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QRD #51 - Indie Comics Interview Series
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Indie Comic Creators Interviews:
Kimberlee Traub
Liz Suburbia
Michael Anthony Carroll
Mike Kitchen
Sloane Leong
Troy Little
Wayne Wise
Blair Kitchen
David Lawrence
Dawn Best
Gary Scott Beatty
Jack Knifley
Jason Strutz
William Schaff
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Interview with Indie Comic Creator Jason Strutz
July 2011
Name: 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 – We’ve got some good stuff now with the ability for just about anyone to make a comic. That’s 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 wouldn’t say no to offers. 

QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?

Jason – About 50, they’re 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 it’s printed?

Jason – On Dagonet, about 3 months, mainly due to Ka-Blam’s 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 don’t 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 didn’t 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.