with Indie Comic Creator Jason Strutz
City: Carrboro, NC
Comics: The Order of Dagonet, The Long Lives of Heroes, Make Your Own Comics
Websites: StrutzIllustration.com & FiretowerStudios.com
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 I was about 11 or 12 & got a gift certificate for the mall bookstore & figured out that I could buy one book or a bunch of comics with the money.
QRD What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Jason X-Men #7 with Jim Lee & some Amazing Spider-Man with Mark Bagley.
QRD How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Jason Actually I only came back to comics about three years ago.
QRD What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Jason Weve got some good stuff now with the ability for just about anyone to make a comic. Thats more interesting to me. But I do like just about any era, early Spider-Man, 80s X-Men.
QRD Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Jason The use of narrative sequence frees up any one image from carrying the whole idea. I was always thinking of what came before & after any image I was working on. Plus working with a writer helps keep me going.
QRD Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Jason They are all comics, & I read & make both. While I prefer working on my own characters I also wouldnt say no to offers.
QRD How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Jason About 50, theyre full size color & expensive.
QRD How much do you think comics should cost?
Jason Enough for the creators to make money & then make more comics. You need to expect a little higher price from the smaller teams to support what they do.
QRD How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Jason I would like to produce infinite amounts of comics, but am currently relegated to about 120 full size color pages right now.
QRD Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Jason Both, it would suck to start a long story & work for years to get it done with no feedback on it. I like to put out an issue & get feedback to spur on work on the next one.
QRD How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Jason Comic strips have to be entertaining in the short form, while pacing & payoffs get more important with long form comics.
QRD How long is it from when you start a comic until its printed?
Jason On Dagonet, about 3 months, mainly due to Ka-Blams month turn-around.
QRD What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Jason I do characters better & account more for the large word balloons required by my writer, Jeremy Whitley.
QRD At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Jason I scan finished colored art & add the balloons & words in the computer.
QRD What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Jason I am all for all forms of comics, I sell digital editions of my comic & will be starting a webcomic soon.
QRD Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Jason I prefer color despite the time involved.
QRD How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Jason Two to three. I would like the third to do all the stuff I dont feel like doing.
QRD How do you find collaborators?
Jason Random happenstance. Being in a place to find other people who like what you like.
QRD How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Jason Not terribly involved, but an idea of who should be in frame & any props necessary for upcoming actions. Keep it contained to what can actually be shown in a panel.
QRD What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Jason Dave McKean, Nic Klein of Viking, or Tommy Lee Edwards.
QRD What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Jason Supportive but not terribly involved; maybe a little confused.
QRD What do you think of superheroes?
Jason Superheroes are cool, but the insider comics business is killing them.
QRD Marvel or DC?
Jason Marvel, DC always seemed a little square.
QRD What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Jason Anything with an interesting story.
QRD Ideally would you self-publish?
Jason I would rather self-publish, if I had infinite funds, but for right now I would take whatever I can get.
QRD What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Jason NC Comicon, HeroesCon, the Charlotte Comicon, first SPX this year. These conventions are all pretty close & are the main way we get the name out.
QRD What do you do to promote your books?
Jason Facebook & Google+, websites, reviews, podcast interviews.
QRD Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Jason They would probably do best in comic shops, or bookstores, or perhaps Shakespeare festivals.
QRD What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Jason I think film would be cool, as we have a lot of pop-culture we pull from. The design I have for Titania in our comic is always in motion in my head, but you only get a frame in the comic.
QRD Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Jason Mostly a reader & creator, I didnt understand not reading the comics even when I was a kid.
QRD What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Jason Digital forms, tablets, but print will never totally die.
QRD What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Jason I would like to see more people
interested in the comic form itself, rather than blind allegiance to a
character, this would open up a market with people that are pretty closed
off to new things.