Takio follows the story of 2 girls, adopted tween Taki and her 7-year old sister Olivia, as they struggle with the irritations of an over-protective single mother and school. Taki’s best friend Kelly Sue is dealing with her own issues that include a mad scientist type Dad and a recently estranged mother.
The great thing about this book? The fact that it is all ages and the perfect way to introduce your kid, niece/nephew or little sister/brother to the world of comic book geekdom! Takio is adorable, cute, affordable ($10!) and a highly enjoyable read. The hardcover graphic novel hit stores last week, and I chatted up Nick Filardi, Philly local and colorist of Takio.
What kind of color palette did you use for Takio? Did you switch up anything with your normal coloring style?
The goal of the book was to create a children’s book that would still appeal to adults. So we wanted to keep it bright and fun. I kind of craft all my color palettes on the fly. It lets me be flexible when it comes to what works or doesn’t work for each moment.
So although I didn’t stick to a set palette I tried to keep the light fun cartoonish feeling in each of the pages even when things got more serious and confrontational. When I color, I naturally go for a high saturation so this was particularly fun.
Did Mike Oeming advise you on the direction he wanted you go regarding colors or did he leave those decisions to you?
When Mike and I tackle a project he usually gives me notes, not so much as to specific colors, but the overall style. We work on a lot of stuff together, and he colors a little bit himself. I try to be aware of what he is working on so that I can anticipate the styles that appeal to him at the moment. In this case he had wanted to do a book with a similar look to Takio for a long time and was just waiting for a right fit. A lot of what he was coloring himself had that kind of loose but angular background style popularized in The Umbrella Academy.
A lot of where Mike and I started hashing out the look came from the backgrounds in that book. However, this is a kid’s book so although we wanted that look we still had to keep it bright. By peppering in some off-register line art and coloring all the lines in the background it made it cartoonish and fun for kids but also made a visual style that will engage adults because it is something that isn’t exactly like anything they’ve seen before.
Tell me about your eclectic choice of tattoos? Do you have a local tattoo artist that you frequent?
Actually I’m kind of really dying for a new tattoo. I don’t really have a local guy. Part of the problem with looking at art all day every day is you kind of drive yourself crazy when you start looking at tattoo books. The first tattoos I got were the B and A boxes filled with the sword and boomerang from The Legend of Zelda on the NES. Those were done right when I moved to Philly because I ended up living with a tattoo artist and he kind of convinced me to do it.
I picked up 2 more from another tattoo friend of mine. Blinky the 3-eyed fish from The Simpsons with a banner that says “Perfectly Cromulent” and a copy of the cow tattoo that Coach McGuirk has from the first episode of Home Movies with his advice “Don’t live like me.” I’ve been into cartoons, comics and games for a long time. Never really gave any of them up since I was a kid.
Wow, that’s pretty impressive. Cartoons, comics and games are all things that Geekadelphia highly approves! Anything you’re really into at the moment?
My gem right now in my retro video game collection is a famicom (Japanese NES) that I got from Japan with their version of the “Goonies” game.
Have a bar or Philly spot you patronize more than others?
My girlfriend and I go to a lot of places up in North Philly and South Philly. We probably go to a bar called North 3rd the most not because it is the best bar to get a drink at, but holy shit does their crispy chicken sandwich rock. As far as getting a drink, I really like the El Bar. Pretty great outdoor space when it gets warm and they have a nice Pac Man machine inside. I’d love to find a good bar with a nice couple of pinball machines though.
Have any other projects coming up?
Powers as always. We just got a new editor so hopefully she’ll keep us on task and on time. Other than that a few projects that are just about to start, but are sadly at the moment super duper top secret.