As promised, I did an interview with my comic book artist brother, Craig. You may (or should) recall a recent post of his work on here. Okay, I’ll stop blathering now and get to the questions with this interesting artist…
Q. What’s the premise behind your comic?
A. Well, the idea came from a sketch I had done a long time before starting the comic. I just drew a couple of anthropomorphic lizards with primitive/tribal clothing and always kept them in mind. The idea for the comic’s story is inspired by my ideals concerning the planet and its inhabitants, human and non-human. I want the story to be extremely visually interesting and epic.
The lizard-man shown is one of many…a society that is in competition to dominate the life and land that surrounds them. The story will show that this is not an easy task because there are protectors of the forests who will not let their land be stolen.
Q. Do you have a title for it yet? A. Nothing as of yet…I think I just had the idea, being “lizard man,” for the character and went from there. Personally, I think “Lizard Man” would be a horrible title…the book is about more than that.
Q. Will there be any text? Is that a first in comic history or are there other comics that are sans text?
A. I had the determination to NOT put any text whatsoever in my story. I’m almost positive that I can accomplish my goal to create a comic that is all visual and interpreted through framing panels and choosing the right way to convey thoughts of the characters with expressions.
I’m not sure if there are any (successful) comics that contain no dialogue. It’s definitely not a trendy way of presenting a comic book. I feel that my idea will work well without text because of it’s content. It’s animals and a tribal society that has a language we wouldn’t understand. So rather than write text and the reader just pretends he/she can understand what they say while hearing lizard gibberish in their minds, I’ve just omitted the language barrier completely.
Q. So far all the artwork you’ve shown me is b+w, will you be sticking to this or adding any color?
A. I’m not at all against using color…I like to paint with vibrant colors, but I feel my comic is bolder with the dramatic contrast of pitch black and bright white panels and the “gray” tones that emerge from lighter pen strokes.
Q. What other comics and/or comic artists influence or inspire you?
A. I am a fan of a select few comics…I enjoy fantasy art and creative ideas in general, but haven’t really developed enough of a comic book knowledge to compete with “true” comic book fans. I am a fan of such comics as WATCHMEN, V FOR VENDETTA, MOUSEGUARD, HACK/SLASH, THE WALKING DEAD, HULK: PLANET HULK, some of the PUNISHER: MAXX series, and the original TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES omnibus (which is B+W, as well), HELLBOY, WE 3, I really like Todd McFarlane’s artwork itself, and Jhonen Vasquez’s work.
Q. What do you think it is about comics that have such a huge following? They’re highly popular, more so than some books even?
A. Well, I think that comic book artists/writers/creators and the characters and stories that are popular are so probably because they deserve to be. I am a huge fan of movies…and was extremely excited to see certain comic book adaptations hit the big screens as of late. I enjoyed the Watchmen adaptation a lot, as well as V for Vendetta, 300, 30 Days of Night, Batman : Begins, and especially The Dark Knight. It works only when you get a director with some talent and credibility. There are a lot of hack directors out there who may as well have filmed the flushing of a toilet rather than attempting to make a decent movie.
As far as audiences is concerned, I think a lot of people may read certain comics or see the movies without really have an genuine interest in the creativity and hard work involved. A certain character may be popular and children may drag their parents to see the latest Spiderman film, while the children are attracted to the images shown, they probably have not read a single Spiderman comic and the parents are mildly entertained.
I just like it when people who appreciate art and comics and have knowledge of those kinds of things are the ones who see the movies/read the comics and can use discretion when stating which films are good and which are not, as well as which comics deserve their success and which are popular for a character with a flashy costume and no depth story wise.
Q. Who would win in a fight? Superman or Batman?
A. Hmmm…a question that I know has been pondered over by many-a-nerd. I can say this…Batman definitely has more money than Superman. But when it comes to blows, I’m afraid that Superman would most likely win. I think they’ve done a comic with that…I’ve never read it if they have. It’s not really a fair fight if you ask me…but at least Batman doesn’t have to work some crappy job and dress like a nerd.
I think if it were about “smarts” then Batman would win. He’s the best detective around…his costume is cooler…the story is dark and interesting…overall, I prefer that Batman win. I don’t think he would, though, since Superman is the “man of steel” and can stop a bullet, locomotive, and anything else. Maybe if Batman had some kryptonite it would be fair…I’m sick of this question.
Q. If you could be a comic book character, who would you be and why?
A. I would probably like to be Rorshach from Watchmen because I think he is a great character because he’s a loner with convictions who doesn’t tolerate the world and its inhabitants’ selfishness and greed. He is a very violent character…but only against those who in all honesty deserve to be treated in that way.
Q. What is your favorite comic?
A. Probably “Bone,” which is what I’m currently reading. It’s funny and epic and is like Calvin and Hobbes meets Lord of the Rings. The art is amazing…it’s cute little cartoon characters in detailed forest scenes with creative characters and plotlines. The story is huge and I’m only about halfway through it.
Q. Do you have any info on future comics your’e working on that you’d like to share or is that top secret?
A. I’ve got some ideas…one was a story about mice, but not like Secret of Nimh mice. More realistic.
Another idea was a dog that is abducted from its home and put in an animal testing facility. That actually does occur in reality.
Q. For all your female fans out there, are you single?
A. Yes. Not married or crazy…or both.