with Andrew Taylor
Name: Andrew Taylor
City: Glenside, PA
Comics: Potential, Doctorcops M.D.
Websites: www.Potentialcomic.com, www.Doctorcops.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?
Andrew – I first got into comics when I was just 7 or 8. I really liked Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis so my mom ordered me a subscription to the comic. I read that for a long time, as well as the occasional X-Men book that I could get from the bookstore, unfortunately we didn’t have a comic book store in my hometown. Throughout middle school & high school I was very big into manga - Dragonball Z, Ruroni Kenshin, Trigun, FLCL, Death Note, & Fullmetal Alchemist were some of my favorites. I only got really big into mainstream comics once I got to college & had access to a comic book store. That was around the time Marvel was doing Civil War. That is finally when things clicked for me, when I realized that I wanted to draw & write comic books. I’ve been obsessed ever since.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Andrew – Hmm. If you count manga, I would say probably something from Ruroni Kenshin. As for comics, discounting what my mom bought for me as a kid, the first book I ever bought for myself was the Marvel Illuminati: Prelude to Civil War. I was so confused. I read a lot of back issues after that.
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Andrew – Well, that was just last week! I am 24 now, so 24.
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Andrew – Ha! I’m sorry that I can’t offer much insight here. I’ve read quite a bit of old collections, but I never read anything outside of this decade at the time of original publication. Though I would say that I think comics keep getting better, especially considering the huge wave of indie comics that are getting more & more easily accessible.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Andrew – It’s the visual story telling. A cool drawing is one thing, a cool story another, but when you combine them? That’s just the best.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Andrew – Both! A lot of the big name writers still put out indie books & I think that’s pretty cool. I hope to one day be able to do both. To write/draw Spider-Man while simultaneously doing my own original story. That’s living the dream.
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Andrew – Good question. I was hoping maybe you could answer that for me! I haven’ quite gotten there yet, still trying to figure everything out as I go.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Andrew – $3-$5 for a physical copy $1-$2 for digital. That’s what I’ll be trying to stick with.
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Andrew – Right now? Zero. Hope to? As many as time will allow.
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Andrew – That’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about with Potential. Serialized work is just sort of part of the fun of comics isn’t it? Ultimately, I think it depends on the story being told.
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Andrew – A comic strip, to me, is sort of a casual & quick read, where as with a comic book you are in for the long run. I prefer comic books for sure, I love picking up where I left off last month, but then I also love a good binge read where you plow through a few volumes of trades or an omnibus all in one sitting! That’s how I read Morrison’s New X-Men. It was awesome.
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Andrew – No clue! I’ll let you know once I figure it out.
QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Andrew – Ha! Another one I’m still figuring out. Though it’s funny, I’m only working on my second issue now; but I can already feel an improvement in my work from issue one & sometimes even from page to page. I feel like I can work much quicker on drawing faces & hands then when I started with issue one. & page layouts are starting to come much more naturally. I can really feel myself getting more experienced with each panel. It’s exciting but also kind of intimidating; every time I feel like I am in a good place & my work is getting really professional looking, I learn something new that changes everything.
QRD – Do you do thumbnails?
Andrew – Yes! I don’t know how you couldn’t. I go through quite a few revisions before I get a page layout that I like.
QRD – At what size do you draw?
Andrew – 11x17
QRD – What kind of pens do you use?
Andrew – Kuretake ink brush pens & white uniball gel pens for highlights.
QRD – What does your workstation look like?
Andrew – It’s a mess. Total mess. Ink & paint just gets everywhere, yesterday I had ink in my coffee & I drank it anyway. That was probably not a very good idea.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Andrew – Color.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Andrew – Well, considering I do my own webcomic, I think they’re great! Webcomics are interesting because you don’t have to follow anybody’s rules, not even your own. They each offer their own unique experience; one webcomic can be identical to a comic book, but another can be completely unrecognizable. With Doctorcops, I work in a comic book sized page, but have an extra element of drop down transcript text you couldn’t do in print.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Andrew – I don’t have a preference. What I feel like working on depends what mood I’m in on any given day.
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Andrew – I’m learning with Potential that there isn’t really any one answer to this question. I set out trying to hire an inker, colorer, & letterer; because that’s what I’ve seen on mainstream comics, but things just didn’t work out the way I wanted them to & I ended up doing the color & letters myself. It’s time consuming, but everything looks just the way I want it to & that’s very satisfying. This process has definitely made me gain a lot of respect for guys like Eric Larson who do it all themselves. Comics are a lot of work.
QRD – How do you find collaborators?
Andrew – Well, my writer, James, I met in preschool. & my inker, Ryan, was my college roommate. I’ve met a few other artists at comic conventions who I hope to work with in the future.
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Andrew – With Potential, I am the creator as well as the artist, so I have a lot of freedom, which is very nice! It’s important to give an artist room for interpretation.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Andrew – Jerome Opena, Ryan Ottley, esad ribic. They’re my favorite artists in the business right now.
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Andrew – My friends all seem to like my work, both with Potential & Doctorcops. My parents say Potential is over their heads & I’m embarrassed to talk to any relatives about Doctorcops! It’s too dirty.
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Andrew – Super heroes are awesome. Duh.
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Andrew – Marvel. There are a few times when I think DC stories eclipse Marvel though, current Batman & Green lantern come to mind. Issue 10 of Johns’ new Green Lantern run is probably my favorite single issue ever. Hal convincing the Indigos that he believes Sinestro can redeem himself, Sinestro’s secret respect for Hal, Black Hand jumping to his death to escape the Indigo ring? Love it.
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Andrew – Peter Parker & Mark Greyson (Invincible). Mark is a comics fan, I love when he talks to the writer of Science Dog!
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Andrew – I’m starting to get pretty excited about self-publishing. Initially I thought I had to submit my comic to a few publishers & cross my fingers, but now I’m actually looking forward to doing the legwork. I think it will be very satisfying. The first time, at least!
QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Andrew – I’ve been going to Wizard World Philadelphia for years now, it’s the closest convention to where I live. This past November I went all the way down to Austin (& loved it). This season I intend to go to Boston Comic Con, WWPhiladelphia, Baltimore CC, The Small Press Expo, NYCC (if I make the cut), & hopefully WWAustin again if my other outings can fund the journey.
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Andrew – I currently have a Facebook page for Potential & for Doctorcops: www.facebook.com/potentialfans & www.facebook.com/doctorcops. Over the coming weeks I have a very ambitious social media plan - I hope to extend to Twitter, Instagram, & Pinterest; as well as regularly updating the blog section on the currently empty potentialcomic.com.
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Andrew – I think they are well suited for comic book shops. Our story is similar to traditional super hero origin tales, with a few twists. Instead of the secret origin most heroes experience, the one in Potential is very public & very tragic. A lot of people die & a lot more come away from the origin event with horrible deformations, while the major characters of the book come out unscathed & with new found psychic powers. All except for the main character of the book, Ian, who misses the event entirely & has to deal with his powerlessness & his jealously. We will see Ian break & become the villain, we don’t hold back with the tragic elements of the story. It’s the kind of story comic book fans love to read, but with a new look on the classic elements. I think people are really going to love it.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Andrew – Who doesn’t want to see their characters on the big screen? That would be awesome. & I’m not the kind of fan who gets upset at film adaptations straying from the original story. If you want the original story, then read the original story! The Walking Dead TV show does a great job at this, staying true to the series but keeping me guessing in the details. I also love video games. The art of creating a story that a player is a part of, the growing indie community (not unlike comics!). If ever there would be a Potential video game, I would have to be very involved in the creative process.
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Andrew – More of a reader than collector. The stories stay with me; I have a very good memory in that regard, I don’t need the actual comic to remind myself of what I’ve read. The experience is more important than the material to me.
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Andrew – Comic book stores. There is no alternative. E-comics are great, but they aren’t by any means a suitable replacement.
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Andrew – It’s hard to say. I like to read good stories; I also like to read good endings. Endings aren’t typically something that comic books do well. I like the idea of “seasons,” like a TV show. A comic could do one overarching story for 25 issues or so, while continuing with the smaller stories in each issue, & then have an ending to the season. Closure. & then start it all back up again with season 2! There are a few writers that do this very well already (Remender’s X-Force), & they are my favorite writers in the business.
QRD – Anything else?
Andrew – I think 36 questions pretty much covers it all! Keep up with our progress on Potential at www.potentialcomic.com & Doctorcops updates Fridays at www.doctorcops.com Thanks!