Welcome back to Ltd. Edition! In this issue, we will celebrate the most significant event in the month of October. The one that gets the creative juices flowing, in many cases combining horror and humor. Are we talking about Halloween? No! We’re talking about Inktober!
The concept of Inktober first came up in 2009, courtesy of illustrator and comic book artist Jake Parker, as an exercise meant to reinforce positive work habits in the creative fields. The rules are simple: come up with 31 prompts for people to illustrate each month of October. One drawing a day. As the years went by (and thanks largely to sites such as Tumblr), Inktober started picking up followers and becoming a mass activity, a challenge that more and more people decided to tackle every year. Some people stick to the “official” list of daily prompts that are posted on the Inktober site every year, while others create their own prompts or tag along to other people’s lists. The important thing is to get drawing.
This self-imposed challenge can be seen as a great opportunity to reconnect with the act of drawing to rediscover the sheer fun of it, or as a challenge for one’s own consistency and imagination. However, it can also be a cause of frustration for many illustrators; dropping out of Inktober or falling out of the schedule can be a daunting, disappointing experience that many end up going through, like someone failing at a diet plan. It can be demoralizing and anxiety-inducing.
The purpose behind this article is to share some accounts run by illustrators (many of which also make their own comic books professionally or as a hobby) who have participated in this challenge, bringing their own styles and voices to the process and using them as a way to show off their work. We don’t care whether the artist actually went through the entire 30-day challenge. They might’ve only gotten through one week; or maybe they only made five drawings. What we care about is the quality, cleverness and uniqueness of each artists’ work.
Argentine comic book artist Lucas Varela, whose work we’ve reviewed in the past, had a lot of fun during the month of October by mixing characters (and overall aesthetic style) from the old Nancy strips with horror movie tropes. He didn’t make a whole lot of them, but they’re all very funny. The mix of slapstick humor from the from the funnies as a way to represent the horrors of the genre worked perfectly, resulting in memorable pieces of work that will forever hold a place in my Instagram bookmarks.
This illustrator used Inktober as an opportunity to showcase her abilities with watercolors and composition, utilizing the list of Inktober prompts by artist Lovesoup, creating postcards where witch hats, the world of anime, and Clueless references add up to a sugary kawaii cocktail of magic and stars. I’ve fallen in love with her style, as you surely will once you check out her work.
Matias San Juan
This comic book artist is one of my personal favorites, with incredible penmanship and a drawing ability that puts him among the best in the world. This year’s Inktober kept him occupied building his own “comic book Olympus”, emulating baseball trading cards to honor the greatest artists to grace the genre; from classic North American illustrators to the most famous mangakas. After you check his Instagram, do yourselves a favor and scope out his comics posted on Vice.
I was lucky enough to meet Nahuel during the Crack Bang Boom convention, right in the middle of an “illustrator battle,” creating comic illustrations based on anything that the audience yelled out as a prompt. Not only did he come out victorious, but he also won over the audience with his wit and sense of humor. This is the same sense of humor that he puts into his characters “Los Caballeros Boludos” (“The Dumbass Knights”), and that he put all over his Inktober depictions of characters from The Office. His style is playful and almost effortless, like the sort of stuff that one ends up absentmindedly doodling on a school notebook as one’s mind wanders elsewhere.
Another account that had a brief but interesting relationship with Inktober was that of Sole Otero, who used some of the daily prompts from the official list to create comics that led us into a sci-fi world where a passenger wakes up in the middle of an abandoned spaceship… or at least that’s what it seems like? We won’t know, as the story was never finished, but it’s remarkable how four illustrations can create such an atmosphere and anticipation. We hope this Inktober served as a small seed that will eventually result in a fully-fledged version of this story.
Krysthopher is another illustrator I’m a huge fan of, and who’s had a very busy Inktober, creating over 20 illustrations drawn from the official list of prompts. His universe is crowded with kitty cats, witchy women, books, and melancholy tunes. His minimalistic black-and-red composition created beautiful works throughout October, and thankfully they will continue to live on in his feed.
Kamikama is a young woman from Buenos Aires who started one of my favorite Inktobers last year, a terrifying, creepypasta-laden affair. And while she focused last year’s efforts on scaring the life out of her followers, this year she switched focus towards eroticism, showing us a daily peek at a story that mixes equal parts pain and pleasure. The work is so decidedly NSFW that Kamikama only posted bits and pieces of her work. Because, as with terror, sometimes you get more out of not seeing the whole picture. I just hope that in the future she’ll make the full story available. Maybe if we’re good…
This illustrator wasn’t on my radar until recently, when I started searching through Instagram to find cool Inktobers for this article (shoutout to Dani Arias, who passed the info along!) and I was immediately taken by his style; the use of watercolors and pencils for this year’s Inktober project. The theme he picked was Bad Guys Club, inspired by the great work of Craig Gleason (another account I’m a big fan of). The designs are filled with personality, and every post makes it very clear that he had a great time making them.
La Lejana was another one of the authors I met on 2019 and whose drawings improved both my Instagram feed and my overall quality of life. Just liek Sole Otero, La Lejana had a shortened Inktober experience, but it shone brightly with a series of clever posts that show a woman in situations of pleasure, pain, and surrealism.
One of the Instagram feeds I enjoyed the most all through the month of October, comic book artist Fer Calvi really leaned into the challenge aspect of Inktober, creating portraits of famous manga and animé characters with the added challenge of doing it with his opposite hand. The fact that they’re made in that manner is practically imperceptible, which speaks volumes about the artist’s skill and passion for art and the characters he captures.
This is just a list of ten out of many, many more examples of artists who produced excellent work throughout the month of October. Half work, half play, this Inktober brought out the best in a lot of artists. I hope that browsing through this selection shows you some artwork that you find interesting, funny, challenging, or moving in any way. Follow their Instagram for more of their awesome work throughout the rest of the year. Signing off for now. See you in the next installment of Ltd. Edition!