Meet the Artist: GARETH MELVIN!

Everyone knows that we have released Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa – Last Chances as an online web comic, now in FULL COLOR, as the answer to the online piracy of our book that is only in black and white. Now, you know all about Martheus Wade, creator/writer/artist, and Janet Wade, writer/artist, and Kevin L. Williams, editor/interviewer; but, you don’t know about one of our most important team members on this project, the one making it all possible to have a colorized version of the book, and here he is, ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together (as if anyone would hear it) and welcome Gareth Melvin!

site IMG_0065Toshigawa.com: So, Gareth, tell us a little about yourself.

Gareth Melvin: A little about me? Well, born Gareth Melvin, March 28, 1983 in the good ol’ RS of A (South Africa). As a kid, I was very much a loner, preferring to be left to my own devices. My folks worked full-time jobs, so my younger sister and I were majority raised by our grandparents.

I always enjoyed drawing, inking and colouring as a kid (though I was terrible at it)

In high school, I got very involved in drama and the theatre and took drama as a seventh subject.

The graduating class of 2001, as well as my teachers thought, ‘This is it, this boy is headed for Hollywood’. Because I was never really academic and school was 12 long, painful years, I needed a gap year.

In this time, I did some work for my mom, learned to play drums and partied my butt off!

February of the next year, I started at the South African Film and Drama Academy and three years later, I graduated with a BA in film editing.

My tertiary education was not without difficulty: during my second year, I fought a long battle with drug and alcohol abuse. At the beginning of my third year, sober and clean, I came into a relationship with Christ. Some people would say I’ve lived a lot, or lived through a lot. I would say, I haven’t lived enough!

TC: We’re glad you overcame all that! We might otherwise still have Last Chances in black and white otherwise. Tell site Archangel_Michael_XGXus, what are all your interests?

GM: Interests would be art, naturally. Writing poetry and novels. A lot of Playstation, loving the Guitar Hero at the moment, but my favourite game series would definitely be the Final Fantasy series – Kingdom Hearts rocks!

A regular at the local metal nightclub, some light internet stalking – joking.

Sports and me, we never really saw eye-to-eye, but I do enjoy watching a rugby game – Go Sharks!

TC: Sharks? There is a rugby team of attorney’s there? What got you interested in comics?

GM: That would be my cousin, Ryan.  Never really thought much about comics.  Yes, I knew Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, but that was about it.  Then my cousin comes along with Gen 13, Green Lantern, Spawn, Lobo, Witchblade and then life had meaning.

TC: We understand. We found our life’s meaning in pie. What prior projects have you worked on?

GM: Oh, prior projects, loads, list longer than my arm…I wish! I only got involved in comic colouring about 2 years ago. I decided to paint a piece for my girlfriend and I was hooked after that. Endless amounts of time in Photoshop painting and surfing for images to work on. A very big turning point was ZurdoM, favoring my colour work of his original Daredevil and Elektra and that confidence boost kept me going to the point where my skills were starting to site Elektra_pirate_commish_by_NeMAfronSPAiN XGXlook more professional. It was only earlier this year that I received my first collaboration thanks to a near and dear deviantArt friend, who had posted a lined work of a sci-fi piece and had asked me to please colour it. I think I spent a week just researching colour templates and ideas to get this piece right. After I finished and uploaded the sci-fi piece, there was just a flood of people wanting to work with me or commission me.

While I’ve painted line work by cartoonists, illustrators, professional comic artists, people who just want a splash of colour put on their work, there are a few artists who I absolutely love working on their pieces and with them.

TC: What kind of projects are you working on now?

GM: Projects now, I’m sure you mean art-wise. I ask, cause I’m rebuilding a pub at the moment as well.

I’m feeling very good about the projects I’ve currently got on my desk. Starting with Jetta, I’m working on Chapter 1 of ‘Last Chances’ – loving the story, great line work. Martheus, as always, he’s an absolute champion to work with, or work for. Kevin (the editor) has given me so much room to play around artistically, the pressure is on and I’m just loving every panel of it.

I’m hoping that this isn’t like anything you’ve seen before.

TC: Anything else planned?

GM: Away from Jetta, I’m working on an avatar collaboration, I’ve also got an amazing rendition of Dungeons & Dragons I’m working on that will be pretty wicked.

I’ve joined up with the ‘Unstoppable’ contest, which is going slow, but will be good, contest closes 1 April, so must make that quick and right.site Wolverine_inked by NickyGonzalez XGX

One project that I’m really happy with, a line work by J. Gonzalez of Wolverine that I had coloured and together, we’re submitting for the Pat Carlucci Auction on e-bay. He’s an incredible artist and usually a great source of inspiration for me. This was a very personal piece and one that just came together in the 11th hour.

TC: Tell about getting involved with Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa – Last Chances.

GM: Well, I had watched Martheus on deviantArt for a number of months and just kept shrugging off a journal entry he had written. One night, I thought ‘Let’s read it.’

He was looking for a new web colourist and I just thought, ‘Why not?’ I sent him the link to my gallery and I was amazed when he replied saying, ‘If you want an audition piece, let me know.’

I didn’t realize at the time that he had sent me the page for page 2 of ‘TURRA: BLACK SHEEP.’

So, I coloured it as I saw fit and because I didn’t know Turra’s colours, I gave her a deep blue latex suit and blonde hair. Martheus did inform that I had screwed up her colour pallet, but my background work was enough to save my audition. About a week later, he sent me the hi-res pages for ‘TURRA: BLACK SHEEP’ and said: make with the colour!

So at present, that is my only published Jetta work before “Last Chances” went online.

site Phantom_of_the_Opera_commish_by_NeMAfronSPAiN XGXTC: Martheus knows talent! Other than Jetta, who is your favorite character and why?

GM: It’s a toss up between Turra and Kim.

Turra, because she’s that sexy, sassy, ‘outcast’, the black sheep. I see her as a character who cares about her loved ones, but is usually looking to work some kind of angle for her own means and I love that aspect about her that, you never really know what she’s going to do next and for me, that’s a fantastic page turner.

Kim in that, he strikes me as the ‘heart-break kid’. He’s torn within himself between wanting to be a man, who is with Jetta, married with kids, a simple life. But that he also has responsibilities to the clan and that his loyalties to the clan are far above his own wants.

TC: And now, for the “Kevin” questions–the kind of things you don’t even want your mama to know the answers to:

Paper or plastic?site Wonderland_Anual_by_SquirrelShaver XGX

Depends, usually plastic, but canvas preferably.

How do you like your eggs cooked?

In the kitchen!

Where do you squeeze your toothpaste tube?

From the bottom! People who squeeze from the top have a special place reserved for them in that ‘very warm place in the very deep south’, right next to those people who talk during movies.

Toilet paper: roll over or under?

It could go from side to side for all I care, as long as it’s there and there’s enough when you need it.

Favorite color?

Bicycle…that failing, black, white and blue.

If you had a girl’s name, what would it be?

Catherine

TC:  Thanks for the hard work, Catherine.  Erm, Gareth!!  Everyone can see his hard work at work in the current online release of Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa – Last Chances in our web comics section.


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