Mornin’, everyone! Can you believe we’re up to 31 9Q9A! interviews? Wow! Well, I’ve got Mr. Marc Thompson of Kinslayer in here today. Kinslayer is a brutal, dynamic story about “A young social outcast seeks redemption for the accidental murder of her father and uncle in a bronze age world full of mysticism and war.” Marc has a real eye for energetic compositions and camera angles in his work and the story has a great hook. You’ll find his fine fine answers below.
Q1] What are you working on right now, art-wise?
A1] Right now I’m working on Chapter 2 of Kinslayer. There are a lot of new environments, some things I’ve never even tried drawing before and it’s proving to be a great challenge. I’m also working on a site redesign, as well as putting together material for other unrelated stories in the same world as Kinslayer.
Q2] What is your workflow like?
A2] Lately I’ve been doing everything on my computer. I work out the story and basic concepts in my sketchbook (but not sketch, really.) Then I sketch, work out layouts, and write the actual scripts on the computer. I do my sketches and line work in Manga Studio 5 then do my coloring, text, and finishing in Photoshop.
Q3] Who are your top three influences (any medium)?
A3] I so want to draw like Joshua Middleton. His characters are so expressive and wonderful, and his linework is gorgeous to me. Paul Pope is another artist I adore. His strokes are so free and loose it’s like a dream looking at his art. And then I’d have to say Tolkein. He created an amazing world that was internally consistent where all kinds of wonderful and powerful tales could be told. The magic in Middle Earth was pervasive, but often not evident. The only time it ever got in your face was as a punctuation for a fantastic moment, and even then it never got anvilicious. The guy had class.
Q4] What is the one piece of indispensable advice you would give a comics creator for getting their work out there?
A4] It’s trite, but just do it. The hardest part is getting started, staring at that blank page. Once you get it going, keep going, love it, do it for yourself, don’t even worry if anyone else is reading it.
Q5] What do you think your duty is to the reader (if any)?
A5] Hmmm… I think it’s important to have a consistent schedule and stick to it as best you can, especially in the beginning. It tells them your comic is something you take seriously and they’re more likely to take it seriously, too. I also think it’s important to recognize them when they add something to your comic or site. I’ve had some valuable back and forth with some of my readers. They’ve helped me out with some ideas and details, pointed out a few mistakes that I’ll have to go back and fix. I make a point to thank them when they can do this for me.
Q6] If you could do one thing better, in regards to graphic storytelling, what would it be?
A6] Oh geez, I’m so new at this I don’t even know where to begin. I should read a book on it or something. Someone says something about pacing and I just have to smile and nod because I haven’t a clue. So… I would have to say, learn the basics? I’ve been fumbling along working things out for myself and it’s been pretty cool so far, but I don’t think I’ll really be able to improve much further without first getting a firm understanding of the art form’s basics… starting with the terminology.
Q7] What, if anything, do you prefer to listen to while you work?
A7] I keep Netflix or Hulu running in a browser in the corner of my screen so I can watch anime while I draw and write. Sometimes I listen to music. I find the Skyrim soundtrack is amazing for drawing.
Q8] What is the one comic story you read that has stuck with you throughout the years?
A8] Is it bad to say The Dark Knight Returns? Batman at his grittiest, fighting, breaking bones, blood, even when he’s trying to be careful. Fighting isn’t clean and people get hurt. That’s a fact that I fear too many super hero comics gloss over. It’s the first time I saw that kind of thing in a comic. It was such a wonderful contrast to the “clean” violence I was used to. Beyond that, the damage that people took wasn’t just bodily, but psychological which was often worse. …I should read it, again.
Q9] What do you consider to be the greatest power of graphic storytelling?
A9] Anyone can do it. You don’t need a production team or fancy equipment. You don’t even need to be particularly good at drawing. You just have to have something to say and the vision to put it on paper, then post it somewhere. When Shannon Wheeler started Too Much Coffee Man, all he had was a pen and paper and a few bucks to make copies which he distributed to local comic shops.
There we have it. Sorry to leave you with an ellipses on Marc’s last image there. You’ll just have to go over to Kinslayer and find out how the story goes yourselves! Just know: Julea’s a badass. Thanks again, Marc, for taking the time! Until Monday, friends.