Randy DuBurke began his art career at the age of 6, drawing pictures of Batman and Star Trek. When he grew up, he became a fine artist and commercial illustrator, drawing pictures of—you guessed it—comic book characters! Among comics fans, Randy is best known for his works with D.C. and Marvel comics, and notably for Black Canary in Action Comics Weekly.
Randy’s debut as children’s book author and illustrator came with the publication of The Moon Ring, the story of a young girl on a night of adventure following the discovery of a magical ring. For that book, Randy won a 2003 Coretta Scott King / John Steptoe New Talent Award for Illustration.
More recently, Randy’s illustrations appeared in Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, a graphic novel written by G. Neri. It was recognized last month with a CSK Author Honor award. Exemplary storytelling with words and pictures.
Presenting Randy DuBurke, words and pictures:
Please tell our readers about your book, Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty?
Yummy is a story about a troubled boy whose quest for family leads him down some very bad paths. I felt this was an important story to tell because,unfortunately, there are too many stories like this happening today. If Greg Neri, the writer, and I can help others who are in the similar situation make the proper choices I think the book was worth it.
Please talk about your transition from comic book artist to picture book artist. Similarities/differences.
I enjoy both media, comics and children’s book. Comic art and children’s book art have much in common. Both are concerned with telling a story. I think both can feed of the other. As I have seen over the last few years some children’s books are using more panel to panel progression to tell stories. I think this is a good way of opening the story possibilities.
Working with my editor, Jennifer Fox, on’ Yummy’ was not different than when I worked with her on the picture book ‘Catching the Moon.’ She was my editor on both books. The sheer volume of work was unexpected on her part I think. Because with a comic you like ‘Yummy’ you have 94 pages of art work and text to support. Where as with a picture book you are dealing with one image per page with accompanying text it is a shock when you are dealing with comic book pages. Pages which range from two panels per page to six panels per page with text placement necessary can be daunting but as we continued the work together it got easier to see how the text and pictures worked to reinforce each other and the story.
adventures of Nat Love.’ After this I am working on a full color short story for a comic company called graphics illustrated ‘Becky’ written by Jean Toomer. The story is part of a book called African-American Classics and I have a graphic novel I am writing and illustrating which I would like to get out soon.