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Issue #3 Joellyn Auklandus
Issue #6 Lorraine Reyes
"The telling of a story is the essence of comics," states Brandon McKinney, "and working on the continuing story of Elfquest is like a dream come true."
Brandon is currently working on "Elfquest: Rogue's Curse", and is delighted to be able to work with Wendy Pini, whose work he greatly admires. He quips that his first art "job" was at the age of 12, drawing his friends' Dungeons and Dragons characters; 10¢ for a black and white drawing, 25¢ for color. It was through D&D that Brandon discovered Elfquest. One of his friends in the role playing group had the first two Graphic Novels. Brandon was immediately hooked, never dreaming that one day he'd be working for Wrap.
Born on April 16, 1970 in North Dakota, and raised with his sister in the San Francisco Bay area of California, Brandon has been sketching and dreaming up story lines for his characters since he was a young boy. He first became interested in comics around the age of seven or eight. He had the comic adaptation of Star Wars, and then some Spiderman books. He still loves reading other comics. He collects "Starman", "Preacher", "Major Bummer", "Strangers in Paradise", and "Astro City" to name a few.
Brandon credits his parents for first noticing his artistic talent when he was about nine years old. He distinctly remembers his father, after Brandon had shown him a drawing he'd copied out of a comic, saying, "why don't you do your own drawings?" and Brandon's career was launched! The McKinney family totally supported Brandon's creativity, even when he'd get in trouble for drawing on his desk and his homework assignments. Brandon did pretty well in school and was a member of his highschool yearbook staff. Art, of course, was his favorite subject, and he even took the Advanced Placement Test for it, which earned him a few extra credits for college.
Brandon's first "real" art job was drafting designs
for the backs of Varsity letter jackets for a sportswear shop, and his
first job in comics was drawing "Legion X" for Silverwolf/Greater
Mercury while he was still in highschool. Brandon's parents sent him to
UCLA to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, something he says that he
couldn't have done on his own. At UCLA, Brandon worked on the staff of
the Daily Bruin Newspaper, doing pasteup and spot illustrations.
Brandon has worked on numerous comic titles. He did some issues of "Godzilla" for Dark Horse, and a bit of "New Warriors" and "Spider-Man/Avengers" for Marvel. He first came to work with the Pinis through his writer friend, Andy Mangels. The two of them were working together on a "Child's Play" comic for Innovation. Andy was writing a story for the "Elfquest New Blood Summer Special" and recommended Brandon to do the artwork. That led to McKinney doing an issue of "Blood of Ten Chiefs", then "Hidden Years", then "Shards", and now "Rogue's Curse". Brandon's favorite part of writing and drawing for Elfquest is both the chance to contribute to the history of the characters and the chance to practice telling stories with words and pictures. He says the characters are fun to write and a blast to draw. He particularly liked having Terry Beatty ink his work on the "Shards" series.
Brandon's advice for aspiring artists is to "Draw,
draw, draw. Whatever free time you can spare should be spent practicing
your craft. Don't just draw cool pin-ups--draw PAGES. That way you learn
the art of storytelling on a page. Don't get discouraged by rejections,
every working artist has had a few. You've got to believe in yourself
and keep trying."
Sendings Issue #5, May 1998
©Sendings 2000-2002. Content copyrighted by its original creators. Elfquest is a registered trademark of Warp Graphics, Inc.