Pronto Presents: Artist & Phrases to Pages Judge Jim Shaw of Blu Trinity Comics

By David Rondinelli

Last month, Pronto Comics brought its semi-annual networking and creative workshop, Phrases to Pages (P2P) to Big Apple Con.

For those who have yet to attend, the main event at P2P is Pronto’s writing and drawing contest, in which aspiring writers and artists are paired up, given a phrase, and instructed to create a one-page comic based on a phrase. The work is then judged by professionals from the comics industry, and first, second, and third place winners receive prizes and get published in a special P2P comic book.

P2P Con Edition was the first time the event was held right at a comic convention, but it certainly won’t be the last!

The phrase this time was: “Oh the things you can do with a sorcerer’s stone.”

We were very fortunate to get some great judges, including the talented Jim Shaw, who co-founded Blu Trinity Comics. Shaw holds an Associate’s Degree in Studio Art and is the creator of such projects as Will Draw for Food. Here, he shares with us part of his comic book-making journey and what it was like judging P2P.

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Phrases-to-Pages Con Edition Winner Christian Espiritusanto

P2P artist winner Christian Espiritusanto with Pronto Comics editor in chief Dominic Sparano.

By David Rondinelli

Last month, Pronto Comics brought its semi-annual networking and creative workshop, Phrases to Pages (P2P) to Big Apple Con.

For those who have yet to attend, the main event at P2P is Pronto’s writing and drawing contest, in which aspiring writers and artists are paired up, given a phrase, and instructed to create a one-page comic based on a phrase. The work is then judged by professionals from the comics industry, and first, second, and third place winners receive prizes and get published in a special P2P comic book.

P2P Con Edition was the first time the event was held right at a comic convention, but it certainly won’t be the last!

The phrase this time was: “Oh the things you can do with a sorcerer’s stone.”

Now, Pronto is thrilled to announce our first place winners: artist Christian Espiritusanto and writer Jesse Pindus, for their comic, “Dating App.”

Together, the pair created a funny and charming story of a sorcerer using his magical stone to turn a bad date into a charming companion. With a humorous punch line and a clever premise, it’s easy to see why Espiritusanto and Pindus took first place. Below, we talk to Espiritusanto about his experience.

A native of Jersey City, NJ, Espiritusanto started drawing at a young age, creating stories as early as age 5. He hasn’t stopped drawing since! In 2016, he furthered his education and love of comics by attending the Joe Kubert School of Cartooning with the hope of breaking into the comic industry. Now working as a freelance artist, Espiritusanto’s latest pin-up work can be seen in issue #18 of The Walking Dead official magazine.

Click the image to read Christian’s comic full-size.

Pronto Comics: Tell me how it felt participating in Phrases-to-Pages?

Christian Espiritusanto: I had a great time teaming up [with writer Jesse Pindus] in creating a killer page. It was definitely a lot of fun.

PC: Did you find the phrase challenging to illustrate when you had a limited amount of time?

CE: With the time limit, I knew I had to create something quick that would capture the topic and keep the panels interesting to the reader. That is what’s important to me.

PC: What approach did you take to laying out the page and adding the detail?

CE: I approached the page with the direction from the writer giving me what he wanted in every panel, and I let my imagination flow.

PC: What was is like collaborating with someone you just met?

CE: It was a lot of fun and exciting to work with someone new.

PC: Would you like to pursue making comics in the future? If so, what do you have planned?

CE: I am currently working on my own comic book called Warriors Amongst Realms, which will be out in October and presented at New York Comic Con this year.

See more of Christian’s work on Instagram @artofChristianEspiritusanto, or reach out on Facebook.