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QRD #60 - Indie Comic Creators Part V
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about this issue
Indie Comic Creator Interviews:
Mike Dawson
Floyd Lewis
A.P. Fuchs
Darin Shuler
Trevor Denham
Jules Rivera
John Steventon
Lorenzo Ross
John Allison
Michael San Giacomo
Matt Chic
Jackie Crofts
Don W. Seven
Derek Baxter

Interview Series Updates:
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Jason Dube
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Indie Comic Creator Interview with Derek Baxter
April 2013
Name: Derek Baxter
City: Columbus
Comics: Drunken Cat Comics
Websites: www.DrunkenCatComics.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?

Derek – Whatever age I was when the X-Men cartoon show first premiered, that’s how old I was when I first got into comics as a fan. I didn’t actually draw my first comic until last year. I also didn’t read comics for several years, but they were always in my periphery.

QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?

Derek – Probably a Roger Rabbit comic.

QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?

Derek – 29.

QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?

Derek – I am on a really big very late 80s/early 90s kick right now. I am reading a lot of Batman from that era. I like the 80s as a decade for comics in general. Reading books from that decade fills me with a sense of nostalgia, even if I didn’t actually read the books when they were initially released.

QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?

Derek – It allows for more creative control.

QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?

Derek – I guess they are their own unique media. It might border on pretentious to say it, but it seems like the idea of “mainstream” is evolving & changing in an age in which anyone can put their work on the web & find an audience.

QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?

Derek – Between 25 & 50 issues to gauge how they sell at cons.

QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?

Derek – Depends on the comic. Small press creators are putting a lot of their own money into the publishing, so I feel like it’s only right they get a fair price for their work.

QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?

Derek – I wrote & illustrated one book last year myself, & then collaborated on several others. I would like to build up to producing several books a year.

QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?

Derek – I like serialization that can build up & be sold as a complete work. I guess it depends on the story being told.

QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?

Derek – Strips have a traditional set up & punch line. Books have more of a three act structure. I prefer comic books.

QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?

Derek – It depends. Usually several months.

QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?

Derek – I’ve learned a lot about filling in negative space & paneling.

QRD – Do you do thumbnails?

Derek – I am guessing now, since I am not sure what this is asking.

QRD – At what size do you draw?

Derek – I’ve learned to draw bigger than what you will print at. When I started, I was drawing the comic at exactly the size I wanted it printed. This left no room for re-sizing.

QRD – What kind of pens do you use?

Derek – Micron.

QRD – What does your workstation look like?

Derek – A coffee shop.

QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?

Derek – I color & add text in Photoshop.

QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?

Derek – I enjoy them & produce a daily comic for our website.

QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?

Derek – I love color images; but if I am pressed for time, I will do something in black & white.

QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?

Derek – This really depends on the comic.

QRD – How do you find collaborators?

Derek – I only really collaborate with one person & we’ve known each other since high school.

QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?

Derek – My only experience with this is writing with my friend & we’ve developed our own style. In general, I feel it should explain the story & panel breakdown, but leave room for the artist’s own interpretation.

QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?

Derek – Gary Larson.

QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?

Derek – Some laugh. I am not sure how many of them know the full extent of what I do.

QRD – What do you think of superheroes?

Derek – Pro.

QRD – Marvel or DC?

Derek – I like Batman & I like Spider-Man.

QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?

Derek – I would be too intimidated to work with other people’s characters.  I am always afraid I wouldn’t know enough about the “character bible” to do them justice. Maybe I could revive Sleepwalker?

QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?

Derek – Yes, as this would allow for maximum creative control.

QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?

Derek – I love SPACE, because it’s local & a lot of my comic artist friends show up. It’s like going to summer camp each year.

QRD – What do you do to promote your books?

Derek – Tell anyone who will listen to check out the website.

QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?

Derek – Probably elsewhere, if not for the irregular release schedule alone.

QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?

Derek – Animated TV show.

QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?

Derek – Reader.

QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?

Derek – Hopefully there will still be comic stores; but as older comics start to deteriorate, I hope they cab be preserved digitally. I would love to have a digital library of every Batman comic published.

QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?

Derek – Just telling interesting stories.

QRD – Anything else?

Derek – How is Marmaduke still being made?