Level Up: How comic book artist Domo Stanton became a Twitch sensation

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Welcome to Level Up, In The Know’s look at some of the gaming world’s most interesting content creators — and the tech that helps them get the job done.

These days, Domo Stanton is a comic book veteran.

The 33-year-old has drawn pages for everyone from Marvel to DC to the WWE. His work has shown up in Deadpool, Swamp Thing and even in Neil Gaiman’s legendary Sandman series.

But on Twitch, he still feels like a newcomer. The Baltimore native, whose real name is Dominike “Domo” Stanton, joined the streaming platform in 2019. At the time, he knew almost nothing about it.

Domo heard about Twitch from Eric Canete, a fellow comic book artist with his own Twitch channel. At first, he joined the platform just so he could comment on Canete’s videos.

“At this point, I’d never heard of live-streaming, I’d never heard of Twitch. I didn’t know what any of this stuff meant,” Domo told In The Know. “But I thought it was cool that an artist I knew was [doing] this live thing where people could interact with them.”

To Domo’s credit, the idea was relatively novel. Artists make up a small portion of Twitch’s overall viewership — if you look at the platform’s top 100 streamers, you’ll see plenty of references to Fortnite, World of Warcraft and Among Us, but no mentions of comic books.

That’s what’s made Domo’s success so astounding. Despite being so new to the platform, he’s already managed to become one of Twitch’s 50 most popular art streamers.

The streams themselves are casual and relaxed — a vibe Domo credits to his own laid-back personality. He’s conversational, always joking and laughing as he shows his artistic process. Often, there’s soft music playing. Usually, a virtual “fireplace” blazes in the background.

“I think I have a pretty chill vibe,” Domo said. “So, I find that a lot of people kind of find relaxing to just come in my stream and listen to me talk, or if they have any questions.”

When questions come up, Domo’s streams become more than just a hangout. The 33-year-old sees himself as a resource to young, aspiring comics artists. He’s always available to answer questions about the craft, his career or how to break into the industry, because, as he learned firsthand, it’s not an easy task.

As a kid, Domo was obsessed with comics. When it came time for school, he ended up at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, where his passion turned into a real, marketable skill. Still, it took a while to break through.

“I’d shown my stuff to editors, and, you know, I got the same kind of, ‘Keep working on it kid, you’ll get there eventually,'” Domo said.

Then, at a convention in New York, Domo showed an editor some pages he’d drawn for a random comics script. He had no idea who’d written the story; it was just some practice work his professor had given him. As it turned out, the editor he was talking to had worked on the real version of Domo’s practice drawings.

“It just so happened that the pages I did for these samples, happened to be [worked on] by the same editor that did the original story,” Domo said, laughing. “He’s looking at it, and he’s like, ‘You know? I kinda like this [version] better.'”

That connection was enough to get Domo in at Marvel. The next thing he knew, he was drawing pages for Deadpool.

10 years and countless comics later, and Domo is exploring a new medium: Twitch. His following is still growing, and he’s unsure of where the page will end up — but, in the meantime, he’s happy to have a platform to help young people who are just like he was.

“I always felt like, when I was younger, I always wanted that sort of figure to be able to ask questions to, or to figure out how to be better as an artist,” he said. “So, I kind of saw streaming as an opportunity to be that person.”

To see how Domo runs his streams, check out the full breakdown of his setup below.

Inside Domostanton’s streaming setup

Domo’s streams are unconventional, and so is his setup. The comics artist uses three cameras to film his work, since he wants to show his face, his work and his hand. That last shot might sound strange, but to Domo, it’s an essential feature of his streams.

“One thing I really try to break down for people — aside from the technicalities of the art itself — is the importance, as an artist, of posture and technique,” he said.

The hardware

Credit: Amazon

The streamer compared drawing to a sport or workout routine, where doing the wrong move over and over can lead to injury.

That’s why Domo shows his technique through a high-quality video shot on a Sony A6000 camera. Meanwhile, he shoots his face on a Logitech C920, which, as he puts it, is a sort of standard-issue camera for streamers.

Domo prefers drawing analog, but when he works digitally he can capture his pages directly through his fifth-generation Microsoft Surface Pro.

Lastly, Domo uses a Blue Yeti microphone to record his voice, plus an Elgato capture card to stream his videos live.

The computer

Credit: Amazon

Domo’s computer, meanwhile, uses a GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card, plus a Core I7 processor. He runs the computer through a dual-monitor setup.

And, while it’s not technically a computer, Domo uses an old-school Motorola Moto to view his stream’s chat as he draws.

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If you liked this story, check out our previous episode of Level Up, featuring chess streamer Gotham Chess.

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