The World English Dictionary defines “upstart” as “a person who has risen suddenly from a humble position to wealth, power, or a position of consequence.” When it comes to the iFanboy Upstarts, we see it as artists who are rising from a humble position and have the talent to break through to a high level of popularity and skill in comics. And this week’s iFanboy Upstart has a long way to do.
Argentenian artist Juan Gedeon (real name: Juan Pablo Cuello Villanueva) has completed a variety of comics over the years since he graduated in 2005, but he’s yet to get a single one published. These comics he’s done with various comic writers as pitches for full blown series, but one one reason or another has never found traction with a publisher. Gedeon points to Chris Bachalo and Leinil Yu, Mike Mignola and Sean Murphy as prized influences, and in his work I see all those coming into play as well as others like Stephen Platt, Trent Kaniuga and a bit of Andy Clarke and Tomm Coker. To make a living, Gedeon works as a storyboard artist and illustrator for animated films and video games. The artist is currently living and working in Mexico for Riviera Maya Studios, but I can see him still chomping at the bit to get his chance in comics.
In my opinion, Gedeon’s still rough around the edges but no more so than his inspirations Bachalo or Yu were when they were breaking in. What helped them was on-the-job training, that is getting lower tier work that helped them find what they were lacking and find themselves in doing alot of comics. As he is now, I could see him being roped into do a creator-owned book at Image or perhaps even some licensed work for Dynamite or IDW. Look over Gedeon’s work and tell us where you think he should ply his skills for comics, and even what he should work on to become a well-rounded comics creator.