Scottdale artist D.J. Coffman, who truly has an exceptional gift at drawing people, took Gisele's gag and illustrated it into a wonderful cartoon of the famous local couple, complete with a headless husband.
🏆 Best Pittsburgh Power “Couple” award for Best of PGH ... wait until everyone finds out I’m really the brains of the operation and @JohnFetterman is just the arm candy 💁🏽♀️🙄. @PGHCityPaper ❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/hEH2qBkhft— Gisele Barreto Fetterman (@giselefetterman) August 9, 2019
And instead of accepting money for himself, Coffman asked if he could donate the proceeds to a charity of Gisele's choice. CP talked to Coffman about his portrait of the Fettermans for the coloring book, his project 7x7 Comics, and traveling back and forth from Westmoreland County, where he lives with his wife Aleasha, and Pittsburgh, where he still visits frequently to visit some of their favorite haunts, Prestogeorge Coffee and Phantom of the Attic Comic Book Shop.
I'm a big fan of the Fettermans, so it was a no-brainer for me. I've drawn them before at an old Toonseum fundraiser. It's not hard to draw awesome people. I drew it entirely on my iPad Pro in the Procreate art program. Same approach as a traditional illustration, starting with a rough sketch layer, then going to tighter "pencils" and a final layer for the thicker ink lines. The pose was easy because Gisele loves to post pictures that cut off poor John's head. The curse of the big tall guys!
You've asked us to donate your share of any proceeds from the coloring book to For Good PGH. What led you to make that decision?
When did you first know you wanted to become an artist?
As far back as I can remember holding a crayon when I was 3 or 4 years old. When I was 11, I had the epiphany while reading G.I. Joe comics that somebody actually draws them, so I knew at that very moment that was what I wanted to do.
Definitely orange. It was the color of my old VW Bus. And beyond that, it's the favorite color also of my favorite designer, Aaron Draplin of the Draplin Design Co.
I prefer to work digitally these days on my iPad Pro and Procreate art program. I would say the past three years, 90% of my work is done digitally.
Since grade school, I've loved comics and cartoons. I think what drew me to comic books and strip illustrations was the idea that anything at all was possible on the page. Unlike a big Hollywood budget movie, fancy sets and movie stars, with comics, all you need is the pencil and paper, and the ability to draw. So this is what I've spent most of my life doing. I did it full time for 13 years, illustrating several independent comic books for publishers and writers. I finally settled back into a day job at spreadshop.com, because in the comics industry, there really are no benefits. Even though I went back to a day job, I still draw comics all the time and pick and choose the freelance work I want to do.
If I had to pick just one, I'd pick Captain America, mainly the run by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee.
For sure. And I think maybe some of the most important art and expression is going to be made during this time.
I know that for sure. Especially comic books and sequential story telling. Much like writing music or lyrics, you have the ability to share your own story if you wish and read and understand different points of view.
Right now I'm drawing a daily adventure strip Monday through Friday called Secret Forces which you can read on Instagram (also available on the Webtoon mobile app). I also head up a Pittsburgh area comic creator collective, 7x7comics.com where we have seven different local creators making seven different creator-owned comics. Check that out! Everyone should read more comics!!! (and make more comics if you can!)
Digital copies of the Yinzerrific Coloring Book are $20, and print copies are $25, and can be pre-ordered at pghcitypaperstore.com. Half of the proceeds of each copy get split evenly between each of the 35 artists who created artwork inside each book.