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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!

This just in! The Lanterncast, the foremost podcast about all things Green Lantern has been gracious enough to sponsor PKD Media at the 2010 Super Show! Thanks to their goodwill, the table expenses for PKD Media and all of their creators (including Shawn Pryor, Andrew Charipar, Big Jim Miller, William Blankenship, and Julian Lytle) have been covered!

The LanterncastThe Lanterncast has been producing content since November of 2008 with hosts Jim Ford, GL afficionado and FW4D.com webcomic creator, and fellow cartoonist Dan Kurtzke. Together with Program Director, Jason Grice, The Lanterncast provides indepth reviews, interviews and spotlights weekly.

100% Super Show Approved and PKD Media give a big thanks to The Lanterncast for their support!

Just a quick update…

We’ll be adding a few more creators to the roster in the coming weeks, including Kevin Freeman (Subculture) and Dan Capitumini (Punch Maniacs!).

The Super Show Approved group is working closely with Comic Geek Speak and we should be making an exciting announcement soon. Get ready for free stuff, people!

More to come,

Dave Dwonch

www.spacetimecondo.com

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.

 

Swedish Fish bring Adam Umak much joy.A very special thanks to Adam Umak for sponsoring creator Dave Dwonch for the 2010 Super Show.

Adam Umak had been following Dave’s career for years, hearing about Dave first on several Comic Geek Speak episodes and later tracking his work down on The Comic Forums and Comic Sketch Gallery.

Legion of Dudes LogoIt didn’t take long for Adam to get the podcasting bug himself, and he founded The Legion of Dudes Podcast in 2005. Retooled and relaunched in 2008, the Legion of Dudes now boasts a seven-member roster of comic, movie, television, and gaming devotees. 

When not podcasting or blogging, Adam teaches middle school and spends too many hours playing his Xbox 360. When he can afford it, he also collects original art and sketches featuring villains of the DC Universe. Adam and his fiancee live in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with his obscene amount of action figures. He is currently working on an original graphic novel with Big Jim Miller for PKD Media.

 

New Checklist Page!

Just added the Checklist Page. I’m still gathering images from the other 100% SSA creators, so check back soon… or better yet, subscribe to the RSS feed to get up to the minute updates!

–Dave Dwonch, www.spacetimecondo.com

So yep. Uh… first post. Yep…

Okay so I don’t have much to say yet. But I will. And I’m not alone.

Back in 2008, a bunch of creators made the trek to Reading Pennsylvania for the CGS Super Show to celebrate one of the best comics podcast on the net: Comic Geek Speak. Many of us had never met, but after the weekend, we all considered each other family.

Super Show was definitely a highlight of 2008, and we want people to know about Comic Geek Speak, the Super Show, and the community of creators involved with CGS. So here we are. Who are we? Check out the creator page frequently for updates!

Spread the word: Reading, PA and the Super Show should be a destination for comic lovers.

–Dave Dwonch
writer/artist, Space-Time Condominium

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