with Tom Kristensen
Name: Tom Kristensen
City: Aarhus, Denmark
Comics: Deadboy, Made Flesh, Octopulp Magazine, various small comics
Websites: tomkristensen.wordpress.com, madeflesh.blogspot.dk
QRD – How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Tom – I was probably around 6 or 7. There were always comics in my childhood home. A lot of old The Phantom, Tarzan, & Frank Sels’ Silver Arrow. & of course Donald Duck. I used the local library a lot, where I came across many european comics & later on american produced comics. Comics have stuck with me ever since.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Tom – It might have been a subscription to Serieparaden, a magazine with comic strips such as Calvin & Hobbes, Mother Goose & Grimm, The Far Side, etc. Or maybe some Marvel comics from the used books store in my hometown.
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Tom – I was around 13 I think. But it was short. My attention span didn’t really cut it for creating long comics until my twenties.
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Tom – Well... I don’t know. I’d like to think that we’re still on the move onwards, so the best is yet to come.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Tom – The combination of the two creates something unique. Along with the whole sequential time & space on the same page magic. It is an absolutely fascinating media with so many different styles & abilities. & it’s fucking cheap. You just need to put your heart & soul into it. Most of us have those things.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Tom – The one does not exclude the other in my opinion. In indie comics you have more artistic freedom; but in mainstream, well you have the money & audience, so I like both medias.
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Tom –Around 50 or 100 depending on how lazy we are.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Tom – Well, if the price was according to the time spent creating it, that would be great. But other than that I don’t know.
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Tom – I’m a freelance illustrator, so the time is limited because I seem to be working all the time. But one big story a year & all the small ones I can fit in.
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Tom – I like to collect complete works, but I know that that’s bad for the creators who really need support & money to keep the series going, so I try to buy single issues as well.
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Tom – Comic strips have a lot less space to tell the story & often it is merely a joke in the end. Nothing wrong with that, but there are comic strips that include more than just funny endings. I prefer comic books although I read both.
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Tom –Well that depends on how long it is. I can’t really answer this question on any satisfactory level.
QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Tom –Everything. Especially layouts & colouring.
QRD – Do you do thumbnails?
Tom –YES! I find them the hardest & most important part.
QRD – At what size do you draw?
Tom – A3 size in Europe, which is 11.6 inches wide & 16.5 inches tall.
QRD – What kind of pens do you use?
Tom – A lot of different ones: Staedtler pigment liners, Pentel brush pens, dipping pens with different dips, & just about any black pen I can get my fingers on.
QRD – What does your workstation look like?
Tom – Eh, well, computer (iMac), Wacom Intous 4 medium tablet, scanner/printer which currently doesn’t work, pencils, papers, brushes, tape, coffee cup, brushes, water colours, acrylic colours, & comics all strewn across a table.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Tom – When the colouring begins & textures & text.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Tom – I love them. I buy a lot of comics on tablet. It’s just more accessible in Denmark. A lot of comics do not cross our borders in printed form, but I can get them digitally.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Tom – I prefer colour.
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Tom – As many as the people involved would like. On a personal account, I think two is probably sufficient. The writer & the artist.
QRD – How do you find collaborators?
Tom – Among my piers. People writing to me or just by chance.
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Tom – I like it to be a bit loose. Unless I’m pressed for time & don’t have the time to visualize everything myself.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Tom – Ashley Wood & Templesmith... anything Australian really; just kidding, I don’t know all Australian comic creators. But those two make some really nice art.
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Tom – They are polite enough to like them. Some of them more that others.
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Tom – They are entertaining, but I do not follow them on a regular basis.
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Tom – DC. Marvel is a bit boring these days.
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Tom – John Constantine or some of Steve Niles’ characters.
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Tom – I’d prefer somebody to do it for me, but if they won’t I will.
QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Tom – All conventions in Denmark in order to support the local scene & other international cons if time & money allow.
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Tom – A lot of online social networking & generally telling people about them.
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Tom – Yes, I like comics in comic shops. But It would be nice to see them being sold in cafés & more public places. Comic shops sometimes give the vibe of being only for a select few.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Tom – I’ll just start with getting paid then we’ll see about all the merchandise & stuff.
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Tom – Both.
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Tom – Tablets. & I hope that print still is alive.
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Tom – Reading them & sharing them.
QRD – Anything else?
Tom – Nope.