When Cartoonists Illustrate! Part 4: Benjamin Marra.

When Cartoonists Illustrate! Part 4: Benjamin Marra. SUTTONSIGNER.jpgBy Ward Sutton
SuttonImpactStudio.com

When Cartoonists Illustrate! There's often a line drawn between cartoonists and illustrators. All this week, I'm profiling talented people known for their cartooning and showing their work in an illustration context.

Benjamin Marra, the underground cartoonist and creator of Night Business, Gangsta Rap Posse and Blades & Lazers. See more of his work at benjaminmarra.com/.

WARD SUTTON: How do you like illustrating compared to cartooning?

BENJAMIN MARRA: Illustration is getting to the essence of a separate story in a single image, rather than having hundreds of images strung together to tell their own story. They operate differently with narrative. Illustration can be enjoyable since I get to experiment a little more by doing things visually I might not when I'm making a comic book. Telling a story in a comic book demands certain things from the drawings to advance the narrative. In illustration you just want to make a single arresting, memorable image.
2Marra.jpgWARD SUTTON: Do you actively look for illustration work?

BENJAMIN MARRA: Nah. But my comic books serve as portfolios. Comic books, I feel, show art directors I'm unafraid of drawing anything. Comic books require you to draw kitchens, a variety of characters, vehicles. You have many visual problems to solve--infinitely less than an illustration assignment might present.

WARD SUTTON: Have you illustrated, or would you illustrate, cartoons that others write?

BENJAMIN MARRA: Definitely. I just completed a short story for the Captain Victory (created by Jack Kirby) series Dynamite is putting out. Joe Casey, a veteran comic book and TV writer wrote the story. It was great just to have the responsibility to draw the pictures.

3Marra.jpgWARD SUTTON: Do you have a dream illustration gig?

BENJAMIN MARRA: Any gigs that don't require revisions to sketches or final art.

Resources:
Benjamin Marra Website

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An Interview with Mad Magazine Art Director Sam Viviano
When Cartoonists Illustrate! Part 3: Jen Sorensen
When Cartoonists Illustrate! Part 2: Derf
An Interview with Seattle Art Director Art Chantry
When Cartoonists Illustrate: Part 1: Kate Beaton
Alt Week: Guest Editor Cartoonist-Illustrator Ward Sutton
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