Comic Creator Interview
with Janusia Figuieredo
Name: Janusia Figuieredo, a.k.a. JanusClockwork
City: Cincinnati, OH
Comics: (I don’t have any published works yet.)
Websites: janusclockwork.wordpress.com, jloff.blogspot.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?
Janus – When I was 5, I was heavily into Archie comics. It wasn’t until around my preteen years that I fell into manga, my favorite comic genre. I love comics in general because it’s like reading a movie, except these “movies” can move at your own pace & I personally love that there’s something really intimate about reading, like you’re having your own private conversation with the comic.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Janus – I don’t remember which Archie comic I got first, but my very first manga that I ever bought was InuYasha Volume 13. I thought I was edgy because I got the thirteenth volume (ha-ha).
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Janus – Technically speaking, I was four when I put out my first comic. I made dinky little comic books & illustrated stories with RoseArt markers & Sandylion stickers & demanded that my dad sell them at his work for a quarter each (ha-ha).
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Janus – Oh, when it comes to manga, definitely the late 80s to late 90s. As far as western comics go, I think my favorite decade would have to be either the 50s or the mid 70s to late 80s.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Janus – Writing is awesome & drawing is awesome. Comics are the best of both worlds & give way to a whole new interpretation of life. Plus, comics are more fun (ha-ha).
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Janus – They are definitely their own media, but I think both indie comics & mainstream comics act like bridges for each other; one shouldn’t dominate the other, & neither are necessarily better than the other. I find that, more often than not, indie comics are more for letting artists & writers say what’s truly on their minds & talk about what they really want to talk about without having the fear of censorship. But mainstream comics act as a nice escape from the boring or sad everyday life & really work for bringing all sorts of people together...so that those different people can go to indie comics conventions & have fun (ha-ha).
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Janus – N/A; I haven’t had much experience with this yet.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Janus – Personally, I’d like it if comics could always be free. & edible. But really, they should cost whatever they supplies it took to make them cost & then some, so that the artists & writers can make a profit & be able to afford rent & food & general living stuff.
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Janus – If it is intended to be a one-shot, then yes. But I really like the idea of individual volumes or issues; sometimes I get really picky about which parts of the story or which sagas I want to hold onto.
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Janus – Comic strips, I believe, need to have a punchline or something like that at the end. They don’t necessarily have to be funny -- serious stuff works, too -- but they still need a one-liner of some sort. Comic books are for drawn-out narratives that don’t rely on those one-liners. I prefer comic books only because I read a lot & love drawn-out narratives.
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Janus – For school, usually it depends on how long the assignment is; it can take me two weeks to three months.
QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Janus – I draw better (ha-ha). I also use a lot weirder facial expressions.
QRD – Do you do thumbnails?
Janus – Nope. It’s bad practice, I know, but I can’t stand thumbnails.
QRD – At what size do you draw?
Janus – All sorts of sizes, although I tend to stay small. The largest I’ve done is 11” x 14” for physical works, & 1920 x 1080 pixels for digital works.
QRD – What kind of pens do you use?
Janus – Dip ink pens with Sumi ink & markers for my physical works. I just use a tablet when going digital.
QRD – What does your workstation look like?
Janus – I mostly work at school, wherever I can find space. At home, I generally park on the dining room table or in the study room, surrounded by my dad’s heavy chemistry & psychology textbooks.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Janus – Lately, it’s been for the entire process. I either go all digital or not at all. I’m a pretty extreme person, I guess (ha-ha).
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Janus – I love digital & webcomics. They’re just another growing genre of comics as well as new breeds of narrative; there really is a lot you can do with digital works. Digital & webcomics are a reflection of the Internet’s popularity, & the Internet is a good way to get your work out there.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Janus – Black & white. I wish I could be better with color, but that will come with practice.
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Janus – I find that it’s usually best if at most two or three people work on a comic: the artist (& writer if they’re separate people) & the editor.
QRD – How do you find collaborators?
Janus – I ask really talented people from my classes.
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Janus – That all depends on how much free reign the artist can have for a particular project. If the storyteller has a very specific view, then the script should be really tight. If not, then the script should be equally as flexible.
QRD – Do you think it’s important to have a full story arc completely written before starting to draw?
Janus – I want to say yes, but that goes completely against how I make comics (ha-ha). Sometimes it makes the process of making the comic more interesting if you let it develop as you go.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Janus – I already get (jokingly) compared to the Marvel villain Arcade, which is awesome because he’s my favorite character in the entire Marvel-verse (ha-ha). I wish I was as good with computers & robotics as he is, though. I also wish I had my own theme park.
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Janus – Most of my family members regard comics as mostly juvenile; they really only know of the mainstream superhero comics (I need to fix that). My friends, however, love comics of all sorts. That’s why they’re my friends.
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Janus – I like them; they can be a lot of fun & take part in really interesting stories if written well enough. I think it’s obvious that I prefer villains, though (ha-ha).
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Janus – Marvel. No comparison.
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Janus – Arcade, obviously (ha-ha). I also would like to maybe bring back Excalibur somehow. It’d also be neat to work with any of the Los Bros Hernandez characters, but I don’t trust my abilities for that yet.
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Janus – That would be nice, yes.
QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Janus – Any anime conventions, because I love manga & cosplay way too much (ha-ha). Really, I’m most familiar with manga since that genre is the one that got me interested in actually making comics. I’m working on developing my own style, but occasionally I’ll draw in a generic manga style. For funsies.
QRD – How do you feel about doing work for anthologies?
Janus – That would be really cool! I wish the Yonkoma Kings group could take work from non-Japanese artists; I would contribute so much for another Guilty Gear anthology! It’s really neat to see how different artists interpret the same topic.
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Janus – N/A, but I think in the future, it would be best to go online.
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Janus – Both. I collect & read manga. A... lot... of manga. I also collect & read any Marvel comics with Arcade in them. ...I understand this might be a problem (ha-ha).
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Janus – I think, not surprisingly, that webcomics or digital publications are going to be the way to go. A lot of artists have been getting highly promoted from Tumblr alone. Who knows what else we could be using in 10 years...
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Janus – Reading them. No, really, what I see happen a lot is people looking at the comics for the pretty pictures & then putting it back down, never to read or look at it again, even if they bought it. It’s kind of sad.
QRD – Anything else?
Janus – I can’t think of anything other than I hope one day I can get my work published & see that college paid off (ha-ha).