RICH INTERVIEWS: Gabriel “Gabo” Bautista Artist Dead of Winter: Good Good Dog

First Comics News: What inspires you when you are drawing zombies?

Gabriel Bautista: You know when you people get third- degree burns? That. Bubbling flesh peeling off. And a wicked hangover. The zombies in Dead of Winter aren’t your typical, rotting zombies., It’s a nastier virus I guess?

1st: What do you think is the most important feature when drawing a zombie? What do you focus on to make them “look dead”?

Gabo: The eyes, chico, they never lie. The key is to make them as empty as their humanity. That and torn up raggedy clothing. I’ve never met a well-dressed zombie.

1st: What comes to mind when you are drawing people’s reactions to the zombies (surprise, fear, excitement)?

Gabo: I try my best to emulate the reaction they might be going through. Hell, sometimes I even take a picture of myself and study it. Then I delete it immediately. Don’t want someone to find a folder of me being a weirdo.

1st: How do you feel that Dead of Winter compares to your work in The Life After or Elephantmen?

Gabo: Dead of Winter was a bit tough at first. In The Life After and Elephantmen I was able to experiment with color, and basically, go nuts on whatever I wanted to draw. This project I had to stick to a desaturated palette and keep from drawing weird sci-fi mechanical things on walls haha.

1st: What does your color art bring out in Jonah Hex’s character?

Gabo: Jonah Hex was the second book I colored professionally. The artist, Moritat, was a very good mentor on the title. He taught me some very important lessons that I still carry on through my personal and professional work. For All-Star Western, I had to learn how to keep things very grungy and dirty, being as it’s a western. Ultimately, though, I often ended up often coloring the pages a bit too bright for Moritat’s taste, but I think it worked out nicely in the end.

1st: Have you ever had the desire to draw a superhero comic? Which would it be, or would the hero be your own invention?

Gabo: I think the only superhero I’d kill someone to work on would be MODOK. Anybody else, I feel I wouldn’t be doing them justice. Hell, even MODOK I don’t know much about! I didn’t really grow up reading comics, so I don’t have a deep passion for any of them like some other artists do. The closest to obsession would be Ninja Turtles, but even then, at the end of the day, I’ve got tons of my own stories that I’d much rather do. There’s more freedom with your own inventions!

1st: What advice do you have for new and upcoming comics artists?

Gabo: You can’t be a comic artist unless you draw some comics. You can’t be an artist if you don’t ART. I started a website over a decade ago called The main idea of the site is to pit your own characters against other people’s characters in comic battles, then the public votes on who did best based on several different attributes. We’ve had some pretty amazing artists come through, including: Marley Zarcone (Shade, the Changing Girl), Kenneth Rocafort, & James Stokoe, amongst many others. If you want to learn how to get better at comics, I invite you to go to that site and get better. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting a job in the comics field by drawing pinups of Wolverine or Dragon Ball Z. DRAW THE COMICS, GET BETTER. GET PAID.

And for any of you reading this, and you’re serious about becoming a professional comic artist, I offer mentorships for that very thing on my patreon:

1st: In your opinion, what is the best part of being an artist?

Gabo: On occasion, we’re able to create the worlds we see in our minds. Being able to create your own universe is one of the most precious things I’ve ever been given. The power of imagination.

1st: What would you like to say to those who enjoy your art?

Gabo: First and foremost, thank you so very much, we love hearing those things from people directly., it lifts our spirits when we can’t leave the house for weeks on end because of deadlines. Secondly, if you love our art, please support us. Go to your local comic shop and buy an extra copy for a friend, or hell a stranger! Or support us on Patreon! Imagine if everyone pitched in a dollar a month, we’d be able to afford health care haha. Also, don’t forget some of us sell original artwork and are open for commissions! You can find my original art sales here: and all sorts of other fun stuff here: .

About Author