Mick Stevens, a New Yorker cartoonist since 1979, talks with The Comics Alternative's Aaron Alexander about his life and work.
Aaron Alexander: Do tools make the cartoonist? Probably not. Still they say something about your approach, and it always interesting to hear about. What are your cartooning utensils of choice? (Let’s say sketching and final work).
Mick Stevens: I use my trusty Uni-Ball pens and good quality bond for roughs, Arches 140 lb. acid-free watercolor paper for finishes, pencil and/or ink wash on my finishes for publication. When I do color I use Dr. Martin’s dyes. During my 10-week stint as the New Yorker Dailycartoonist (my last one was on June 20), I was working strictly for web publication, so I didn’t need physical finished art. I drew on bond and used pencil (Mirado Black Warrior HB2) for shading, then photoshopped the results and tweaked them for the finals.
I draw several roughs for my regular weekly batch, and when I’m satisfied (or my deadline encroaches), I use a light-table to trace off clean versions. These are still roughs. If the mag wants a finish, I get out the watercolor paper and use the light-table again to do the finish, add tone, and send it off FedEx to the New Yorker.