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We Love Your Work #5: Brian C. Roll

Hey there fellow comic book nerds and nerdettes! Welcome to We Love Your Work, where we spotlight creators, writers, and artist we admire. We will discuss their work, careers, and share personal stories.

At this year’s Baltimore Comic Con we got to know the wonderfully talented artist/writer Brian C. Roll (www.odysseyart.net). Brian is the author behind the successfully Kickstarter funded illustrated novel “The Circle” (http://www.odysseyentertainment.net/). We were so pleased to have had the chance to talk to Brian. Check out our conversation below…

What is the story behind your introduction to the “arts”? Were you encouraged at a young age by family? Is there something that stands out in your mind as an early inspiration?

Brian C. Roll: I have been drawing pretty much since I could hold a crayon. My parents would help me lug around my big box of crayons and a drawing pad that was probably as big as I was. Saturday morning cartoons and after school shows stand out as my earliest influences. And I certainly remember drawing Superman after watching Christopher Reeve fly around my television screen.

Who are your greatest influences when it comes to your artistic style?

Brian C. Roll: I like to think that I have a somewhat unique style when it comes to rendering, especially with color. But Drew Struzan is my biggest influence when it comes to composition and layout. I remember being drawn (no pun intended) to his posters when I was a kid, even before I knew that they had all been done by the same person. He had to ability to make even the crummiest movies look like Oscar winners. I really wish Hollywood would go back to using illustrated movie posters, especially with the glut of comic book movies hitting the market.

When you begin a piece, do you typically have an idea in mind of what you want that piece to be or does it evolve in a more fluid manner?

Brian C. Roll: I definitely begin with an image in my mind. Sometimes that image is clearer than others, but there is always room to evolve as I go.

If you could see any artist, living or dead, create art based on any comic character of your choice, who would that artist be and what character would you choose?

Brian C. Roll: Easy peasy. I would have Drew Struzan paint a movie poster for one of my own characters or stories. Maybe I should start saving up for that right now!

Is there a project that sits on your back burner that you wish you had more time for or perhaps an idea for a project whose full scope you’ve yet to be able to map out?

Brian C. Roll: I keep a log of story ideas that grows far faster than I can possibly have time to cross items off of. I’m currently illustrating my book entitled, The Circle.

If you could choose 5 people, living or dead, fictional or nonfictional, to be on your side in a bar fight, who would they be?

Brian C. Roll: Well, if I want to win or survive that bar fight, I’m going with Superman, Dwayne Johnson, Rhonda Rousey, Bruce Lee and Snake-Eyes.

For more of We Love Your Work, check out We Love Your Work #4: Raymond Leonard

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