Q & A: Making Comics

1. When did you first start reading comics?  My brother and I had a pretty sweet collection when we were kids, but by the time I got to high school I had kinda lost interest in them. Then in 2005 I picked up Green Lantern: Rebirth and just like that, I was hooked again! Haven’t stopped since.
2. What are your favorite comic books? Saga, American Vampire, Stephen King’s The Stand, Joe The Barbarian, Chew, Justice League International, Booster Gold, Red Hood and the Outlaws to name a few…

3. What tools of the trade do you use?  I don’t really have a lot of fancy art supplies. I can make a comic with a plain old #2 school pencil and copy paper if I have to. Having expensive tools doesn’t make you a cartoonist, drawing cartoons does.

4. Any beginning artist tips?
If you want to get good at something, you have to do it all the time. There is no way of getting around this.  So draw as often as you can. And study facial expression and body language. It is invaluable when you are trying to tell a story through the visual medium of comics.

5. What was the biggest professional influence on your work?
I would have to say DC Comics because I grew up reading them, and their comics are what inspired me to draw in the first place.

6. Any advice for a young artist you wish someone had told you? Don’t try to be perfect. Don’t obsess over trying to make your first comic the next Watchmen. That kind of thinking only leads to disappointment and frustration. I know artists who obsess over wanting to be perfect, and because of that they never feel like their work is good enough and ultimately never produce anything. So if you really want to make comics, do it! So maybe they won’t all be winners in the beginning, but hey, Michael Jordan missed over 9000 shots and lost almost 300 games in his career, and I’d say he still did alright for himself, wouldn’t you? So get over yourself, have fun and go make your comic! I love reading new comics, and I hope one day I can read yours…

7. How often do you draw?
Every chance I get!

8. What have you done to get your work noticed? I post my comics on facebook and my own website https://mindcircuscomics.com/ I make copies of my comics at Kinkos, or on my printer at home and book them together myself. I sell my comics at local events, art shows, conventions and things like that. Also, I have been fortunate enough to have some of my comics published in Velocity and LEO, even the newsletter at work! I’m grateful for every opportunity I can get!

9. What inspires you most? I love movies, music, books, comics, a good TV series… I get inspired by all that stuff. But most of my inspiration comes from my friends, family, and all the super-talented artists in the Louisville Cartoonist Society. They fuel my desire to be creative and inspire me to be a better artist.

10. Who is your favorite comic character to draw? Honestly, I like drawing my friends and people that I know and turning them into cartoon characters more than anything. But I also enjoy the challenge of drawing popular comic characters and bringing my own personal style to them as well.

11. Why did you want to become a comic artist? To me, comics are the perfect medium to tell stories. You get to be the writer, the artist, the director, the costume designer, the set designer, the cast, the cinematographer and the editor! You can do everything you want, your only limitation is your own imagination.

12. What are your plans for the future?
Keep drawing, keep writing, and keep making comics!