God, Comics and Gaming

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I Interview Patrick Scott

Creator & Writer

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 12:50 AM

Now it's an honor and privilege to interview the mastermind behind the Archangels series. Thank you for your time Patrick Scott, it means so much to me, now lets get started.


Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?


A: 1986… The Superman in 1978 with Christopher Reeve is my favorite movie. It inspired me to create something like Superman that would inspire people to look to God much like fans looked up to Superman to save them… I wanted them to see Christ in that light and Jorel as God, the father figure… The Spirit of The Lord in Archangels was originally called the “Equalizer”. LOL After additional story development that Character kept taking on the will of God throughout the Archangels storyline. Thus, it hit me. The Equalizer is the Will of God… or Spirit of God… THE HOLY SPIRIT! Wow… it was really cool. After conferring with John Leger and Andy Orjuela my co-creators we agreed that this was the best way to relate to people in a way that would accomplish my dreams of making a comic book series as cool as Superman that would lead people to God.


Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?


A: All of us; Me, John Leger and Andy Orjuela were Art Advertising and Graphic Design majors at Sam Houston State University. We believed we could pull off a comic book better than trying to make a real or animated movie in 1993? :o) No Pixar or Dreamworks level of animation at that time… A comic book was in our area of influence and capabilities.


Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?


Wow…  Archangels: The Saga™, The Fall… Timestream: The Remnant™, Modern Revolution Board Game™ and Sword of Eden™


Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?


A: Loyalopolis.com – a new smart phone app that promotes community loyalty due out in Houston, Texas in late April early May… Nationally in October of this year I Pray!


Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?


A: Good question… I prefer a graphic novel or trilogy. I am interested in penning my first full length novel some time in 2015. Archangels: Legacy©. I just have to negotiate the rights. This is what I am trying to get out and published for the 20th anniversary of ATS in May of 2015.


Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?


A: The Bible is my main source of creativity and inspiration… Superman, Star Trek TNG, Star Wars a little, JJ Abrams, and Lost the TV series. I am confident I could create endless comic book stories from the Bible that would last me the rest of my lifetime and I would love every minute of it… the Lord willing.


 

Q: Say a little about how you’ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?


A: In April / May of 1995 we released ATS to the public with a dismal fan fair… only 250 books were sold in April and we spent over $76,000 to print 25,000 of book 1 and 5,000 limited edition platinum’s and 18,000 copies of ATS book 2. We were very sad when the orders came in very low (250) and we thought we would never get to see book 3 published… However, God had other plans… in May of 1995 we received an order for 2,000 of ATS Book 1 and 1,800 of book 2 and a preorder of 5,000 on ATS book 3! It was amazing and we were so blessed.


Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?


A: We are working on getting a website up and out soon. I will have to direct you to my personal email at [email protected] for now.


Q: And last, besides your own, what is your favorite comic book and why?


A: Superman… the story mirrors the life of Christ and that will always be the greatest story ever told…


Thanks again for your time, may the Lord continue to bless you in everything you do. I personally hope to see more Archangels comics or graphic novels in the future, or something just as cool. You have inspired me to start a fan website and now make it even bigger by promoting every Christian comic book I can find. You are the Stan Lee of Christian comic books in my eyes, heck even better, if I should say so boldly, God speed my friend.

Publisher & Writer

Posted on March 16, 2014 at 9:05 PM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?


A: When I was younger I enjoyed MAD magazine and Archie, but never really was a comic geek. Getting into comics was more God-driven than it was that I was a comics aficionado. However, I am becoming more and more immersed in it and love it now. We get so many reports from people reached and touched by Christian comics.


Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?


A: Quick way to tell a story and the high quality serial art just draws people in.


Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?


A: Wrote the screenplay Alas Babylon (now our graphic novel Babylon) that won Best TV Movie in Hollywood’s Next Success contest. I am the writer on the 101 Questions about the Bible and Christianity that has done pretty well.


Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?


A: The Kingstone Bible is our major focus right now. As far as we know, it will be the most complete graphic adaptation of the Bible ever done. SONY came to us to do a graphic novel on their fall 2014 release The Remaining. (go see this film!) Doing the first graphic novel by world renowned apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias.


Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?


A: Well, that is a very good question and we are still trying to land on it. The short form comics seem to do a little bit better on the e-platforms. The one shots are doing better than serial at the moment though this fall we may launch a new serialized line. But graphic novels definitely are selling better for us than comics.


Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?


A: God has communicated very powerfully through Scripture, prayer and fasting. One strong piece of inspiration was in the form of our app. The first week our iPad app came out we had 6 downloads in Saudi Arabia. That was an a-ha moment for me. At last count we have licensed, sold and been downloaded in 95 countries.


Q: Say a little about how you’ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?


A: One, is people are wowed that there is a Christian product of such caliber and quality, that opens the door with a lot of people. Second, think the way we have conducted business has opened some hearts more to the gospel message. Hasn’t really evolved, has been pretty steady state.


Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?


A: They can download the Kingstone Comics app for free on all digital devices.

Most retailers carry us or they buy direct from our website www.kingstonecomics.com.

Would love to have people connect with me on Twitter or Facebook.

If interested in being a reseller you can e-mail me directly at [email protected]


Q: Thanks, I hope the Lord continues to bless you.


A: The Lord bless you! Appreciate your support of Kingstone Erik.

Writer & Artist

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Q: So hi Al Nickerson, lets start off by saying thank you for taking the time to talk to me and do this interview by email.

 

A: You¹re very welcome.

 

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?

 

A: I¹ve been reading comics for as long as I can remember. I really don¹t know how old I was. I was a child who quickly became a fan of Spider-Man and Batman.

 

Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?

 

A: Comics is a wonderful literary form that combines art and literature. Plus, you don¹t need a whole staff of people to produce a comic book like with film or television.

 

Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?

 

A: I¹ve been working in comics and animation since 1994. I¹ve been a comic book inker for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and Archie Comic Publications. I¹ve worked as a designer and animator for the likes of Sesame Street, MTV Animation, and Nickelodeon. I¹ve been a writer for BACK ISSUE magazine. With a few other guys, I¹ve even self-published some comic books like THE ARGGH!!! CHRONICLES 2000 EDITION and NIHILIST-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS #1.

 

Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?

 

A: Since the beginning of 2013, I¹ve been writing, illustrating, and self-publishing AN ACT OF FAITH. In AN ACT OF FAITH, Crusader Girl, Nemish-Man, Kid-Cockroach, and Professor Jack battle demons, zombies, a bunch of ninja, and other super-villains. The series starts off with our heroes searching for the Sword of Eden (the legendary sword used by angels to keep Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden). The group, also, tussles with Count Orlok and the Green Knight. In issues #8 and #9, our heroes (and heroes from decades past) search for Noah¹s Ark.

 

Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?

 

A: Ultimately, for me, it really doesn¹t matter. Comics are comics. Still, when I signed with iVerse Media to distribute AN ACT OF FAITH, a friend suggested that making the book a serialized bimonthly comic book would be the best way to generate a growing audience. That sounded good to me. So, that¹s the way I went.

 

Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?

 

A: I am a huge fan of the works of Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, John Byrne, and Frank Miller. Those guys have really influenced my style and how I draw a story. Terry Austin¹s inking made me want to become a professional comic book inker. And I¹ve been blessed with many friends and colleagues who have always been very supportive of my work. I can¹t say enough of how helpful they¹ve been to my career and me.

 

Q: Say a little about how you¹ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?

 

A: Several years ago, I started getting tired of working in secular comics. I started getting tired of making comics for other publishers. And I wanted to give back to God. I¹ve always felt that comics is a powerful form to tell important stories. It seemed to make sense for me to create comics where I can share the things of God. And it gives me the opportunity to create comics that other Christians can enjoy reading and not feel as if they¹re compromising their principles.

 

Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?

 

A: Folks can learn all about AN ACT OF FAITH AT:

 

http://anactoffaithcomic.com/

 

I¹m on Facebook:

 

http://www.facebook.com/al.nickerson.3

 

I¹m on Twitter:

 

https://twitter.com/Al_Nickerson

 

Thanks again. I hope the Lord continues to bless you.

 

-Thanks for the interest and support, Erik. God bless!


Q: Your welcome and wow, nice work history.

Writer & Artist

Posted on May 21, 2015 at 10:25 AM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?

 

A: Starting when I was very little, around 5, I became a big fan of Superman, Batman and Spider-Man. The Adventures of Lois and Clark introduced me to Superman; Tim Burton's Batman introduced me to Batman and I guess a little later on, Spider-Man The Animated Series introduced me to Spider-Man. As for when I became a comic reader, I was aware of comics but the Western realistic style didn't really draw my attention. But one anime introduced me to the manga/anime art style which led me to read manga: Dragonball Z. It was at the time when Dragonball Z was on Toonami. I fell in love with that style. It also led me to read other manga that I grow to love reading now like Fairy Tail.

 

Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?

 

A: Well like I mentioned in the previous question, it didn't draw my attention until Dragonball Z. But at the same time, I knew I had a talent for art and drawing but I didn't know what I wanted to do with it. Then I was introduced to a manga called Bakuman, from the same creators of Death Note. The manga was about the process of making manga in Japan. It fascinated and inspired me to draw manga. So during my high school years I practiced my style, and studied how to draw and write comics. I even watch internet review shows like Nostalgia Critic and Linkara. They taught me how to make a good story and taught me how to criticize my own work and figure out what worked and what didn't. What I love about comics is that it's truly one of the only true American art forms. Steven Spielberg once said to Stan Lee that they basically do the same thing, only the images on comics don't move. I guess for me it's a lazier way for animation. But it's because of the Bakuman manga the made me appreciate comics.

 

Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?

 

A: I'm still working on Melchizedek: King of Justice. I do plan to make one shot comics of characters that will be part of Melchizedek's universe. Which leads me to bring up that I hope to start a comic company called XP Comics which will start the XP Heroverse, including Melchizedek. Kinda like the DC or Marvel Universes.

 

Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?

 

A: I guess depending on the project. Melchizedek is gonna be an on-going series but it will have an ending. I guess I'm drawn to those kinds of stories because of Dragonball Z and Avatar: The Last Airbender. With that, you can build a whole world, with great characters and plots.

 

Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?

 

A: Artistically, the first style that got me into drawing comics was Dragonball. Over time, I found new styles that started my interest and helped me develop my own style. Other art inspirations are Avatar and Fairy Tail. When it comes to inspiration for story telling, I guess I wouldn't really say that other stories have inspired my work. When I first started creating Melchizedek, I prayed to God for his wisdom and give me inspiration. And so far, I guess He has been doing just that. But I guess how I write does come from Christian writers like C.S. Lewis.

 

Q: Say a little about how you've been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?

 

A: Well, to be honest, I've never been the preachy type of creator. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien have taught me that you can make great Christian stories with Christian messages without getting preachy or being too open about you faith. Over the years, I've learned that writers and creators need to treat their audience like they're thinking adults and not dumb children, which I believe is the problem with a lot of Christian films, comics and other forms of media.

 

Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?

 

A: Everyone can purchase Melchizedek: King of Justice for digital release on Comixology and Amazon Kindle. As the Volumes are finished, they be available for both digital release and print. You can also follow XP Comics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/xpcomics). Melchizedek is also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kingofjusticecomic).


Q: What is your favorite Christian comic book?


A: Well, obviously my own comic is my favorite, but if I had to choose one that's not my own, I honestly don't have a favorite. I did purchase both volumes of Game Plan by Inkhana, which I think is a really good Christian comic with the manga art style. Though it does have some preachy scenes but I give it a pass since it does it in excusable places.

Writer & Artist

Posted on April 19, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?

 

A: I think I was introduced to comics through superhero storybooks designed for kids, as well as through comic adaptations of movies like Star Wars. These got my creative juices flowing. I still have some simple comic books that I made as a kid. This eventually led to going to the local comic shop and buying comics as a 'tween' and teen.

 

Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?


A: I love the combination of words and pictures. In some sense, a comic book can be like the fusion of a great movie and a great book, with each giving and taking from the other. Similarly, the limitations of comic books in regard to words and images (compared to novels or 2-hour movies) help bring a kind of focus to comics that forces the creator to be clear, concise, and ultimately, thoughtful with the choices he or she makes. This in turn affects the pace of storytelling in comics. I appreciate that dynamic.

 

Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?


A: Most of my work in the general category of comics has been cartooning, and specifically, editorial cartooning. I have also done a number of illustrations for books, as well as graphic design work for a variety of clients. In terms of the more specific category of comic books, my only fully realized project has been the book, "Rescue Me: What Superheroes Can Teach Us about the Power of Faith". That book evolved from a simply storybook I created for my kids in 2009, into a 32-page comic book in 2011. I was blessed to be able to connect with Canadian artist Mitch Martin, and he did a fantastic job bringing my writing to life through his artwork. In a nutshell, the book uses the adventures of a superhero named Captain Sun to help kids understand the spiritual/biblical themes that exist in all superhero stories. This is accomplished through eight lesson pages at the end of each chapter that include simple devotional readings. These readings connect the theme of the chapter to a biblical truth. But the story itself is simply a typical superhero story, like you might find in a classic Superman or Spider-man comic.


Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?


A: I am currently working on the follow up book to "Rescue Me!" The new book is entitled, "Captain Sun and the Army of Fear". This time, I am tackling both the writing and art. As a full-time pastor, this is a daunting task. But God has allowed me to somehow get some forward momentum with this project, and for this I am very grateful. With this project, I have been trying to develop a unique style, one that will appeal to kids, but at the same time, be interesting and convey a sense of professionalism to parents and older readers. Since I am more of a cartoonist than a comic book artist, I have moved toward the style of artists like Bruce Tim and those reflected in many of the current or recent animated superhero shows (e.g. "Spectacular Spider-man", "The Batman", "Young Justice", etc.). As you can tell from the title, this new book will tackle the issue of fear. Fear is something kids deal with all the time. And if we are honest, the same is true with adults. But fear is also a subject that weaves its way through almost every comic book. And above all, the reality of fear and the prescription for fear are addressed by God himself in the Scriptures. I am aiming for September of this year to release the new book.

 

Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?


A: I guess these Captain Sun books would be considered "one-shots". They are stand alone stories, even though there are some 'threads' here and there that will connect the books.

 

Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?


A: Obviously, the first inspiration for me is God's word. The second inspiration that connects to that is my own experience of faith in Christ. The third inspiration in the mix would be all the comic books, cartoons, and hero movies that have resonated with me over the years. Finally, my children are an inspiration to me, in the sense that when I see them responding to great superhero stories, I want to help them dig down and see the connections to God's word, and thus, to their own lives.

 

Q: Say a little about how you’ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?


A: As an editorial cartoonist, my faith was expressed on a regular basis through the values driving my messages, but also on a more periodic basis through special cartoons (for example, those dealing with Christmas or Easter) where I felt I could be more explicit about Christ. With the Captain Sun books, everything is built around communicating my faith. But I have chosen to do so in a way that I believe helps kids think Christian-ly about all superheroes, rather than dealing with Christian superheroes per se. This desire on my part has manifested itself in many ways in my ministry, as I've sought to help believers think carefully, critically, and biblically about the world around them. My goal in everything I do is to direct people to the "Hero of Heroes", Jesus Christ.

 

Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?


A: The best way for people to contact me is through my website, www.itscaptainsun.com. On that site, you'll find updates, reviews, previews of both books, some fun stuff (e.g. coloring pages), and all the info you need if you are interested in purchasing a copy of "Rescue Me!". The book is available through Amazon.com, direct from the publisher (which is a division of Amazon), and on multiple E-book platforms (including Kindle, Nook, and iPad). You can also send me a message through the site. I'd love to hear from you, especially if are interested in reviewing the book for a blog, newsletter, etc. If so, I'd be happy to send you a free copy of the book.

I Interview Bud Hanzel

Writer

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?


A: I bought my first comic 1967 at the corner drug store. It was a copy of Marvel Collectors Item Classics #13, reprinting the first FF vs Super Skrull story, Iron Man vs the Scarecrow, Dr. Strange vs Nightmare and a Tales of the Watcher. I've been hooked ever since. It was after reading that comic that I knew I was a writer at heart. I wanted to tell stories like the ones I'd just read.

 

Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?

 

A: Comics are absolutely unique as a storytelling medium. Not only because of the fusion of words and pictures to communicate, but because of the way the audience becomes an integral part of the storytelling process. When comics are done properly, the reader, subconsciously supplies all of the necessary movement in the gutters between panels. No other form of entertainment has this level of interactivity.

 

Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?

 

A: My first professional job was The Twilight Zone Annual #1 for Now Comics, back in '93. My editor said that out of all the TZ stories she'd edited, mine was the only one that started with "submitted for your approval", a classic TZ catchphrase. After that, I did some work for Gary Carlson's Big Bang Comics, creating two versions of the Beacon for them, and writing a Human Sub story. While freelancing for BBC, I met John Olson, was was working as EIC for SunDragon comics. I showed him my portfolio, and he gave me a job writing Vendetta -a Minneapolis based super-hero. After SunDragon went belly up, John and I decided to self publish Vendetta, and started our own company, Hanson Press. We put out the three issues of Vendetta, and a few ashcan editions of some other projects, but nothing really came of them. Our most successful project (success being relative), was the Do-it-Yourself Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse, which came out in 2010 (available at Amazon.com! --shameless plug).

 

Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?

 

A: I'm not doing a lot of comics these days, since I can't afford to pay an artist. So, I'm in the process of rewriting the first Vendetta mini-series as a novel, in hopes that it will reach a wider audience. John and I are also planning on doing some more DIY Guides.

 

Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?

 

A: I guess I'd have to go with the mini-series/graphic novel approach. I tend to prefer stories with a beginning, middle and end, as opposed to a more open ended approach. I like to finish one thing before starting another...not that that always works, of course.

 

Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?

 

A: Wow. That's a toughie. An easier question might be what didn't inspire me? I've always been a voracious reader, and I love movies and TV. so, I've probably been influenced by all of it to one degree or another. But, my greatest influences are God's Word, of course, and the works of H G Wells, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Lester Dent, Stan Lee, Don Pendleton, Gardner Fox and C S Lewis. Man, those guys could spin a yarn.

 

Q: Say a little about how you’ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?

 

A: I tend to demonstrate my faith through the choices (consequences thereof) that my characters make and the trials that I put them through. Perhaps this is a failing on my part, but I'm more concerned with telling a good story than I am with sending a message. My approach is a kind of subversive "commando" Christianity in my writing. I've found that it's easier to make your point subtly, than through proselytizing. Your audience tends to be more receptive when they're relaxed and being pulled along by the story. As to the evolution of it, I think it's largely been a case of the quality of my writing improving as I've done more of it.

 

Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?

 

A: Sadly, most of my work is out of print, but you can probably find some of it in the back issue files at your LCS. The Guide, as a said, is available at Amazon. Currently, the best way to contact me is probably through FaceBook, since Hanson Press is experiencing some technical difficulties with our website.

 

Q: Thank you!

 

A: You're more than welcome. 

 

Bud

I Interview Carl Borg

Writer

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 2:45 AM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?


A: As a reader, I got into comics when I was maybe 7 or 8. I remember a time or two when I was sick, and Dad brought home a couple comics. Usually they were Dell or Gold Key "funny animal" or some other innocent type, but once there was a DC super hero book. My reading was kinda sporadic until high school, when I had my own spending money and started reading comics more seriously. That's when I became a fan, and I've been reading/collecting ever since. (This is the condensed version - the full version is WAY too long for this interview.)


Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?


A: I like the imaginative freedom. As a writer, I could come up with anything in a given panel from "the lone starship faces an armada of 1000 hostile star fighters" to "a scaly bulge appeared in the water" or "the two young people sat on the slope and gazed into the double sunset" and the artist will find a way to depict it. You could do it in other media, sure, but no other medium is so cost effective.


Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?


A: I have one published comic story - well, two, if I count the one that's based on an idea of mine. The first was published in the Cardinal Adventures / Alpha Omega Special flip book, called "The Servant - Accidentally on Purpose." It's my unique variation on the superpowered Christian hero, and was also published in the New Creations anthology. (I have some follow-up stories in mind, once I find the right artist.) The other is Henry Chmielefski's adaptation of a script I wrote for his "Teen Enforcement Agency" or something like that. It's an origin story for his character Spacelad. Let me think... there was some uncredited scripting of Geoff Brenneman's plot for "Jesse's Story." I've also written about Christian comics for the late and lamented Christian Comics and Games Magazine, as well as the dearly departed New Creation Newsletter, where I was also their most printed letterhack. I was a regular contributor to the CCAS apa-zine Alpha Omega for 5 years and served a term as Central Mailer (a cross between Publisher and Editor in Chief). And I've been contacted about blogging on a friend's comics site.


Why do I call myself the Christian Comics Activist? I'm glad you asked! A Christian comic creator naturally wants to promote their own book. I, however, am much more involved in promoting other people's Christian comic books. I have had a table for Christian comics at the Minnesota Comic Book Association's shows for over 15 years. I also sponsor some Christian programming at their spring two-day show, a chapel service and a Spiritual Themes in Comics panel discussion. And between 2002 and 2005, I tried to distribute Christian comic books in the Minneapolis / St. Paul MN area. And an exciting possibility is on the horizon, but I shouldn't talk about it yet. Nothing is anywhere close to definite.


Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?


A: I'm struggling to finish a nonfiction book that I can't give up on. It's badly needed; no one else has done anything close. After that, I want to get back to science fiction. I have several story ideas to explore, some as prose novels and some as comics (assuming I can find an art team and financial backing for publishing).


Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?


A: It depends on the idea. I have some that I'd like to do as a miniseries and one or two others that might be one-shots or maybe graphic novels.


Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?


A: Inspiration comes from many places. Conversations, reading, seeing the right scene at the right time. I got an idea during a lecture in an Ethics in Communication class a few years ago that I intend to develop.


Q: Say a little about how you've been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?


A: My writing is all about communicating my faith. I've pledged to honor God in my writing. I've worked as a technical writer - I know I can write. How I tell my story, however, depends on my target audience and it's all about target audience. There's no way around it - you always write for an audience. If you don't know who your audience is, how can they find your book? Along the same lines, you can't write for church people and expect nonchurch people to appreciate it, or vice versa. For the most part, only church people read Christian comic books. That could be a good thing, as Kingstone Comics is beginning to prove. Many self-publishing Christian comic creators would rather get their work into a nonbeliever's hands, even though only other believers are aware of their work. Because of that, these people are basically preaching to the choir. Once I find a way around that catch-22, I'll be writing as fast as I can.


Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?


A: As far as I know, my work is out of print and no longer available. If someone wants to contact me, I'd prefer they do it via e-mail or telephone. I'm not going to print my contact information here, though. They'll need to get it either from me or someone who knows me. I'm kinda fussy that way.

 

Carl Borg


[email protected]

I Interview Dan Lawlis

Writer & Artist

Posted on May 2, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?

 

A: As a reader I was a kid. Back before video games, comic books were the thing. Everybody had them, and I loved 'em instantly.

 

Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?

 

A: Sadly, the things I loved about comics, aren't there anymore. I loved their innocence, moral clarity, and positive outlook on life. Even the colors were bright and cheerful.

 

Comic-books today are often colorless, dark, and grim. Most of the characters are brooding, negative, very confused, and very violent. The art reflects that as well, with grayed down realistic coloring (some of that is a direct result from the computer coloring which gives one more realistic rendering abilities).

 

The good news is, that the comic book industry can be saved from this negativity the same way people are saved, by the Christian faith. Christians can restore the positive optimistic outlook on life, because we have the hope that brings about great joy, and a love of life.

 

Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?

 

A: I started drawing comics in 1987 for Marvel, DC, and other companies. I spent ten years doing that. It was a tough business to make a living in. You got paid well on the better selling comics, but for most of us, the pay wasn't so hot. It was a lot of work as well. Trying to draw a 24 page comic book once a month is a very difficult work load (for me anyway, some artists are very fast).

 

Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?

 

A: My current project is "Orange Peel 3". It's a sci-fi/fantasy story featuring a man named Paul Roman who lives on a distant planet called Godderth. Godderth was populated by Christian saints from Earth who were transported there by a mysterious power.

 

The first version of Orange Peel 3 was an online comic book that you can read for free at www.ORANGEPEEL3.com. I'm currently rewriting the story to make it a complete story to be published as a 100+ page graphic novel.

 

Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?

 

A: I definitely prefer the one shot graphic novel, but I would like to have a character that can be ongoing if possible.

 

Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?

 

A: My main influences are the works of Christian writers like C.S.Lewis, G.K.Chesterton, and J.R.R.Tolkien. Tolkien is my favorite. I was not even aware of how Christian his works were until I saw a program by a man named Joseph Pearce, which explained the Christian symbolism and theological roots of the Lord of the Rings.

 

Q: Say a little about how you’ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?

 

A: My approach is very direct and straight forward. I try to look at how I see the Christian faith, and have the character in the story explain it in the most common sense language I can use. My first attempt at a Christian comic book was too preachy. In the rewrite, I'm learning to say the same things with a lot less words. I've had to learn the hard way that, you need to show rather than tell what the Christian faith is like.

 

Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?


A: People can contact me in several ways. There's and e-mail address on my Orange Peel 3 website. Then there are FB pages that feature my comic book.

 

This Facebook page features fun stuff for my Orange Peel 3 comic book.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christian-comic-book-Orange-Peel-3/128147057250401


This Facebook page offers free art advice and tips for Christian comic book artists.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christian-comic-books/367242113292937?sk=wall


I don't have anything for sale at the moment, besides some original art I'm selling at my Orange Peel 3 website.


CLICK HERE


Q: What is your favorite Christian comic book?

 

I don't think I have a favorite Christian comic book. I like Kurt Kolka's "The Cardinal".

 

Thanks for your interest in my work!

Dan

Writer & Artist

Posted on October 8, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Q: When and how did you first become interested in art?

 

A: I can't remember when it became an interest of mine. I actually didn't do well in the one art class I took in high school. I tried using some of the Walter Foster "How to Draw" Disney Princess series books. I wanted to draw horses, but they're difficult to draw because of the hind legs and someone could say, "That doesn't look like a horse." Then I hit on the idea of drawing dragons. No one knows what dragons look like, so no one could say, "That doesn't look like a dragon."

 

Q: What are your influences?

 

A: My biggest influence is Real Musgrave. He drew adorable, mischievous dragons called Pocket Dragons. I have several of his limited edition Pocket Dragon sculptures.

 

Q: Which of your artwork pieces is your favorite?

 

A: Right now, it's "Praise the LORD, ye Dragons."

 

Q: What's the best thing about being an artist?

 

A: The chance to let my imagination run wild and hopefully use my art to glorify the Lord.

 

Q: What's the worst thing about being an artist?

 

A: Being unknown at this point in time.

 

Q: Is there a purpose to your artwork?

  

A: To lift up the name of the Lord. I plan to do special Christmas and Easter art every year, as well as creating works that reflect my faith. I'm planning to start a web comic next year and in it my main dragon Lydia - she's named after the Lydia in the Bible - will pray a lot about decisions she needs to make.

 

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

 

A: Keep drawing and don't get discouraged.

 

Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to see/purchase your work?

 

A: My website is www.dragondesignsbyeileen.com

My original art is at: Photobucket (CLICK HERE) 

All the images of what I have for sale is at: Photobucket (CLICK HERE)

 

Thanks for interviewing me, Erik!


Q: Your Welcome

Writer & Artist

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?

 

A: My brother introduced me to comics as a young child. I've been hooked ever since!!

 

Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?

 

A: Everything! I love the art, the costumes, the hero fighting for what's right, etc.!!

 

Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?

 

A: I started out with Adam Meyer and Capital Comics Studios (CCS) but they were put on hold due to uncontrollable circumstances. Wanting to start working on my characters and implement more of a Christian base to my comic universe, I broke away with Paul Beel and created KING Comics. Together we created Tales of Power which we wanted to be our "character introductory

comic and hero team-up book. I also began work on Bluejaye which is about a man that is merged with a Heavenly angel sent by GOD to protect mankind against demons. Since then, KING Comics went stale and I took over, creating and founding Aspyre Comics!

 

Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?


A: The current projects in the works are Tales of Power #'s 2 and 3, Bluejaye #'s 2 and 3, Radiance # 1, James Wickenden's Solaria # 1, Tyran Eades' The Fractured # 1, and The Guard # 1!! Whew!!

 

Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?

 

A: I prefer ongoing but because of major budget restraints we move so slowly that I doubt you can call it that. Haha! It really depends on the project and what is intended for it.

 

Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?

 

A: GOD gives endless inspiration! Archangels and Hand of the Morningstar are huge inspirations for me. And of course Marvel, DC, Image, and many indy comics inspire me as well.

 

 Q: Say a little about how you’ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?

 

A: Well, I always try to make sure there is a Christian moral or base to either the characters or the story (or both). Aspyre Comics are meant to be fun, action-packed superhero stories with a Christian element that even children can enjoy!

 

Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?

 

A: Anyone interested can contact me and purchase our comics through the Aspyre Comics website, www.AspyreComics.com ! We also have a page on Facebook...stop by and "like" us! May GOD bless!!

 

Gabriel Dill Sr.

Aspyre Comics

www.AspyreComics.com

Writer & Artist

Posted on October 19, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?

 

A: You know, I’ve been asked this question a few times, and I never really have a good answer, for the simple reason that I don’t remember when I first got into comics as a fan. I’ve been reading comics for about as long as I can remember. Well, not completely as long as I can remember, because I have distinct memories of a time before I was old enough to read, but for as long as I’ve been reading, I’ve been reading comics. Maybe even longer. Probably the first comic I ever read was this old Superman storybook and record. It was a Superman comic (two of them in one book, I think), that came with a record that was basically an audio play of the two comics, so even before I could read, I would listen to the record and follow along in the comic book.

 

Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?

 

A: What I love about comics is that comics lend themselves to certain types of storytelling, and the marriage of the words and the pictures just fascinates me. They’re action-packed, but there’s no actual movement, so all of that energy has to be exhibited through still art (and we owe guys like Jack Kirby a huge debt for leaping that art form forward). And because, unlike with animation, or live-action, or whatever, the art is static, you’re able to breathe it in and linger on any particular image or page that you choose (or rush through anything that’s not as interesting to you). You can sit there and absorb the detail and every bit of effort that went into crafting that artwork. There’s also the fact that certain things can be done in comic book format that don’t work in television or films. Every superhero movie seems to hammer home the point that the superheroes can’t be dressed like they are in the comics. Wolverine can wear yellow spandex, but Hugh Jackman can’t. And I get that. Comics have their own visual language.

 

But, of course, comics aren’t just visual art. They’re also literature. The visual component I think is what, as a child, helped engage me with comic books more than prose novels ever could. Prose novels have a unique relationship between the word and the reader. It’s up to the reader to visualize the world that the author has put on the page, and it would always tick me off as a kid when I’d then see a new edition of a book I loved come out, and the new cover art would have a very different interpretation of the world of the book from what I’d imagine reading it. Is that what the author intended it to look like? Did I misinterpret? Did the new cover artist misinterpret? Due to the visual component of comic books, that ambiguity doesn’t exist. In a weird way, it’s a cleaner way of telling the story.

 

Comics (good comics, anyway) also rely heavily on the dialogue to help tell the story. There’s little, if any, of the descriptive narration that exists in prose novels. As a writer, I’ve always felt that dialogue is the most important component of writing. If it’s crafted well, it develops the characters and moves the plot without being heavy-handed exposition. That’s why bad dialogue really bothers me, in any medium, be it comics, novels, television, movies, etc. It’s one of the most important elements of storytelling, and professional productions are allowed to be released with such a weakness in that area.

 

And yes, I realize that things didn’t always used to be that way. I grew up on Chris Claremont X-Men. There’s a joke that goes around about Silver Age comics that you could read them to a blind person and they’d have no trouble following along. The dialogue was weirdly descriptive of what was happening, and the narration boxes were redundantly descriptive. The art of storytelling in comics has evolved immensely in the last 15 years or so, and I for one couldn’t be happier about it.

 

Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?

 

A: The first book I ever put out was called “Bliss: The World’s Greatest Superhero.” It was a one-shot that told the story of a man who basically could do almost anything because he didn’t understand that he shouldn’t be able to. He didn’t understand gravity, so he could fly. It didn’t make sense to him that a tiny piece of lead could kill a full grown man, so he was bulletproof. The main thrust of the story was that there was a villain who wanted him out of the way, and how do you stop a hero like Bliss, and what lengths will he go to to prove that he really is the hero everyone thinks him to be?

 

I tried a couple of other series after that that, unfortunately, remain unfinished, due in part to personal (health, financial) issues in my life, and partly due to lack of reader interest.

 

I also did a one-shot called “Borrowed Time” that told the story of a man named Eric Cooper who was killed in a car accident, but when Death (the guy with the scythe) came to collect him, it was found that Eric was not on any of Death’s lists. It was basically a clerical error in the afterlife. This had never happened before, so until the situation could be worked out, Eric was given free rein to move about the space-time continuum, up until the moment of his own death. It then became a bit of a time-travel fantasy story, with some pathos, due to Eric not being able to return to his family. I’ve always planned on going back to this story, but I haven’t had time yet. Eric’s adventures definitely aren’t done.

 

My most recent completed project, and by far my most successful to date, was a three-issue miniseries called “Bombshell.” It’s the story of a girl named Katie who wakes up one day with superpowers in a world where such things are purely the stuff of fiction. Since there’s no older generation of heroes to show her the way, she tries reading a bunch of comics and watching some movies and using those as a how-to guide for becoming a superhero. It doesn’t go too well for her. It’s another series that’s due for a follow-up. Because of the way my mind works, there are about 7 or 8 sequels already written.

 

Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?

 

A: Too many, is the usual answer. The main one I’m focused on right now is a 60 page graphic novel (novella? I have a hard time calling something that’s 60 pages a “novel,” but it’s almost 3 times as long as a standard comic) called “AngelDemon.” There’s a Kickstarter campaign running for it right now that I’m about to shamelessly plug:

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2079412719/angeldemon

 

This is a story that I’ve been wanting to tell for a while, for a variety of reasons.

 

One is that I think there’s a viable market for it that isn’t being catered to. I have a good friend named David Scherer, who goes by the stage name Agape. He’s a Christian rapper from Minneapolis. I was wearing one of his t-shirts one day at a convention, and some people noticed it and stopped at my table to talk to me, just based on me having a positive Christian t-shirt on (though it’s a weird feeling having people fawn over what a “nice Christian boy” you are when you’re drawing a commission of Wolverine stabbing Deadpool through the head). They asked if any of my comics were Christian themed, and I had to tell them no, they weren’t. They told me that they were having a hard time finding anything at the show (and it was a big show) that was Christian themed.

 

Another reason is simply that I always make an effort to tell the types of stories that I would want to read. I’m the only audience whose tastes I can really predict. While I am Christian, I don’t always go in for Christian-labeled entertainment, because it always seems catered to one audience, that being a very conservative family audience. Which is something that definitely has its time and place, so I’m not knocking it. But there are other Christian audiences. I’m Christian, but I’m also not offended by mature themes. Nudity, violence, swearing, etc., don’t bother me. I firmly believe it’s possible to have mature entertainment, entertainment that’s just as intelligent, funny, thought provoking, etc., as anything else, and still put a Christian theme into it. As much as I love Veggie Tales, Veggie Tales can’t be the height of maturity in terms of Christian storytelling.

 

Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?

 

A: I’m always looking to try new things. I’d love to be able to do a monthly book. I even tried getting one started, but it’s a ton of work and requires a ton of resources that someone like me, who’s self-funding their projects, just can’t really afford. If I was in a position where I could commit myself to just creating comics, I could probably put out several monthly books at once. I could be Brian Bendis, at least in terms of output. But bills need to be paid, collaborators need to be paid, and the harsh reality is that few independent books make enough money to sustain their creators (hence why I’m looking for help funding “AngelDemon”;).

 

It also depends on the story. There are certain stories I’ve told, or want to tell, that couldn’t be an ongoing. They’re a story with a definitive ending, so the story dictates that they can’t be stretched out. That’s probably why so many move/book/comic sequels aren’t very good. The real story has ended, and trying to artificially extend it doesn’t work.

 

“Bombshell,” for example, was 3 issues, because that’s how long it needed to be to tell the story. As I mentioned above, I’ve written a bunch of sequels, but they’ll all be mini-series as well. The character’s life story really only works if the reader pops in on her every few months or every few years. The style of the story means that, if you wanted to see what happened to her every day, you’d be seeing a lot of a girl sitting around being bored.

 

Stories have a way of dictating what they need to be. If you can’t figure out yet what format to tell your story in, you’re not ready to tell your story.

 

Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?

 

A: I’m honestly not sure I can link back to any specific sources of information, per se. The way I work, it’s sort of, if I hit a snag, I’ll look up what I need to do to do that particular thing. When I first started making comics, I looked up how to scan and clean my artwork in Photoshop, and how to letter in Illustrator. When I started coloring my own artwork, I looked up tutorials on how to color digitally. Things like that. And I don’t know if I could go back and find those particular tutorials again. But Google is a great resource, and it’s amazing to think that for decades, people making comics did not have it. Even Google Images is a marvel. It used to be, back in the day, artists had to have files full of reference images. If you wanted to draw guns, you had to have a folder full of reference images of guns. If you wanted to draw a street scene, you needed a folder full of pictures of street scenes, or maybe invest in some books of urban photography and/or architecture. Even when I first started out (the better part of a decade ago), I could look things up on Google Images, but I’d have to then print out the pictures to help make up that file I mentioned. Now we have smartphones and tablets and you can just have the digital copy right with you at the drawing table. It saves a lot of paper.

 

As for inspiration? I have a ton of it. Anything I’ve ever read or watched that I’ve loved has been a source of inspiration. My biggest influence when I was growing as a writer was Joss Whedon. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was, in and of itself, a seminar on characterization. I was like nothing else on TV at the time. This is also another one of those instances where technology can be hugely helpful. Up until the advent of DVDs (okay, maybe laserdiscs, but how many people actually owned those?), you didn’t have things like creator commentaries on films and television shows. Buying TV shows was a roll of the dice, because you either only got a couple episodes of a series ever released on VHS, or maybe Time Life would release the whole series, but you’d pay $80 a tape for two episodes at a time, and would need to buy sometimes 80-100 tapes on a monthly schedule to complete a series. It was prohibitive for the average person to try to purchase a TV series for home viewing. There was no internet, no Netflix, and finding shows in syndication wasn’t reliable, because even if you could find them, they were probably aired out of order and edited down to fit more commercials in (and you’d still have to watch once a week or once a day to get the full story. It could take months or even years). But with DVDs (and later Blu Rays), you could buy whole seasons at a time, and at a more reasonable price (and prices have only continued to get more reasonable, at least in most cases). And those creator commentaries are a Godsend. To be able to hear the writers, producers, actors, etc. discuss the creative process and what went into certain decisions, it’s like taking a college course without the cost of tuition. There are some major clunkers in the commentary arena, to be sure, but there’s also a lot of really helpful information to be mined from them. Heck, some are even really helpful as a “what not to do” instructional. I’ve listened to some commentaries on films that had major problems, and when you get to the parts that were really problematic, and you hear the creators discussing what went into those decisions (even if the creators seem unaware that what they attempted didn’t work), it can be helpful to keep in mind for your own work.

 

As an artist, that’s another one of those areas where I’ve had a lot of influences and inspirations. As I mentioned above, Jack Kirby really helped develop the visual language of the modern comic book, and we all owe him a huge debt. I’ve heard some people who don’t “get” his art, or his continued popularity, and what those fans don’t seem to understand is that, even if you don’t love Kirby, they guys you do love love Kirby. He’s the TalibKweli of comic books (I bet no one ever thought they’d hear the phrase “Jack Kirby is the TalibKweli of comic books”;). Kweli is your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper, and Jack Kirby is your favorite artist’s favorite artist. Beyond Kirby, I’ve been influenced by Andy Kubert, Michael Turner, John Cassaday, Jim Cheung, and Mark Brooks. I’m sure many others, but those are the ones that pop into my head at the moment.

 

As for pure inspiration? I have stories inside me, and I want to get them out. One of my deepest frustrations in life is knowing that, even if I hit it big tomorrow and could publish a half-dozen books a month, I’d still never be able to keep up with my mental output.

 

Q: Say a little about how you've been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?

 

A: With the type of Christian that I am, I feel that the best way to display my faith is to live well and lead by example. Trying to preach to people never seems to get you very far with people who don’t share your faith, and for people who do share your faith, well, that’s where the phrase “preaching to the choir” comes from.

 

The same thing applies to the books I’ve previously worked on. Few of them are overtly Christian-themed (there is a book called “Saints” that I did the art for the first three issues of that does feature some visible Christian themes, but as I was just the artist, not the writer, I don’t take credit for that), but they are all entertaining books that deal with themes that anyone, Christian or not, should be able to relate to. Sacrifice, loss, redemption, etc.

 

“AngelDemon” is the first book I’m trying to produce with overtly Christian themes, and even then, I don’t think you need to be Christian to enjoy it, as it’s not preachy, it’s just a good story with Christian themes. The biggest theme of the story is redemption, but there’s no redemption taking place in the book. Instead, it’s a story of how someone seemingly beyond all hope can be put on a path where redemption might even be possible. In real life, redemption is hard work, and not everyone’s willing to put in that amount of work. It’s not like in movies, where someone does one heroic thing one time and suddenly they’re a good person for the rest of their life. If this first book is a success, the sequels would deal with the character in question actually working towards true redemption.

 

Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?

 

A: Probably the best way is through Facebook (my personal page is https://www.facebook.com/james.lynch.52438174 our fan group is https://www.facebook.com/groups/304179068342/ and our company page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hero-Universe-Comics/279103453142 ). If people want to get in touch with me directly, my email is [email protected]

 

I am also, reluctantly, on Twitter, https://twitter.com/herojameslynch I say reluctantly because I find the internet to be hugely distracting, so I try to avoid the constant distraction, but I also realize that having an online presence is immensely important these days. So, I’m making the effort.

 

There’s also our company website, which I don’t update nearly as often as I should www.herouniversecomics.com

 

I also have a page on DeviantArt, http://jameslynch.deviantart.com/

 

You can contact me directly to order our books (if you order that way, I’ll sign your books at no extra charge), or most of our stuff is available through IndyPlanet http://www.indyplanet.com/front/brand/HeroUniverseComics/

 

Q: What is your favorite Christian comic book?

 

A: See, this is a tough one for me. The honest answer is, I’m not sure I’ve read any really good ones. Which is not to say that I don’t think there are any out there. I’m 100% sure there are. But wherever they are, I haven’t been exposed to them. Much like the folks I mentioned above, who couldn’t find anything Christian at a major comic convention, I haven’t been able to find any really high quality Christian comics. Most of what I’ve found is people who, and I’m not knocking them for this, but people who aren’t maybe the best writers/artists, who are putting out Christian comics simply because they want to make comics that are Christian. And that’s certainly admirable, and more power to them. But my goal with my books is to make comics where the production values and quality of storytelling stand up to anything you’d find at a normal comic shop. I’d want my books to be shelved next to Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image books, not just isolated to Christian book stores. That’s my goal. A good story is a good story, regardless of your faith.

I Interview Musician Jotham David Parker

Singer & Writer

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 1:55 AM

Q: So hi Jotham David Parker, lets start off by saying thank you for taking the time to talk to me and do this interview by email.


A: Thank you for interviewing me!


Q: What made you want to start playing/singing?


A: I think it was a lot of little things put together. My dad plays the piano and sings, I was in a little musical in grade school and the choir-chime group at church, took a few piano lessons and then started playing saxophone in the school band in middle school. It was around then that I decided I was going to be a professional musician. I just up and decided. That was also when I decided I would do electronic music. I thought about it for a couple of hours and decided I didn’t really want to go find band mates but I wanted drums and lots of instruments. My dad had a Roland Alpha-Juno 2 synthesizer, a Roland TR-505 drum machine and a sequencer so I realized I could just have robot band mates. I hadn’t really listened to techno or dance music before that, so I looked for a bunch Christian techno and figured I could do that. It’s weird, I remember why I decided to do electronic music, but not why I decided to music in the first place. I can only assume it was all the little musical influences I had before then, like Sunday worship and the school band and my dad.


Q: How long have you been playing/singing?


A: I think the first performance I was in was the grade school musical I mentioned. I was seven or eight. It was about a baseball player who didn’t like playing left-field but ended up getting the final out to save the game. I was the umpire. I had a speaking part and everything. It was a lot of fun. I obviously sang at home and at church, but that was my first performance. I think my first instrumental performance was the kids’ choir-chime group at church and I think that was about a year later. So I guess I’ve been playing and singing about twenty years.


Q: What's the most fun part of being a musician/singer?


A: I really like writing and recording songs. Performing is great, but finishing a song gives me a real sense of accomplishment. I also like the process of writing songs, especially writing music on the computer. Sometimes I’ll write in my head or with a piano or banjo or guitar, but I usually write notes on a musical staff in a program by Cakewalk called Sonar and assign synth sounds to the notes. Then I can have Sonar play it back for me so it’s like having a robot orchestra instantly play whatever I want to hear. I’ve been doing that since I was fourteen or fifteen. Writing is really great because you can create something that will last for years or decades or centuries essentially out of nothing. Music and words aren’t really made out materials like a painting or sculpture and music is what it is whether it’s printed, recorded, remembered, sung or played on this instrument or that instrument.


Q: What is the hardest part?


A: Artistically speaking, the technical audio aspects of recording and publishing are still fairly new to me, but I’m learning pretty quickly since I’m recording audio using the same program I’ve been writing my midi music on for over a decade. Aside from the art and production, though, marketing my music is pretty difficult. It’s been a slow go. I’m an independent artist and don’t have money for advertising. I’m still trying to figure out how to get fans and publicity, get on the radio, sell downloads and generally get my music in front of people. I hope this interview helps. I’m a Christian comic book fan and I think some of my lyrics will appeal to other fans.


Q: I was listing to your music and it sounds like a theme song for a Christian comic book superhero, so I want to know, what was your motivation for your song Truth.


A: Yeah, it kind of does sound like that! I actually did write a ballad about a superhero who becomes a Christian a while ago. I’ll have to put that out some time.

Anyway, the motivation for “Truth” has a few different parts. I usually write some or all of the music first before I write the words or melody. For this one, I wrote almost all the music as well as the melody before I wrote the words. The motivation for the music was that I wanted to see if I could write an analog/low-rez drum beat with an 8-bit video game feel. I guess the kids call that “chip tunes” nowadays, but it’s basically just showcasing older analog sounds.

My motivation for the words was to proclaim the majesty and glory of Christ. The Bible talks a lot about declaring God’s glory to his people and also to the gentiles, for example “ Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” (Psalm 96:3). So I was playing around with lyrics about angels being unable to bear being in the presence of God’s glory and I ended up with the first chorus, “Flights of angels shrink back from your majesty. You’re the Truth behind every fantasy.” I liked that a lot and that gave the song its theme or argument, that God is the source of all truth and beauty and the reality behind all fiction. I think that, even though humans are fallen and depraved, we only like things insofar as they reflect God’s nature, whether that’s God’s image in other people or fictional stories and characters that have features that correspond to God’s attributes or acts. So I started thinking of literary and pop-culture references that find their ultimate fulfillment in God’s nature or in his dealings with people, angels, and demons. I think a lot of the video game references I used that illustrate the position of the believer might be what made you think of a Christian superhero. The believer is “invincible in Jesus Mode,” which is a reference to God Mode cheats in computer games. We also “don’t need to use a Phoenix down” because we’ll “re-spawn at the last trumpet sound.” God sovereignty causes us to “jump over the bottomless pit” like a skilled player controlling a platforming character and we don’t have to worry about falling because he’s in control. There are also references to Tolkien, Lovecraft, and King Arthur as well as lots of Biblical imagery. God gives all things their meaning and will be glorified by them whether or not their human authors intended them to. So, to sum up, I wanted make a little analog drum beat and it spiraled out of control into a twelve-minute proclamation of God’s glory with Gospel choir refrains and everything.

As a side note, if you like the theme of Christ empowering believers, you should also check out “Hymn of the Immortals” from my first album Mortal Wires.


Q: And last, what is your favorite Christian comic book and why?


A: I really liked a version of The Pilgrim’s Progress I found when I was a kid. I think it was just called The Illustrated Pilgrim’s Progress or something like that. I’m not really sure if it counts as a comic, but the art style was comic-esque and I think it had speech bubbles. God’s Smugglers was one that really blew my mind when I was little. I think it was by Spire/Barbour and was the true story of Bible Smugglers in the USSR. They were just stacking Bibles in plain view on the seats of their cars and the checkpoint guards never saw them. I thought that was so cool. But I think my favorite would have to be Archangels: The Saga (ATS). That really had all the elements of a good comic and I really love angels, as evidenced by my song “Truth.” ATS is one of the better angel stories in Christian art, possibly even up there with Lewis’ Space Trilogy, although maybe not in terms of its scope or literary merit (it’s hard to compete with Lewis). I think it not only portrayed angels in a fairly Biblical way, but it also captured the imagination as well as any fictional work and the characters had that comic/anime/video game/pro wrestling quality where you could pick your favorite and argue about who’s better. It’s basically everything you could want in a comic.


Q: Thanks again. I hope the Lord continues to bless you.


A: Thank you for interviewing me! This was my first interview and I’m really honored you took the time to listen to my music and ask me about my work.


Q: Your are welcome my friend, until next time Godspeed. Please share your contact information.


Jotham David Parker music is at all major digital music stores like iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and on Radio sites like Spotify and last.fm.


Links:

Bandcamp profile- http://jothamdavidparker.bandcamp.com/


Souncloud profile- https://soundcloud.com/jotham-david-parker


Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/JothamDavidParker


Twitter- https://twitter.com/JothamParker

Writer & Artist

Posted on March 23, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?

 

A: I first started reading comics around the third grade under unfortunate circumstances. My cousin had passed away, and my aunt (his mother) gave me part of his comic collection. I got exposed to Spider-man and X-Men, and never looked back.

 

Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?

 

A: Two years ago I wrote a piece on this very topic. What I love about comics is that it’s the only medium (at least as far as I know) where you consistently have access to what a character says, does, and thinks---all at the same time. I believe this is why it’s so easy for us as fans to become so connected to our favorite characters.

 

Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?

 

A: Since creating R-Squared Comicz, I’ve been blessed to put out parts One and Two of Lightweightz: The Anthology, and to have worked on The Story of Peter: Faith with Earnest Graham. Lightweightz is my flagship title, and is about eight teens who discover they have unique abilities. Faith is the first book in a trilogy Earnest and I are working on about the life of the apostle Peter.

 

Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?

 

A: I’ll use “right now” loosely because I’m in the process of finishing my dissertation, which leaves little to no time to work on comics. But when I can I’m chipping away at Lightweightz: The Anthology, which will include parts One and Two as well as some bonus art and a new story that will serve as a prelude to the graphic novel. I’m also working on a mini-comic called Pathways with Takeia Dunlop. It’s about four individuals and the different paths they take in life to get to where they’re going. It’s about not taking anyone’s “journey” for granted.

 

Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?

 

A: Right now I prefer short stories and one-shots for practical reasons (e.g., time, money, etc.), and also because as a new writer I’ve adopted a “small steps” approach to learning how to write comics. But ultimately I see myself as more of a graphic novel person because I like the idea of telling a story with a definite ending.

 

Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?

 

A: In terms of information, Writing for Comics and Graphic Novels with Peter David and Dennis O’Neil’s The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics are great books to have. The website ComixTribe is also a great resource. For inspiration, the bible and learning from other creators has been huge.

 

Q: Say a little about how you’ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?


A: With Lightweightz, I’m communicating my faith through telling the story from a Christian worldview, although I wouldn’t consider it a traditional Christian comic per se. Some of the Lightweightz are Christian, but the comic is not evangelistic. The same goes for Pathways, which is also set in the same universe as Lightweightz. With The Story of Peter, it’s more explicit in that it’s biblically based and focuses on one of Jesus’s inner three. Another way I’ve been able to communicate my faith is through my interactions with the various creative teams I work with on my projects (e.g., artists, colorists, etc.). I believe that treating people with respect and humility while showing them that you genuinely care about them can go a long way.

 

Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?

 

I can be reached through Facebook and Twitter. People can purchase my comics as well as download free previews and other content here. 

http://www.rsquaredcomicz.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RSquaredComicz

https://twitter.com/RsquaredComicz


Chief Executive Officer

Posted on October 13, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?

 

A: I was a late bloomer really.I didn't start reading comics until 2007 or 2008. It was right around the time of the Civil War and World War Hulk. Before that I would watch the cartoons and movies but never touched a comic book. It was the World War Hulk series that got me hooked.

 

Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?

 

A: I'm not really sure, but it's something about looking at skillfully made art that tells a story. I also like the humor in some of the titles (like Deadpool).

 

Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?

 

A: Right now my company Fully Armored Productions is working on our first comic book titled "The Sons of Fire". It's an original story I created.

 

Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?

 

A: I'd prefer on-going series, there's so much you can do with something on-going. I feel that (unless there is a purpose) creators can short change themselves by doing mini-series or one-shots. With an on-going series, if it's not doing too well you can always wrap up the story arch and start on the next big idea. To that affect, if it's doing really well you can keep it going for a little while longer. Give the fans what they want!

 

Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?

 

A: Life experiences, the bible, and childhood cartoons and shows.

 

Q: Say a little about how you've been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?

 

A: "The Sons of Fire" will be an original story based off of the bible verse Ephesians 6: 10-18. However this will be action-adventure heavy...an Old Testament feel if you will. I believe in our generation as Christians we've gotten soft to the realities of the bible. Not many people like to talk about, or have been taught about the many wars and such fought in the Old Testament. I'm a believer in learning the WHOLE truth, not just the parts that sound good!

 

The process of starting our business, producing the comic, and general maintenance has been hard. I'd be doing everyone a disservice saying that it was all roses and ice cream. We paid out of pocket for a lot, but continue trusting in God that we will be rewarded for our diligence with getting the Word out there. On the flip side, it's refreshing knowing that souls will be saved, and people will be entertained by what we have to offer.

 

As far as evolution is concerned, it's pretty much been like night and day over the past few years. When I first made up my mind to start this venture I had no clue where to start. I was blessed to have a good group of people around me that made things easier. It was definitely a learning experience. For instance our company name has been through many revisions, we've worked with a few artists, and the script for "The Sons of Fire" has had a huge makeover since I first wrote it.

 

Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?

 

A: You can reach Fully Armored Productions at fully-armored.com. (Site opens Nov 1st.)

 

Q: What is your favorite Christian comic book?

 

A: I'd have to give it to Samson the Nazarite by Rooted Chronicles. I love the style, and the accuracy of Samson the person.

Writer

Posted on April 22, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?

 

A: I was into comics when I was twelve years old, but my mother was concerned with some of the content of comics so we stopped reading them. I've been back into comics though for the last three years.

 

Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?

 

A: Comics as a medium is able to wonderfully blend art and story. Books and film both have their strengths, but comics can combine both of their strengths. This makes it an incredibly awesome medium.


Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?

 

A: 'Samson the Nazirite' is my first graphic novel. I wrote, produced, and published it. I'm not gifted in drawing so I brought on a great team for that. I've enjoyed the creative process involved in bringing a graphic novel to fruition. There's a thrill when you receive awesome pages from your artist. The story and characters start coming to life and that's really cool.

 

Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?

 

A: We just got 'Samson the Nazirite' Volume 1 printed so most of my energies are spent promoting it. I wrote an opening script for the story of Gideon that won a comic writers contest, and I'm going to be producing it in a couple months. I'm very excited about it. After that I hope to start production on Volume 2 of 'Samson the Nazirite'.

 

Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?

 

A: The story most often dictates what format will work best. That being said, I do prefer graphic novels as they're longer and so there's more to enjoy.

 

Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?

 

A: I've found that you have to be actively looking for inspiration. I look for inspiration in art, photographs, books, movies, and real life. I keep a couple folders on my computer where I save various photos, clips, and dialogue that strike me. That way I can go back and pull from them as needed. Often I'll see an image and think, 'Oh, I love that. I may use that some day down the line.' It doesn't do any good to be inspired and then forget about it.

 

Q: Say a little about how you’ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?

 

A: One of my purposes in 'Samson the Nazirite' is to spark an interest in the Scriptures. To this end the book contains all the events described in Biblical account as well as all the Biblical dialogue. Over time I've come to realize that my faith is also expressed in the quality of my work as well as my interactions with both readers, my art team, and fellow creators.

 

Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?

 

A: You can contact us and purchase through websites: RootedChronicles.com and SamsontheNazirite.com (or SamsonTN.com for short).


You can also read the first twenty pages of 'Samson the Nazirite' free on the website.

Writer & Artist

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?


A: Maybe around 3rd grade when my older brother began to bring them home to read.

 

Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?


A: I like comics because it's one of the hardest art mediums to do. It always challenges me to strive to become a better artist and writer. I can get bored with different types of work that eventually I "conquer", but with comic books I never get bored.

 

Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?


A: Well my first comics in 3rd grade were a series of Godzilla comic books haha. But jump many years and I've been working on a spiritual warfare graphic novel series called Allegories of the Way for over ten years. It deals with issues of the soul and healing. I'm also working on a web comic called The United that brings together 12 Christian creators superhero characters in an exciting adventure. Another web comic series is Faith Land-it's on hiatus right now. Faith Land is about the many aspects of faith in the bible. I also illustrated a One shot guide book with R-Squared Comicz called Hydroland Aftermath. It's a sci-fi story about a race of people who live in water and the fallout after their civilization is attacked.

 

Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?


A: I prefer graphic novels so the reader can get a lot of art and story for their money and time. Also easier to print with more pages.

 

Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?


A: The Bible and hearing from God. But many old Spider-man and X-men stories from the 80's and 90's.

 

Q: Say a little about how you’ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?


A: I'm pretty blatant with my faith in my comics. I definitely preach and God has called me to do so in my comics. I'm creative with sharing the faith, but I try not to water it down. The process has never changed or really evolved, I just may add new revelation from God in later stories.

 

Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?


A: You can go to weaponpress.com to find my free content on other sites and some on my site.My e-mail is [email protected]

 

Q: And last, what is your favorite Christian comic book and why?


A: My fav is Conqueror and Conqueris by Marc Moran. It is a great story about Christian teens that have super powers and the struggles they go through. It is a well written and drawn graphic novel that makes you really care about the main characters.


Q: Thanks again for your time, you are a cool guy my friend.

Writer & Artist

Posted on April 1, 2014 at 2:30 AM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?


A: Actually when I was quite young....I was looking at comics before I was actually reading them (about 6 years old).


Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?


A: Being naturally gifted artistically, I was always drawn to the visual nature of the medium.


Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?


A: 1995-1998 Template (Head Press Publishing). This was my first creator owned series, ( in glorious black and white) which was a sci-fi action-adventure story about the next generation of human evolution....the Psycho-Sapien! It ran for a total of 9 issues (when you include Color Special #1 and a Zero issue).


2004-2010 Eye Witness (Head Press Publishing). This was a four-book, full color, graphic novel series (which started out being just a single book), that was a unique combination of a modern day action thriller with a Biblical Adaptation covering the final days of Jesus' life through the Book of Acts. It garnered me five indy book awards and was a finalist for 5 others and was called (in the press) a pairing of "Indiana Jones meets the Bible."


Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?


A: For the last three years I've just been having a blast being what I like to term as a "Con-Artist"....that is, just creating art prints and posters about subjects I enjoy illustrating and selling them at comic and pop-culture conventions around North America.


Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?


A: Graphic novels for sure....because it allows to you tell complete stories in either one or a few installments and allows you to really let your creative juices flow....since you're not constrained by limited page counts in monthly comics.


Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?


A: I'm a big comic historian and have found inspiration within our industry from many sources (I.E. Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Frank Miller, John Byrne). From a spiritual perspective the good book itself, of course and writers who've brought the Word to new readership through their usage of new and/or creative presentations.


Q: Say a little about how you’ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?


A: Eye Witness allowed me to illustrate the very struggles I went through went seeking out my faith for the first time in my life, since the story's protagonist, Dr. Terry Harper, was basically me (from a spiritual perspective). It also allowed me to reach out to people who might be just like I was... that is, believing in something but not quite sure what.


Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?


A: That would be through one of my two websites. To learn more about all things about Eye Witness (and Template), visit: www.headpress.info


To see what I've been up to the last few years and view my artwork for sale, visit: www.BobTheArtist.com


Robert Luedke

www.bobtheartist.com

www.headpress.info

www.facebook.com/rjluedke

Writer

Posted on March 16, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?


A: As a very young kid. My parents always stressed reading when I was growing up. My dad never graduated from High School, but did pretty good for himself working at General Motors and with the United Auto Workers. He believed in reading and from the time I was old enough to read, books were a part of our life. I cannot recall the exact first comic I ever read, but chances are it was a Superman or Batman and my dad bought it for me. Perhaps for a car trip? I have many memories of riding in the back seat reading comic books heading somewhere. My parents felt that reading a comic book was reading and no different than books. To this day, I try to pass that on to my kids who love Comic Books.

 

Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?


A: Why not comics? Comics have often been looked down on by many people as childish, immature and silly. Yet - over the years I've read many of the Classics Illustrated such as The Three Musketeers, Treasure Island, The Last of the Mohicans, Moby Dick and so many others. Those books helped me pass many a test in school. Those comics were able to tell the story in picture and word with in a short period of time. Over the years some of the best Mystery stories I read involved a Detective in a Bat Costume, some of the best War Stories had a man in a Flag Costume carrying a round shield, while some neat cowboy stories had a guy with a nasty scar on his face. Cover to cover in less than 30 minutes you could get a nicely plotted story, visuals and then have time to do something else.


Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?


A: Let digress a moment - I am a licensed minister working with Christian Life Center in Golden Valley as their Abundant Life Minister. Over the years I've worked in a number capacities in various churches in addition to evangelizing in the U.S. and Africa. From a comic book standpoint; my past projects have been sermons, bible studies and devotions. I am always looking for a good illustration for sermons, bible studies and devotions and yes I have learned to use Comic books and science fiction stories to help out. I've worked with the local MCBA Spring and Fall Cons for a number of years. I help with the Christian Comics booth and I teach/preach/treach in the Annual Sunday Morning Chapel Service. My good friend Carl Borg who coordinates all this has dubbed me the ''Demon Slayer'' based on a sermon I did a few years back. In addition: our Christian Comic book group - the Imaginators meets 5 or 6 times per year for a time of fellowship, bible devotion and prayer. During those meetings, I present a short devotion using comics and even science fiction as illustrations. You can find us on Facebook at the link below.

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/113625912056198/

 My writing to date has been primarily for Trade Publications and specialty magazines (such as those directed to ministers or churches in a specific area). I do have a ministry blog that I am behind on, but it has had a lot of hits over the years. I have clean jokes, stories, bible studies and devotions. Some by me and some by others.

 http://neverendingbattle.blogspot.com/

 

Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?

 

A: Several things.

 

One: I am a musician and am the Vice President of the Northeast Community Band - a local 501 c corporation focusing on community involvement and musical education. We have an upcoming concert where we will be joining with a Middle School AND a High School band for a night of music and mentor-ship. Two: I am working on a book that I hope to publish on Kindle soon. It is a book of Sermons, Bible Studies and devotions that I've used over the years. My goal is to have it ready before the next convention with a second one to come out if this is received well. I hope this book will encourage people and at the same time be something that youth ministers, pastors and Sunday school teachers can use as an aide. Maybe even inspiring someone to find their inner story teller.


Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?


A: So far I've been more of a vocal story teller using the comic book medium to illustrate biblical points and truths. I am an ''on going'' minister. Sometimes I go to a church for a "Mini Series'' or even a ''One Shot''. There are certain churches that have me come in on a regular basis for on going on shots! I do enjoy writing and have submitted some short stories to various mediums and contests. I do have a few projects in mind for the future and one of these days I would love to take a shot at writing a comic book.

 

Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?

 

A: Reading! Seriously read - read - read - read! Find authors who can tell a story and make you see what is happening, one who can make you feel that you are right there riding on the horse next to the hero, make you feel the sea spray in your face as you are in the sailing vessel and the thrill of the chase. As for inspiration - ministers that came through who were not afraid to make you laugh during a sermon. Story tellers who kept you on the edge of your seat and then BOOM! Their biblical point was made and you realized that it all fit together nicely. One young preacher told us a story about a criminal who committed all these violent crimes and ended up in jail - he was going to be killed. Then on the day of his death, a substitute showed up and Barabbas was set free.

 

WHAM!

 

I felt that and remember to this day that Jesus was my substitute - I did not have to die for my sins. I have friends who are story tellers, I've met comic book guys and gals who love to talk and tell stories. I've sat at the dinner table with famous comic book writers and artist and just let them talk while I listened.

 

Q: Say a little about how you've been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)?

 

A: In public speaking you need to capture the attention of your audience or you are finished. I just start telling the story knowing that deep down, we are all kids at heart and we love to be told stories. Just do it.

 

Q: What has that process been like?

 

A: At first you feel self conscious and maybe even a little silly for telling 250 adults the story of the Three Pigs and then connecting that to the story of Samson. After a few times doing it - you get comfortable. I've also come to the conclusion that to be an effective public speaker, you need to be yourself. Let the audience identify with you. As a Minister who ministers in the Comic Book Community I've been ribbed a bit by some friends, until they think about it and realize that there needs to be a witness in this community. I've received support and encouragement from many ministers who remembered that we are to take the Whole Gospel to the Whole World. And then there was the day that I was written up in the Local Newspaper and called the Demon Slayer as the reporter let the community know about the Chapel Service. I felt a bit red in the face at first and then I thought: What is wrong be being called a Demon Slayer? I have the Power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God as my sword with Faith as my shield. Of whom then, shall I be afraid?

 

Q: How has it evolved over the years?

 

A: Power point and YouTube helps. But I think I've learned to diversify quite a bit or even tailor it for specific groups. Recently I was speaking to a group of Comic Book and Science Fiction Fans; I was able to use the story of Xena: Warrior Princess and tie it in to Repentance. The basic premise of her show was her ongoing attempt to distance herself from her previous life - just like we need to make changes in our life AFTER repenting. I don't think I could have used this example to a group of people who had no idea who Xena was. Another way it has evolved that I've found ways to insert these types of illustrations in to main stream church services. Recently, I found a way to use Zombies in our local church. I was stunned at the reception - people received it very well. I am always looking for ideas. If I read a comic, I find my self trying to see if it can be turned into a sermon, bible study or devotion.


Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?


A: I can always be reached on Facebook or through the Imaginators Facebook page.


https://www.facebook.com/groups/113625912056198/


I am on Twitter @RonHartley or via email [email protected]


When my book is live and ready to go up on Kindle, I will put the word out.


I was not asked about Christian Comics in this interview, but let me stress that I have enjoyed many Christian Comics Over The years. Some of my favorites were the Al Hartley Archie Comics, the Crusaders and of Course the Arch Angel series. I cannot say enough about the Action Bible.

 We need more Christian Comics telling not just bible stories but stories on how to be an over-comer and make it in today's society.

Come look us up at the MCBA Fall Con and Spring Con.


Q: Thanks Ron.

I Interview Scott Bayles

Cosplay

Posted on January 7, 2016 at 9:45 AM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?


A: I blame my mom. I was 7 years old when she bought me my first comic book. It was Action Comics #600 featuring Superman and Wonder Woman. I was hooked from that day forward.


Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?


A: I love everything about it. Comic books are a unique art form, combining words and pictures to tell a story. Comics create a world where anything can happen and the good guys always win. As a kid, superhero comics fueled my imagination. They still do.


Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?


A: Well, we just wrapped up the final editing on my upcoming book, Holy Heroes: The Gospel According to DC and Marvel, which builds a bridge from the fictional world of superheroes to the one true superhero—Jesus Christ. Like modern-day parables, the stories of comic-book heroes like Batman, Spider-man, and Iron-Man illustrate the timeless truths of God’s Word and help superhero fans draw near to the heart of God in a relatable, relevant way.


Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?


A: I've drawn inspiration from countless sources; the comic book characters themselves, the cosplay community and conversations I've had with con-goers. I've met so many Christian fans of comic books at conventions and on social media. It's very inspiring to build relationships with like-minded people who get excited about the same things I do.


Q: Say a little about how you've been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?


A: Having been a superhero and comic book fan my whole life, my family and I have been into cosplay and the convention scene for years. But it wasn't until about three years ago a friend of mine said, "Do you ever feel like we should be using our cosplay and comic hobby to give glory to God?" I said, "Yes," and that night we brainstormed ideas on how to do that. Eventually that conversation gave birth to a now vibrant ministry we Costumers for Christ. Now with over a dozen members in four states, our ministry teams attend charity events, children's hospitals, and comic conventions where we spark spiritual conversations and share the gospel by giving away a variety of Christian comics. Of course, we do all this dressed as our favorite comic book characters, so instead of chasing people down, they actually come up to us and want to know what we're about. Holy Heroes evolved out of this ministry, so it includes stories of our costumed adventures and stories of some of the people with whom we've shared Jesus.


Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?


A: People can follow us on Facebook,

https://www.facebook.com/CostumersForChrist

subscribe to our YouTube channel,

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn_0RCt17C4_xHw7aGIQhjg

our blog,

http://costumersforchrist.blogspot.com/

and of course, they can order the book from Judson Press, http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=19250&CFID=6018421&CFTOKEN=2d092a3d08c88efb-F4BB3A04-F708-EA3A-FEAE623AA99E2497 Amazon, and several other book retailers.


Q: What is your favorite Christian comic book?


A: I would have to say Sergio Cariello's Action Bible. My son and I have read all seven hundred pages together twice and I just started it for a third time. He’s such a talented artist and I love having the entire story of the Bible in one big volume.

I interview Steve Crespo

Writer & Artist

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 11:55 PM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?


A: My earliest reading memories are of comics. I can't remember a time in my youth when I read anything else. I couldn't get enough. My dad owned a small luncheonette in the Bronx, and I remember he kept a comic rack by the register. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe this was my introduction. I remember my father taking me to the distribution warehouse where he picked up the latest issues. There stretched out before me were rows and rows and rows of tables just covered with stacks of comics of all kind. He gave me 2 bucks, and at 20 cents a comic, it was a dream come true. ...Clearly a defining moment in my young life.


Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?


A: I had to think about this a bit. My knee-jerk answer is that it was the art that drew me in, and being a visual person the dynamic, and colorful illustrations were most certainly a draw. (No pun intended.) But upon further reflection, I'd say it was the subject matter that attracted me most. Stories of adventure, daring, and bravery always interested me, and even now that I really don't read comics anymore, I am still a reader of these types of stories. (I read Sabatini's "Captain Blood" recently. GREAT!)


Q: Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?


A: In my short professional career I worked on a few titles- Mister Miracle, Star Wars X-Wing Rogue Squadron, Anima, and The Rugrats syndicated strip to name a few. Being a Christian in a largely non-Christian field I have to say that there have been few instances where I felt the work I was doing compromised my walk. Much of it has been straight up super-hero adventures, sci-fi tales, and/or gag based stuff. Pretty harmless. I'm thankful.


Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?


A: Now, I work full time at Nickelodeon working on all things Dora and SpongeBob, but aside from that I have been working on my own strip, From Nothing. (http://www.fromnothingcomics.com)


Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?


A: Well, I'm not sure. Right now my work is basically one-shot stuff, but I have been working on a script for a graphic novel for a couple of years. (The first incarnation was a 200 page script, but I've been working on rewriting it for some time. As for the "why" I can only say: Why not? ...What else am I gonna do? Sleep?


Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?


A: I'm pretty much self-taught. All I learned about visual storytelling I learned from comics, and films. Studying the greats in these mediums- Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, John Buscema, Akira Kurosawa, Ridley Scott, Alfred Hitchcock- is a top notch education in itself.


Q: Say a little about how you’ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?


A: For much of my life I have been paid to draw other people's characters and visions, but for the first time my strip, From Nothing, allows me to say what I want to say, and how I want to say it with no input or limitations from anyone but myself. I have never experienced that before. It's been fun, and I even enjoy the negative responses to my work as it allows for some pretty interesting conversations.


Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?


A: Check out my sites: http://www.fromnothingcomics.com and http://stevecrespo.com ...and lemme know what you think! God bless! ....Steve


Q: Thanks again, I personally like the comics you do, take care.

I Interview Yaakov Kirschen

Writer & Artist

Posted on April 29, 2015 at 2:40 PM

Q: When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan?


A: I was born in 1938, So in 1948-1950 I was 10 - 12 years old and it was the golden age of comic books. And I read every comic book that I could get my hands on.


Q: Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?


A: Comics are a “complete “art form": words and pictures. Everything but sound, and the WHAMMM! BANG! POW! That people laugh at today did the job back when I was a kid.


Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?


A: I produce a daily comic strip called Dry Bones which has run non-stop since 1973. But my latest project is to establish an online Dry Bones Academy of Cartoon Advocacy and Activism. The explosion of antisemitism and the world’s apathy to the slaughter of the Christians in the Mid East and in Africa has motivated me to set up this Cartoon Academy to train a new generation of Jews and Christians in the techniques and tactics of fighting back with Activist Cartoons. Folks can join the Dry Bones movement and check out the Dry Bones Academy at

www.igg.me/at/drybones


Q: What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?


A: I prefer the political cartoon panel or strip format but I’ve done some graphic novel work. One, called Trees…the Green Testament was covered in a front page Wall Street Journal report headlined “Israeli Cartoonist becomes Prophet to American Christians". Folks can read about Trees (and if the want,buy a pdf of the book) at www.store.drybones.com


Q: What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?


A: The incredible coming together of Biblical prophecy and the actual news of the day blows me away! As does the growing closeness of our two communities .


Q: Say a little about how you've been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?


A: I am not a Christian, I am a Jew. I am not a religious Jew but I am fascinated by the fact that current events, unfolding during my lifetime were foretold 2600 years ago by Ezekiel and others. I am a Zionist and I believe in the in-gathering of my people to our ancient homeland. Although, as I said, I am not a religious Jew, I am horrified by Christian missionary efforts to woo Jews away from Judaism.


Q: What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?

www.drybones.com

www.drybonesblog.com

www.facebook.com/drybonescartoon


Q: What is your favorite Christian comic book?


A: Many decades ago I was impressed by Chick Young’s comics and also by a comic book rendition of a Hal Lindsey work. And some of the current stuff you've got on your site is really impressive.