Comic Creator Interview with Joe Badon
City: Slidell, La
Comics: Behind Yesterday
QRD – How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Joe – I guess as far back as I can remember, I remember thumbing through Zap Comics that my dad would buy when I was 7 or 8. I read comics through high school & then stopped until I was about 27. This is when I started drawing again so I needed inspiration.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Joe – Ummmm… One of the first comics that I remember buying was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4. I wish that I could find it!
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Joe – 30! I’m a late bloomer!
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Joe – MMM… good question! I think the answer is no decade! The majority of comics suck. Really bad. Every decade has comics that are hidden gems that usually go unnoticed. BUT, I’m really excited about this decade with the infusion of webcomics & the revolution of Print On Demand. There is a lot more crap out there, but also the potential for a lot more creative treasures to surface.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Joe – Mike Allred said that comics are the poor man’s movie making. That is a lot of the reason that I like it. But also, with comics, you can do things that Books, Art, or Movies can’t do. There is something unique to graphic story telling. Take Maus for instance. If you tried to make that into a movie; well, it would be somewhat difficult to do without seeming ridiculous.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Joe – They can be a stepping-stone to mainstream comics; but, the fact is, if you’re doing something unique & ingenious then mainstream comics probably won’t pay any attention to you anyway. If you’re going to create your own original work, you can’t do it for the hope of one day “breaking in.” You’d have a better chance playing the lottery. Do it for the love of creating art. Also, the fact is, now with the internet you can get your stuff in front of a buttload of people without even trying that hard! I remember when you had to work your brains out to get a few hundred people to even glance at your stuff.
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Joe – I sell my stuff POD & digitally.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Joe – I think a dollar is a great price for a 20 page rag. I grew up with comics being 50 cents & the prices now are outrageous.
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Joe – Being a freelance artist, a lot of my time is consumed drawing books for other writers & publishers. I drew about 5 or 6 comics last year. I haven’t gotten an original comic out in years. I would like to produce one original graphic novel (50 – 80 pages) a year.
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Joe – My personal favorite is completed graphic novels. It feels more like a work of art. I really can’t stand the soap opera feel of the Marvel/DC schlock. I mean how many times can a hero die & come back to life? & why is Aunt May still 90 years old?
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Joe – Comics strips are usually short stories within a bigger story. & more of a serialized feel. I prefer comic books. There’s a lot more freedom to the format.
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Joe – 3 - 6 months.
QRD – What do you better with your comics now than when you first started?
Joe – Since I’ve started, I’ve learned anatomy, perspective, & inking techniques that I didn’t have at first.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Joe – Coloring & lettering.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Joe – I love them! Let’s put the big guys out of business!
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Joe – Both! I like color in one respect & black & white in another.
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Joe – I think, that one person doing it all is great BUT tedious. I recently worked on a comic where I was a colorist/letterer. At first, I felt like a “cog in the wheel”. But after it was completed, I noticed that all of the individual parts made a fantastic whole!
QRD – How do you find collaborators?
Joe – Deviantart & craigslist mainly. But there are a lot of great social networks that I go to also: Penciljack, Digital Webbing, Conceptart, etc…
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Joe – VERY TIGHT! I like as much information from the writer as possible. One writer that I worked with sent me the script, stick figure drawings of each page, a file full of pictures for reference for each page & mailed me a box full of comics for reference & inspiration. I love that!
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Joe – Sam Hiti! But I usually get compared to R Crumb (which is cool too).
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Joe – They love it & are amazingly encouraging. My wife has been such an encouragement that I am extremely humbled!
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Joe – Poop.
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Joe – Poop.
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Joe – Madman, Ralph Snart.
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Joe – No, I have done it & it is A LOT OF WORK!!!
QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Joe – Wizardcon (it’s big!), NOLACON, & Southern Fried Comic Con (they’re close).
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Joe – Social Networks like PencilJack & Deviantart.
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Joe – Elsewhere.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Joe – Film, Animation.
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Joe – Reader, I could care less about collecting them. I usually read my comics to death (coffee stains & wrinkle pages).
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Joe – Print on Demand, Digital Download.
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Joe – Thinking outside of the Superhero Box that we’ve been stuck in for the last 50 years.
QRD – Anything else?
Joe – Not yet….