Travis Charest

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Travis Charest
Travis Charest at Super-Con 2009.JPG
Charest in May 2009
Born 1969[1]
Nationality Canadian
Area(s) Penciller, Painter
Notable works
Darkstars, WildC.A.T.s, Grifter/Shi, WildC.A.T.s/X-Men: The Golden Age, The Metabarons

Travis Charest (born 1969) is a Canadian comic book penciller, inker and painter, known for his work on such books as Darkstars, WildC.A.T.s, Grifter/Shi, WildC.A.T.s/X-Men: The Golden Age and The Metabarons. He is known for his detailed line work and muted color pallet, and is a much sought-after cover artist,[2] having done extensive cover work for many other books, such as various Star Wars series from Dark Horse Comics.

Early life[edit]

Charest was born in 1969.[1] He began drawing at as a child,[3] and cites Mike Mignola, Adam Hughes and Brian Bolland among his artistic influences,[4] as well as many artists from the early 20th century.[5]

Career[edit]

Charest became known in the American comic book industry for his work various DC Comics. His first paid assignment was a Flash story in Showcase '93 #3 (March 1993).[6] He later became the regular artist on Darkstars. He also produced cover work for other DC titles such as The Outsiders, Batman, and Detective Comics.

His first work for Wildstorm Productions was a pinup that appeared at the end of WildC.A.T.s #0 (June 1993).[7] That same year, he illustrated the one-shot book WildC.A.T.s Special: Destiny's Hand. He subsequently illustrated back-up stories featuring Voodoo and Warblade in issues 8 and 9 of the regular series (February and March, 1994). He became the regular artist of the series with issue #15, illustrating the title during the runs of writers James Robinson and Alan Moore. His last regular issue was #31 (September 1996), though he later returned to illustrate the title's 50th issue (June 1998).

In 1999, Charest returned to WildC.A.T.s to illustrate five of the first six issues of that title's second ongoing series, written by Scott Lobdell. He subsequently moved to Paris to illustrate a Metabarons graphic novel for French bande dessinee publisher Humanoïdes Associés. With plans to paint the entire graphic novel, the progress on the book went much more slowly than Charest had anticipated, and illustrated only the first 29 pages of the book. Humanoid Publishing selected Serbian artist Zoran Janjetov, who previously worked in the same Alejandro Jodorowsky Incal universe on John Defaul and Technopriests, to complete the art chores for the project.[8]

By 2007 Charest had moved back to the United States, settling in California. Among his works are cover art for David Morrell's Captain America: The Chosen mini-series. He has also been running the free webcomic strip Spacegirl on his MSN group.[8] In 2008, a limited edition printed volume hardcover of Spacegirl was self-published by Charest and Big Wow Art, collecting the first 56 strips of the series.[9]

Technique and materials[edit]

Charest usually prefers not to employ preliminary sketching practices, such as layouts, thumbnails or lightboxing, in part due to impatience, and in part because he enjoys the serendipitous nature in which artwork develops when produced with greater spontaneity.[10] He also prefers to use reference only when rendering objects that require a degree of real-life accuracy, such as guns, vehicles or characters of licensed properties that must resemble actors with whom they are closely identified, as when he illustrated the cover to Star Trek: The Next Generation: Embrace the Wolf in 2000.[11]

Charest previously illustrated on regular illustration board provided by publishers, though he disliked the non-photo blue lines printed on them. By 2000, he switched to Crescent board for all his work, because it does not warp when wet, produces sharper illustrations, and is more suitable for framing because it lacks the non-photo blue lines.[12]

Charest uses mainly 2H lead to avoid smearing, and sometimes HB lead. For ink wash, he uses Rapidograph ink, and waters it down to three hues in order to achieve light gray, medium and charcoal tones, in addition to straight black. He applies the wash with watercolor brushes of various sizes. To ink linework he uses Rapidographs of all sizes. For color work, Charest uses Aquarelle watercolor pencils and acrylic paint for airbrush work. He also uses white Pelikan ink for additional effects such as highlights, fades and blends. Charest stated in 2000 that while he did not use a computer for his artwork, he would be using one soon, and anticipated they would be a necessity for professional artists.[12]

According to Charest, the time he needs to finish a given page varies, depending on how fast his editor needs it, and what he is being paid,[13] though because he came to prefer producing artwork that takes longer than the norm to complete by the time he left Wildstorm, he no longer finds it feasible to be the regular artist on a monthly series.[14] He points to WildC.A.T.s/X-Men: The Golden Age as an example of a book that took him considerable time (under a year), though he stresses that he finished it on time.[13]

Influence[edit]

Charest's work has influenced artists such as Chrissie Zullo[15] and Shelby Robertson.[16]

Bibliography[edit]

A Danger Girl cover by Travis Charest.

Interior comic work[edit]

Cover work[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Travis Charest". Virtual International Authority File. Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  2. ^ Phegley, Kiel (March 7, 2014). "EXCLUSIVE: Millar Taps Travis Charest For "Starlight" #4". Comic Book Resources.
  3. ^ FAQ: "At what age did you start drawing?". The Official Unofficial Travis Charest Gallery; December 1, 2000. Retrieved August 30, 2010
  4. ^ "FAQ: "Who are your favorite artists?" The Official Unofficial Travis Charest Gallery. December 1, 2000. Retrieved March 9, 2013
  5. ^ FAQ: "Who influenced you?" The Official Unofficial Travis Charest Gallery. December 1, 2000. Retrieved August 30, 2010
  6. ^ Charest, Travis (February 4, 2012). "20 YEARS LATER...". Travis Charest's Spacegirl.
  7. ^ Charest, Travis (March 1999). "Welcome!". Wildcats (vol 2) #1 Wildstorm Productions, p. 31.
  8. ^ a b Brady, Matt (June 15, 2007). "Talking to Travis Charest". Newsarama.
  9. ^ Spacegirl Volume 1. Amazon.com. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
  10. ^ FAQ: "Working techniques" The Official Unofficial Travis Charest Gallery; December 1, 2000. Retrieved August 30, 2010
  11. ^ FAQ: "Do I use any type of references?" The Official Unofficial Travis Charest Gallery; December 1, 2000. Retrieved August 30, 2010
  12. ^ a b FAQ: "What materials do I use?" The Official Unofficial Travis Charest Gallery; December 1, 2000. Retrieved August 30, 2010
  13. ^ a b FAQ: "Just how long does it take you to finish a whole page?" The Official Unofficial Travis Charest Gallery; December 1, 2000. Retrieved August 30, 2010
  14. ^ FAQ: "Why am I leaving Wildstorm?" The Official Unofficial Travis Charest Gallery; December 1, 2000. Retrieved August 30, 2010
  15. ^ "Fables Cinderella by Chrissie Zullo". Retrieved 2011-05-18. 
  16. ^ "Shelby Robertson". Creating a Graphic Novel: Art - Food - Photography. Retrieved July 26, 2013.

References[edit]

External links[edit]