Updated: We've added a short Q amd A session with Batton down below...
Comic Artist Night at the Opera added another artist to the rosters when local artist, Batton Lash, took us up on our invitation to come and sketch last night's The Barber of Seville rehearsal.
We came to know Batton through his webcomic Supernatural Law and the adventures of the comic's lawyers that serve the needs of monsters and other things that go bump in the night. You can read the comic here.
We've asked Batton some questions and will post his responses when we get them. For now, The Barber of Seville by Batton Lash.
Update: Batton has responded. A brief Q & A Session follows:
Aria Serious: We first became familiar with your work in your ongoing webcomic Supernatural Law - we loved the look that harkened back to that classic age of comics with artists such as Chester Gould and DC Comics Silver Age works. Can you tell us a little about your artistic influences?
Batton Lash: Interesting that you should mention Gould, – his Dick Tracy (along with Wayne Boring’s Superman) were the first strips in which I was cognizant of an artist’s style. However, I would cite my major cartooning influences are Will Eisner and Harvey Kurtzman . . . but most of all, Steve Ditko. He was my fave as a kid and remains so!
Aria Serious: How did you get interested in drawing?
Batton Lash: I’ve been drawing for as long as I remember. And interested in comics for just as long! I seriously thought of drawing comics as a career as early as grammar school.
Aria Serious: Was this your first opera?
Batton Lash: Hmm. I went to the theatre a lot more when I was in my 20’s . . . musicals and operettas (Gilbert & Sullivan). But not sure if I ever attended a full-length opera (does Threepenny Opera count? ;-). It’s safe to say, however, The Barber of Seville is the first opera I saw in the 21st century!
Aria Serious: What did you think of The Barber of Seville?
Batton Lash: I always loved the music from it. I have fond memories of when I used live in New York and do all-nighters, I would listen to WQXR, the city’s classical station. Their late-night announcer, Nimet, would occasionally play operas in their entirety. I especially enjoyed the music from the comic operas. Seeing San Diego Opera’s The Barber of Seville live on stage was a real treat—I could finally put “visuals” to the music!
Aria Serious: I know we throw a lot at you during the night - I mean there is a full opera going on around while you're essentially at work. What were some of the hurdles you faced last night while drawing?
Batton Lash: The biggest one was to resist the temptation not to lean back and just enjoy the performance! The only hurdle I could think of was not being able to catch that perfect nuance or gesture of a character . . . but the time I got the basic pose sketched (essentially, a stick figure), the actors moved on to even better positions! I really wanted to get the details on their fabulous costumes, but I had to keep it concise or I’d still be there drawing! But I just loved the experience. It keeps a cartoonist on his toes trying to keep up!
Aria Serious: Did the music help dictate what you drew?
Batton Lash: I work on Supernatural Law with classical music on, so I always think of music as a “soundtrack” to my sketching. This time, I felt a live orchestra was there to encourage me on!
Aria Serious: Anything coming up our readers should know about?
Battton Lash: I appreciate you mentioning the Supernatural Law webcomic, Ed, but there’s also a print version. This summer will see the release of “The Monsters Meet On Court Street,” a trade paperback collecting issues from the Supernatural Law comic book, as well as new material. More info can be found here.
Artwork © copyright 2012 by Batton Lash. All rights reserved.