was drawing the origin story for the Scarecrow. Now he's over at Dynamite as part of the Chaos! Comics relaunch and doing the art duties on Chastity. We turn the spotlight on this up-and-coming artist to see how he got started and where he wants to go.
BLEEDING COOL: How did you get started drawing?
DAVE ACOSTA: My older brothers were into drawing, so art supplies were always around. My 4th Grade teacher, Mr. Horzelski, let me draw in the margins of my assignments. He got to see a whole lot of Frankensteins and Draculas! Seeing the 1989 BATMAN movie led me to buy my first comic. I've been ruined ever since.
DA: I came of age in the 90's, so it's hard to shake a lot of the bad habits I learned from the big artists at the time. But I consciously try to learn from the great story tellers, like John Buscema, Lee Weeks, and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. I really admire the way Yannick Paquette and Kevin Nolan spot blacks and make negative space part of the storytelling.
I also love the classic Photorealist Comic Strip artists like Alex Raymond, Al Williamson, and Stan Drake.
Also, throw Darwyn Cooke in there, he is in a class of his own.
DA: First, I read the script (duh). Then, I read it again and draw scribbles of compositions in the margins.
Then I do rough layouts, about 3" x 5", four up on a sheet of copy paper. This is so I can look at scenes as a whole and make sure I'm not repeating shots.
I scan those in, then print out the layouts on 11×17 Bristol Board, in a very faint non-photo blue. Then, I do all of the under drawing and perspective grids over the layouts, with a mechanical non-photo blue pencil.
Once that is in place, I do all of the final rendering with graphite, using HB, B, or 2B pencil leads.
If I am inking, I will print the pencils in non-photo blue on a fresh sheet of Bristol Board, so I don't have to do any of that annoying erasing!
My method may seem a little convoluted, but dividing the work flow into these specific steps lets re-evaluate my compositions, and make sure I am making the right choices.
Each pencilled page takes around 6-8 hours.
DA: My previous work includes "Tales from Oz" from Zenescope and "The Vessel of Terror", published by Markosia.
DA: Currently, I'm pencilling "Chastity" for Dynamite, which is part of the CHAOS! line, and a web comic called "Blood and Gourd"
DA: Besides the obvious "Batman" family of books, I'd say that "Chastity" is as close to a dream gig as they come. Nothing against the Superhero genre, but my heart belongs to horror, especially stories with a strong female lead. Lots of humor, gore, and interesting characters.
For more on Chastity, click here.