Comic Creator Interview with Jason Young
Name: Jason Young
QRD – How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Jason – Seriously... like 3 years old to present.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Jason – I remember buying an issue of Superfriends that I must’ve read a couple of hundred times when I was a kid.
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Jason – My brother & I used to draw comics all the time & staple them together when we were young but the first I ever actually printed multiple copies of was around age 18 I guess.
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Jason – This one. The 2010s.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Jason – I’ve always loved the way art & stories work together in comics. It’s the best of both worlds.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Jason – Well, for me they are unique as I definitely started out reading only mainstream stuff... but I could see how they could work the opposite way for others & get them into Sin City or Green Arrow or whatever.
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Jason – Usually 50.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Jason – Ideally I’d draw the line at $2.99 (HA!)
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Jason – I usually get only one or two out which is pathetic. This year I’m shooting for 4 though (& one’s a 62 pager)!
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Jason – I think both ways are effective depending on the type of story. Sometimes I hate waiting between installments & others I like the cliffhanger endings each month.
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Jason – Comic strips seem lighter to me, but just as good. I love older strips from before I was born the most. As well as ones from my childhood like the Far Side & Calvin & Hobbes. But in the end I definitely prefer “comics.”
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Jason – Too long. Months & months sometimes. I’m bad about that (just ask Dillon Mitchell). If I’m given a deadline though I’ll meet it.
QRD – What do you better with your comics now than when you first started?
Jason – I’d like to think it’s improving in every aspect but who’s to say. I’ve definitely gotten better at shading & coloring & proportions over the last decade.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Jason – Only after it’s completely finished. Then I digitally color the covers & convince someone to scan the interior art into a page layout format for me.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Jason – I think they’re a good idea for daily strips (American Elf!) & short works, but if something is longer than a couple of pages I don’t want to read it online. If a comic costs $4 for a tangible dead tree version or it’s free online, I’d buy the dead tree version. I would however read a page or two of a book I’m unfamiliar with online to decide whether I’d like to buy the dead tree version or not.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Jason – Black & white... but I’m warming up to color work.
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Jason – My favorites tend to be the ones where one person does the entire thing... but as many as need be I say.
QRD – How do you find collaborators?
Jason – I’ve only collaborated a couple of times & it’s always with friends or friends of friends (or nephews of friends).
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Jason – The Alan Moore style of infinitely detailed scripting seems crazy to me.… Just learn to draw Mr. Moore! I think the more brief the script the more the artist has room to put his or her style & feel into it.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Jason – Batman! Oh, you mean a creator... hmmm... Dick Sprang! Cause his name’s awesome.
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Jason – My friends pretend to like them & my family pretend that they don’t exist.
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Jason – I’ve always had a soft spot for ‘em. I was a nerd that got picked on growing up like most nerds, so of course I like the idea of a big strong dude with powers beating the crap out of bad guys. Where were you when I got MY lunch money stolen Superman? Where?!?
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Jason – I’ve always liked both although I read more DC now. I guess I always thought Marvel had the best artists & DC the best characters.
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Jason – The Fantastic Four, Cerebus, Batman, & the Flaming Carrot.
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Jason – Yes, it seems like the way to go unless you get a sweet deal to retain creator’s rights but also get wide distribution. That’d be the best of both worlds I think.
QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Jason – I go to a lot of cons, but SPACE in Columbus, Ohio is the only one I’ve ever set up at. & that’s because it’s super affordable & pretty much in my backyard.
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Jason – I deliver them (either by hand or through the postal system) to indy friendly comic book shops & recently tried sending them out to websites & magazines for review (thanks BJM!).
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Jason – Maybe oil change places. You know... there’s never any good magazines & somebody always has the TV on some horrible daytime “my baby’s daddy is my daddy” program. So yeah, maybe I could put them in a vending machine at oil change places.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Jason – I am not a whore sir! But I’d love a Veggie Dog Saturn plush toy. Who wouldn’t?
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Jason – I have to admit I’m both. I just can’t seem to get rid of any of the comics I like. I don’t care about condition though (I don’t bag & board them or anything), so in that sense I’m just a reader who can’t let go of them.
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Jason – Online... print to order from desktop publishing. Down with Diamond!
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Jason – Folding them in half & sticking them in their back pocket like they did in the old days.
QRD – Anything else?
Jason – Buy my comics... I’m kinda poor.
Other QRD interviews with Jason Young: