Power of the pen
A group of young, would-be warriors sets out to slay some feet-eating monsters in Giants Beware!, a new graphic novel by writer Jorge Aguirre and artist Rafael Rosado. In addition to illustrating the all-ages book, Rosado has created storyboards for a range of beloved cartoons. The Worthington resident talked to Columbus Monthly about creating life, humor and drama with a stroke of his pen.
Ever since I was a kid, I couldn’t think of doing anything else with my life. My dad is an artist, although he never actually managed to make a living as an artist. I have two brothers—one’s a banker and one’s a lawyer. I’m at the other end of the spectrum.
As far as actual art training, I ended up being mostly self-taught. I did a lot of Super 8 films as a kid. I came to Ohio State for film school, back when there was still a film program there. In college, I got interested in animation.
As a storyboard artist, I’m sort of like the tip of the spear. I get a script. I get character designs, background designs. My job is to interpret the script into visuals. What I do is a very early stage of the whole animation process.
Being a board artist, if you want to keep working, you have to adapt. In one year, I might work on something like Transformers and then go on to Curious George. I think the year before that I was working on Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Scooby-Doo! also.
Oddly enough, I don’t sit around watching cartoons. After drawing cartoons all day, I don’t want to go home and watch cartoons. The cartoons I watch are when I’m with my kids.
Working on your own project, it’s so much more fulfilling. Every day I’m grateful that I can get up in the morning and draw for a living, but I’m still drawing somebody else’s characters. When I draw the storyboard, it has to look like Daffy Duck. It can’t look like my crazy version of Daffy Duck.
With these characters in Giants Beware!, I got to call the shots. The basic structure of the thing was something I came up with, and then I sort of presented it to Jorge. He ran with it and fleshed it out. It’s a typical quest story, I think, but I like the fact that it goes places a typical story doesn’t go.
The only thing I wasn’t crazy about drawing was horses. Horses are hard, man.