Andre Short is the artist behind “Breaking Point,” the deep-space, sci-fi thriller written by Christopher Matusiak and lettered by Nikki Powers. The comic took our breath away in the third Oneshi Press Quarterly Anthology. So, we talked with Andre about “Breaking Point,” his other projects, his inspirations, and his preferred soundtrack for deep-space death scenes.
Tell us a bit about yourself, Andre! What’s your background, and how did you end up creating the art for “Breaking Point” for Oneshi Press?
I think it was an ad on Reddit, if I remember correctly, [where] I learned about Chris and “Breaking Point.” I was looking for a project and happened upon Chris’s ad. Long story short, he liked my art and we made the project happen. Not a very exciting story I know, but I think the excitement found in the story itself make up for the lack of excitement in the origin story.
I was really glad he did allow me the opportunity to work on this project because I was excited about it from day one. As soon as I read the script, two scenes instantly popped in my head and I was itching to bring them to life. The first was the final scene of the book and the second was the all of page six, excluding the final panel of the page. I don’t know why that panel didn’t initially come to me in that moment but it didn’t. I tend to visualize the script as an episode of a show and then pick out the best “shots” from the scene. So there will be camera movements, music stings, fade-ins and -outs and the sort, but yeah…page six had no exit panel…
My background is just as boring as the Reddit story: drawing since the age of 5, a bit of schooling here and there, including some college and just a piss-ton of independent study, working, reworking, beyond Ramsey-level self-critique, and then more study. Still am studying. If I can, I have to shout out line-of-action.com as one of the best online resources for studying the human figure. It features a class mode that breaks down a session into timed parts, starting with 30-sec gesture and ending with a prolonged drawing time. Whenever I’m having an off day or just need to hone my skills, I go there and 30 minutes later I’m warmed up and ready to make art happen.
Who are your comics heroes? Who inspires you?
Oh wow, that’s a great question. There have been so, so many artists, and writers for that matter, that have inspired me to keep going. I can’t remember all of the names though, which is a bit of a cop-out answer, I think. The ones who have forged a life beyond putting pencil to paper, who started out artists, like Jim Lee and Joe Quesada, and moved onto to executive roles within the industry. There’s also been so many interviews that I’ve read over the years, stories of artists who hit that point of exhaustion or that place of “what the hell am I doing, where did my life go?” or something of the like…
Off the top of my head I remember reading an article about Jae Lee and how, despite having the flu, [he] still completed his pages and got them in on time. I remember reading that and saying, “Well, looks like the flu’s no longer a good reason to not get things done!”
What are you currently reading, listening to, and watching?
Netflix and Hulu are definitely my go-to for watching. I rarely watch network television. It’s just easier to watch my favorite shows around my schedule, which is usually working from dark to light or near-light, depending on the day.
Depending on my mood and what I’m working on, what I’m listening to can vary drastically from day to day. Like when I’m thumbnailing a page or designing a character I tend to gravitate towards EDM or acid jazz or orchestral music; basically anything with little to no lyrics. But when it comes to drawing out the pages it really depends on my mood in that moment or, occasionally, what mood the scene calls for. Like the page where Saunders’s head gets pierced? I was listening to Metallica’s Master of Puppets. Don’t know why but it put me in proper mood to render the scene. Funnily enough, the scene was actually a bit more gruesome until Chris asked me to tone it down a bit. I’m not saying that it was directly because of the music, but that it did help set the tone and once set, the scene revealed itself.
Batman and Wolverine have been my favorite characters since I can remember, but my first hero was Superman. Not the comic’s version but the old Fleischer cartoon version, back when he more leapt then flew. Not to take away from the excellent Bruce Timm version, but he seemed a much more interesting character back then because of the limitations to his power set. That said, I am digging the stuff they’re doing with him as a Super Dad.
Have you made other comics we can read now? Any new projects in the works?
Fun fact! This is actually my first time having my comic art in print; unfortunately, prior attempts at getting into the comics pool have fallen through for one reason or another. Such is life. It happens and all you can do is learn and keep moving forward.
I’ve been doing some character design work here and there, mostly for a company called Broadcast Comics based out of the UK for their upcoming book, currently titled Spotlight. It’s still early days but [if] all goes right my name will be listed on the title page alongside some super, incredibly, crazy-talented creative people.
How do you make your work immersive and progressive (the Oneshi Press themes)?
Any time I draw I try to create, to use the photography term, a “decisive moment.” By doing so, it allows the reader to maintain the suspension of disbelief and fully immerse themselves in the story.
I’m honestly not sure how my work is progressive…never really gave it any thought and thinking about, it I can’t really say that I know offhand. I don’t know if it counts, but I remember reading how Rags Morales would “cast” the characters for the book he might be working on. It’s something that I adopted and I try to “cast” based on the character description, ignoring race unless it is specified.
More movies and shows! It’s pretty fantastic seeing the characters come to life on the screen in a way that actually respects the source material. That’s the power of comics come to life! I feel like with the success of the current crop of comic-based movies, studios have FINALLY realized that if you respect the source material and fans, you can create amazing works that people will want to see.
Who are you dying to collaborate with?
I don’t have any one person that comes to mind, maybe Brian Michael Bendis, but at the moment I’d love to work with Marvel or D.C. on a project. I mean, today the field is crazy diverse but they’re still the big two, and I’ve been reading one or the other since I was a kid. It would be the fulfillment of a childhood dream.
Where can our readers find you online?
Readers can currently find me on Deviantart. It’s nothing glamorous but it gets the work out there. Occasionally I’m also on Twitter, as well. I’m not online a lot, but when I am most likely I’m in one of those two places.
While you’re here, grab a copy of Oneshi Press Anthology #03, featuring “Breaking Point” by Andre Short, Christopher Matusiak, and Nikki Powers! (Supplies are extremely limited; nab yours before we sell out!)
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