30 Character Challenger: Ralph Contreras

| October 28, 2010 | 2 Comments

SHAZAM! My name is Ralph Contreras, I’m an alumni from last year’s 30 Character Challenge. It’s super great to see so many creative people getting involved this year. I had a blast last year. So there was no question I’d accept the challenge this year too. This time around I have a better idea what to expect. I’m just going to let my imagination go wild, no planning or restrictions when it comes to the characters. I will approach the actual artistic process differently though. Last year I only did penciled work. This year I’m planning on inking them as well. I’ve recently started inking my own work (and totally enjoying it!). So I’m very excited to strengthen this skill with this challenge.

I’m a proud self proclaimed major comic book nerd. On one random weekend in the summer of ’84 my aunt gave me a stack of comic books. She was doing some spring cleaning and was tossing her husband’s comics. (bad for him, good for me). She thought I would like them (she was right!); a new world of of great stories with amazing art took hold of my imagination. From that day on comic books have been a major part of my life in one way or another. I was your typical comic fanboy (collector) throughout the 80’s and 90’s. Buying every issue I could find. Reading and memorizing all the rich character histories. I always loved to draw the characters I was reading about too. I’d fill notepads with drawing of all the amazing characters I was reading about. My real first dive into to character design was when I was playing the Marvel Comics Universe role playing game. I’d write up a description and draw the character, like the way I saw in the Marvel comics Handbook. There was “Mister Gloves”, “The Duplicator” and so many others. This is when I discovered I wanted to someday create my own comics.

Fast forward a few years, I graduated from college with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts, emphasis in Graphic Design. Ready to conquer the world I looked for work for about a year, but couldn’t find anything. So what’s a comic nerd to do? I opened my own comic book store. (It was Awesome!) I was surrounded by comics for five years, meeting fellow fans and great local comic artists. After closing the doors to my shop, I jumped into the world of graphic design. I was moving from to city to city doing that. It was during this time I started drawing again and creating my own comic characters.

For the past 2 years I’ve been focusing on creating my own comic. I’ve been working on sharpening my storytelling, drawing and inking skills. I setup a personal blog www.ComicBookGraphicDesign.com, where I combine my comic artwork with my graphic design skills. I post all my sketches, character designs and fanboy adventures. I’ve created several Free comic book resources there to help other aspiring comic artists in this journey too. I’ve recently set up www.NewMexicoComics.com, a comic creators community to help connect writers and artist in New Mexico. Always the comic nerd I’ve also created a Marvel comic news fan site, www.TheHeroicAge.com.

Plans for the future, I”ll be focusing on my comic projects in 2011. A quarterly comic “Hero Guard”, and a weekly webcomic “Amazing Hero Adventures”. Maybe some characters coming out of the this challenge will make it into one of these comics. I’m excited to be involved in the 30 character challenge again and I’m ready to start creating!

Let’s be friends: Connect with me on my Blog and other sites!

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About the Author ()

My name is Ralph Contreras, I'm a graphic designer and proud comic book nerd living in Santa Fe, NM. A Four year alumni of the 30 Character Challenge, I have aspirations of becoming a professional comic book artist. I've been reading comics for over 25 years. I owned and ran my own comic shop for 5 years. My day job is graphic design, but at night I work on sharpening my storytelling, drawing and inking skills. I setup a personal blog www.Comic Book Graphic Design.com where I combine my comic artwork with my graphic design skills. I post all my pencils, inks and character designs on the blog. I also post great comic book resources to help other aspiring comic artists in their journey too. In past 30 Character Challenges I've made some really great online friendships with fellow creators.. I'm always interest in making new friends and contacts, so drop me a line any time. - Shazam!

Comments (2)

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  1. Tyler James says:

    Welcome back to the challenge, Ralph! Fellow challengers, definitely check out Ralph’s http://www.ComicBookGraphicDesign.com for some great resources. I got a ton of use (and saved money!) out of his free sketch card template. Thanks again, Ralph!

  2. It’s great to be back dude! Had a blast last time around. I’m very excited to see what cool characters everyone comes up with this year. It’s great to hear you got great use out of the sketch card template too. Shazam!

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