It seems I’ve been nominated for the prestigious ‘Liebster Award’ by the lovely Justine Yearwood. If you haven’t seen her fascinating sailing blog, Sailing Maiweh, you definitely should check it out! You’ll find Justine’s own response to the Liebster there, as well as posts, photos, and videos about her adventures living aboard a sail boat.
The Liebster award is all about answering questions about your blogging process, and the following are what Justine had to ask me:
1. How do you come up with each idea daily? Do you have to coax them out of somewhere, or do they usually just pop into your head?
I get a lot of my ideas from joking around with my brother. We’re always going on about some nonsensical subject or what-if scenario or another, and we pretty much always end up rolling on the floor with laughter. Quite a few of my web comics have come out of that daily exercise. The other, more serious ones are usually just whatever existential crisis I’m having at the time, and making comics about them helps me work through them. You might have also noticed that I’m slowing down a lot with the site. This has less to do with me running out of webcomic ideas and more to do with all the different projects I’m working on this year, many of which will end up getting posted at some point.
2. As a graphic novelist/comic artist, what is more important – the story content or the aesthetic aspect?
I’ve always maintained that the story and ideas come first. But lately I’ve been really stepping up my skills practices. My next book is quite a bit less idea oriented and more focused on achieving a particular aesthetic. Also, I’m finding that working as a freelance artist, your skills and original style will matter more to prospective clients wanting something illustrated than any incredible story ideas you have.
3. Which artist or artwork is your biggest inspiration?
If you had asked me last year, I would have said Goseki Kojima’s and Kazuo Koike’s manga masterpiece, Lone Wolf and Cub. But these days I’ve become obsessed with Hirohito Araki’s incredible epic, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (trust me, it’s better than its name leads on). I find an incredible sense of kinship with Araki’s work, and it inspires me to practice my skills in a way no other artist has. I’m actually doing a series of studies copied from each chapter of the first part of Jojo, that I will post at a later date.
4. You’ve always struck me as the humorous type – but now you’ve been dealing with some pretty heavy subjects in your work. What does your audience respond to most?
Definitely the serious comics. People respond to things with an emotional core. Viewership stats don’t lie. And I’m also not certain how many people actually share my rather strange sense of humor.
5. In what manner do you publish your work these days?
Most new work I produce is just going up digitally, but if your were to look back on what I have done, I think, image for image, page for page, I’ve still published more things as books than anything else (mostly because of Time Tourists). My heart is still in books, though, and I should have two new graphic novels coming out later this year, as well as a printed volume of the first year of Life of Bria comics, and new printed installments of ZRC‘s Ultraterrestrial.
So that’s my piece. I’d like to nominate Gary Johannes-Rosenberg as next in line for the Liebster award! I don’t get a chance to read enough blogs, but his art blog, Waking Spirals, is absolutely mind-blowing its breadth and originality. So, Gary, I know you read this, so, here is what I’d like to know from you:
- You are so incredibly prolific. How do you produce such an incredible amount of work that just seems to keep on coming?!
- Your work is clearly done digitally, but, without giving away too many of your secrets, what technique do you use to create your particular style of images, as well as what program(s) do you use?
- I can see from your Facebook page posts that here is a very clear philosophical/spiritual interest in your work. Do any specific beliefs/ideas inform specific pieces you’ve made?
- Working in the way you do, what would you call yourself? A painter? An illustrator? A poet? Anything at all?
- I know comics are big in your family. What would you most like to see in a comic?
Tomorrow I’m having another Studio Jam with the lovely, Samantha Weitzel. So look for whatever we come up with in my next post!