Why Alan O.W. Barnes instead of the much simpler and less pompous ‘Alan Barnes’?
The two middle initials come in handy for differentiating me from Alan Barnes, the Sci-fi writer and Alan Barnes, the jazz saxophonist, since what I do is a lot like both of them. I once did a whole interview with a student before we determined that she thought she was interviewing the writer of Doctor Who. Not to mention that currently the sax player “Alan Barnes” has all my pre-OW recording credits on All Music.com
What is your main instrument?
I’m a bassist. I can’t really play anything else. On my CDs it looks like I do a lot of other stuff, but it’s just studio magic rather than really playing. The disks are about composing and story telling, in my mind that’s more important than ‘honest’ guitar performances.
What kind of bass do you play?
My main bass is a Roscoe 6 string fretless, but I also play a Roscoe 5 string fretted instrument, a 5 string acoustic bass guitar made by Michael Kelly, and a Czechoslovakian 4 string upright bass. I just bought an NS Designs CRT5 (5-string-electric-upright-bass), and I’m excited about working up my chops on it!
Who are your musical influences?
Composers: Shostakovich, Edgar Meyer, Thomas Newman, Iain Ballamy
Bassists: Gary Willis, Edgar Meyer, Tommy Sims, Steve Bailey, and my first teacher, Adam Nitti.
What tools do you use to draw comics?
I have a wacom cintiq 24HD that I use as a drawing tablet. I mostly design and draw in Manga Studio. Any color work is done in photoshop.
What tools do you use to design book covers?
I pretty much digitally paint completely in photoshop.
Do you ever use traditional tools rather than the computer?
I do a lot of thumbnailing and sketching on paper before I get to the actual drawing stage. When I storyboard for live action I sometimes do entire projects on paper. Storyboarding for animation I tend to do in the computer.
It isn’t my professional work, but I really enjoy traditional ink and watercolor work. Maybe someday I’ll feel confident enough at those mediums to use them instead of the computer.
When I draw with traditional ink I use maru nibs, G nibs, and escoda series 1212 brushes.
Who are your sequential art influences?
Artists: Dave McKean, Alex Maleev, David Aja, Marcos Mateu-Mestre, Walt Simonson, David Mazzucelli, etc. Anyone who tells stories well through a combination of great composition and great visual drama. I find I’m attracted to interesting mark making as much as well designed pages.
Writers: Neil Gaiman, Brian K Vaughn, Aldous Huxley, Dan Simmons, and Joss Whedon.