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Marcus Williams

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Name: Marcus Williams

Website: www.marcusthevisual.com

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: Wolverine

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: Wolverine (Laughter)

Latest Work: (Title/Publisher/Release Date) “Tuskegee Heirs”/Self-Published/ December 2016

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your art style?
Williams: An amalgamation of all of my influences from animation, comics and video game art.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Williams: Comics served as a mind-blowing artistic experience for me as a young artist. It pushed what I believed was possible with illustration and action. Video games and cartoons were my first artistic inspiration.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Williams: Jim Lee was the first comic I received as a young boy. His art featured Wolverine vs. Omega Red and it was unlike anything I’d seen before. So X-Men was my introduction to comics.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Williams: I was lucky to find a comic book retailer that wanted to start his own comic series, and had the resources to actually publish the book himself. Oddly enough, I wasn’t hired to draw traditional superheroes, but rather heroic felines. I was hired to draw cats on “Hero Cats of Stellar City” (Action Lab). I was the penciler for the project and it taught me a lot about the entire comic making process as a whole, from production to publishing.

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Williams: I can say working on “Hero Cats” opened a lot of opportunity for educating myself on the actual comic industry. Self-marketing myself as an artist was actually something I did over the years that actually benefited my career most.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
Williams: I would honestly say the hardest part is gathering the appropriate and correct information about the business of comics. I found the comic industry in a time when independent comic artists have virtually the same chance to create themselves and market their work as major publishers do (if done right). Social networks have made it possible for aspiring comic artists to share their work with potentially thousands of people every day, which is huge! Unfortunately, it is something that many aspiring artists still don’t know how to leverage correctly. For me personally, the moment I found all the business info to create my own intellectual property (“Tuskegee Heirs”), it wasn’t necessarily hard because the only thing holding me back was myself (well, that and life stuff).

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Williams: Not necessarily a character, but if the term “universe” can encompass artistic apps and reference, then I use Pinterest and Instagram quite often to look at other artists for inspiration.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Williams: Yeah, there’s plenty of black superheroes that live in both Marvel and DC that need some full top to bottom facelifts. The list is pretty long though, so to start, perhaps Storm, Blade, and Bishop. DC heroes would come after – Val-zod, Nubia and Batwing.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Williams: Being a comic publisher of great stories that changes the industry’s take on characters of color by crafting new approaches yet to be seen in comics. Make stories for young children of color that show powerful and confident images of heroes that look like they do. I’m not a passionate comic artist, so I’m not planning to be in the seat for another 10 years, but I’ll still be drawing comic covers and poster art for sure. I think animation and video games are calling me.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Williams: Constantly pushing one’s self to improve beyond one’s comfort zones.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you use the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Williams: I definitely still use pencil and paper when planning out the comic scripts. My writing partner and co-creator of “Tuskegee Heirs,” Greg Burnham, and myself usually have a conversation about what’s going to happen as I’m drawing small thumbnails. Google Docs however does make it easy for us both to update the script and the images on the go.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Williams: Definitely spend your first steps gathering the business information you’ll need to actually stay afloat as a comic artist/creator. This is a career bred from passion, but nothing hits you in the gut harder than putting your heart and soul into a project only to let it die from lack of understanding of how to make money. It’s the equivalent of opening a restaurant and not knowing how to get customers in the place to enjoy your food. It’s not always the funnest part, but learn the tools you’ll need to make positive cash flow before diving into the industry.

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
Williams: Love it! It’s honestly the most effective way to directly market yourself as a creative to your target audience. If you can succeed in selling yourself first (your art second), you can make a fan for life of all your work moving forward. That, and it allows for pure feedback for all the work you’ve put in. We stay in front of our workstations for weeks and months at a time, and rarely get the opportunity to actually “hear” feedback from the intended audience. Going to cons gives you the chance to be filled with positive (also not so positive) feedback which can help focus you.

TrunkSpace: What is the craziest/oddest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw as a commission?
Williams: Easy answer. Steve Harvey laughing maniacally overlooking some original superhero characters from the client.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to in 2018?
Williams: More comics from “Tuskegee Heirs,” animation, other comic self-published titles from myself (“The Super Natural Woman”) and Burnham (“The Search for Sadiqah”).
You can order “Tuskegee Heirs” directly from www.tuskegeeheirs.com
You can find me and my art on www.marcusthevisual.com
Search Marcusthevisual on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

 

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Trunk Bubbles

Chrissie Zullo

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Name: Chrissie Zullo

Website: www.chrissiezullo.tumblr.com

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: Batman

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: Wonder Woman

Latest Work: (Title/Publisher/Release Date) “Hack/Slash vs. Vampirella” Issue 5, by Dynamite Comics, Feb. 7, 2018

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your art style?
Zullo: I think my style is a mix of all the things I love – comics, American animation and Japanese animation. It’s definitely evolved over the years, and right now I want my art to be fun and expressive.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Zullo: To be honest, I didn’t get into comic books until college. I had grown up on cartoons (Disney movies and TV shows like “Batman: The Animated Series”) and read manga in high school, but it wasn’t until college that I read graphic novels. I think the first one I read was “The Long Halloween,” by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, and then got into “Fables” shortly after.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Zullo: Growing up, I always loved Glen Keane and Mary Blair, mostly because I was such a Disney kid. When I got older, I got really into comic book artists and low-brow artists; some of my favorites include James Jean, Travis Charest, Adam Hughes, Chris Bacchalo and Francisco Herrera.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Zullo: I think, for me, I was in the right place at the right time situation. I had just graduated college and put a portfolio together to bring to San Diego Comic Con, where DC used to do a talent search for new art. I met with an editor, who happened to need an artist for a project at that time. Then things just sort of went from there! I definitely learned along the way, and I learned the importance of just being persistent and getting work in on time.

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Zullo: I feel like my first job for Cinderella of Fables really opened up the doors to everything. It was my first time working in comics, and helped me land other jobs. Since then I’ve worked for “Vampirella,” “Hack/Slash,” Archie Comics, “Josie and the Pussycats,” as well as design work for Mattel and posters for “Star Wars” through Fandango.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
Zullo: I still feel like I haven’t really quite “broken in.” (Laughter) I feel like the hardest part of working in comics is consistently, well, working in comics. I can go months without hearing from a publisher, and you really have to learn to be your own salesman and own job maker when you are a freelance artist. With so many outlets now, like social media sites such as Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook, you can also find a lot of commission work online. Going to conventions is also a good way to stay relevant, because a lot of editors scope out artists in the artist alleys at shows.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Zullo: It’s sort of the opposite, I think. Because I have so many commissions to draw comic book characters quite often, my sketchbook is filled with people in everyday clothes doing everyday things. I love drawing regular, everyday people in different fashions from different eras.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Zullo: For some reason I’ve always loved Zatanna from the Batman universe. I secretly want to draw a story for her, maybe about her high school days.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Zullo: I would be happy to make a career off of artwork for as long as I can. I’ve always told myself if I can survive off of art, I will be happy. So far, it has worked great for me. As long as I can keep working and keep drawing the things I love, I’m beyond happy. If one day I can write and create my own comic, that would be ideal too!

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Zullo: I think the greatest strength as an artist is work ethic. If you can work consistently and draw every day, you are already on the right track. Talent and style are things that I believe come with drawing a lot, and I really do think anyone can do it if they keep at it.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you use the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Zullo: I am a sucker for digital programs such as Photoshop and Procreate, but I start everything with pencil on paper. For me, I prefer traditional over digital, and I always start with a pencil sketch and usually inks, and then scan those in to color digital. Digital does make things easier and faster, but I try not to be too dependent on it. I’ve seen a lot of artists who can do amazing artwork in Photoshop, but can’t really draw with a pencil and paper. I guess it all depends on what kind of artwork you are going for, but there is something about having an original, tangible piece of artwork that really appeals to me.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Zullo: Put your artwork out there as much and as frequently as possible. Use social media sites to show people what you’re working on, even if it’s not finished. Get a table, if you can, at a local comic book convention and showcase your portfolio. My thought process is that you never know who might be looking, so try to showcase to as many as you can.

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
Zullo: I love it, I love meeting new people, seeing new places, and getting to draw for customers. It is a lot of hard work though, and a lot of travel, and sometimes I do wish I stayed home more. I think I travel about 15 to 18 weekends every year.

TrunkSpace: What is the craziest/oddest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw as a commission?
Zullo: (Laughter) I hate to be boring but I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten anything too crazy. I had to help with a proposal once by drawing the happy couple surrounded by their favorite video game characters. They stopped by my table, picked up the drawing, and he proposed right there and then at the comic con. That was crazy.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to in 2018?
Zullo: I have two big things that I can’t wait to share publicly, but unfortunately right now I’m not allowed to talk about it! I think they will be announced this summer. So… stay tuned?

 

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Marcus To

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Name: Marcus To

Website: marcusto.tumblr.com

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: Cyclops

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: Tim Drake

Latest Work: (Title/Publisher/Release Date) “Guardians of the Galaxy”/Marvel Comics/2017

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your art style?
To: A mix between manga and 90s Image.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
To: I was drawing since I could hold a pencil. My mom taught me as a baby to keep me sitting still. I first learned how to draw “Sesame Street” characters, actually. Comics came into play around the time of the 90s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” cartoon – the cartoons in the 90s really brought me into the world and that’s when I started to want more and sought out to find stories with my favorite characters in them.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
To: When I first started to find out about comic stores I was watching the 90s “X-Men” cartoon. I was on the lookout for any book with an X on it. And from that I became a fan of Jim Lee. He was the first artist who made me stop and take notice of the creators and began a love for comic art as a whole.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
To: Growing up in small town in Canada, I didn’t really know what was possible really. When I first thought about trying to draw comics I started also buying Wizard magazine. I read any interview I could about the creators, their lives, techniques and how they got into the biz. The most common story was to attend San Diego Comic Con with a portfolio and get your work looked at by professionals, so that’s what I did. I spent the better part of two years working on a bunch of samples for a portfolio and read up on guidelines of how to submit. From there I took my portfolio with giveaway samples to SDCC and was lucky enough to use the contacts I met there to launch my career in comics.

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
To: I can honestly say I have had two big breaks in my career. First was “Cannon Hawke” with Aspen Comics. This was my first comic series and the guys at Aspen gave me the best chance to succeed by publishing my first professional work.

My second big break was when I was lucky enough to land the penciling duties for “Red Robin.” I had known the editor at the time, Mike Marts, for years and when I was looking for work I emailed him about any possible work for hire. He then gave me a short story to practice on and after that, offered “Red Robin” to me, which to this day is the book and character most people know my work from.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
To: I was really lucky to break in with Aspen Comics quite early. I was 20 when “Cannon Hawke” was published. I would say that staying in comics is much harder – it’s a very small industry and not everything will go your way in your time in the industry. To stay a viable option for editors and maintain quality work and a happy life outside of the work day is the hardest thing to do. But I believe that it’s worth it. I wouldn’t want to do anything else with my life.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
To: The character I draw the most is Tim Drake, mostly at conventions though. For personal sketching, it’s always changing. It’s usually what I want to improve upon that dictates what I draw. If I need to work on lighting and negative space, Batman is always a good one. If it’s figure work, it might be Supergirl. Likenesses? Maybe I’ll draw Leonard Nimoy as Spock. That kinda thing.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
To: I have this dream of working on the “Fantastic Four.” I love the dimension traveling adventure family. It would be really fun to draw.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
To: I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about this exact question. I’m still looking for the answer. But I can say that what most creators want is choice – choice of project, character, deadline. The more I can choose what to do and when to do it the better.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
To: I’d like to think that my strength is in my structure, making characters and environments feel fully believable.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you use the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
To: Since last year I have been working fully digital. I have a Wacom Cintiq, and use Clip Studio for all my work. There’s so little time to draw a monthly book and these tools help you get to the finished product in a more timely and consistent manner than traditional.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
To: A career in comics is a marathon. There’s gonna be a lot of ups and downs. Love the craft and love creating – if you love doing the work, then the rest will work out.

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
To: I love conventions, it’s the best when you see creators and friends you don’t see often and you get the opportunity to meet people you look up to. I’ve also been really lucky to have such great fans who always treat me well. Though it can be quite tiring to be around so many people. It’s a balance, which is why I try not to go to more than four cons a year.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to for the rest of 2017 and into the new year?
To: There are a bunch of things in the pipeline. I’m a part of a studio of artists in Toronto called RAID studio. We put out our first self-published book, and anthology called “RAID,” one with contributions from top creators like Francis Manapul and Ramon Perez. We are going to follow that up with two more books before the end of the year, all through RAID studio. On top of that you can find my work on “Star Trek: Boldly Go” #17, “Star Trek: The Next Generation/Through the Mirror” #1, and the “Amazing Spider-Man Annual,” as well as other to-be-named projects with both DC Comics and Marvel Comics.

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Kyle Starks

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Name: Kyle Starks

Website: Follow him on Twitter here.

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: As a young kid, probably… I don’t know. Nightcrawler? I’m so old now it’s hard to remember growing up.

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: Probably my lead in “Rock Candy Mountain,” Jackson – I’m all about that dude right now.

Latest Work: In January I published Image Comics’ “Rock Candy Mountain” and Oni Press “Rick and Morty” #34

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your art style?
Starks: (Laughter) I like to call it kinetic and cartoony. I get a lot of “scratches on bar napkins” and “undetailed,” but I feel like it’s not without detail, it’s just gestural. Movement and pacing is really important to me. And clarity. I definitely focus on those things a lot more than “realism” and “anatomy.”

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Starks: For sure, as a kid I voraciously consumed comics. It’s funny, as a very young person I would’ve sworn I was going to be a comic artist when I grew up. I worked at a comic store through my teens and early twenties, but once I got to college I was really focused on fine art and over-drinking, so I probably went eight years without picking up a comic or even really thinking about comics. When I got married and started having kids and was thinking about things I might never get around to, I did a comic and that love came swooping back in hard and fast.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Starks: When I was a kid I was a huge John Byrne fan, for sure. I’d say looking back now, not as a child but as a teen, probably Evan Dorkin’s work and DeMatteis/Giffen’s “Justice League International” were the biggest influences. As an adult, Kirby, Urasawa and the Swedish cartoonist Jason were my boys when I started making comics. I’m definitely a bigger appreciator of comics as an adult, seeing my peers make incredible work and seeing and hearing their influences.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Starks: Oh, I had no plan. It was a lot of luck that got me here. I love making comics, so I was making them. I realized what I wanted more than anything was more eyes to see them, so I started using all my Kickstarter profits to go to conventions, that formed a lot of relationships with great people and as they say, “one thing led to another.”

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Starks: Through a series of fortuitous events, Matt Fraction read my Kickstarted version of “Sexcastle” at a convention, tweeted about it and emailed me to see if I wanted to work with Image. Just a lot of luck, man. I am fairly certain that he read that book because his plane didn’t take off in time. I mean, you can’t plan stuff like that. I guess the lesson is to make good work and try to put yourself in a position to succeed.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
Starks: I would definitely be the exception to that – like I said, I sort of tripped headfirst into it. I had no intention of being a professional, just rather to do something I loved as a profitable hobby. Getting in wasn’t as hard as staying in, being successful and happy at it. But, again, I can’t say enough about how fortunate I’ve been on my journey so far. It’s an unusual path.

In regards to the second part of that question, definitely 2016 was my breakthrough year – “Sexcastle” was published by Image and was nominated for an Eisner. I got an incredible, steady gig with “Rick and Morty” – there was suddenly money and momentum. I Kickstarted my first book in 2013 – that’s an unusually fast career path.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Starks: I don’t do a lot of warm ups – generally if I feel like it’s looking like a day that’s going to need them, I tend to take suggestions from my Patreon supporters or draw wrestlers.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Starks: I’m really happy with my creator-owned stuff and there are definitely some other creators I think about working with more than a specific title. I think we all got little secret dreams, but I would never jinx it by saying it aloud!

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Starks: My ultimate dream is to be able to do this for a long, long time. This job allows me to see my family and spend time with my kids, to travel around. I mean, the benefits outside of punching a time card are huge. I love making comics, I love telling stories – there’s nothing I’d rather be doing and the only absolute dream would be to get to do it for as long as I want to, which is forever.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Starks: My greatest strengths as a storyteller are definitely comedy and action, and I think the secret to both are pacing, timing and clarity. I think also that I have a distinctive style that’s easy to recognize. I am far from being the best artist in comics, I’m frankly not anywhere near that conversation, but I think as a storyteller or a cartoonist I tell stories in a different way than most – and I think being unique or different is a boon.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you use the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Stark: I work 100 percent digitally. I’m so much faster from idea to finish, I can’t imagine doing it otherwise. Working digitally kept me in comics early and has allowed me to write and draw a series (“Rock Candy Mountain”) while I wrote and occasionally drew another (“Rick and Morty”) and wrote a third (“Dead of Winter”) last year. No way I could do that analog.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Starks: Never stop making comics, make the comic you want in the world, do it because you love it until it’s potential more than a labor of love and at that point start treating it like a business. Be professional.

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
Starks: I love it. And right now with the popularity of “Rick and Morty,” fiscally, I have to do them. I wouldn’t be where I am now – wherever that is, really – without conventions. I’ve met and made my best friends in this world, I’ve made the connections that got me work or opportunities and I think hustling your work and meeting the fans is literally priceless. I love them.

TrunkSpace: What is the craziest/oddest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw as a commission?
Starks: I’m not afraid to say no to something that’s too ridiculous – and I’m pretty sure I’ve been asked to draw some fetish-y, porn-y stuff that I said no to. I’m trying to think. There was a guy at my first convention who asked me to draw a space centaur? I don’t get so many weird ones, I guess.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to for the rest of 2018 and into the new year?
Starks: “Rock Candy Mountain” finishes up with issue 8 in February and I’ll continue to write “Rick and Morty” for the foreseeable future and occasionally draw it. There’s been talk about another “Dead of Winter” series and I’m in the middle of contract negotiations for a series with a creator I’ve wanted to work with since my first convention. And hopefully a fresh new Kyle Starks’ joint for everyone to dig on at some point.

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Ron Chan

RonChan_TrunkBubbles

Name: Ron Chan

Website: www.ronchan.net

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: Wolverine

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: Kamala Khan

Latest Work: (Title/Publisher/Release Date) “Plants vs. Zombies: Lawn of Doom”/Dark Horse/Oct 2017

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your art style?
Chan: I have no idea! I stay consistent within each project, but one of the things people have found surprising is that when they look at multiple projects of mine, or look through my sketches, is that I have a lot of different ways I like to draw. I love experimenting with a variety of techniques and aesthetics.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Chan: I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember, and I think comics definitely had a lot to do with that. I honestly don’t know that I spent much time actually reading comic books, so much as I spent hours and hours looking at, and occasionally copying, the artwork.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Chan: Around middle school it was definitely various artists from X-titles. I loved looking at Jim Lee’s art on “X-Men,” and then later, Chris Bachalo’s work on “Generation X” really appealed to me. In high school, I got really into artwork not from comics, but from video games – specifically, Capcom fighting games, like “Street Fighter.” The in-game art and the concept art (especially art by Capcom artists Bengus and Edayan) from these games remains, to this day, one of the biggest influences on my artwork.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Chan: Yes and no as far as the plan. When I was graduating high school, I applied to two colleges: University of Oregon, where they have a good architecture program, and Savannah College of Art and Design, where they have a comic book major. After some thinking, I realized the only reason I was interested in architecture was because it involved drafting (and seemed like a lucrative career), but I didn’t actually care about buildings whatsoever. So I said, “Screw it! I’m going to art school!” and picked SCAD. I wasn’t even reading comics at the time – I just saw that they had a comics art program and thought it would be a good direction to go, since I was already drawing sort of comic-booky sketches all the time. Four years later, I had a degree in comics!

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Chan: In terms of a single job, it was probably “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic” #42. Living in Portland, OR, I had gotten to know a lot of Dark Horse folks as I made my way into the Portland comics community. Now editor in chief Dave Marshall gave me my very first Dark Horse gig with this single fill-in issue of “Star Wars,” and it has led to me continued to work with Dark Horse for many years afterward, and to come.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
Chan: I was pretty fortunate, honestly. I grew up in Portland, OR, which has a thriving comics community, so after graduating from SCAD, I only had to return home to find a perfect city to make connections in the industry. I had the amazing luck to fall in with a studio full of artists that I am still part of. (Now called Helioscope, formerly called Periscope Studio, then called Mercury Studio) There, I found life-changing mentors in industry veterans like Steve Lieber, Jeff Parker, and Ron Randall, to name a few. They not only helped shepherd me into a professional life, but also actually hooked me up with jobs.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Chan: I usually do fan art when I’m sketching. I love drawing character from things I love – “Mass Effect,” “Star Wars,” “Hamilton,” “Street Fighter,” or whatever anime I’m watching.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Chan: Not really! I just want to keep getting interesting projects.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Chan: Continuing from the last question: I honestly don’t really have an ultimate dream for my career. I love variety, so I only hope to continue getting interesting and fun projects (that hopefully pay well!). When I die, I can only wish that people will say, “Man, that Ron Chan sure was all over the place!”

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Chan: Probably that I try my best to be easy to work with. I almost always hit my deadlines and communicate well with my editors!

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you use the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Chan: It has changed my workflow entirely. I started with ink and paper like most everyone, but these days, I work 100 percent digital. It has made me a faster, more versatile, and braver artist.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Chan: Just make comics! Unless you are already an established badass illustrator, nobody will hire you to draw comics, if you haven’t demonstrated that you can draw comics. This isn’t necessarily going to work for everyone, but for most people, I like to say: start small. While you’re still developing early on, do some four-page comics. Do some eight-page comics. Don’t start that 300-page magnum opus you’ve been thinking about since you were 12. There is value in starting and finishing things. That being said, if your big story calls to you in a way that you cannot ignore? Go for it; whatever gets you drawing comics! Draw ‘em and put ‘em online!

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
Chan: Combination of both, for sure. I don’t do that many conventions – generally just ECCC in Seattle, RCCC in Portland, and then occasionally something else sprinkled in if circumstances make sense. It’s fun connecting with fans, and I love seeing other creators and friends from across the nation, but conventions are exhausting and take time away from actually drawing my projects.

TrunkSpace: What is the craziest/oddest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw as a commission?
Chan: I drew Hellboy taking a shit once.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to in 2018?
Chan: I’ve got more “Plants vs. Zombies” comics on the schedule as well as secret OGN project in the future!

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Trunk Bubbles

Chris Fenoglio

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Website:
www.chrisfenoglio.com
Instagram: @Chrisfenoglio
Twitter: @Chrisfenoglio

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: Toss-up between Spider-Man and Daredevil

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: No idea… there’s a lot of great ones.

Latest Work: (Title/Publisher/Release Date) “Goosebumps” for IDW. Issue 2 was released January 3, 2018!

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your art style?
Fenoglio: Personally, I think I’m kind of a mix of Jeff Smith and Chris Samnee… if both of them hit their head really hard and forgot how to draw.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Fenoglio: Comics were my everything when I was a kid. I knew I wanted to draw comics when I was six-years-old. I drew even before that… so to be honest, I’m not sure why I started drawing, but my mom says it was the only activity I did that kept me quiet.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Fenoglio: There were… a lot. Jeff Smith, Alex Ross, Jim Lee, Scott Morse, Humberto Ramos, Joe Madureira… and a ton more I can’t think of at the moment.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Fenoglio: God, I wish I was that smart. A lot of it was luck and persistence. I just kept going, even when it probably was in my better interest to quit. I wouldn’t recommend taking that route, but it eventually worked. For anyone trying to get into the business, make a plan, yes, but persistence will get you everywhere. It’s a rough industry, and even if you’re good, chances are you won’t “break in” on your first go.

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Fenoglio: Doing colors for “Orphan Black” for IDW. That got my foot in the door and showed that I can be a professional and make good work on a deadline. It also gave me the ear of an editor who would look at artwork I submitted with more than a passing glance.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
Fenoglio: It took me a long time to break in. I studied art in college and still didn’t have the chops, so after four years of working odd jobs after college, I went back to school to get a master’s degree in illustration. Only then was I in a place where I could start getting even meager amounts of work. I’ve wanted to draw comics since I was six, and I didn’t get my first real paid gig until I was almost 30, which is a long time.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Fenoglio: Spider-Man and Batman. They’re just really fun to doodle. I also like sketching people from life.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Fenoglio: There’s a lot of them, but probably the Ninja Turtles. My first exposure to comics was through Archie’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures” comics, so it’d be amazing if I could do some work with those character. Close the loop, y’know?

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Fenoglio: It’d be great to do some of my own at some point — write and draw a full graphic novel. Or start making money from my web comic.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Fenoglio: When I was breaking in, I’d show my work around to artists and editors at conventions. Some pros told me to focus on one area, like penciling or inking, and get really good at that one thing. I don’t really think that’s great advice — at least not in today’s comic industry. The thing that got me work was my diversity in skills — I can make a comic from the floor up and do every job between writing and printing the book. Having that range of skills got my foot in the door with small jobs which eventually lead to bigger jobs. I couldn’t get a job as an artist, so I took a small lettering job. That led to a small coloring job. That led to a bigger coloring job. That lead to a drawing gig. If I wasn’t able to tackle every aspect of making a comic then I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you still use the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Fenoglio: It makes things faster for me, and, again, allows me to do multiple jobs which makes me more employable. Editors don’t just want a penciler anymore. They want you to be able to ink your work too — and color it if at all possible. Technology has made those jobs so much quicker that one person can do most or all of them in the time it used to take a whole team.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Fenoglio: Run away as fast as you can!!! I’m kidding… well, sort of. It’s a really hard industry and the pay is not great unless you’re top, top, TOP tier talent — and even then a lot of those guys could probably be making more money in animation or some other illustration industry. But if you’re adamant, my advice is to make something and bring it to completion — be it a printed comic, a web comic, etc. You’ll learn a lot by doing it, but more importantly to get a job you have to show editors that you can make a professional looking, finished product. Don’t sit on your hands and wait for someone to notice you. Put something out into the ether.

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
Fenoglio: I like cons, but I’ve never been invited to appear at one, so I can’t really say whether I enjoy making appearances or not. I tabled at a convention once and between getting the table and buying product to sell, I spent about $700 to only sell about $80 worth of stuff. Needless to say, that soured me a bit on tabling.

TrunkSpace: What is the craziest/oddest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw as a commission?
Fenoglio: Someone once asked me to draw the human lower intestines. It was for a science, education comic thing.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to in 2018?
Fenoglio: More “Goosebumps” out early this year and more of my web comic, “Chris and Christina!”

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Trunk Bubbles

Robert Hack

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Name: Robert Hack

Website: Instagram here. Twitter here. Facebook here.

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: Bat-Mite

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: Ms. Tree

Latest Work: “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” #8 came out a few months ago from Archie Comics, and my covers for “Shadow/Batman” (Dynamite), “Puppet Master” (Action Lab), “Jughead: The Hunger” (Archie Comics) and “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 2” (Archie Comics) have all come out in the last month-ish.


TrunkSpace
: How would you describe your art style?
Hack: Pulpy, I guess. Equally vintage and modern.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Hack: Oh, completely. My brother, Brian, is a few years older than me and he was a massive comics fan and handed that down to me. He’s an artist (and has since gone on to be a Professor of Art History) and there were always cartooning and Artist’s Market books around the house. He taught me about the great comic artists – Kirby, Ditko, C.C. Beck, etc. – before I was ever able to read the comics myself. And our local library had a lot of comic history books like “Crawford’s Encyclopedia of Comics Books,” Jules Feiffer’s “The Great Comic Book Heroes,” and Batman from the 30s to the 70s. So, in the 1980s I had this Golden-Age Comics childhood… which might explain my art style.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Hack: I loved Kirby. I had a reprint copy of “Captain America” #100 that I reread a thousand times. Likewise, my reprint copy of “Superman” #1. I discovered Alex Toth in middle school and that was a huge revelation.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Hack: Oh, a plan would have been nice. I probably should have done that.

I didn’t really have a plan to follow. It’s mostly just been a driving desire to make comics and work with the characters and people I dig. Now, I had/have goals. I want to write my own stuff, I want to work with specific people, books and characters, but I have no timetable/set plan.

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Hack: I guess my “Doctor Who” covers for IDW were a pretty big break, and a turning point in my art. Until then, I had never really considered myself a cover artist. For whatever reason, I just never thought it was my strong suit; but that pushed me to try and now it’s a big chunk of what I do and what I’m known for.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
Hack: “Breaking in” is a continual process. I was self-publishing comics in high school, and used those as samples to work on a bunch of indie books, and those became samples for the next time I broke in, and that pattern continues for years. It was probably about 10 to 12-ish years of that cycle, of learning and honing and sucking a little bit less every day, that I reached a point where I was working at the bigger publishers.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Hack: Well, Batman is the go-to doodle for most comic artists, and I’m no different. But when sketching for myself, I usually do sort of pulp/horror/sci-fi inspired stuff. No particular character, just my own thing. I’ve been posting a lot of those doodles to Instagam lately, so if you want to see more of my nonsense, you can find it here.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Hack: I’ve got a bunch. Some of my own characters that I want to explore, and some old properties. I’m currently in talks to work on a couple of my favorites, so I can’t really mention those. BUT – a Doctor Who is something I really want to return to. With all of the covers I did at IDW (30+, I think), I never did any interiors. I would love to write/draw a Who story at some point.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Hack: Just continuing to make good comics. I want to write/draw my own stuff, because I have stories I want to tell. But working with great collaborators is part of that goal too. Just working, making cool stuff. That’s the dream.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Hack: Not quitting. That 10 to 12+ years of trying to break in, I mentioned above? It’s harrowing. It’s a long time and it wears people down.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you sue the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Hack: I draw entirely traditionally. Sabrina and most of my covers are hand painted on illustration board. I may tweak contrast/brightness in Photoshop, but otherwise it’s all paper/pencil for me. But the technology is still invaluable. To scan/prep/letter and upload the art to publishers is the absolute best thing to ever happen to deadlines. We are spared a few shipping days and trips to the post office.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Hack: Keep practicing, keep learning, keep going.

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
Hack: It is always great to meet fans of the stuff I do. I hate the traveling side of it, but it’s worth it to hang out with fans and friends.

TrunkSpace: What is the craziest/oddest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw as a commission?
Hack: In the early days of eBay, I did commissions by auction. Every single winning bidder wanted some sort of fetish art with their character of choice. Those ranged from topless Catwoman to Superman with a noticeable erection. But none of that is that weird by contrast to the rest of the internet.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to for the rest of 2017 and into the new year?
Hack: My cover for “Betty and Veronica: Vixens” #1(Archie Comics) comes out on November 15. My cover for “Kong on the Planet of the Apes” #3(Boom!) comes out in December. “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” #9 is being worked on now and will be out early 2018. And I’ve got a bunch of cool stuff lined up for 2018. More covers (on some really unexpected books!) and some side projects that I’ll be doing interiors on. You can find out more by following me on the social media of your choice.

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Trunk Bubbles

Marcelo Ferreira

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Name: Marcelo Ferreira

Website: https://marceloferreira-art.com/

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: Batman

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: Still Batman!

Latest Work: “Back To The Future” (IDW Publishing) – November 2015 to November 2017

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your art style?
Ferreira: I have people telling me that my style is “dynamic” and “full of energy.” I think this is true, since I consciously try to bring a lot of movement into my art.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Ferreira: Very important! In fact, the very first thing I read after I got alphabetized was an “Uncle Scrooge” comic book when I was six. And when I started collecting DC comics at the age of eight it never stopped. Around this same age I decided I was going to draw comics for a living when I grew up. Such love was developed for comic book art from reading all those books.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Ferreira: Definitely John Byrne’s run on “Superman” in the mid-to-late 1980s. I remember grabbing those comics and being amazed at the art, and I sat down with every cover and tried to copy it to perfection. I also have to mention Jim Aparo’s “Batman” – also the 80’s run.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Ferreira: Yeah, I definitely had a plan. Plan A was having an agent. Being from Brazil, here the most common way to break in is to get yourself an agent who will champion your portfolio inside the industry. I tried this formula, but it didn’t work out for me. Then I got to plan B, which was going to one of the biggest conventions, pace the show floor talking to absolutely every editor I could and show them my portfolio until at least one of them liked it! And one of them did at NYCC 2010.

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Ferreira: This is difficult for me to answer. My career so far is made of small steps – independent publisher to IDW Publishing to Dark Horse Comics to now hopefully one of the Big Two. And each step was made possible for some work done for each publisher. Let’s see what I will answer you after I get my first gig at one of the Big Two.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
Ferreira: From the time I actually started pursuing it seriously (with plans A and B in mind), it took me four years.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Ferreira: Not a specific character, but they are always from either Marvel or DC, for sure.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Ferreira: This is a two-step answer. Until I do my first job for Marvel or DC, working on any superhero title from any of the two would be awesome! And after some time in the Big Two environment, the dream would be Batman.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Ferreira: Being established in a way that getting steady work is pretty easy and a sure thing. If that comes with the ultimate fanboy dream, which is drawing exclusively superheroes for a living, then even better!

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Ferreira: I would say being able to professionally deal with editors, writers, and other fellow artists. This means meeting deadlines, willingly make changes to your work when asked to, being thoughtful to other fellow artists, etc. All the “behind the scenes” stuff that is just as important as drawing well.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you sue the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Ferreira: Oh yes! And I don’t see myself changing anytime soon. What I did do was incorporate the digital into parts of my process, where it actually helps me speed up the whole thing, like making thumbnails (the storyboard thing), or editing work that is finished. And lately I have been experimenting with inking digitally, which has been proving a good experience and useful in a lot of cases. But the core of my process will remain paper/pencils/inks. Plus, I get to sell the originals! (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Ferreira: If you already know you have potential to be in the industry, and if you already have put together a strong portfolio, just show it around! Go to the conventions and talk to the right people. Good and qualified work WILL find a place. And if nothing happens too soon, don’t give up. Ever!

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
Ferreira: Love it! Love being around fellow artists, the publishers and editors and, of course, the fans.

TrunkSpace: What is the craziest/oddest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw as a commission?
Ferreira: I wish I had a funny answer to that, but I have yet to be asked to draw these odd things.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to for the rest of 2017 and into the new year?
Ferreira: For the rest of 2017 you can check out the wrapping up of “Back To The Future Vol.1.” I think we still have one or two more issues to go. And for 2018 I will be back to all-ages books for awhile, drawing a “Transformers” graphic novel for IDW. And there is also a new project for another publisher, but can’t talk about it. Sorry!

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Trunk Bubbles

Dan Mendoza

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Name: Dan Mendoza

Website: http://www.zombietrampcomic.com/

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: The Hulk

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: Hellboy

Latest Work: “Zombie Tramp” and “Dollface” are under Action Lab Entertainment. “Zombie Tramp” has been an ongoing series since 2010 and “Dollface” debuted January 2017.

I am now self-publishing under my own label, Still Ill Princess. My first title is called “Sad Girl Psycho Baby.”

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your art style?
Mendoza: My art style is more on the European and Anime side. When I was a teenager, I read an article about these new styles that looked like Manga and American mixed together, calling it Neo Manga, so that’s what I call my style today.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Mendoza: I’ve been drawing all my life. I used to make my own comics all the time with folded and stapled paper. I bought my first comic at age 12. It was called “Dynamo Joe.” The comic was a mech-styled genre just like the shows I would watch on TV, “Robotech” and “TranZor-Z,” but this was Americans making the books. After that was a bunch of artists from Marvel saying that they were leaving to do their own thing, which became Image comics. This inspired me the most to want to make my own comics for the world to see.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Mendoza: I was always more inspired by stuff from Japan rather than American comics. Shirow Masamune of “Ghost in the Shell” fame and Yukito Kishiro from “Battle Angel” I’d say influenced me the most.

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Mendoza: When I was young, I would submit my page samples or wait in line at conventions for portfolio review. No one liked my style back then. I kept cracking at it though and ended up going to animation school at CalArts. After graduation and working at a few studios, I went back to my love for comics. I decided to just make my own book and submit it to studios as a portfolio piece representing my work. That comic was called “Zombie Tramp.”

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Mendoza: Self-publishing comics with my friend Jason Martin was great! We accomplished a lot together. My fan base kept growing and growing. The first break was with Action Lab. Signing with Action Lab helped me get my books into a lot of stores and helped me increase my fan base.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
Mendoza: From the time I was 17, I would submit my work to studios and get rejected. It wasn’t until I decided to make my own books at age 33 that it all started to happen for me. It goes to show what persistence and believing in yourself can do.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Mendoza: It’s always “Zombie Tramp.”

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Mendoza: It’s funny, as much as I’m known for drawing pretty girls and stuff, I’d love to draw the Hulk or Conan.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Mendoza: I’d like to have my own movie, TV/animated series.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Mendoza: The greatest strength is to have “Ganas.” I love Edward James Olmos movies. The movie he made about math teacher Jaime Escalante, “Stand and Deliver,” stood out for me when he would tell his students to have “ganas,” meaning the will and the desire to do something. Keep that ability to self-drive yourself. Constantly be drawing. Believe in yourself and treat the craft like an addiction. Keep at it.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you use the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Mendoza: Since I have bought a Cintiq, my whole world has changed. I mostly work digital now. It’s quicker and cleaner. But I still draw on paper here and there so I don’t lose that traditional craft.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Mendoza: It’s a hard road, just like every art career. What stands out to me again is that word, “ganas.” Arnold Schwarzenegger is a hero of mine. His career, from nothing to legend, is incredible. He came up with the six rules of success. Look up these six rules and be inspired by them. My favorite rule is rule # 5 – work your butt off. Make your dream a reality through hard work. If you’re too busy talking about doing something and going out every Friday night, having fun, there is someone out there with that same idea who works on it every day and night. He will get that idea out there before you do.

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
Mendoza: Me and comic book conventions have a strange relationship. On one hand, I love them. I love meeting my fans and talking with them and drawing for them. On the other hand, I have bad anxiety problems. Overly crowded areas and traveling eat at my brain, but I power through it because my fans mean everything.

TrunkSpace: What is the craziest/oddest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw as a commission?
Mendoza: Okay, this is a bit gross but here it goes… I was asked to draw that one Spider-Man image where Peter Parker has his back to the wall and he is dodging a bunch of Dr. Octopus’s arms. Not that bad… but then, switching Peter Parker to his friend’s face and all the Dr. Octopus’s arms into veiny penises.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to for the rest of 2017 and into the new year?
Mendoza: 2018 is going to be a fun year. We got the coming of “The Death of Zombie Tramp” story arc and my first solo published title, “Sad Girl Psycho Baby” coming out. The Kickstarter campaign began yesterday and can be found here.

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Trunk Bubbles

Brett Parson

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Name: Brett Parson

Website: Blitzcadet.deviantart.com

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: Simon Bisley’s Lobo

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: Barney from “Tank Girl”

Latest Work: “World War Tank Girl” published by Titan Comics.

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your art style?
Parson: I guess my style is a mix of Cartoon/Animation and old school comics. There’s a little bit of everything I grew up loving… from “He-Man” or Don Bluth to Ren & Stimpy and Jack Davis. And a little dash of a retro 70s vibe in there somewhere.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Parson: They were definitely one of the biggest parts of my life as a young artist. I think I always wanted to be a cartoonist. My mom used to staple little blank books together for me when I was little, and I’d fill them in with stories… usually Ninja Turtles, Indiana Jones or Ghostbusters. Later, when I discovered underground stuff like R. Crumb, “Tank Girl,” “Love and Rockets,” “Judge Dredd,” and “The Maxx,” I saw that comics didn’t need to have DC or Marvel style art/stories and didn’t need to play it safe for kids. That became what I really wanted to do.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Parson: I was pretty obsessed with Simon Bisley as a kid in middle school. Kevin Eastman used to own a comic book museum near where I live, and I would go there all the time and just study the originals. Bisley, Richard Corben, Frank Miller, Jaimie Hewlett, all kinds of killer artist’s stuff came through there. Looking back I was REALLY lucky to have that place so close. Then in high school when I stumbled on “Danger Girl” by J. Scott Campbell, that really melted my brain!

TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career in comics? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Parson: I spent close to a decade after I graduated just working a day job and doing freelance illustration on the side, self-publishing my own books when I could. I’d basically given up on the idea of “breaking into” the comics industry. Marvel wasn’t accepting portfolios, and I didn’t even know if the big guys would go for my style. My plan was to develop something creator-owned and pitch it around, or do a Kickstarter.

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Parson: A few years ago Alan Martin, the co-creator of “Tank Girl,” came across some of my stuff online. He contacted me about possibly working together on some “Tank Girl” comics, and we’ve basically been working together since. It was really Alan taking a chance and giving me a shot that led to my career in comics.

TrunkSpace: A lot of people say that breaking into comics is the hardest part of working in comics. How long did it take you before you started to see your comic book dreams become a reality?
Parson: Yeah, people always talk about how impossible it is to get into the business, so I really didn’t think too hard about it. I just kept doing my thing, trying to have fun. I started posting all my stuff online… I figured if I was good enough something would eventually come along. I really wasn’t shopping a portfolio around at all, so if it wasn’t for social networking outlets like Instagram, Facebook, and DeviantArt, I doubt that I’d be drawing comics professionally today.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Parson: Not really. I’ve always been more into making stuff up and drawing from my imagination. I used to draw ugly, weird-looking Batman faces to warm up, but usually I just doodle random stuff to try to get things going.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Parson: Tank Girl has been pretty amazing. It’s been one of my all time favorite books since I was a kid, so getting to work on this title has been like a dream come true. Other than that, I’d love to get a chance to do an old school Lobo book, or maybe Ghost Rider. I feel like those characters and worlds would be a blast to draw.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Parson: At the moment I’m just happy to be doing what I love for a living. If I can keep drawing comics for years to come, and make ends meet… then I’m pretty happy. I get to be home with my daughter, listening to music, and drawing cool stuff!


TrunkSpace
: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Parson: Not being afraid to have fun, and be yourself.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you sue the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Parson: For a long time I’ve been going probably 95 percent digital. The control and speed it allows has been my best friend when it comes to doing a good job while trying to meet tight deadlines. But I’ve been getting back into doing things traditionally more and more. This series I’m working on now – I’m only using the Cintiq for rough-layouts and coloring. I’m doing all the finished pages with pencil and ink. Nothing really compares to that feeling of a soft pencil on paper. It’s one of the best things in the world.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Parson: I guess the main thing is, be sure that you LOVE drawing comics. You won’t get rich, so if that’s what you’re looking for go into animation or illustration. And be patient, don’t expect things to always go your way or fall into place immediately… it takes lots of patience and persistence. Messing up. Falling on your face. You really just have to love it.

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