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Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

With less than a month (and counting!) before the Super Show, 100% Super Show Approved sits down with Scott Bradley to discuss his long standing love affair with comics, and the future of Resolution Comics!

Hey Scott, how long have you been reading comics and when did you decide to step into the publishing arena?

I’ve been reading comics since 1977, when I successfully bugged my parents enough that they bought me the Marvel Star Wars Special Edition comic. I didn’t have too many other comics until about 1984 when I picked up Amazing Spider-Man #252. That was the issue when he first appeared in the black costume. I had loved Spider-Man from the cartoons and the Electric Company so I had to find out what the heck was going on with the new costume. It was a good time to start reading comics in earnest and I was hooked. Throughout high school, I was convinced that I was going to somehow make my living drawing comics – I even told my algebra teacher that I didn’t care about her class because I didn’t need to know algebra to draw comics. It was all I thought about. I drew constantly. Then I got a girlfriend.

Fast forward 15 years or so and I hadn’t been drawing at all for years and definitely was not working in the comics industry. But, the smoldering embers of my high school dream were still in there somewhere. I credit the CGS Podcast and the people on the Comics Forums with fanning them to life. A couple of years ago I made a New Years resolution and swore that I would not only draw comics, but also publish them!

You’ve been known be a jack of all trades, handling the writing, penciling, inking, coloring and lettering duties, on top of your work as publisher. If you could pick one aspect of creating comics to work on exclusively, which would it be?

I’ve really been enjoying coloring lately, so I’m going to go with that. I enjoy every aspect of creating comics, but I also find it to be the hardest, most frustrating thing I’ve ever done.

What genre are you most fond of?

I’m particularly fond of “crime” books. Right now, I’d say that “Criminal” by Brubaker and Phillips is my favorite book right now. I’ve always enjoyed mysteries. My mom is into mystery novels, and I inherited her love for them. I feel that comic book artwork is especially suited to the genre as well. The deep shadows and other tropes of “noir” films work especially well in comics.

Tell us a little about your relationship with Brian Carr your partner in crime. How long have you known each other and how did you come to create Resolution Comics with him?

Brian and I met when we were 16 or 17. I’ve now known him for more than half of my life! We were in various bands for years and would talk about comics all the time. When I started working on a comic I’m writing and drawing about a guy that goes on tour with his little punk rock band and how it changes his life, I would sit with Brian and talk about the story. He would help me out and eventually we decided that he would write all the scenes in the book that dealt with what happened to this guy’s friends that stayed home while he’s on the road. I realized that it was going to take me a really long time to finish that book, so Brian and I talked some more. We both wanted to keep our momentum going and publish something that year. So, he came up with the idea for our anthology series “From Here to There” and we started the company.

How do you split the workload?

I deal with most of the technical stuff, like layouts and also deal with the printers, etc. Brian handles “the talent”. He’s the editor, so he’s the guy who stays in touch with the writers and artists. Brian also does most of the lettering for the books.

Which project are you most proud of?

That’s a tough one. I think I’m proudest of the first book we put out, the first issue of
“From Here to There”. Not that it’s the best thing we’ve done, but it got us of our duffs. I’m just still kind of amazed that we actually finished and published anything!

Any projects on the horizon that you can talk about?

Brian is writing a follow up to his book “The Layfield Incident”, we’ve got the 4th issue of “From Here to There” pretty much lined up, and I’m still working on “The Sound”. We’ve got a few other things that may come together soon. Stay tuned, I guess.

I know you’re a huge fan of comics. If you had to pick between The Big Two, would you read Marvel or DC. Why?

I’ve always been more of a Marvel guy, because I love Spider-Man. I was a huge fan of the X-Men in the eighties. So, I’ve got more history with those characters.

When did you find the Comics Geek Speak podcast and what keeps you listening?

I started listening with Episode 35, I believe. That was in July 2005. I really enjoy the show. I’m way behind in my podcast listening, I’m not sure how that happened. I keep listening because it makes me feel connected to the people I’ve met through the show these last few years. It’s a communal thing.

What are you looking forward to most about the Super Show?

Seeing friends and hopefully making some new ones.

We hope so too, Scott!

For more information on Scott Bradley and Resolution Comics, visit www.resolutioncomics.com and join us at the end of the month at the Super Show!

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This month, Super Show Approved had the chance to catch up with Zack Kruse, creator of The Contingent and Mystery Solved!.

I know your book The Contingent has some pretty mainstream elements in it. Could you tell me a little about the series and where you find your inspiration?

Without question, Steve Ditko is my number one source of inspiration. Once I started working on this series and shaping the characters personalities, he became my primary source of inspiration. Steve created VERY distinct characters. You always knew where you stood with his heroes. Conversely, you never knew where you stood with his antagonists—it was commonly a grey area for them and the grey area is ultimately what led them to villainy. Those are fascinating story elements to deal with, I think, and Steve was a master at it.

Inspiration aside, really, I just wanted to write a story and create characters that I would enjoy reading. Doing that has really helped me create an emotional bond with each of the characters and that bond really fuels my writing.

Do you find it tough writing mainstream comics for the indie crowd?

Umm, I don’t know. Haha. To be perfectly honest, I never really ever factored that in. Really, my intent with the series was never to make it an indie book or a mainstream book.

I mean, like I had said before, I really just write stories that I know I would enjoy reading. I’m kind of the opinion that once your start creeping your way into that mode of “I’m writing for this crowd” or “I create comics that this appeal to this group of fans”, you can really pigeon hole yourself as a creator and you end up running the risk of creating just to please someone else. Ultimately that I can make people jaded and will lead to substandard work. At least that’s how I look at.

So I’ve always been a proponent of doing your own thing, because that’s what will make you the happiest. If you’re happy creating, you’ll create more, and you may just hit on something great.

How many issues do you have planned?

50. That’s how many are plotted out and I intend to completely end the series after that. As it stands, after issue 6 we’re going to put out the trade and then take a hiatus from the book to get some other projects rolling and knocked out. But we’ll be moving forward with the book again soon, hopefully some time in 2011.

What mainstream books are you enjoying right now?

There are a lot that I’ve really been enjoying; Incredible Hercules has been fantastic and so has DC’s R.E.B.E.L.S. There’s other consistently good titles like Jonah Hex, Agents of Atlas, Punisher, and Batman and Robin. Not mention all of the incredible titles that are coming out from DC’s Vertigo imprint.

But really, that’s just a handful of the mainstream books I read.

Any indies catch your eye lately?

Oh, yeah. TONS! I love reading indies, just for the simple fact that there is always something new and it’s almost always honest. Quite frankly, I don’t care who publishes a particular comic, I just want it to be good. And if it’s produced honestly, it’s more than likely going to be good. You can pretty much bet on the fact that the people behind those books are doing it for the love of the content and/or the medium.

Last year my two favorite books to come out were, by far and away, Skyscrapers of The Midwest and Asterios Polyp. Both are fantastic, emotionally resonating books that I think every comic fan should read. I’ve really been digging Chew and Phil Hester’s The Anchor and, of course RASL has just been great to read, too. 

Indie/creator owned comics have sort of become my bread and butter over the past few years. There is some really great stuff out there that people NEED to read, but they don’t give it a second glance because it doesn’t have that big Marvel or DC logo in the upper left corner. One of the great things about comics, and indies in particular, is that there really is something for everyone. It’s just a matter of taking that first step.

Mystery Solved! Is shaping up to be a really great webstrip. What circumstances led you to decide on a rotating lineup of artists?

Thank you! I think it’s shaping up rather nicely as well.

Rotating artists was born of necessity. The primary circumstance that led to the rotating team of artists is my own inability to draw. I can do some humorous doodles, but in order to bring the stories to life, I needed real talent. The bad news for me was a lot of the artists that I wanted to work with, you included, have other projects going and their own projects going.

So it occurred to me that by approaching all of these artists, whose work I admire, I’m able to work with some outstanding talent, get some really great looking stories, and (hopefully) able to work within each of their schedules as well. The bonus to all of that is that each story has its own personality.

Do you create your stories with certain artists in mind, or do you seek out artists after a story is written?

It’s sort of a mixed bag. There are some scripts that I have complete and ready to go and there are others that I don’t really start to put together until after an artist has signed on. For example, I’ll approach artist A and say I have these story ideas, do you think that you would enjoy working any of these? Once they sort of let me know their preference I’ll either start constructing a new script with them in mind. Or, if they choose a story where the script is already written, I’ll take that existing script and tweak it as necessary. 

Mystery Solved! Is all about Colonel Winchester debunking urban legends and the supernatural. Will he ever come across a mystery he can’t solve?

Haha. Probably not. I am a pretty big skeptic and my primary goal with the series is to go about debunking each of these urban myths or bits of mysticism that the Colonel encounters. Skepticism is often confused with cynicism and I hope I’m able to diffuse that with Mystery Solved! and present readers with a more rational, empirical, outlook for the phenomenon that the Colonel encounters.

I make a pretty concerted effort with each strip to research the topic and find out what the real scientific consensus is, find actual stories, and so on, and then present that information in a humorous way. 

I hate to put you on the spot, but other than me (ha!), who have you enjoyed working with the most?

Honestly, everyone who has turned in work to me so far has been nothing short of fantastic. I mean that with all sincerity. Jim Miller did some great character designs based on my descriptions, and really helped establish the world. You turned in a great looking story with some great work on the panel layouts, Andy Jewett has turned in some really nice looking preliminary work, and Dave Wachter…well wait’ll you get a load of Dave’s pages.

I’ve been very fortunate with the people I’ve been able to work with and I’m forever grateful to all of them. On the other hand, I feel at least a little bad for the people who have to follow them…

If you could pick one artist to work with on your dream project, who would it be?

Ditko. Doing a Blue Beetle/Question story with Steve Ditko is the dream that will never come true, but I fantasize about constantly.

What about Super Show are you looking forward to the most?

Getting together with friends. That’s always my favorite part…

For more information on all of Zack’s projects, visit www.mysterysolvedcomic.com, and be sure to drop by his table at the Super Show!

We’ll be back soon with another 100% Super Show Approved interview. Join us, won’t you?

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Happy Post Thanksgiving! This week, 100%SSA had the chance to chat with Shawn Gabborin of Angry Gnome Comics!   

Shawn give the dirt on writing horror comics and we discuss the annoying trend of bad Hollywood remakes…

 

I’ve read a ton of your stuff, Shawn, and I have to say… you’re a pretty twisted guy! I have to ask…what scares you? 

Spiders and Snow.  So living in Pennsylvania, I get plenty of both. 

Working in horror comics presents its own sets of challenges, I’m sure. How do you keep suspense moving from panel to panel?

Personally, silent panels work great.  If a panel doesn’t have any words (or just a few quick ones) you’re more likely to take a better look at the art, which slows you down.  Couple that with some strong facial expressions or creepy scenery, and that slows your flow down even more.  So I can try my best to write for suspense, but a lot of it comes down to the artists translating it to the page… which Steph has done an amazing job of with Victor Season and Palm Reader!  

Cover art for Palm Reader 1-4 by Stepanie Gabborin

You and your wife (Stephanie) make a pretty great creative team. Do you guys ever argue over the comic work like, well, a married couple?  

Can I plead the fifth on this one? Actually, only when I see an error AFTER she’s finished a page.  And as a good husband, I take full responsibility for all errors. 

 
 
 

Cover Art for Short Stack #1 by Wynn Ryder

Horror is such a vast genre. Is there any subject matter that you’re itching to sink your teeth into? Why? 

Nicely phrased, because I’m actually working on a real nasty vampire story.  I’ve always loved vampires, but they’ve gotten so over-sexualized and spoofed lately that there is really nothing scary left to them.  So I want to do a story that takes them back to what they are supposed to be:  brutal, violent, bloodthirsty creatures of the night… that don’t sparkle. Ever.

It seems that the new flavor in Hollywood is to remake classic horror films. Is there any particular film that you’d like to see remade? 

Cover Art for Short Stack #2 by Dave Dwonch

I’m kind of a purist when it comes to my horror flicks.  Not to say I haven’t enjoyed some of the recent remakes, I just think it’s lazy.  But I could see a remake of “Basket Case” working.  I love the movie, but I think it suffered from the poor acting and poor effects, so I could get behind remaking it.  I think it’d have potential to be a really creepy flick, if done right. 

Any stinkers that you wish hadn’t been made?  

The new Prom Night was just bad.  I think the main thing that I don’t like is when they take what made the movies memorable, and pitch it.  Texas Chainsaw?  Let’s forget the creepy man-child cross dressing Leatherface, let’s make him fast and angry!  Friday the 13th?  Forget slow and methodical… let’s make him fast and angry too!  Halloween?  Forget the boogieman who starts killing for no apparent reason, let’s make him a troubled youth from a screwed up home… who’s fast and angry!  There’s nothing unique to any of them.  I don’t think Hollywood has faith in the attention span of newer generations, so we lose the creepy atmospheric horror in exchange for repetitive jump scares.  I could go on for hours on this topic, so it’d probably be best to just move on… 

Geek out time. Favorite Slasher? 

Freddy Krueger all the way.  For most slashers, dead teens = a good day.  But Freddy likes to play with you first.  That’s a whole different level of creepy.  Gotta respect someone who takes joy in their work… regardless of what their work is. 

Shawn redefines the slasher with Victor Season, an urban legend that is horrifyingly real.

Favorite Movie Monster? 

I’d have to go with the Gremlins.  They have these silly rules (don’t get them wet, don’t feed after midnight, etc.) that you have to follow.  And if you don’t… well those green gremlins are some nasty little critters.  I could have some fun writing a Gremlins comic… 

Short Stack #3 cover art by Andy Jewett

Stephen King or Clive Barker?  Stephen King. 

My mom was a huge Stephen King fan, so I was basically raised on King stories.
 

All right, let’s get back to comics. I know you’ve been working steadily on your “2 Page Gory Story” anthology series, Short Stack with a ton of creative artists. Not to alienate anyone, but do you have a favorite in the group? Okay, pick three! 

That’s a tough question.  In the five issues that are out, I’ve worked with 52 different artists on 65 stories… so choosing three is tough.  All the artists I’ve worked with have been amazing.  Viewing it as which worked the best (story, art and how well the two came together), let’s say Daniel Logan with “InsurOnce Upon A Time”, Dave Acosta with “The Duel”, Mario Cau with “Home Late” and Kathryn Layno with “Atonement”.  Yeah… that’s four, I know.  But this is just too tough!  I mean, all four of those artists exceeded what I set out for with those stories, so I need to give them their dues.  That was stressful… I need to go lay down. 

I know we had a hell of a time at the last Super Show, but what are you looking forward to the most at CGSSS 2010? 

Definitely getting to see everyone again.  I’ve seen scattered people here and there through the past year, but it’s great to see everyone at once.  The vibe is just so great.   

Thanks Shawn!

Shawn's workspace... where terror is born!

For more information on all of Shawn’s work, visit http://www.angrygnomecomics.com/ and come back soon for more interviews, including talks with Kevin Freeman, Zack Kruse, and Jamie Fickes!

 

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Shawn Pryor100% Super Show ApprovedThis week, 100% Super Show Approved’s Dave Dwonch sits with PKD Media’s Shawn Pryor to see what makes the “Mercury and the Murd” and “Wasted Wonderland” creator tick!

 

What was the first comic you ever read?

The first comic I truly read was Marvel Comics Star Wars, issue #47. I was with my Mom in a convenient store called United Dairy Farmers as a five year old and saw a spinner rack of comics. Nothing caught my eye until I saw the big Star Wars logo with C-3PO and R2-D2 running for their lives in the menacing “Droid World!” I loved Star Wars and I had no idea that a comic book existed for it. I begged my Mom to get it for me and I read it from front to back and took it with me everywhere for a good month. From that point on I asked my parents when the next issue was coming out; I couldn’t wait! I needed more comics, especially Star Wars. So I can honestly blame my mom for my comic’s addiction!

PKD Media Presents Vol. 1When did you decide to make the jump to creating comics?

My decision came after spending some time at the 2007 Pittsburgh Comicon. I had been reading comics again for two years, and I met you and the guys from Comic Geek Speak. After buying loads of comics from the bargain bins, I realized that I needed to turn my love for comics into a contribution to the comics medium. I enjoy telling stories, and I decided to put my fears away and give it a go. That and I promised you and a few other people that I would be returning to the Pittsburgh Comicon in 2008 with my creator-owned projects so I had to put up or shut-up.

If you had your choice, which mainstream character would you want to write and why?

Now that is a tough question. I almost chose Snake Eyes, but if I had my choice I would write stories for The Falcon. Even though Ed Brubaker has given Sam Wilson’s character depth and explained what his friendship meant to Captain America, I would like to prove to comic readers why he’s an important Avenger, fantastic superhero, and that he can have fantastic adventures.

Who has been your main influence as a writer?

I have four: Dwayne McDuffie, Denny O’Neil, Bob Layton and Gerry Conway. All four of these gentlemen have ether had great runs in comics or built great comic book universes that have a solid foundation of storytelling built underneath them. Bob Layton and Denny O’Neil both had solid runs on Iron Man and made Rhodey a kick-ass Armored Avenger, Gerry Conway actually made me care about Justice League Detroit, and Dwayne McDuffie has been able to balance himself between the world of animation and comics and translate both mediums for kids and adults. Their writing skills are off the chain and I’ve learned a ton from them.

Wasted WonderlandYou’ve been known to throw Comic Geek Speak hosts and other podcasters into your stories. Which “character” is your favorite to write?

Hands down, my favorite is “The Murd” from Mercury & the Murd. Basing a character off of Adam Murdough from Comic Geek Speak has been the quite the challenge, but it’s been a ton of fun making him into an eclectic police detective. I just hope the readers enjoy him as much as I do.

You’ve been creating so many memorable stories that people have been throwing around the nickname “Stan Leeroy.” What’s your take on the nickname?

I take that nickname as a badge of honor. Stan Lee was (and still is) a hustler of comics. All I’m trying to do is channel that hustling spirit as a creator, writer and publisher and prove to the masses that small press and indie comics are just as good as the stuff in the mainstream. It’s an uphill battle, but it’s one that Stan Leeroy loves to take on!

If you had to choose one of your creations to work on exclusively, which would it be and why?

That’s an easy one: Blacks Danger in Space. It’s my own Buck Rogers and it brings me joy every time I see Andrew Charipar take my script and create a beautiful story from it. I love it.

Mercury and the Murd: The Collected EditionExplain your creative process. Do you work from outline to full script? How much leeway do you give your artists?

It varies with whom I’m working with and the project. Some projects are outlines with panel descriptions/layouts, but normally I like to give a full script.

As far as leeway goes, it again depends on who I’m working with. If the artist is new to the game of comics I’ll give them a little leeway, but once I build a rapport with an artist they can flex their artistic muscle without any issues. But if there’s an issue I make sure that we talk about it.

The whole goal is to build a solid line of communication between the artist and me in order to make the working relationship one where we can both grow and have fun with it, and at the same time respect the medium and get the work done in a timely manner.

I’m going to throw out the names of some of your recent collaborators. Give me the first word that comes to mind:

Chad Cicconi. Original. Andrew Charipar. Dynamic. Dave Wachter. Breathtaking. Daniel Logan. Consistent. Dave Dwonch. Red Bull. Flint Lockjaw. Boobies.

Heroes Con 2009

PKD Media/Big Monster Booth at Heroes Con 2009 (from lt to rt:) Chad Cicconi, Shawn Pryor, Super Ugly, and Dave Dwonch

A lot of the artists you’ve worked with you found on the CGS Comic Forums. How long have you been a part of the community? How long have you been listening to their show?

I started listening to CGS when they released their Star Wars Episode III Movie Review back in early 2005, and at that time I wasn’t reading comics at all. I listened to a few more episodes and I was hooked afterwards. I was a lurker on the forums for awhile, got an account, posted a bit under the name Optimusblack, and then I went away for awhile, lost my password and came back as Optimusblack2007. Because of CGS I read (and create) comics. It’s a good thing. If it wasn’t for the CGS community I would’ve never met you, Mercury & the Murd and the million titles I write would not exist and I would have money in the bank. (LOL)

What are you looking forward to most about the Comic Geek Speak Super Show?

Just being able to see everybody again, hang out, and make new friends. The Super Show is where I met Andrew Charipar and now we collaborate on a few comics. The Super Show is the family reunion I want to go to. Everybody that’s there is there for the love of comics and art and it’s just a great time that no one should pass up on.

WhereTheMagicHappens

Where The Magic Happens: It's a wonder Shawn gets any work done with all the distractions in his office!

For more information on all of Shawn’s projects, visit www.pkdmedia.com, and be sure to pay him a visit at the Super Show!

And come back soon for another 100% Super Show Approved interview!

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100% Super Show ApprovedErica HesseThis week, 100% Super Show Approved got a chance to sit down with ‘The Key’ creator, pin-up artist extraordinaire, Erica Hesse for a little Q&A.

 Hey Erica, let’s take a page out of the Comic Geek Speak interview book… what was the first comic book you ever bought?

I think the very first comic book I ever bought for myself was an Archie comic. I can’t remember the exact issue, or even what the title was.  But I do know I used to go to a news agency every week. I would check out and buy the latest Archie comics.  I used to have stacks and stacks of them, in digest format.  I think most of the ones I was drawn to were about Betty and Veronica.

 

Erica Hesse, Pin-up Queen! What about comics do you find most appealing?What I find most appealing about comics is the art. The way the art is drawn in the comic is very important, color and  the overall mood of a comic,  too. I like when a story takes its time being told, gets me so lost in the story, (so much so) that I’m not even aware of what’s going on around me. If I’m in my own little world when I read a comic, then the comic has done its job (laughs).  That’s what I find most appealing about comics, the art. The art has to draw me in first before I can delve in. The story always comes second. It could be the greatest story every told, but if the art doesn’t appeal to me first in the slightest bit, I won’t read it.

What is your favorite comic series, past or present?  

It’s hard to pinpoint one series, so I will pick Joe Linsner’s “Lucifer’s Halo”. This comic series tested my openness in subject matter when it came to comics. I would always avoid comics that touched on religion.

I didn’t pick it up at first, but the comic kept crossing my path from time to time. So one of those times, I figured what the heck; I’ll give it a read. The comic is about Heaven, Hell and what falls in between. It sounds so cookie cutter when I describe it, but it’s far from that. For me it was an entertaining and thought provoking read. The art on the comic covers were what attracted me at first, and the interior art really drew me in. I found this series during a time when I was getting back into comics, so this is probably one of the reasons it sticks in my head to this day. Now when I think about it, it was really silly of me to think that I was avoiding all these great comics on what I thought comics should be written about.  In a way, this comic helped me to not fear my own ideas when it came to developing my own comics.

Roller Derby at its best!How long have you been drawing and who/what was your main inspiration for picking up the pencil?

There are actually two answers to this question. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. I can’t remember how young I was, but I do remember doing a kick-ass finger painting in kindergarten. Maybe it all started from there (laughs). I do remember drawing, being inspired by comics I was reading at the time… copying the characters line for line– stuff that kids start out doing before they develop their own style. My main inspiration growing up was Dan DeCarlo. I read a lot of Archie comics, so naturally I was inspired by him. Dan DeCarlo’s art, especially in the the late 50’s and 60’s was and still is amazing. The way he illustrated women, drew me in. The wasp-ish waist, the curvy hips, and the sexy yet innocent faces. It wasn’t until many years later I learned that he did a lot of illustration work for Humorama, a men’s humor magazine. I would say his work played a huge influence on my art even as of today.

And the second start?

There was a period in my life where I stopped drawing and collecting comics. I think this was in the early 90’s during the huge comics boom. I was collecting all kinds of comics during the height of it all. I collected all the variants and number one issues, so much I think I got burned out. I became so disgusted with how comics were becoming, how I was allowing myself to be a part of that, and slowly stopped collecting them.  I even stopped drawing without even realizing it. It was such a slow progression. I didn’t even realize I had turned away from what I loved doing most, until it was too late to care. This went on for about six years (I’m guessing) and while I was on vacation, I popped into a comic store, Golden Apple Comics, in Los Angeles for kicks. Honestly, I hadn’t stepped foot in a comic store in years.

The Key #2 will be available at the CGS Super Show!

The Key #2 will be available at the CGS Super Show!

I’m from New Jersey, so comic stores pretty much disappeared after the whole 90’s thing. I stepped in and was amazed how big the store was. I remember there being a huge wall of comics and being awed by all of them. I looked through some of them and was immediately drawn in to some of the art. I remember I was looking at Michael Turner’s Witchblade, Randy Queen’s DarkChylde, and Joe Linsner’s Dawn 10th Anniversary comic.  I kept staring at this red haired woman on the cover and was really inspired by it.  So inspired, during that week I went out and bought some pencil and paper at a small art store and started sketching again.

Which artists do you feel most influence your style?

If there was one artist I could say that influences my style , it would be Dan DeCarlo. 

Other artists that inspire me (in no particular order)are George Petty, Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas, Olivia, Linsner, Alphonse Mucha, Terry Dodson, Coop, Mark Ryden, Tara McPherson, the list could go on and on!

Art Geek Time: let’s talk about the process of creating the perfect pin-up. Do you use models? Do you tend to pencil a lot or do you add detail in the inks? Has the computer changed the way you produce art?

I don’t think there is a “definitive” process that I use to create a perfect pin-up. I’m always trying new things here and there, still trying to improve my craft. I think it all depends on what I think the end result (the look) should be. I don’t use live models for my art, (would love to but just don’t have the time) but I do tend to use photo reference here and there. When I do use photo reference, it’s mainly for the pose, or if I need to see how a hand should lay for example. Sometimes I even get my camera and take pictures of myself for reference. Most of the time, I just draw it from scratch, straight out of my head.

PREVIEW: The Key #2, Page 1

PREVIEW: The Key #2, Page 1

My start out point is always the same, I always, always start out in pencil. On the rare occasion, I will sketch it right in the computer using my Wacom tablet. But 99% of the time I start out in pencil. I start out with a basic frame, sketching in circles/shapes for the head, shoulders, arms, and rest of the body. From there I start sketching in the form (the body) of the figure. I have to get the figure down pat first, before I start adding in the details. My first instinct is to illustrate the face, which I love to do, but is an extremely bad habit on my part. Once I have the figure fleshed out, I then can start adding in the details. At this point I start on the face, details of the clothing, etc. I always do all my details in pencil. It’s when I start inking my pin-up I can determine which lines to edit out. After I ink it, that’s where the next step comes in, color. Depending if it’s a personal commission or something that needs to be printed, the color is done either traditionally or digitally.

PREVIEW: The Key #2, Page 2

PREVIEW: The Key #2, Page 2

Using the computer has changed the way I produce art over the years. Years ago, I would have never thought I could produce art digitally. I was hell bent on doing everything traditionally. But as the years progressed, and as I learned different programs, I could see what benefits it had, so I had a change of heart.  Using the computer is a  another great medium that artists can utilize to produce art faster, and still stay true to your style. For me, it will never replace producing art traditionally, it’s just another medium I can utilize to create great art.

I know ‘The Key’ is your baby… when are we getting the next issue?

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked when the next issue will be out (laughs) I would be rich!  No really, people have a right to ask. I even ask myself, when is the next issue coming out, girl? It’s been way too long!  Get off your ass, and draw some comics!! 

PREVIEW: The Key #2, Page 3

PREVIEW: The Key #2, Page 3

Not to make excuses, but my comic is a one woman show. It’s really hard to produce a comic if I’m determined to do everything myself from start to finish. I don’t think people realize when I say that: I do all the  pencils, the inks, the colors, the layout, the text . All of it is done by me. The only thing I don’t do is write it. I’ll  make suggestions here and there, but that’s one job I leave up to Chris (Holt).

Chris and I also felt that the first issue was a bit rushed. It was the first time either of us had done anything like this, but that’s what it’s all about– learning as you go. So I think with this second issue I’ve taken more time in developing how the art will look, quality wise, as opposed to “Oh my God, I have to hurry! The comic has to be done by this date! People are waiting for it, and I promised!”

PREVIEW: The Key #2, Page 4

PREVIEW: The Key #2, Page 4

So no more promises! Well, maybe just one more, I did make a tentative schedule of when each issue will be available for pre-order. Issue two will be available for pre-order end of November/beginning of December. After that, expect each issue to be available for pre-order every three-four months.

Any plans for more comics work?

I haven’t done anything else as of late because I really want to get “The Key” series done first. Some people think I’m crazy for not taking other offers, but I need to do what is best for me right now. I have talked with different writers here and there, and there are projects I really want to work on, I just choose not to right now.

PREVIEW: The Key #2, Page 5

PREVIEW: The Key #2, Page 5

Nerdiest thing you’ve done all year? Details, girlfriend!

The only thing I can think of is the New York ComicCon. For me that’s the ultimate nerd-fest. My being at a comic convention is like giving sugar to a five year old. I am literally in my own zone. It’s bad, but I get so overwhelmed by trying to get to everything I want to check out, I forget if anyone is with me.  I met up with my friend Deb at the show, and she said I was like a person with A.D.D.! I (unintentionally) didn’t meet up with her at certain locations because I got so lost in seeing everything and wanting to do everything at once! So if you ever want to hang out with me, a comic convention would not be the place to hang out.

How did you find Comic Geek Speak and how long have you been listening?A guy named Joe Janz emailed me about my art and somehow through the course of emailing back and forth, he mentioned Comic Geek Speak to me. He told me it was a cool show, it was about comics, and should take a listen to it. I didn’t even know what a podcast was before that. So you could say I was a pod cast virgin (laughs)! Comic Geek Speak was my first!  I checked out the show, and have been listening to them ever since. I think I started listening in October of 2006. Really great show, really glad that he suggested it to me! Thanks Joe!

PREVIEW: The Key #2, Page 6

PREVIEW: The Key #2, Page 6

 

 What are you most looking forward to at the Super Show?

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again, it’s been way too long! I feel like we’re one big group of friends at the Super Show. It’s awesome. Is it here yet?

For more information on Erica Hesse and her work, visit: http://hesse-art.com/ and look for The Key #2 at the Super Show!

Come back soon for another spotlight on one of your favorite 100% Super Show Approved creator.

 

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