Paul’s artwork will be posted shortly. In the meantime, enjoy this interview!
Hello there, and welcome to redemptionwebcomic.wordpress.com! Could you start by telling us the name or names of everyone on your creative team?
My name is Paul Hobbs, writer and illustrator with my brother, writer, Kevin Hobbs. He was the one who came up with the story for our book, “Robot Love Cow,” which was initially conceived as a short film we had planned on making.
We also worked together to come up with our series, “Finch, Former Sidekick,” later titled, “Finch and the Sidekicks.”
Where are you all from?
That’s a long story! We moved around a lot growing up. I was born in Independence, Mo. And Kevin was born in Jacksonville, Fl. We grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and spent a lot of time in the south, and in the Chicagoland area. We moved back to the Kansas City area, where I met my amazingly supportive wife, and where Kevin lives now. My wife, Sarah, and I live outside Austin, Tx with our dog, two cats, and five beehives.
Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.
Like I said, we moved around a lot growing up. I also got to travel abroad through Asia. I went to four different high schools, but comics and art were always a constant for me. I was lucky. Unlike a lot of parents, mine were incredibly supportive of me persuing a love and interest in the arts. I was fortunate enough to attend Columbia College of Chicago, where I studied animation and screenwriting. I found that I loved the writing and storyboard aspect of filmmaking, which translates so well into making comics.
Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?
I’ve got two projects in the works right now. We are getting ready to release a big compilation of our Finch, Former Sidekick stories from the past eleven years… except issue #3. It’s just bad. Kind of funny, but just awful!
I’m also working on a follow-up to a comic I did called, “Adventures of Hanuman,” based very loosely on the Hindi character who is a super-powered monkey. He’s a fun, virtuous character, and an homage to when comic book heroes were straight-forward good guys.
That follow-up issue will feature most of the Finch, Former Sidekick characters and be an homage to old 1950’s scifi movie serials.
When and why did you begin writing/drawing?
I started when I was very young…when I was old enough to hold a crayon! My mom said I would go through coloring books like crazy.
I loved, and still do, science fiction, cartoons, and comic books. They were a great escape for me as a shy kid, and I would obsessively draw my favorite characters, which were often Superman, Batman, Wolverine, and Spock.
What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?
I think it was that I had a lot of positive encouragement when I was younger. I could create something and enjoyed doing it.
As a kid, I loved comics and Mad Magazine was a huge influence on me. They really inspired me to tell stories and to keep drawing.
How has your style changed since you began?
I embraced the simple, yet exagerated imagery in cartoons as an animation student. I also came to love how the starkness of black and white can enhance a visual image and story.
What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?
I have to recognize my limitations. Sometimes when I’m writing, I have to ask myself, “can I make this look good on the page?”
The most rewarding part is just having created something and seeing traffic on my blog from all over the planet!
How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?
I would say that all of it, even the crazier stories we’ve done are based on situations we’ve been in, or just born out of our own philosophical ideas and beliefs. The two that are most literally based on actual situations I’ve been in are the Finch, Former Sidekick stories, “Sick Day,” and “Drive-Thru Drive.” I just like telling the kind of stories that entertain me.
What have you learned while working on your latest project?
Puting together the Finch anniversary book, and finding some unfinished pieces that I’d like to revisit, have shown me how much I’ve grown as a storyteller and artist. Moreover, it’s shown me how much I’ve grown as a person from who I was when I wrote those as a younger person.
Do you have any advice for other writers/artists?
Always keep working at it. No matter if you are a professional, working artist, or a guy like me with a family and fulltime job not in the arts, love what you do and keep expressing yourself.
Most importantly: seek feedback if you want to get better. Share your work and be humble enough to listen to feedback and be willing to learn.
Do you have any links where we could find your work?
You can find our work on Amazon, and at finchcomic.blogspot.com. I’m also on Twitter and Instagram as @finchcomic.