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Niko Walter

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Name: Niko Walter

Website: Twitter

Favorite Comic Book Character Growing Up: Spider-Man

Favorite Comic Book Character Now: Hellboy

Latest Work: (Title/Publisher/Release Date) Gasolina/Skybound/Monthly

TrunkSpace: How would you describe your art style?
Walter: Heavy. Lots of shadow. Fairly stiff. Male. Somber. Straightforward.

TrunkSpace: How important were comic books in your life growing up and is that where you discovered your love and inspiration for drawing?
Walter: I had the great fortune growing up that my parents were protective of what they let into our home. Computers, internet, video games, television and movies came late in life, relative not just to kids today but to most of my peers at the time. As a result, when I got my first issue of Ditko/Lee Spider-Man as a child, it was the most visually exciting thing I’d seen outside Disney animation, only it wasn’t weighed down with lame musical numbers or boring romance. It was great. I read that book until it fell to tatters and then got some more. Drawing came later when I met my buddy Andy in middle school. He was a doodler. Always scribbling in class on the back of tests, notebooks and the like. He was a comics guy too. One afternoon, bored, we got out some “Spawn” trades and tried our best to copy the splash pages. Great memory. There are a hundred small moments like it that pushed me towards comics but that was the moment I realized I enjoyed drawing.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular artist or title from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Walter: I went through phases. As a kid it was the character that counted. Spider-Man loomed large. Approaching my teen years the artist started to become priority. I was big on Todd McFarlane and by extension Greg Capullo. Some Jim Lee and the Kubert brothers mixed in as well. In high school I was looking for concept so I was going through guys like Frank Miller, Warren Ellis and Alan Moore. When the “Hellboy” movie was coming out I came across Mike Mignola for the first time – promo poster or something – just a profile of Hellboy’s face. Blew away everything I had seen up to that point. Still my favorite artist. I don’t much talk about comics anymore and it’s rare I think back on reading them as a kid but it certainly strikes me at this moment just how much I enjoyed those comics growing up

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?
Walter: Mostly it was just years of grinding away to get to that point where you look down at something you’ve drawn and it isn’t the worst thing you’ve ever seen. Once I got to that point I wanted to find out what other people thought about it. I figured tried and true: take a portfolio to conventions and talk to editors. It worked. There were some premature efforts before that. I mailed in some samples and pitches. Went nowhere. Had a few writers contact me online and did some work with them that resulted in the same thing – though much of that was on me.

TrunkSpace: What was your biggest break in terms of a job that opened more doors for you?
Walter: I went to a convention and showed my portfolio to Sean Mackiewicz. He saw some potential there and shortly after offered me a job. That first job was raw but he stuck by me and after offered me more work. I’m grateful to him for that.

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?
Walter: I decided to draw comics when I was a senior in high school. Got my first real gig at 27. Almost 10 years. Now that I’ve gotten in, the dream has shifted. Now I’m dreaming of doing it well. Could take a lifetime.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular character or universe you always find yourself returning to when you’re sketching or doing warm-ups?
Walter: I vacillate between characters I enjoy drawing and drawing things I suck at and look to improve. Former is mostly characters I know and grew up on and the latter is everything else, but especially women.

TrunkSpace: Is there a specific title or character that you’d like to work on in the future and why?
Walter: Could be but I’ve got an issue here. Take the Punisher. Great character. Skulls, guns and an opportunity to drape everything in shadows. Great stuff. Would fit with what I would like to do if I could do what I imagined. Trouble is, Parlov has drawn Punisher. And Zaffino for that matter. For me it’s best to avoid hoping for a specific existing title and if I get something, try to do it better than the last thing I did.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your career in comics? Where would you like your path to lead?
Walter: I’ve got an idea for a book of my own. I’ve got a character, the world that surrounds him and the makings of a plot. Filled with things I like and like drawing and very little of what I don’t. That’s the ticket. One of these days I’ll strike out and give it a shot. Other than that, if something comes my way, chances are I’m game.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength as an artist?
Walter: Comic art appealed to me in part because it so often lacks mystery. It’s simple, it pops and everyone can understand it. It’s attainable. I can look at a Caravaggio or Bernini all day long but I can’t make heads or tails of it. I mean how it was accomplished. I know that there were brushes and paint or stone and chisel but the rest might as well be a miracle. With a lot of comics, it’s lines on paper. I can see how it was made… even as a kid. I doubt anyone will be lining up in 400 years to look, awestruck and humbled, at pages from “ROM Spaceknight,” but there were thousands of kids who, for 30 minutes a month, looked wide eyed at that chrome robot and stepped outside their lives. Not bad. Of course, many of those kids are now adults who worship mans mastery of science and have forgotten all about mystery and miracles. Not sure how that balances out.

TrunkSpace: How has technology changed your process of putting ideas/script to page? Do you use the classic paper/pencil approach at all anymore?
Walter: I’m almost always working in Photoshop. Been attempting to get back to doing traditional ink on paper but I have gotten so accustomed to working digitally that it’s rough going. I know how to get the results I want digitally but can’t seem to get the same lines out of a brush. From the other side, it makes no nevermind to me at all. So long as I like the result I don’t care how the artist did it or by what method.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring artist who is considering a career in the comic industry?
Walter: Difficult question. Things are moving pretty fast lately but I’ll say this – people today have a great desire for entertainment. If you stick with it and commit you might make it. Be practical. Think about pay, benefits, how much (and for how long) you will have to put in to get something out. Be aware of where you stack up. Plenty of people out there with a dream incapable of seeing their work objectively, people who may avoid heartbreak with honesty. Consider your motives and excise rationalizations if possible. Other than that, keep at it and good luck.

TrunkSpace: Making appearances at conventions: Love it, leave it, or a combination of both?
Walter: I’ve yet to do it. I may attend one to see what it’s like from the other side of the table but I went to a few conventions when I was looking to break in and I found it in no way to my liking.

TrunkSpace: What is the craziest/oddest thing you’ve ever been asked to draw as a commission?
Walter: Nothing yet. So far, fairly straightforward commissions.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of your work look forward to in 2019?
Walter: “Gasolina” will still be coming out. I’ll post sketches regularly. If I have the time I might try my hand at something of my own. Other than that, it’s up in the air.

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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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Imprinted

Imprinted #2

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IMPRINTED
ISSUE 2

You’ve read the stories of near death experiences…

Reunions with lost loved ones. Blinding white light. The sensation of the human soul being rocketed back into the body.

These all-too-familiar first person accounts have been told for as long as people have discussed the possibility of an afterlife. But are they legitimate?

Imprinted tells the story of Lillian, a young reverse reaper closed off from humanity, whose entire purpose is to guide those souls not yet destined for the other side back into their bodies. When the balance between life and death is disturbed, Lillian is forced to carry the weight of the entire world on her shoulders and protect every living soul on the planet or else sit by and watch as all of humanity dies.

 

COME BACK SOON FOR MORE OF IMPRINTED!

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Zombees

Zombees Preview

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In any given hive, 20,000 to 60,000 bees swarm, going about their daily lives. In this particular hive, there are just as many bees, but the difference is, none of them are alive! ZOMBEES follows the daily antics of a group of undead bees and the hilarious (and gory) comedy that ensues.

Affable and well-liked, Nibble is cursed with an insatiable appetite. Rarely seen without an insect hanging out of his mouth, he is the dreamer of the hive and wishes so much more for himself and his people.

Nibble’s best friend, Beeswax is a dopey, forgetful bee who often gets Nibble and the rest of the hive into trouble.

Constantly tinkering in his lab, Ned’s brain is the only part of his body that isn’t decaying. Smart and innovative, he is constantly working on new gadgets and inventions to forward the undead hive’s progress.

Prone to moments of impulsive violence, Brood is like the undead Hulk… if the Hulk were a bee who was unhappy having only one stinger and so he equipped himself with a dozen more.

Ruling her hive with an iron mandible, Queen Nicot is the mother of all the bees within the hive and so the responsibility of keeping the zombees in line falls on her.

As sweet as the scalding hot honey that drips from her body, Comb is a new age zombee looking to spread the message of peace and love.

COME BACK TOMORROW FOR MORE ZOMBEES FIRST LOOKS!

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Imprinted

Imprinted #1

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ISSUE 2 OF IMPRINTED DEBUTS TOMORROW AT TRUNKSPACE! READ ISSUE 1 FOR FREE AND GET READY FOR MORE COMIC GOODNESS!

IMPRINTED
ISSUE 1

You’ve read the stories of near death experiences…

Reunions with lost loved ones. Blinding white light. The sensation of the human soul being rocketed back into the body.

These all-too-familiar first person accounts have been told for as long as people have discussed the possibility of an afterlife. But are they legitimate?

Imprinted tells the story of Lillian, a young reverse reaper closed off from humanity, whose entire purpose is to guide those souls not yet destined for the other side back into their bodies. When the balance between life and death is disturbed, Lillian is forced to carry the weight of the entire world on her shoulders and protect every living soul on the planet or else sit by and watch as all of humanity dies.

BE SURE TO COME BACK NEXT WEEK FOR MORE FROM THE TRUNKSPACE UNIVERSE!

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Death Bugs

Death Bugs #1

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Death Bugs
Issue 1
A “pest” of a series by Dustin Evans.

A chef, fresh out of prison, is a small town’s only hope for survival when a swarm of Death Bugs begins infesting humans, animals, and even the dead!

Come back soon for more from Dustin Evans’ Death Bugs!

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