Q&A: The 3rd Degree

Image comics that shipped in November had a Q&A-style interview with me on the editorial page.

What are you working on right now?
Final preparations for my impending nuptials (which will be a done deal by the time this sees print) and writing Skullkickers #5+

What’s the best part of your job?
Figuring out which sound effects best exemplify excessive violence.

What’s the worst part of your job?
Convincing family, friends and strangers that working in comics/art/creative stuff isn’t easy.

How did you first discover comics?
Probably reading Spidey Super Stories in the old Electric Company magazine, graduating up to superhero comic obsession through my teens.

If you weren’t working in comics what would you be doing?
I actually teach at Seneca College in Toronto as part of their Animation faculty, so I’d be doing more of that while daydreaming about working in comics.

What’s the strangest thing a fan has ever said to you?
A fan asked me for my professional opinion on the sexual habits of two popular video game characters, hoping I could settle an argument he was having with his friends.

What are you most likely to complain to an editor about?
Why don’t the printed comics glow with vibrant color like the jpegs do on my monitor?

Who is the biggest influence on your work?
You wouldn’t know it by reading Skullkickers, but the early films of Hayao Miyazaki brought me immense joy. I hope something I do excites people even a fraction of that.

What is the single work of which you’re most proud?
I created a graphic novel called ‘The Makeshift Miracle’ back in 2001 and even though it’s raw and unprofessional in spots, it taught me to follow my passions and finish what I start.

Own up to one of your guilty pleasures.
There’s a website called ‘Fandom Secrets’ where hardcore fans discuss how TV, comic, anime or video game characters have affected their lives/turned them on. Reading it brings on a strange mixture of amazement and schadenfreude.

What was the last comic book you bought?
Morning Glories #3. Gotta support my fellow Image-ites.

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
A muppet.

Pick three things you couldn’t live without.
Breathable air, food/water, dreams.

What’s the strangest thing you have in your house?
A jar with my four extracted wisdom teeth in it.

When was the last time you laughed out loud?
This morning’s Fail Blog entry. Injury footage shouldn’t be so funny, but it is.

What music are you listening to these days?
Orchestral soundtracks to help fill my head with epic ideas and to drown out the sound of renovations happening next door.

What is your favourite film of all time?
Hard to nail down, just one… but right now I’ll say ‘My Neighbour Totoro’. In a couple days it could be ‘Army of Darkness’ or ‘Fight Club’.

Who is your best friend?
My fiancée, Stacy. She’s helped me through thick and thin over the past few years, supported the work I do and patiently let comic stuff worm its way into every aspect of our lives.

What is the worst advice you’ve ever received?
“You need to make a choice between responsibility and creativity. There’s no room for both.”

When was the last time you were truly frightened?
Weeks ago I lied awake at night wondering whether anyone would buy and enjoy Skullkickers. Months and months of work was distilled down in to that a night of pure neurotic fear that it would fail.

Name someone you really admire and explain why.
My friend Ray Fawkes has an uncompromising vision of how he wants to develop as a writer and the type of work he wants to be associated with. I deeply respect that.

What would you like to see happen in comics in the next 12 months?
Even more diversity, less immature sexist bull$%^& from every publisher and, most of all, more joy in the content. Comics are pure fun and people should embrace that.

What the world needs now is…
A good book and a well poured pint of cider.

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