Monday, September 22, 2014

At The Buffalo Comicon meet Aaron O'Brien and The Buffalo Visions Art Group

Hello everyone, in our ongoing countdown to the Buffalo Comicon on October 5th at the Marriott Hotel in Amherst we bring you one of the other fellow artists who will be at the show, Mr. Aaron O'Brian. He will be there representing the Visions Art Group, I sat down with Aaron and asked him some questions about his art background and the history of Visions and what we can expect from him at the Buffalo Comicon. Here's how it went:

Hello Aaron, go ahead and introduce yourself to the Internets world, the BOOM Page and those not a part of the Buffalo Geeks group who don't know you. Who are you, and what is your art background?

Hi, my name is Aaron O'Brian. I am a manager for the Visions Art Group. I've been drawing since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I've never stopped since then and I have a degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design.

Who or what would you say has influenced you artistically over the years? 
Page from Snakeland

My childhood favorite is John Byrne. He has faded from the public eye these days. I also love Alan Davis, Neal Adams, Jim Starlin. The French comic book artist - Jean Giraud Moebius, is mindblowing! Japan's Masamune Shirow is unbelievable.Then there are some off beat artists, Chris Ware, Jaime Hernandez, Charles Burns and Paul Pope. Currently, I'm loving Ivan Reis - his work on DC Comics is amazing.

Agreed, Reis work on Brightest Day story line was great. 
What projects have you worked on in the past?

The last few years I have been working on the comic book "Return To Snakeland" written by Jason Gusman.

Very cool, What projects are you currently working on?

I have been currently working with Jay BĂ©rent on his story "Girl From The Locks". I have finished a short story for the next Visions' Anthology based on a H.P. Lovecraft story. I also am still working on "Return To Snakeland". 

Can't wait to check those out at the Con, what will you be doing at Buffalo Comicon?

I will be selling the first Visions Anthology, Return To Snakeland comic and talking to any artist or writer looking to join the Visions group. 

Nice, give us a little history of the Visions group.

Back in 2012, I wanted to start a local comic book creators club. I tried to organize a few first meetings and no one showed up. I then mentioned to Emil Novak (Emil Novak - Queen City Bookstore owner and man behind the Buffalo Comicon)  that I was looking to start the club. He told me that I could use his store to hold a meeting. And two people showed up! We talked about our art and comic projects. It was a small start, but it was a beginning. 

Then Emil and I met and said that he might have a way to make the club work better. Emil had started the Visions group many years ago, but it was dormant for quite a while. He thought that it might be a good time to bring the Visions group back. With that we started a Visions Facebook page. We got a huge following and the group then really started going. We held a few meeting where we showed off our art and scripts. After organizing the Visions writers and artists to work together, we started planning our first project: the first Visions Anthology. Emil and I organized the writers and artists to produce short stories to showcase local Buffalo talent. After a lot of hard work, we released the Visions Anthology during the 2013 October Buffalo Comicon. 

That is awesome, putting out an independent book like that is impressive, do you enjoy main stream comics from the Big 2 or are you an Independent person?

Of course, I will always have a place in my heart for Marvel/DC. I mostly buy a Marvel/DC title if I know there is a great writer or artist attached to the book. After 30+ years of reading comics, the stories can lose their luster. How many times can Superman save Lois Lane? How many time can Captain America fight the Red Skull? It's not that those stories aren't fun. But I'm looking for inspiration. So that often leads me to read more off beat comics. I like exploring the unknown (or less hyped) of the genre. 

Who would you say is favorite characters from each of the Big 2 and or an Independent?

For DC Comics my title is Aquaman. In the last 10 years he has been the butt of a lot of jokes (thanks Robot Chicken). But anyone that would read the book would see that there is a great background and stories for the character.

Marvel my favorite character has been Nightcrawler. He is frightening to most people, but maybe the kindest, bravest and noble of all mutants that ever was an X-Man. An imp swashbuckler with a heart of gold, who will pine away for Meggan and go drinking with Wolverine.

With all of the comic book genre movies going on, if you could own one prop from a comic book movie, what would it be?

Rorschach's journal

All of us who enjoy drawing comics have that dream job in mind, if you were given one professional opportunity for a major comic company what would it be?

Other than writing and drawing an Aquaman epic, I would love to draw a dystopian/sci-fi story based off the songs of At the Drive-In's album "Relationship of Command" 

Finally, when we come and see you at the Buffalo Comicon on October 5th, what will you talk about with us when we come to your booth?

I will talk you about the Visions Group! And the AMAZING talent that lies undiscovered here in the Buffalo.  That we need to organize this talent to output work that people will stop and take notice. In my dream of dreams I would like Buffalo to start a grassroots comic book creator moment like the Grunge rock scene in Seattle in the 1990's. Hopefully our work in Visions could become a spring board to more comic book artists and writers to create and output amazing work.