Comic Creator Interview
with Nils Balls
Name: Nils Balls
Comics: Skeleton Balls Comics
QRD – How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Nils – I have been drawing as long as I can remember. I’ve always stuck with it to some degree.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Nils – Probably Jim Lee era X-Men.
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Nils – I started an underground school newspaper in 8th grade. People thought it was funny. That’s probably where it started for me.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Nils – I wanted to be a filmmaker. For me, comics are a controlled version of telling a story through visual images.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Nils – It’s all the same to me.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Nils – Somewhere between free & $100.
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Nils – It all depends on the story. My current project will be about 150 pages & I want it to be a solid package, but I’m scripting my next story as a serial.
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Nils – Books have the liberty of telling a story at their own pace, where a strip is controlled by the space. I like them both.
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Nils – Between 20 minutes & 5 years.
QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Nils – I think I’m better at showing more than explaining.
QRD – Do you do thumbnails?
Nils – Yes, all the time, on scraps of paper, receipts...
QRD – What kind of pens do you use?
Nils – Micromatic pens & Dixon Ticonderoga #2s.
QRD – What does your workstation look like?
Nils – It’s a flat high desk surrounded by piles of paper & files with a light box & stereo nearby. The wall behind it is dense with notes, postcards, & pictures.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Nils – I don’t work digitally, but my comics are all on the web – it’s a great way to reach a bigger audience. It is here to stay.
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Nils – They generally like them. People like a lot when they identify themselves in some way, regardless of the context.
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Nils – They are awesome.
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Nils – I’d like to see more people using the classic strip model, making better “newspaper comics”.