Interview with Cherie Hellemeyer

Hello there, and welcome to redemptionwebcomic.wordpress.com! Could you start by telling us the name or names of everyone on your creative team?

Cherie Hellemeyer; I do all the art, story and promoting on my own.

Where are you all from?

I hail from the Midwest, in particular, Missouri, around the STL area. I’ve been here my whole life except the first year of my life, which I lived in Texas and California for brief periods.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

Early on, both of my parents noticed my talent for creativity and nurtured that through my whole life. My mom put me in lots of those science and art camps during school breaks, so I think that helped me experience a lot of different things when I was younger, and I enjoyed them greatly. My dad has his own screen printing business, and taught me how to do it, as well as showing me all different ways of going about making art. I graduated from high school, and went off to make bad decisions for the next 8 years… which had a negative effect on all that creativity.  I currently have an almost 6 year old in Kindergarten, who seems to have artistic talent as well. I’ve been with my partner for 2 ½ years now, and we’re trying to get into a better house.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

Oh gosh, Blighted: The Odyssey. This is my baby right here, and I do have to say: It’s long. It is a hugely extensive story, and it’s also a two-parter. Blighted: The Odyssey is just Part I, and it’s just now getting into the format I want. I wish I was faster, there’s so much outlined that I need to get into Photoshop and do the digital version.

This project has two main points:

  1. To improve my skills and style, on rough draft as well as photoshop.
  2. To get this story to you. To my beloved readers. It’s been in my head so long, and it’s grown so intricate that it must be told.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

It’s always been with me in some way or form, I just always kept trying to improve. I lack in both departments, in my opinion. I do think my writing and art style is improving here within the last few months, but I think it’s mainly because I’ve been practicing so much lately.

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

Music and manga, actually. That’s the best way I can put it. I love to read manga in silence and draw listening to music.

How has your style changed since you began?

Toned down the manga vibe, but not entirely. I’m able to draw really detailed pieces with paper and pencil. Digital improvement was huge though. I still need to learn a lot to get where I want to be.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

Challenging: Finding time. I’m so busy all the time being a mom, working 40+ hours a week and drawing for 4-5 hours a night. Coffee is love.

Rewarding: Though it may seem silly, I love seeing comments and seeing how much people enjoy what I do. It really pulls me through.

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

I take pieces of everything. Not much from experiences, I tend to let my imagination carry out the scenarios and the like.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

Art is hard! -laughs-

But yeah, it takes a lot of work to get where you want to be, no matter how big or small.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists?

Just… do what you can at your own pace. If you love doing it just because it makes you happy, do it. Unless it’s heroin. Don’t do heroin.

Do you have any links where we could find your work? How about social media accounts where people can follow you for regular updates?

ComicFury-This is one of the two comic sites I post on:

http://blightedtheodyessy.webcomic.ws/

Webtoons-This is the other:

http://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/blighted-the-odyssey/list?title_no=113815

Instagram-I post a lot here:

https://www.instagram.com/alpharieasmodeus/?hl=en

Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/AlpharieArtist/

Deviantart-I post other art here besides Blighted.

https://alpharieartist.deviantart.com/

Tumblr: Updates slow, because not a huge follower count:

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/blighted-theodyessy

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Interview with T. Perran Mitchell

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 T. Perran Mitchell and I’m the Writer, Letterer and Creator of The Chronicles of the Tal Nor. I work with Kelsea Jewell, who provides the art.

Where are you all from?

I’m from right outside of Philadelphia, PA and Kelsea is from Washington State.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

I’ve always loved comics and storytelling. When I was in first grade I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and Dyslexia. Because it was the early 80’s and public school didn’t have the resources or programs for children with learning disabilities, I ended up needing to go to a special school for children with learning disability. Needless to say, this was not the easiest experience to go through. The one thing that helped me through it all were comics books. I latched on to heroes like Daredevil and the X-Men. People who overcame disability and being different to make the world a better place. For me if Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler and Storm had to go to a special school and wear a uniform, maybe it was OK if I did too.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

We just published issue 2 of The Chronicles of the Tal Nor. I’ve plotted out issue 3 and started to flesh out the details for that issue’s script. I’m also putting together a collection of short comics I’ve written with the hope of releasing it towards the end of the year.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

I remember writing stories and trying to draw comics all through grade school. As I grew older I saw that my talent was in storytelling and not illustration. That became my focus; however, after graduating college I needed to pay the bills. I started working in the software field and decided to try to make a career out of that. As they years passed I kept feeling like something was missing. About five years ago I realized that I’m not really happy if I’m not writing and decided to dive head first into comics.

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

I’m most inspired by my experiences reading comics both as a child and as an adult. Comics gave me so much as a kid and I would love to give that back.

How has your style changed since you began?

With every story I write I try to become a better storyteller. I try to find more ways to reach the reader and connect with them on an emotional level.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

I love the understanding writing gives me. As I get into the characters’ heads and learn about their thoughts and feelings, I’m better able to empathize with the world around me and see things from other points of view.

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

I was lucky enough to have a number of incredible roommates in college. I draw on some of their traits to inform my characters. My comics are primarily fantasy and the world that my characters live in has been created by me from whole cloth.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

Issue 2 was the first time I tried my hand at a murder mystery comic. I feel like I just scratched the surface of the genre and would love to take another swing at it down the road.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists?

Start small. I know we all have a grand epic we’d love to create, but we need to master our craft first. Make a 3-5page comic. Nothing is as inspiring and will help you fight the self-doubt we all feel more than having accomplished something. Once you have a win under your belt, you can move on and create bigger and bigger projects. Also it’s a lot cheaper to make mistakes on a smaller project and because it’s done faster you can learn from them faster.

Do you have any links where we could find your work? How about social media accounts where people can follow you for regular updates?

The website for my work is Tal-Nor.com and you can follow me on Twitter @TPerranMitchell

 

 

Interview with Grant Penick

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 Grant Penick. I write and draw the comic while my Fiancee Alix, who is my Editor, she keeps me in line with dialog and grammar.

 Where are you all from?

I’m from Lubbock, Tx.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

Born in Texas, and moved when I was 7 to New Jersey where I picked up comic art from a friend in the 4th grade. Never really thought I would be creating comics later on in life, was just a fun hobby to pass the time.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

Well, just working on the comic as much as I can. My brother and I opened a graphics shop up, so a lot of time is devoted to that, but every free moment I have goes to the comic. Also have another comic in mind, developing the story right now and I will probably be starting that next year after I finish my first book with Osker.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

I picked up drawing comics in the 4th grade from a friend that I saw drawing a comic one day in class. Created some crazy adventures with my characters. Stole most of the teachers printer paper, I think she let us honestly. I didn’t start drawing or writing comics as a potential profession until I was 29. I went to school for 2d animation and game art/design and had Osker as a game idea at first. I couldn’t find a programmer to work with so I decided to put Osker into a comic. First story I’ve ever really created with a full story.

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

Always been an artist, as long as I can remember.

How has your style changed since you began?

I first had a very loose style in my comic for speed, but the more and more I drew the pages, the cleaner and more colorful they became. The current pages are more my refined style, and most likely will remain like that. I’m a masochist in the detail of each page, that’s for sure. Some of the pages when I first began took about 5 hours to complete. Now, with the more refined, more detailed style, some of the latter pages I’ve drawn up have taken about 30-40 hours.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

It’s definitely makes it all worth it when someone reads the comic, and gets a big grin on their face about what’s going on in the story. Even though Osker is a dark, gruesome story, there is comedic relief and I try to keep it light hearted at times. The challenging part of writing and drawing the comic, is there slight changes in script after I have something set that I like that doesn’t necessarily line up and I would have to split the script, and figure out how to connect the new parts of the story, the dialog, or just the sequencing.

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

Not a lot, most of the characters in my story are completely made up, I might later down the line use some of the people in my life as inspiration for characters.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

Creating a comic is a ton of work.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists?

Plan everything out, get a solid story/script, and it’s okay to change things here and there, but a general storyline is a must. I have several friends that have webcomics, that they don’t have a storyline and they are already having plot holes in the beginning of the story because they don’t have a guideline.

Do you have any links where we could find your work? How about social media accounts where people can follow you for regular updates?

The comic is here: Oskercomic.com

FB: grantpenickart

Twitter: @oskercmao

Interview with Paul Hobbs, Writer and Illustrator of Robot Love Cow

Paul’s artwork will be posted shortly. In the meantime, enjoy this interview!

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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.

 

Interview with Ben Russell

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 Ben Dewitt Russell.

Where are you from?

I’m from southern Maine, born and raised.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

I am the eldest child with a younger brother and sister. Very independent family, we all kind of do our own thing, very different interests but they all sort of blend together well.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

I am currently working on writing a short graphic novel with a working title of Father & Son. Can’t spill too many details but I can say it’s a very personal story about a secret government mercenary and his son who becomes a anti-government terrorist as a result of his up-bringing.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

Very, very young. I wrote my first comics probably at age 9, one about a boy and his dog, and another about a superhero I created called Blueboy.

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

It’s just how my brain has always worked. Drawing, painting, guitar, singing, etc have always been my outlet for as long as I can remember.

How has your style changed since you began?

Comics have always inspired me, so I sought out training specifically aimed at that as a career, so the Joe Kubert School really helped with that. Helped me focus on better and faster drawing, with a specific aim at sequentially telling a story through art. My style is always just shifting depending on how I’m feeling right then and there.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

Being original. The art is a little easier in this respect, as there’s always some sort of angle or shot that no one has tackled before, or that you feel you can do better, but writing is hard. Dialogue, especially.

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

I’ve always had this sort of intuition of people, so that definitely comes in handy when writing, you always draw from experiences and that helps me personally think about how most people in general would react if they were thrown into the circumstances I put them in in my stories.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

That it takes a lot of patience, especially when you are the entire creative team.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists?

Writing – just focus on what real people would say, how they would react, stale dialogue always takes you out of a story no matter how beautiful the art is.

Do you have any links where we could find your work?

BenDewitt.deviantart.com

Interview with Barry Linck, Creator of PHINEUS

Hello there, and welcome to redemptionwebcomic.wordpress.com! Could you start by telling us the name or names of everyone on your creative team?

Barry Linck: story, art, colors and design.

Where are you all from?

I’ve lived just outside of Pittsburgh, PA most of my life. Except when I went to Edinboro University.

Share a little bit about yourself: childhood, education, family life, etc.

I grew up in a lower middle class household with my mom, dad and two younger sisters. I went to Edinboro University of PA and graduated with a degrees in Animation and illustration in 1992. I’ve been working in the printing industry since graduation, while self publishing my comics.

Tell us your latest news. What kind of projects do you have going on?

As always, I am producing Phineus as an ongoing comic, going on 26 years, now. I also do a few other comics, on th side, such as Phines: Teen Wizard, Gil:The Walking Dead (or Vampires suck), Creephunter and Bastard Who. I also did and finished a comic strip with Brian Babyok called Weirdlings.

When and why did you begin writing/drawing?

I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. I’ve been doing comics since elementary school. In fact, the character in Phineus were created in their otiginal form, in high school.

What inspired you to start expressing yourself artistically?

Probably seeing movies like Jason and the Argonauts and Star Wars and wanting to do that, too. Plus, my grandfather was a photographer for the Steelers, so I’ve been around that always.

How has your style changed since you began?

Well, as a wise man Chuck Jones once said to me, every artist has has a certain number of bad drawings in them. The key is to get them all out early. Practice, practice, practice. I draw more deliberately, no matter what style. I am also trying, with every page, to better myself as a writer and an artist. I have more my own style, than aping my favorite artists like used to.

What do you find the most challenging and/or rewarding about writing/drawing?

Drawing is hard. Writing is hard. Doing these well, or at least better to tell stories, create world’s and character and have readers makes me so happy. Plus, I am so blessed to get so much fan art and fan fiction. It makes it all worth it.

How much of your work is based on reality, whether it was experiences or people you know/knew?

Well, my stuff takes place in our world, in the city in which I live, but it’s definitely not reality based. It’s It’s a urban horror/fantasy, that takes place in the present. My main character is loosely based on myself, I have other characters that are taken from friends and family, but it’s not a biography.

What have you learned while working on your latest project?

I have become a good writer, a better artist and have learned to never be satisfied with my art, to always strive to make it better.

Do you have any advice for other writers/artists? 

Basically, just do it. Make stuff. Even if you suck, make more, you’ll get better. Always be drawing. And if I never meet you, I’ll bust your balls about when your next thing is coming out. I am the artistic foot in the ass you never asked for, but we all need.

Do you have any links where we could find your work?

My main site, which links to all my projects is: http://www.phinmagic.net/phineus/