By Matt O’Keefe
Yes, Pix is much closer to how I naturally draw. Although, I’ve done so much licensing work and that’s had a…this might sound pretentious, but I can draw in different styles. And that manifests in the construction and finish, so I could do Pix in a different style if I chose to – cartoonier, more rendered, etc – but, for efficiency’s sake, this is the closest to my natural style at the moment. And I tried to work a little looser on Pix to work a little faster because I can, like so many people, really over-think and over worry about a drawing. Making lines perfectly smooth, making sure not a single thing is out of place. The SpongeBob work I do has to be “on model” and look super-consistent to the show, and that’s held over into my trying to keep consistency throughout Pix. That can also slow me down, if I’m too concerned with “is the nose perfect every time?” So I tried to chuck that and tell the story. I spent more time on the construction and making the figure work solid and less time on the final linework, if that makes sense.
I might have at one point – I did draw a handful of comics for Marvel in the late ’90s and that was amazing – but I haven’t much lately. I mean, Pix, while geared towards a younger audience, which isn’t maybe the mainstream comic book fan, still has plenty for a mainstream or typical comic fan to enjoy, but… No. No, because I’ve seen over the years there’s something very, very satisfying about the reactions kids have when they read stuff and are super into it. I feel that with SpongeBob Comics and I feel it when sitting next to Chris Giarrusso at conventions. Kids and families are super into G-Man. Raina Telgemier’s work draws a huge audience. There’s something very heartwarming… this might sound a little sappy… about seeing that kind of reaction. I see that less with mainstream comics. That’s not to say mainstream comics fans don’t appreciate the work, but I’ve become less concerned with appealing to that specific fanbase. I have been part of that fanbase so I’m not dismissing it. I just don’t think as much about or make those kinds of comics at this point. I wrote Pix with the idea of 9 to 14 year olds reading it. That’s not exactly the mainstream typical comic fan.