abrina Cintron is a Connecticut-based comics artist that we absolutely love. She’s worked on La Borinqueña, John Leguizamo’s Freak, and more. In 2018, we published her art book The Witches’ Grimoire, and knew that her style would be perfect for A Point of Honor by Aeryn Rudel. In this interview we talk about what attracted her to the story and her process for creating illustrations that weren’t too literal but that fit the prose.
You’re a self-taught illustrator who’s been cutting your teeth in comics on projects like La Borinqueña, Freak, and The Witches’ Grimoire. What was your approach to illustrating a short story, and how did it differ from your approach to comics?
This is the first short story I’ve illustrated so it’s safe to say I had to switch gears from my usual thought process. In comics, you have to show your reader everything. Show, don’t tell, otherwise you’ll have panels filled with dialogue instead of art! But for A Point of Honor, I knew I had to focus on the key moments of the story to lead the reader. Like checkpoints along the trail of the narrative. So I had to break down the story, figure out what those checkpoints would be, and then illustrate them. The illustrations then became more about symbolism than a direct visual of what’s happening.
We asked you to illustrate this story because we love your style! Why did you say yes? What did you see in the story that made you excited to illustrate it?
Along with being my first short story, A Point of Honor is also the first sci-fi story I’ve illustrated! My work tends to lean towards fantasy/adventure, which I absolutely enjoy. But I thought it would be interesting to try my hand at a different genre. Three words in the story’s synopsis reeled me in: state sanctioned combat. As a fan of The Hunger Games novels, I could not refuse. I thought, “Oh this is gonna be good!”
What’s your favorite illustration in the book and why?
My favorite illustration in the book is the training dummy. I got to explore some dramatic lighting and it gives off a foreboding energy, a sign of what’s to come. Like I said, it’s all about the symbolism!
Were you inspired by anything specific when preparing the art for the story—perhaps another story, or a specific technique, or even a feeling?
I already mentioned The Hunger Games as an inspiration, but I was also inspired by the work of comic artist James Harren. I knew the illustrations for the book would be black and white, so I wanted to study his inks and see how he made them look so dramatic and full of depth. So in actuality this project became a real learning opportunity for me!
What are you working on right now?
Well I’m currently working on commissioned work as well as developing my own ideas for comics. Also, Inktober is finally here. I’m so proud of The Witches’ Grimoire which is what became of last year’s challenge. So let’s see what I can come up with this year!
Check out the finished images below, and see the rest of these beautiful illustrations in the book, now available in our store.