Comic Creator Interview
with Scott David Finch
Name: Scott David Finch
City: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Comics: A Little World Made Cunningly
QRD – How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Scott – Cartoons preceded comics. I was enthralled by them & I think there was an immediate unconscious attraction to the mythic quality of trickster spirits like Bugs Bunny. Later I read Mad & Cracked pretty obsessively for a while. They were adolescent gateways to risqué subjects, nonsense, & satire. I also read some Marvel stuff like the X-Men, but I never really got crazy about it like some kids did & I definitely wasn’t a collector.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Scott – No recollection.
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Scott – I was forty. Ha! I never really intended to make a comic book. I have an MFA in painting & drawing & I was indoctrinated into the deep tradition of painting as High Art. At some point I came to believe that the vehicle of painting was the one & true way for me to express myself & that stayed with me for a long time. When I started drawing a graphic novel I kept it in the closet so to speak. I didn’t tell any of my serious artist friends for quite a while. I hoped it was a phase I was in that would pass, but nope. I’m still in love with it.
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Scott – I have no idea. My knowledge is narrow at best.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Scott – One day I got this narrative idea in my head that would be too visual to write & too sequential to express in a solitary image. I wasn’t looking to tell stories, but they were looking for a way to come through me. Sequential art was a necessity to tell this idea that asserted itself on me.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Scott – I don’t have much interest in mainstream comics really. I know some of them are amazing & I’m missing out on something, but I’m much more interested in oddball expressions of oddball ideas.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Scott – I have no idea. My 125 page book costs 12.87 on Amazon & the Kindle version costs $5.60. That seems pretty okay. Right? I’d love to have just put my work online for free, but it costs me a pretty penny to make it look okay, so I needed to recoup some of the cash.
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Scott – It took a year & a half from start to finish for the first one. The second one seems like it will take half that time.
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Scott – I like to have the whole thing so I can binge at will. I don’t want to wait.
QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Scott – I do everything better now than when I first started. In fact by the time I finished my little book, I had to go back & redraw the first several chapters over again so they wouldn’t look noticeably awful by comparison to the later ones. I couldn’t get any balance between words & images at first & the pace of my story telling was very odd. I also just didn’t have the kind of drawing skills I required or even a good handle on what materials I should use. That is still evolving now.
QRD – Do you do thumbnails?
Scott – I do sketches & outlines.
QRD – At what size do you draw?
QRD – What kind of pens do you use?
Scott – Currently I’m using india ink wash, Prismacolor pencil, & Prismacolor grayscale markers.
QRD – What does your workstation look like?
Scott – My workstation looks like my dining room table most of the time, but sometimes it looks like a coffee shop. I keep everything in one bag so I can work anywhere.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Scott – I don’t. I’ve had a great book designer help me make order out of chaos, but I do all of my work on paper.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Scott – I think they’re awesome. I just need to use my hands & the materials I’ve spent a lifetime learning.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Scott – I recently got an illustration job that required me to try out color after avoiding it for a long time & the results were really exciting. I have done a ton of stuff in black & white, but I’m excited to see what color offers.
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Scott – I have no idea. I can’t imagine working with anyone.
QRD – Do you think it’s important to have a full story arc completely written before starting to draw?
Scott – Yes & I think it is important to pay attention to what develops in the process of making as well. Sometimes seeing a thing grow suggests other possibilities & one has to adapt.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Scott – That’s too embarrassing to answer.
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Scott – I will self publish my next work.
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Scott – I have a facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ALittleWorldMadeCunningly & I’ve done interviews: http://www.aeonbytegnosticradio.com/2013/08/gnostic-themes-in-graphic-novels-rock.html, http://theaeoneye.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/an-interview-with-an-author-scott-d-finch/ But I don’t really do enough. What do you suggest?
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Scott – I have no idea. My book focuses on an esoteric strain of Christianity called Gnosticism & its relationship to the early church, plus it has balloon animals, a giant caterpillar, & a monkey. Where does that fit? Indie comic section, occult bookstore? Who knows.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Scott – Animation would be amazing, but I like letting the reader do that inside the mind’s eye.