Comic Creator Interview
with Jason Dube
Name: Jason Dube
City: Sacramento, CA
Comics: Scattered Comics
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 got into drawing comics in high school, but did it for money for indie publishers. Then later when I got into college I thought I’d get into self-publishing & created my first serious comic “Scattered;” not really thinking it would go anywhere. It was more of something to do for fun & only made like 7 copies for my friends. Little did I know it would get passed around & a small demand would be created for my book. From there it slowly grew in fanbase through the years. Now I have an assortment of titles & am so grateful for the fans that have made my books as a success as they have become.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Jason – Contest of Champions #1.
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Jason – 18 years.
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Jason – I was really inspired & influenced by the whole Image Comics creation thing. That’s the decade I guess would be my choice.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Jason – I have such a passion for the comic book medium & I don’t think my writing skills are very good.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Jason – I think they are their own unique medium, but have the potential of moving into the mainstream. There are so many undiscovered treasures in indie mini-comics.
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Jason – When I first started my xeroxed mini-comics I was running between 7-25 copies starting out.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Jason – Well, this is dating myself, but I was buying them for 60 cents when I was collecting. I miss those days, but understand why they can’t cost that much now. I guess if comics were cheaper to make, it would be great at the $2 price ticket; but that’s not going to happen since it cost me about $2.40 a book to print. Until DIAMOND picks up my books again in which case I can go to larger print runs & the cost per book drops.
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Jason – I think I put out a average of about 4-5 titles a year. I would love to put out about 4 times that if it were possible. (One day.)
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Jason – I definitely think they work as a series, but I do make them in a way that they can be collected into a lump trade paperback later & it tells a larger story all together.
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Jason – I prefer comic books (I mean that’s what I do), but I enjoy strips too. I believe strips are more like what you get in web comics & newspapers. 3-5 panels in a row doing a short story or punchline.
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Jason – It all depends on life really & my workload of what I’m doing for other clients. I run a comic book studio that creates & produces comic books for other companies. That pays the bills; my self-published stuff is not quite able to do that yet. Anyway, I would say between 5-8 months from script to print.
QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Jason – Planning! I plan everything now. From where the story is going, to how the pages will be drawn, to how I am going to display it at conventions & market it out. I would say I plan each comic book about a year in advance, sometimes longer. I planned & scripted out my “SHADOW HUNTERS” series close to 10 years before finally getting it created & published.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Jason – I scan in my hand drawn comic pages & from there it’s all digital. The coloring, the typesetting & word bubbles, & pre-press.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Jason – I think they are great. Digital comics opens up a new market & readers & I am all about any sort of way to get my comics into new readers’ hands. Webcomics are cool too. I use the webcomic medium to release early 1 page stories of future comics to both introduce the characters & story arc & get a fan base built up before the actual comic comes out.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Jason – I love seeing my artwork in COLOR, though I really stink add digital coloring. I have a studio of colorists that do all that for me. & they are true masters at it! But I grew up drawing everything black & white & even published all my early stuff in black & white. So I go into my artwork with the mindset that my INKS are the end of the line & always try to make them strong & detailed so they can stand alone. The color comes in & just takes it to another level.
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Jason – It all depends. I prefer an artist that does all the artwork, then a colorist to enhance it. (That way you got one talent concentrating on their task & moving forward smoothly.)
QRD – How do you find collaborators?
Jason – I usually just turn to the artists in my studio, but I also run a group out here in Sacramento called the SCCG (Sacramento Comicbook Creators Group) & there are a lot of very talented folks in there I can always look to.
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Jason – This is a great question & since sometimes I draw another person’s script & I also write scripts for other artists to draw, I play both sides. I believe as a scriptwriter you have a vision in your head & so it’s so helpful if you can write as many details about everything in each panel to help the artist get to that place. Artists are not mind readers so be descriptive. But on the same token, I tend to be a bit vague with my scripts in places where I want the artist to take liberties, or let them tell me what they think works better. The artist is drawing the page so sometimes they will come up with something even better visually.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Jason – I am always flattered when I am told I am compared to anyone I recognize. (Even if I’m not a fan of that person’s work)
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Jason – They are all very supportive & have been since I started this venture a million years ago.
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Jason – They are awesome & so much fun! Its what got me into reading comics! (IRON MAN!)
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Jason – Marvel.
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Jason – Never really thought of that. But it’d be fun to do a cross over with another independent comic.
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Jason – I do self-publish.
QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Jason – I attend mostly shows out here in Sacramento because I help run them. & they’re close to home. (SAC-CON, SACANIME, DAYS OF TERROR)
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Jason – Anything & everything I can think of. From good old flyers, promo posters, to YouTube videos, blogs, postings, podcasts, & comic interviews (like right now).
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Jason – Comic shops sell them really well for me. I think maybe my CAFFEINE POISONED series could do well in coffee shops.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Jason – Film, & TV! That would be awesome!!
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Jason – I guess a reader mostly. I don’t really collect for the collecting of it, I usually buy the books of people I admirer or know that work in the industry. & then go home & enjoy their new work.
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Jason – You always want more people reading & loving them. Comics have come a long way from being just funny books, but I think that there is still some stigma & I’d love to see that completely vanish.
QRD – Anything else?
Jason – I just want to thank you Brian for letting me be a part of this! Also for being so patient with me in getting these questions to you. I hope if any of your readers are interested they can check out my site at: www.scatteredcomics.com & my studio at www.scatteredcomicsstudios.com
Other QRD interviews with Jason Dube:
Indie Comic Creator Interview Update with Jason Dube (April 2013)