Comic Creator Interview with Derek R Croston
City: Parkersburg, WV
Comics: Crostons Method Comix, Unicorns Changed My Life
QRD How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Derek I was probably 3 when I first got interested in comics. I have always stuck with them.
QRD What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Derek I believe it was an issue of Peter Parker: Spider-Man. I always found Peter Parker more interesting than Spider-Man. I liked to read Spider-Man, but skip the fights & anything with a costume. Then it is the story of a very paranoid & delusional young man that lives with his aunt.
QRD How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Derek 17 or 18. I started a webcomic about an angels journey to find the daughter he had been forbidden to raise. I posted a page a week for a year. I never got too far into the proper story. I am going back to it.
QRD What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Derek Im going to say the 90s. For the most part mainstream comics dropped the ball, but the smaller press comics were great.
QRD Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Derek Im not that great at drawing or writing, but together I can make something fairly interesting.
QRD Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Derek I view comics as a whole as story-telling medium. The quality of paper & number of copies produced do not matter.
QRD How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Derek So far I have printed 40 copies each time. No real reason for it.
QRD How much do you think comics should cost?
Derek That really depends on how many pages are in it & how it was made. Ill always pay more for something that will hold together for a long time.
QRD How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Derek I put out 2 a year. I would like to produce 5 this year or a large collection.
QRD Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Derek I believe stories should be delivered as complete works. Not just in comics, I tend to buy complete TV series & watch them from beginning to end.
QRD How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Derek Comic strips & books only differentiate in the amount of story you receive at a given time. Strips should only be used to show a single moment in time, anything longer should be put into book form. I love the original Flash Gordon strip, but I cant imagine reading it four panels at a time.
QRD How long is it from when you start a comic until its printed?
Derek Between 3 & 4 months. Print isnt my top priority.
QRD What do you better with your comics now than when you first started?
Derek The art grows in leaps & bounds. I changed the type of pens & technique I used between the first & second chapter of Unicorns Changed My Life. I decided to use the same style for the sake of consistency. I wont do that for the third chapter.
QRD At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Derek Only for coloring.
QRD What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Derek I believe webcomics will replace the comics people looked for in periodicals. I dont think digital comics or floppies will last ten years.
QRD Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Derek I think my work looks better in color.
QRD How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Derek The fewer the better. Two at the most.
QRD How do you find collaborators?
Derek I meet them at cons or local comic shops.
QRD How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Derek I feel artists should be free to go crazy so long as pacing & establishing shots (emotional & setting) are maintained.
QRD What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Derek Hopefully I am never compared to anyone. Id like my work to be seen as unique.
QRD What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Derek My friends & family dont read comics. Wait. My brother reads some comics. He likes some of them.
QRD What do you think of superheroes?
Derek I think their super powers take a great deal of suspense out of the story. That is what makes Batman bad***.
QRD Marvel or DC?
QRD What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Derek John Constantine.
QRD Ideally would you self-publish?
Derek I would rather have someone else do the printing.
QRD What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Derek S.P.A.C.E. draws in my kind of audience, but Ohayocon has the type of dealers room I could & have gone broke in.
QRD What do you do to promote your books?
Derek I advertise with Project Wonderful from time to time.
QRD Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Derek My comics do better in an online store.
QRD What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Derek I would like to see my characters as action figures. I have a clay figurine of Mullo that I love.
QRD Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Derek I used to be a collector. I tried to get every appearance of Alex Summers. After he was brought back a second time I stopped.
QRD What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Derek Webcomics & large print collections.
QRD What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Derek I would like to see more long running characters reach a conclusion.
QRD Anything else?
Derek I would like to mention that my
webcomic Crostons Method Comix is in a contest. If enough people go to
www.methodcomix.com & click the like button under the individual strips/pages
I could win $500. That would be a great way to show your support without
spending any money.