Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Influences on Seth, in his own words: Rick Geary

Rick Geary is an artist who used to live in San Diego. He did regular illustrations for a local free newspaper, and his elegant and witty work has appeared in so many different publications that probably everyone who sees it would say, "Oh, I've seen that art."
Seth did a one-year stint as editor of his college humor magazine. Someone contributed a humorous history of the world (or something like that), and he needed illustrations for it, I want to say about 20 small pictures. Seth wrote to Rick Geary and asked him if he would do it. He did, for $200. Pretty small change for the work of a well-known artist. I think he gave Seth an affordable price because he's a nice guy, and Seth was a college kid on a budget.

That was the beginning of Seth's relationship with Rick.
The drawing below is a small example of the wit and elegance of Rick's work.

The drawing above is part of a page from Happydale, drawn about the time he wrote the words below:
"Last week I was accused of having a '1920's style', and I guess it's basically true that the kind of thick outlines I use to identify shapes was pretty popular around the turn of the century. However, it was Rick Geary (not the stunning Winsor McCay) that prompted the development of my line. I am always struck by the kind of clarity that he can achieve in his art by controlling line width. In fact, after dozens of people insisted I needed to learn to use a crow quill pen (which I still can't use, though I'd like to try), it was Rick who told me he used Rapidographs for all his work, and gave me the confidence to try a less traveled road. I still think that Rick is one of the greatest unrecognized illustrators in the country despite that his work has appeared in countless publications from Heavy Metal to National Lampoon plus dozens of comic books."


j_ay said...

Rick Geary is *very* much an underrated illustrator. I keep meaning to send him off a note that I snagged one of his sketch cards (he only did 4; I got Veronica) that he did for the Archie sketch card project…as this was the first vaguely-professional project I was ever involved with and I wanted to get a card or two from some of the people involved with that I like. I was well pleased to snag one of his cards.

Cool that Seth had some contact with him.

Vicki said...

I am glad that you discovered Rick and his work. He and Seth got to be friends, and always kept in touch. He and his wife loved Seth, and Seth loved and respected him.

j_ay said...

Rick’s work always stuck out to me, I’ve always preferred black and white drawing, and I clearly remember his stuff in the magazines of the 80s: Epic Illustrated and the like.

It’s probably not a coincidence that that’s one of the reasons I’m drawn to Seth…and often go for the darker outer line myself.
When one can’t DO, steal from the best!