Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Wizard World Chicago (part 2 of 5)

By Michael Cho

Wizard World Chicago 2008 isn't just a convention for geeks and comics book nerds but also a place for buff Asian Artists to showcase their stuff. Part 2 of 5.

Continued from Wizard World Chicago: Part 1 of 5

Jeffrey Moy

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Jeffrey Moy is a Chicagoland native who received his BFA in illustration from Northern Illinois University.  His first work was on Legionnaires for DC Comics, and then subsequent work for Wildstorm Studios on Gen 13, and Star Trek: Voyager.  He currently creates conceptual art for Raven Software, developer of X-Men Legends and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.

II stix: How did you get started in comics?

Jeffrey Moy: I always read comics when I was a kid. When I was thinking about my career, since I always drew in my notebooks in high school, I thought about drawing comics for a living.  So I went to Northern Illinois, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration.  It took me about 2 years to break into the business, to get my big break over at DC comics on Legionnaires.  After a 5 year run on Legionnaires, then I needed work, something steady.  So I went to Raven Software and I currently do concept art.

II stix: How did your parents feel about choosing this line of work?

Jeffrey: They were always kind of doubtful, basically, “Well if you can make it work, that’s great.” My family owns a couple of restaurants, so I worked there for a while, and if it worked it worked, and if not, there is always the restaurant.

II stix: How do you feel the role of Asian-Americans in comics or concept art is different than other media like movies or tv?

Jeffrey Moy: There really aren’t too many Asian-Americans doing Asian-American, or even Asian type themes.  Its still mainly a superhero-type of thing, but with the influence of manga, its really opened up a new interest for girls and women reading comics.

II stix: Do you think Asian-Americans will have more influence as more come into the industry?  Or do you think its still, you have to draw this superhero, by this deadline?

Jeffrey Moy: I can only speak for myself, I’m out of comics right now, because I needed the steady work.  So I’m happy doing conceptual work.

II stix: Thanks for your time.

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Jeffrey Moy is currently doing conceptual work for Raven Software on Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2.  He is also working on a self-published graphic novel titled Video Game Gals.  His profile and work can be seen at www.jeffreymoy.com


Buzz

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Buzz, was born an raised in Rangoon, Burma, and immigrated to the United States at age 13.  Buzz began his career in comics book early at age 15, somewhat tumultuously, before ending up at DC.  His is best known for his work on JSA, Razor and Atomika.

II stix: How did you get started in comic books?

Buzz: I actually got started in this business 22 years ago.  I got into it because I was always a fan of comic books, and always wanted to do this.  Nothing else really interested me as a vocation.  I went to school for something else entirely, but typical Asian family, they want you to be a doctor or lawyer or run your own business.  So, I self-taught myself, went to a convention, showed my portfolio and got a job.

II stix: So what did you go to school for?

Buzz: Actually, I went to school to become an engineer.  Architectural engineer because my father was one.  Didn’t do to well.  My architecture teacher would look at the floor plans and say “OK, there are four walls, there’s a couple of designs, but you rendered the Hell out of the people.  It looks like you’re more interested in drawing them than the actual structure!” After college I just decided to go into comics full time.  My parents were horrified.  They told me, “There’s not future in comics.  You’re not going to make a good living.” But now they support me and my decision, because I’m happy.  Because that’s ultimately what your parents want, for you to be happy.

II stix: How do you see the role of Asian-Americans in comic books now?

Buzz: The racial concern is more with the characters, because there are not enough Asian characters in comic books, and when there are, they’re not portrayed right.  As far as behind the scenes, I never thought race was ever an issue in the creative process, because if you are talented you are, and if you aren’t, you aren’t.  I don’t particularly agree with artists who pull out the race card in the creative process.  Now, what you create is another thing, it maybe that the passive nature of us Asians where we do not stand up enough for our own.  Maybe if we do that, maybe we might have more Asian characters in the comic books.

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Buzz’s art and portfolio can be seen at his website,www.justbuzz.com or you can go to www.comicbookpros.com

< Wizard World Chicago: Part 1 of 5 | Wizard World Chicago: Part 3 of 5 >

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