Deon DeLange is a South African artist with a style all his own. “My work is often described as cartoonish, but I don’t really see it that way,” DeLange said. “The look is not deliberate, it’s just the way I draw, I guess. I like that people find it hard to pigeonhole my style. It re-assures me that hopefully my work has a unique feel to it, and people seem to respond well that that.”
Between his work under his own imprint, UO Comics, and producing film posters, game cover art, editorials and calendars, DeLange keeps busy with a steady production of artwork. “I’m still working on knowing when to stop drawing. I get lost in my own work sometimes and details run away with me, but I do like to give the reader scenes that they can look at over and over again without getting bored. I work hard at making my scenes readable, even when I have a lot of detail in them.” DeLange’s work varies from a cartoony look to highly detailed, sweeping images containing a lot of action and movement.
This doesn’t mean that he loses sight of producing clean, easy to view panels that are effortless to follow across the page.“I do plan my panels and images carefully, and natural flow is very important to me. I think I often spend most of the time I have available for a page, thinking about it and planning it,” DeLange said. “Other times things just seem to happen spontaneously which is very rewarding. I like to experiment a lot with panels and see how far I can push it and make the page dynamic and interesting. To me, the panel flow is by far the most important part in the comics story telling process.”
Having his own comic line allows DeLange a lot of freedom in his characters. “The Unknown Origins Universe that all my UO Comics are set in, is created and owned by me, so I have full control of all the characters and designs for my comics.” But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t share the space with others. “In the case of Tomica, I gave David (Covas Lourenco) a corner of my UO Universe to go wild in and write Tomica.” DeLange said, “Dave is a great world builder, and I give him all the freedom he needs to be creative and write the character he creates for Tomica, as long as everything is consistent with the overall UO Comics universe story and history. Other than that, I design the look and feel but we bounce off one-another all the time.”
John Goodale is the author of ‘Johnny Gora’ (available through Amazon.com), and a number of articles here on TMRZoo.com. His monthly column ‘Indy Comics Spotlight’ appears here and through his blog Indy Comics Spotlight