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QRD #58 - Indie Comic Interview Series Part IV
QRD - Thanks for your interest & support
about this issue
Indie Comic Creator Interviews:
Heather Nunnelly
Jeremy Baum
Graeme McNee
Michael Neno
Cihan Sesen
Shana Cleveland
Jeremy The Artist
Andrew Taylor
Simon Moreton
GMB Chomichuk
Virginia Shields
Mulele Jarvis
Lars Kramhøft
Josie Pi Grant
Palle Schmidt
Shawn Atkins
Tom Kristensen
Francesca Urbinati
Harold Dean Cupec
Adam Black
Daniel McCloskey
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Shawn Atkins

Shawn Atkins
Indie Comic Creator Interview with Shawn Atkins
February 2013
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.