with Shawn Atkins
Name: Shawn Atkins
City: Pittsburgh, PA
Comics: Gello Apocalypse, Explorers of the Unknown
Websites: gelloapocalypse.blogspot.com, workshop13.net
QRD – How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Shawn – I started collecting comics when I was 15, I haven’t stopped reading them since.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Shawn – First ever comic, I’ll have to say it was a Two-Face one shot, but my first series I followed was Uncanny X-Men.
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Shawn – 14 for the school paper
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Shawn – It’s a toss up between the 60s & the 70s. I’m a huge 60s Fantastic Four fan, but I like some the edgy stuff from the 70s.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Shawn – I like to tell story in this form. It’s just easy to me, can’t explain it.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Shawn – Maybe back in the day I saw it as a path to mainstream, but now I see this as its own unique voice, probably because of the internet & its far reach.
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Shawn – Depends on how much cash I have in pocket.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Shawn – 99 cents.
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Shawn – I guess on the technical (cause I work on long stories) I’ll have to say 2-4 & I would like to double that.
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Shawn – I don’t know because I like them both as long as the serialized has an ending, not run for 30+ years. Mike Mignola does it right, he’ll release them as issues & then collect them in a trade
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Shawn – I like to think that comic strips & comic books are one & the same except they have different language when it comes to timing & pacing. I could be wrong & the two are widely different; but to answer the question, I like them both equally.
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Shawn – A couple months, most of the time it goes up on the web.
QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Shawn – I like to think I can tell better stories, but the jury is still out for that. Maybe my inking & layout. When I first started, I approached comics as animation storyboards.
QRD – Do you do thumbnails?
Shawn – Yes.
QRD – At what size do you draw?
Shawn – 8.5 x 14 inches.
QRD – What kind of pens do you use?
Shawn – Faber-Castell to Microns to Sharpie & one Pentel brush pen.
QRD – What does your workstation look like?
Shawn – Very messy with beer cans & art work.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Shawn – The color & lettering stage.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Shawn – THEY’RE GREAT!! Want more of them.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Shawn – Black & white, but I’m slowly liking to use color. When it comes to printing; B&W, I’m a cheap bastard
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Shawn – At most 4. Writer, penciler, inker, color, & the writer can do the word bubbles.
QRD – How do you find collaborators?
Shawn – I just ask my friends
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Shawn – Just enough info to understand what’s happening on the page.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Shawn – Darwyn Cooke or Jack Kirby.
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Shawn – As far my friends, they like what I put out; as for my family, they don’t understand them.
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Shawn – Pretty cool.
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Shawn – Marvel.
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Shawn – The Fantastic Four, Hellboy, Superman, & Daughters of the Dragon.
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Shawn – Yes.
QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Shawn – SPACE, PIX, SPX, & Stumptown because they are indie friendly.
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Shawn – Whore the shit out of them on social media sites like Facebook, Tumblr, & Twitter.
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Shawn – I think my comics work well in comic shops; I don’t know where else I would have a fighting chance to sell.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Shawn – Definitely film, games, I suppose action figures would be awesome (I’d defiantly have them).
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Shawn – Comic reader. Don’t give damn if my comic will triple in price as long as it’s a good story.
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Shawn – The internet & it breaks my heart cause I like hard copies & my brick store, but now you can have full issues at 99 cents & their is print on demand.
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Shawn – Being more open to different books, like indie people reading mainstream books & mainstream people reading indie books & if that fails, how about scratch-n-sniff comics?
QRD – Anything else?
Shawn – Nope.