1) First off congratulations on finishing the IT fan comic that you released this last week, which will be the primary discussion in this interview cause honestly I was really impressed by the quality of the work and I like how you hyped it up on Instagram leading up to its release. What has the reaction been like to your project? When I talked to you about doing this interview you mentioned that you were going to the Portland Comic Con convention to show your work to publishers and artists to get feedback. How did it go?
Well thanks! I'm glad to be a part of this interview, it's my first one! To start I want to say thank you for checking out the IT comic, I did put in lots of hours to get it done and it was a blast to work on. So just to give some back story here: I've been waiting for this new IT movie since it was first announced in like 2008 or so, and over the years it kind of faded away, until 2016 when they announced IT was actually happening! When I heard about that and started seeing the pictures of Pennywise and everything I got super excited and eventually in early 2017 I joined a Facebook IT discussion group. I decided I wanted to give the book a read before the new movie came out. But as I was reading I kept thinking... "hmm, this would be really cool as a comic book/graphic novel series" So I put the book down and decided to adapt the most well known scene from IT, the "Georgie" scene. It was suppose to be an 8 page mini comic but it blossomed into a full 20 page adaption of the scene! The overall reaction to my IT fan comic has been great! I've sold quite a few copies and had some downloads of the PDF. The general consensus from the FB group has been "Are you gonna make more IT comics? We'd love more!" which is so awesome, I couldn't ask to be in a more amazing group on FB, the support was amazing!
As far as the Comic con I went to (Rose City Comic Con), I showed my work and handed out IT comics to TONS of people like Daniel Warren Johnson, Erik Larsen, David Finch, David Petersen, Steve Lieber, the list goes on.
2) Was there anyone interested in hiring you or any useful critiques that you will take and apply to your next project? What was your goal with this project?
The short answer is yes I had some people who were into my work. I talked to a few publishers, but namely Space Goat Publishing seemed Interested in my work. I didn't get any jobs on the spot but there was definitely lots of interest and genuine people with great advice. I'd say the general consensus from everyone there was "you should be getting paid to draw at least indie comics". It was a great uplifting experience!
My goals for this IT comic was first: to draw the comic in a way that was almost 100% faithful to the source material, I hope I did the hardcore fans justice with it! And second: Get this printed and out to people to show what I could do with visual storytelling. I mean I even made my own IT logo for the comic and everything! Poured my heart and soul into it!
3) What is your educational background and what do you do for a day job? I'm assuming your dream is to work in comics so I'm curious if you would be more interested in doing your own stories or adapting more book/movies into comics like this project?
So I am mostly self taught as an artist. I've been drawing since I was 2 years old and I've just never stopped! I DID however attend a private art school here in Southern Oregon called "Southern Oregon Art Academy". I attended for about a year and a half before they had to close their doors for good. The greatest thing about that school is not only did I learn color theory and composition a lot better, but I made genuine lifelong friendships with my instructors Ryan Moon and Christopher Tullis, who are both AMAZING artists!
Right Now my day Job is working as a full time Sign Artist at Trader Joe's, it's actually a pretty cool gig! BUT yes my dream job is to work in comics, mainly I'd like to publish my own stories that I'd write and draw, but if someone came to me with a cool project they were writing, or someone said hey come draw so and so at Marvel or DC, I'd totally take those opportunities as long as I felt they were in line with my goals!
The end goal though would definitely be creating my own stories and making a living doing those comics and having hollywood come to me instead of me going to them! (Just a side-note, the hollywood part would be a perk, I'm doing comics because I love comics, not to sell to hollywood)
4) Can you briefly break down what your process was and tell us why you choose this scene in particular?
So I chose the Georgie Scene because it is the most recognizable to everyone, people who've both read and not read the book most likely know this scene.
The process was strange, since I was boiling down all of King's description and prose into drawings!
I basically wrote out the whole scene in simpler words than King's, then I started figuring out where good starts and stops were for pages. After I figured out how many pages the comic was going to be I started doing small thumbnail sketches of each page (about 2"x3" in size).
Once the thumbnails were done for the first 7 pages I dove right into the pencils and inks on the 11x17 art boards. after doing the first 7 pages I figured out in order to hit my deadline I needed to pick up the pace so I pencilled out the rest of the 20 pages and started inking over my more rough pencils.
After inks were finished I scanned all the pages in, and my friend who has 'Manga Studio' software let me use his computer to do all the lettering in Manga Studio.
Then I just had to print everything and staple and fold all the comics!
5) Is IT your favorite Stephen King book, and if not which one is? I think mine would be The Shining.
I've read a few, but I'd say IT is the one that made me feel the most for the characters so far, I really liked Salem's Lot as well!
Also Green Mile is good but it's different, its not as "HORROR" as IT.
6) What did you think of the movie i thought it was hilarious and creepy? Especially the scene when the kid falls through the floor and Pennywise comes out of the refrigerator taunting the kid that he is going to eat his hand. I thought it was great cause it goes back and forth between being playful and being completely malicious.
I thought the movie was GREAT! I know a lot of people are bummed out that it didnt stick closer to the book, but i really really loved the movie. The kids were so great and I really loved Eddie, poor kid haha, one of my favorite lines from him was "These are Gazebos! They're BullSh*t!" lol
But yeah It was super creepy and super funny when it needed to be and I can't wait for chapter 2!
7) Is there any other movies or scenes from books that you have thought of doing the same thing with?
There are actually more scenes from IT that I'd love to do. The scene with Eddie Corcoran and the Creature from the black lagoon is one of them! I can't think of any other movies I'd thought of doing this with, but I'm sure there are plenty that would be a blast to do!
8) Do you feel like you learned a lot from this project? How long did it take for you? I love your inking by the way, I don't know if you have any tips on that but you are really good!
Oh yeah, I learned a TON from this project on what not to do with comic storytelling and what worked and didn't work. My girlfriend and I gave myself a deadline of about a month and some change to get this comic done. Happy to say I met the goal with flying colors! (thanks to the push of my amazing girlfriend Judy)
I was trying to use as many inking tools as possible so I could find which ones I liked best. I think my inking is what people comment on most, and I'm no teacher but if I were going to give anyone any tips I'd say do the Inktober challenge. There is no better way to improve on your inking skills than to actually do an ink drawing every day for all of October! I'll be doing the challenge this year! Use as many inking tools as you can to see which feels best for you. Im hoping to have some tutorials on Youtube eventually with inking and other things!
9) What kind of inking tools do you use?
The inking tools I use a Winsor Newton series 7 #3 brush, winsor Newton black India ink, hunt 102 crow quill, and a few Kuretake brush pens (not sure on the exact names), microns for some things. And of course a ruler, t-square and French curves for the technical lines. For white out I use presto white out pens, dr ph martins pen white, and white guache.
10) Who are the artists that you look up to and study? Any shoutouts you would like to give? Where can people follow you?
I'd say my number 1 artist would be Greg Capullo, He's the one who made me really want to draw comics. He's a modern master in my opinion. But there are definitely some major influences including Greg Capullo, Todd Mcfarlane, Bernie Wrightson, Daniel Warren Johnson, Frank Miller, Otomo, Miyazaki, Becky Cloonan, Sean Gordon Murphy, Mike Mignola, and so many others!
Some shoutouts I'd like to give are of course my family and friends, also all the people on the IT discussion group on FB who supported me.
But the one i'd like to shout out the most is the love of my life Judy Camacho, without her this comic may not be finished, she kept me on track with my deadline and supported me all the way to the comic con. She's a keeper!
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