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QRD #58 - Indie Comic Interview Series Part IV
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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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Tom Kristensen
Tom Kristensen
Tom Kristensen
Tom Kristensen
Tom Kristensen
Tom Kristensen
Tom Kristensen
Tom Kristensen
Indie Comic Creator Interview with Tom Kristensen
February 2013
Tom Kristensen
Name: Tom Kristensen
City: Aarhus, Denmark
Comics: Deadboy, Made Flesh, Octopulp Magazine, various small comics
Websites: tomkristensen.wordpress.commadeflesh.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.