Comics, Not So Super

Jacques Nyemb Discusses Not So Super.

June 13, 2016 • By
NOT SO SUPER

NOT SO SUPER

What is Not So Super?

It’s the story of Daniel an average guy. He goes to work,  eats bad Chinese food… and sometimes wakes up with a random, terribly inconvenient, super powers.

Where did the inspiration for Not So Super come from?

At the time I wrote the story, I was freelancing and expecting my first child. Many of my friends were constantly telling me how much they hated their jobs. Those conversations reminded me of the job I left behind. I kept hearing the same theme; People not deriving any fulfilment in their jobs.

But as a freelancer, I was unlocking so many things about myself. I learned I can take some pretty nice photography, that I could write some decent stories and that I still had abilities even though my past job didn’t provide me the platform to discover them.

Also as a new father I never wanted to have any regrets. I wanted to be an example to my child, that it’s possible to pursue a dream while still being there for their friends and loved ones.

The idea kept growing and I wanted to write a story that was a commentary on that. That we all have powers within us, but it’s up to us to hone them and then decide whether or not we deem them “Super.”

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The lead character in Not So Super (Dan) works as a computer technician for a faceless, cold corporation. Although he tries to make the most of his job, he still feels like an outsider. As an Technical professional yourself, can you relate to Dan?

Being a technical person and creative in a non-technical/creative organization makes for a lot of those “outsider” moments. In some ways Dan is a snapshot of me at various stages in my career.

Dan also suffers from bad dreams. Are the bad dreams a correlation to something bigger in the series?

Those dreams are VERY important and will get clearer 🙂

What was it like working with illustrator Joe Hunter and letterer Frank Cvetkovic?

It’s a surreal experience. Joe Hunter is the first artist I worked with, on the first professional comic I made. I learned a lot working with him and was constantly floored by him bringing new life to my script. Same with Frank. I’m a graphic designer by trade, so bad type annoys me. Frank being a professional letterer, made everything look top notch. They are true professionals and I enjoy working with them.

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What is the future of Not So Super?

Fans of the story will be treated to a full one shot book that will explain everything. I’m nearly done with the script and will be getting it edited in the next few months. Fans of the comic are in for a whirlwind of emotions.


Comics, Motherless Creatures

An Interview With Tressina Bowling of Motherless Creatures.

June 6, 2016 • By

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Give a brief rundown of what Motherless Creatures is all about.

It’s about 3 women who have a very strong sisterly bond. They ride across the country hunting down the scum of the underworld by using their magic.

Of the main characters in Motherless Creatures who do you like the most, Sol, Jelani, or Khu?

Oh gosh…I feel like I haven’t truly spent enough time with the characters yet to have a definite favorite. Maybe for now I’d say Sol…her and I share a similar temperament.

Who is Bisley, and what makes him so special to Khu?

Bisley is Khu’s pet ferret. I like to think of him as her familiar. They both are pretty goofy and fun loving. He’s special to her because he’s the one thing she can nurture and care for. Khu is never without Bisley.

Not only are you a creator on Motherless Creatures, but you have also have done sketch cards for Topps and other companies over the years. What’s the world of sketch cards like?

Ever since I started making sketch cards I always wanted to be involved with a licensed set. My first was the Star Wars Chrome Series and it was HARD. So many cards in such a little time (I came into the project late). Since then I’ve done a Marvel set with Upper Deck and a Mars Attacks Judge Dredd set for a Topps Kickstarter. Each one so different and challenging.

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What is your artistic/creative routine on a daily basis?

I come home from work and sit down at the drafting table. Whether I’m making new work to sell at conventions or client work, I spend several hours each night at the table. Then, of course, on the weekends I put in the bulk of my time working on new pieces. I’m constantly trying out new tools and picking up art books. An artist truly never stops learning. If you think you’re done learning then you’ll never grow.

What tools do you use to create comics, and which do you prefer most?

Bristol 11×17 paper, non-photo blue pencil and Copic multiliners. Then scan and work through Photoshop on colors and the dreaded lettering. I still really prefer traditional methods than digital.

What’s the one thing that you love most about making Motherless Creatures?

Bringing these character designs to life.

Tell us where people who enjoy your work can find you on the Internet.

You can find me through my Twitter & Instagram @tressabowling, My Facebook page Tressina Bowling ART, www.dracullama.com and my site www.tressinaart.blogspot.com


Comics, This Bites

An Interview With David Degrand of This Bites.

May 30, 2016 • By

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What was the one thing that made you want to be a part of the This Bites creative team?

I love that I’m allowed to really have fun with illustrating material for Not So Super Comics. Jacques likes his artists to really be themselves and have fun, which is refreshing.

Your artwork and style for This Bites is reflective of the 90s Nickelodeon animated series (Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Rocko’s Modern Life) did any of those series inspire your art?

Absolutely! The Ren and Stimpy Show was and has been my biggest influence since seeing it around age 11. As a kid I spent almost all my free time watching Nickelodeon and trying to draw the characters, so that influence is deeply ingrained in me.

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What types of things do you do to recharge your creative side?

I’m a huge film geek so I try and go see movies when I can get a break. I’m also a big toy and book collector so I like to check out flea markets and antique stores for cool stuff.

What is the one element of your artwork gives you the most satisfaction?

Drawing weird, gross and colorful cartoon art is my way of blowing off steam and relaxing, the whole process is very satisfying to me. Just being creative all day and living in my weird world makes me incredibly happy.

What’s something that you enjoy most about This Bites?

Jacques was able to bring something very new and refreshing to the whole vampire mythos, which really surprised me when I first read the script as stories about vampires have been around for centuries. I love the modern take on the classic monster, and had a blast drawing it!

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Are there certain tools that you use to create, and which ones do you prefer the most?

I’m a very low tech guy, so my main drawing tools or an assortment of technical pens (the Faber Castell Pitt artist pens are my favorites). After inking I use Photoshop for colors, nothing fancy!

Where can people who enjoy your work find you on the Internet?

My website is www.degrandland.com, and I can be easily found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Comics, This Bites

Jacques Nyemb and Marc Jackson discuss “This Bites.”

May 23, 2016 • By

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Jacques, what is This Bites all about and why they should someone read it?

If a story about a vegan, hipster dude, being bitten by a vampire; trekking with his ex vampire hunting grandma; to destroy the vampire who bit him; does not pique anyone’s interest, I don’t know what will.

Marc, what influenced the lettering style you delivered for this comic?

Well, not only do I letter comics, I make them too and the style, font and approach comes from there. I found a font that I felt was really suited to my drawing style, that had a looser hand-lettered look at times. I then spend time changing the case of certain letters etc etc to make it more unique from panel to panel.

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Jacques, what inspired/influenced you to make this comic?

It was during the twilight movie days. I was getting tired of vampires. Which led me to imagine hipster vampires at an organic shop…That somehow morphed into the story we created. It was an amalgamation of random thoughts and trying to be fun and unique.  

Marc, how long have you been a letterer and what drew you to the profession?

Like I say, I letter all my own comics too as I’m a cartoonist, lettering for good folks like Jacques came after I started self-publishing and I really enjoy it. So if anymore lettering jobs come along, I’ll happily jump on those!

Jacques, when collaborating with artist David Degrand and letterer Marc Jackson, what challenges did the team as a whole face while creating this comic?

There were no challenges whatsoever. It was weird because having a letterer in the UK and having a professional artist who’s working on SpongeBob, should have made things difficult. But my team was professional and rose to the occasion by create something better than I could have ever imagined.

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Marc, what element of your work gives you the most overall satisfaction?

Seeing a page of a comic come together knowing that I’ve learnt from the last job I did and made it better.

Jacques, will there be more of This Bites in the future?

DEFINITELY!

Fans of the story will be treated to a full one shot book that will explain everything. I’m nearly done with the script and will be getting it edited in the next few months.

Marc, do you have any other future projects on your creative plate?

Yes indeed! I have a 21 page comic featuring my character Duckless (a comic drawing duck) called ‘Here come the Bazooka mutants!’ which starts in Volume 21 of Aces Weekly www.acesweekly.co.uk an online anthology comic from V for Vendetta’s David Lloyd. Plus a brand new space comic called Goons of the Galaxy which again features in Aces, this time in Volume 23 starting in July. I also do a regular comic for my local paper and a super-hero strip called KA-PUNCH for the UK’s Comic Heroes magazine!

Jacques and Marc, where can fans of This Bites find you on the internet?

Jacques: I can be found on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jnyemb

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jnlovescomics

If you’re curious about Not So Super Stuff, go to:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nsscomics

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NotSoSuperComics/
Marc: Right here www.marcmakescomics.co.uk – ENJOY!


Comics, Smorgasbord Squad

An Interview With Justin Wood of Smorgasboard Squad.

May 16, 2016 • By

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What is your drawing/artistic routine like?
Day job till 8 pm most nights, get home, eat, and then procrastinate/art till around 4 or 5 in the morning.
What excited you to be a part of the Smorgasbord Squad comic?
Jacques enthusiasm is infectious and is inspiring to work with. He wants to build something, and I appreciate that and want to help that happen.
How much revision and editing do you do while working?
Once I draw something and am happy with it, I try not to touch it again, but I do polish corners and clean up lines obsessively.

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How much influence did you have in the creation/concept of the Smorgasbord Squad team?
Concept was all Jacques, but he maintains a pretty great atmosphere of collaboration on his projects and lent me a lot of freedom to bring ideas to the table.

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While creating comics, what tools do you use?
Depends on the comic. On ‘Smorgasbord Squad’ I did the whole thing digitally, using Photoshop and a Wacom tablet.
When making sequential pages, do you compose/layout the page as a whole or do you focus on individual panels?
I tend to sketch my pages out on paper first, even if I’m doing them digitally, not so much strict guidelines but rather messy scribblings to figure out how to make everything fit. A lot of the details of the panel itself is determined while drawing it, but the overall page composition is foremost in my mind when approaching a new page.

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What other artists or artwork that you enjoy or inspire you?
Kayla Miller, Nicole Hamilton, Jesse Mead, Rebecca Sugar, InCase, Leigh Walls, Rupert Everton, Felix Colgrave, Hiroyuki Imaishi
Tell us where people who enjoy your work can find you on the internet, if you choose to.
I’m on Twitter, but I’m currently actively avoiding anything more than friendly interactions with other artists. That might change in the near future, but for now, effectively nowhere.


Comics, Smorgasbord Squad

An Interview With Kayla Miller of Smorgasboard Squad.

May 2, 2016 • By

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What do you enjoy most about working on Smorgasbord Squad?
I like working on a team with fellow creatives. Jacques is always very receptive to feedback and ideas.

Who has had the most artistic influence on you outside of the comic book industry, and why?

I would have to say the author Etgar Keret. He’s one of my favorites and I really admire his storytelling. Even in his very short stories he’s able to give you a solid sense of the characters and their world. I try to do that in my art as well as my writing, creating little microcosms where you don’t know everything but you feel like you do.

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What part of your artistic process gives you the most joy?

All of it aside from setting type. I would draw, ink, color, design, hand-letter, write, paint, and sketch all day if I could… but getting myself to sit down and set type in illustrator always feels like pulling my own teeth out.

What tools do you use while creating comics and art?

I ink all of my work traditionally using brush pens and then color in photoshop.

What other artists or art forms that you enjoy or inspire you?

I love animation and film. You can get a lot of really good ideas for layouts for comics from watching movies. I took narrative cinema courses in college and people would ask me why, but comics are so similar to film when it comes to pacing and visuals that it feels like a really clear connection to me.

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What does your drawing space look like on a daily basis?

I tend to clean up before I start working and file everything that isn’t relevant to the task at hand away. So I start out with a nice clean drafting table and my laptop open on my desk. By the time I’m finished it’s usually a bit messier than that though, especially since I like to snack while I’m drawing.

Do you have any other projects in the works?

Always! I’m constantly working on my webcomic Creep as well as freelance illustration, other comic book work, writing, and gallery work. It’s rare for me not to have several things brewing at once.

Tell us where people who enjoy your work can find you on the internet.

Webcomic: Creepcomic.com  

Tumblr: Kaykedrawsthings.tumblr.com

Twitter: http://Twitter.com/Kayke

Portfolio: http://Kayla-miller.com


Comics, Dracullama

Tressina Bowling Discusses Why Dracullama Kills All The Drama.

April 25, 2016 • By

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Who is Dracullama and why does he kill all the drama?

Dracullama is a vampiric llama who feeds off people who cause drama.  Why?  Because it’s what gives him life, or rather elongates his life span. He’s been around for as long as anyone can remember.

When did you first create the character and why?

I first created him when I attempted an online character challenge.  It was to create 30 characters for the month of November.  He was the first one to come to mind….mostly because I found llama’s so strangely funny and beautiful at the same time.  Making one a vampire made me giggle, so I figured it would do that to others.

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What influences inspired you to create Dracullama?

Vampire culture, Bela Lugosi, my love of strange animals and creatures and my hate for drama.

As time goes along and as you create more Dracullama, where do you see the comic going in the future?

I honestly feel like I’ll continue to create more stories for him as long as it’s still fun for me and makes me laugh.  I truly don’t know where he’ll end up next….maybe an anthology book once I’ve done enough?

What’s your favorite Dracullama moment?

Probably the dub-step one where he breaks out into a dance after killing off someone. That sounds morbid after reading it back to myself…

What challenges did you have when first creating the comic and what new challenges lay ahead for you and Dracullama?

When I first started it was really trying to narrow down what I wanted him to be.  I remember toying with the idea that it would be a story that revolved around him being an owner of a petting zoo.  Weird right?  But it was then the idea of there just being a ton of quick drama filled stories where he bounces in right at the end to take out any culprits.

Challenges that lay ahead?

Finding the time to make more stories!  I’ve got loads mapped out and even thumbnails for them, but it’s always client work and conventions that push it back.

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Tell us where people who enjoy your work can find you on the Internet.

You can find me through my Twitter & Instagram @tressabowling, My Facebook page Tressina Bowling ART, www.dracullama.com and my site www.tressinaart.blogspot.com


Comics, Not So Super, Smorgasbord Squad, This Bites

Creator Spotlight: Jacques Nyemb.

April 18, 2016 • By

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Where did your love for comic books and the arts come from?

As a child, everyone noticed how much I loved drawing, reading and cartoons. It was so much of my personality that my dad’s friends got me comic books to read. I was so hooked that everyone who knew me got me comics. It didn’t matter what kind either.

What was the moment that you decided that you wanted to create comic books?

My brother and I made comics when we were kids. They were mainly rip-off Batman stories, with us using our imaginary fortunes to fight crimes. The sense of freedom we had in being transported into the worlds we created, was something amazing.

That dream never died. Everything I’ve done pretty much involved me telling a story in some fashion. It took me trying to write a novel to realize what I wrote would make a great comic book. So I switched gears to do just that.

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Excerpt From Smorgasbord Squad.

You have three comics that are digitally released through Crowntaker Studios (Not So Super, This Bites, and Smorgasbord Squad) which are all-ages books. What was your desire to create all-ages comics?

At the time I decided to make all-age comics, publishers were focusing solely on the adult crowd. The comics at that time seemed to be edgy and out of the reach for children or people who missed light hearted fun stories. Being a father now and taking my oldest child to a convention recently, sparked the passion again of welcoming a new generation of comic fans. A group that wants to see themselves as well as share the joy sprinkled within the stories.

You have many role in creating comics, serving as creator, writer, editor, and as a publisher. What are the challenges that you face while creating comics?

BURNOUT.

Being mostly a one man team is draining. On top of that finding money to get project completed is no small task either. But I’ve learned to organize my time to meet my deadlines and budget my project to ensure I don’t break the bank (to much). While being there for my family. It’s an artful juggling of things.

Smorgasbord Squad is one of your most creative all-ages endeavors. What inspired you to make this comic?

Like all of my projects, it starts with me thinking of outrageous scenarios. I felt like there weren’t enough comics with food costumed heroes. When I started thinking about that, memories of the warm fuzzies I felt as a kid, from the original animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, inspired me to make something ridiculous, yet plausible.

Who are some creators of all mediums that inspire you?

What really influenced me is looking at other independent comic creators who do this for the love of it. Some are actually making some income from it, but you can sense their commitment to creating quality comics. Folks like Afua Richardson, Justin Peterson, Anthony Piper, Ashley Woods and Fabian Rangel Jr come to mind instantly because they do just that. Their stories and comics are creating a loyal fan base. Which is something hard to do in the indie comic realm.

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Excerpt from This Bites.

What’s your typical work routine?

I have a day job that has nothing to do with comics.  So I spend most of my nights and weekends writing stories, working with artists, planning and shipping books. During the day I check into a Facebook group I created called the Not So Super Lab, where I chat with other creators to learn about their processes. It’s a great way to not feel alone in the struggle of being independent creators.

What is one important thing that you’ve learned in life (creative or personal) and why is it important to you?

I’ve learned to take breaks and spend time with family. It’s really tempting to put the foot on the gas and work without stopping, but in doing that the quality of life suffers. And when you are a creative who wants to share the best of the world, it becomes difficult to do when one is jaded.

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Excerpt from Not So Super.

Where can people who enjoy your work find you on the Internet?

I can be found on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jnyemb

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jnlovescomics

 

If you curious about Not So Super Stuff, go to:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nsscomics

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NotSoSuperComics/


Comics, MAPS, Uncategorized

An Interview with Jonathan & Timothy O’Briant of MAPS.

April 11, 2016 • By

MAPS: VOLUME ONE

When was the moment in your life where you decided that you wanted to be an artist?

Timothy: I started thinking about art as a career path back in high school. At the time I was pursuing a career in music either as an artist or in production. In college I focused mainly on video game design which allowed me to work in many different disciplines. For my final project I decided to make my first comic book. I fell in love with the art form mainly because of the independence it gave me. There was no budget, no big teams and no prohibitive software or equipment to purchase. The only prerequisite for comics is literacy. Support your local educators.

Jonathan: I’ve played music for years and have always enjoyed the act of creation, funneling that energy into comics gave me a (comparatively) easy way to get stories and ideas into a finished product to share with the world.

What is MAPS about, and what inspired the two of you to create this?

Jonathan: Maps is about the joy of discovery that is so prevalent in young people’s lives. When you’re young everything is new and magical. It’s easy to forget how spectacular the world is as you grow older and all these wondrous things become commonplace. Elwood is the personification of intrepid explorers who don’t only want to see everything the world has to offer but are compelled to always move forward no matter the obstacles.

Timothy: The intent was to create an “all ages book” that was self-contained and could be read despite knowledge of the rest of the series. My brother Jon came up with the idea of a child who was traveling from dimension to dimension on a quest to find his way back home. The idea resonated with both of us and we started the fun of building characters and worlds.

What challenges did you face creatively while making the first volume of MAPS?

Timothy: The most interesting challenge of Maps is blending Jon art style with my own. When creating Maps my brother is in charge of the layouts, even to the extent of drawing all the pages on the final art boards. Then I come in and filter all that information through my own artistic lens to find the final product. What you end up with is completely separate from what either of us would do on our own.

Jonathan: Most all of my projects prior to MAPS had been by myself. Learning to collaborate is tricky in any circumstance but especially with someone you are as close to as a brother. The project grew to be much greater than it was as an idea in my head, but there was a pretty steep curve in how to present different opinions and goals with the book without devolving into arguments over costuming, coloring, etc.

Exploration of the known and unknown plays a big narrative in MAPS. How did that effect how you visualized the worlds that Elwood journeys too?

Timothy: Jon and I don’t always agree on the nature of the universe and how it affects daily life but it’s something we are both fascinated by. The initial idea of having a new universe in every volume was a conceit to allow us to play with different genres and story tropes. That’s Jon’s territory. Once I have the setting and the story I have the task of making them complement each other. All the world design is to try and create the illusion that these are real places that exist whether or not our character are present. If we have a chase scene through a house I need to make a complete floor plan of that building. There is a need for internal logic within the story even if whole rooms are never seen. We can’t expect the reader to fall into the story if they are constantly wondering where and how we got there.

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Timothy, not only do you serve as the artist on MAPS, but you also handle lettering chores as well. What do you do artistically to make lettering MAPS a painless process?

Timothy: Nothing. The hand lettering comes from two ideals I have that I can’t defend or recommend. First I want my original pages to be actual comics someone could read, therefore the words need to be on the pages. Second is the idea that every mark you see on a page of Maps came from my brush or pen. If I was going to be rational about any of this I probably wouldn’t be in comics.

Outside of MAPS, what other creations are you working on?

Jonathan: We’re currently working on an action comedy called Battle Battle, that draws a lot of inspiration from my love of old manga and the Street Fighter video games.

Timothy: In addition to working on Maps I also do color art for Hellbillies by King Bone Press.

Who are your influences and what influences you to create?

Jonathan: My influences come from all over the place, Cy Twombly, ee cummings, Dr. Seuss, Daniel Johnston, Chuck Jones… from the comic side of life I adore Roger Langridge, Michael DeForge, Jim Woodring, and anything weird and wildly animated.

Timothy: My first story influences came from video games and cartoons. Final Fantasy VII and Dragonball Z were big. Music has always been an important part of my life and a huge source of energy. As far as comics go my main pillars are Paul Pope and Moebius.

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Tell us where people who enjoy Maps can find you all on the internet.

Timothy: You can always find us at strips4.com.