Comic Creator Interview
with Gary T Becks
Name: Gary T Becks
City: Long Beach, California
Comics: Mazscara, Joseph, Fiendy
Websites: githos.deviantart.com, www.smackjeeves.com/comicprofile.php?id=12456,
QRD – How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Gary – I was around 7 years old when I got into comics & read them all the way up through college; by the time I started doing my own I stopped reading, but still looked to them for inspiration.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Gary – The Eternals, by Jack Kirby.
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Gary – I was 21, the comic was called Brave New Rock & was based on a real band I had at the time called Voices Unknown, our adversary was a large conglomerated radio station, I forgot the call letters.
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Gary – The latter half of the 20th century, the late 80s thru the 90s, during the indie explosion.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Gary – Comics are a bizarre hybrid of both & a little bit more.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Gary – Everything that’s underground will eventually become part of pop culture, including comics, there’s no escaping it.
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Gary – I had about 1000.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Gary – It depends on size, page count, & what kind of form the comic book takes. What kind of stock paper it’s printed on, etc. Then there are downloadable comics, which require no print run or physical manufacturing, so they’re the least expensive. Usually the publisher might set the price, I’ve given some of my comics away for free for the exposure.
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Gary – Right now I’m doing mostly webcomics, I’m working on four projects individually & collectively with others.
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Gary – Depends on the story, I like both.
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Gary – Comic strips are more simple story telling than comic books. Comic books require a more complex structure of presenting things.
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Gary – About a few months to a full year.
QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Gary – I’ve gotten a lot better at conveying the emotions of the characters & making them convincing enough as far as my drawing style.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Gary – Once I scan my pencil work into Photoshop.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Gary – Different in the way they’re presented compared to traditional comics, but they’re still comics.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Gary – I’ve always liked black & white, it’s the film noir of comics.
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Gary – As many as it takes to get the execution right. Inker. Penciller. Writer. Colorist. Editor. It’s not the number of people but the know how. On my project Mazscara I do everything myself.
QRD – How do you find collaborators?
Gary – The internet has helped a lot.
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Gary – As tight as possible, mostly everything depends on a script, just like a screenplay for a film or written composition for a piece of music, it’s the guideline & how everything is going to come out, good or bad is tied strongly to what directions the writer gives others to go by.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Gary – A friend of mine compared my work to Ted McKeever
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Gary – For those who have seen them, they love them & support me greatly.
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Gary – They are the morale boosters.
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Gary – Both have always had something to offer, for me at least.
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Gary – A hard question I can’t really answer.
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Gary – Yes, it allows you full control over what you want & what you really love.
QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Gary – I have yet to attend one.
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Gary – I use the internet & sometimes pass around flyers.
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Gary – I have no problem seeing my books in comic shops or anywhere else.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Gary – All of the above, I like to see new takes & different perspectives on what I’ve created.
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Gary – I stopped collecting when I was in high school. I still occasionally read though.
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Gary – The most successful has always been word of mouth.
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Gary – I still don’t think most people outside the comic industry take comics too seriously as a medium, or they think comics are just about superheroes & cartoon characters; there are some really good comics that have been out for years that have nothing to do with either of those, like the comic “Love & Rockets” for example. I’d like to see more of a push towards realism as opposed to mostly an escapism that most comics have.
QRD – Anything else?
Gary – Contrary to popular belief, there is an artist in everyone. Create & have fun.