Our world famous segment is back! 20 Questions with comic artists where we delve deep into the minds and creative process of your favorite comic artists and writers. Today we have none other than Patrick McCuen (Inkpuddle Pat for those in the know) from The comic The Devil & Mr. Ghandi. You can check it out here: http://www.devilandgandhi.com/
Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
I’ve been drawing comics, either one panel cartoons or strips since I was little, maybe since 3rd grade. I even drew a strip or two on my old x386 computer back in the 90’s and printed it out on a dot matrix printer. Actually committing to doing an ongoing webcomic and taking it to print was more of a personal promise to myself later in life. Later in life being now-ish.
Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?
Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I copied the art of the big names like Jim Lee and Frank Miller and Todd McFarlane. I was very influenced by the art of Ron Lim, who worked on Captain America when I was actively collecting comics as a kid. John Romita, Jr. also stands out to me in terms of influence. The greatest? hard to nail down. I hope I took a little bit from each of those legends.
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
Hires, without a doubt, it makes the best root beer float.
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
I hope to bring joy and laughter to the world. Maybe get some cheap chuckles from like-minded thinkers. I think my comic has already allowed me to publicly place myself in the continuum of comedic writers.
Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
I love making black and white pencil illustrations. I would love to illustrate my own line of children’s books some day.
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
I definitely do it for myself. I actually never see myself doing cartoons or comics as my profession, hopefully something else artistically related, though.
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
Nothing is out of bounds if my criticism of the subject matter is expressed clearly enough to my liking. I deplore censorship, and I spit on close-minded people (metaphorically, of course). The only subjects I am not willing to write and draw about are the subjects I am not informed enough about. If I don’t have something funny, intelligent, and poignant to say/draw about a subject, I should probably read more about that subject, and keep my mouth shut and my pen dry.
Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
Although I am attempting to improve my digital stylus skills, I use pen and ink on paper: pencils, brush pens, markers, brush and ink. I am recently loving pens and brush pens made my Kuretake. I consider my style of drawing to be cartoonish, in other words, I do not employ even a modified realistic style. I like cartoon eyes and mouths and teeth.
Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
All my degrees are in English literature, which I think trained me very well for writing my comics and captioning my cartoons. I took four years of Art class in high school and a class or two in college, but artistically, I am mostly self-taught.
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
That would be my most recent print publication, my crossover issue with the fine folks over at Dandy Press, Dave Dellecese and Andrew Cieslinksi. They make a comics called Holidaze. You can read about it at http://www.holidazecomic.com/
It has definitely been the highlight of my career. I found kindred comedic spirits in those two guys, and we had a blast making the crossover comic.
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
There was a time when I had lost interest in drawing comics for a while for various reasons. I had some college newspapers reject some political cartoons I was submitting. Nothing seemed to be going right, artistically. Thankfully, that time period was just before I renewed my determination to draw comics on a regular basis.
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
I still have trouble getting my print comics in brick and mortar stores, but they can be purchased at http://www.inkpuddle.storenvy.com.
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
Wow, there are so many. When it comes to sheer amount of output and quality of work, Mark Stokes of Zombie Boy and Crispin Wood of Small of Blue Yonder stand out to me. They happen to be nice guys, too, which is admirable.
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
Cartooning has kept me, a troubled youth, off the mean streets. It is definitely a form of therapy for me, too, so there is definitely a carthartic aspect to making comics. It keeps me sane and happy. I’ll never stop. Bury me with bristol and brush and ink.
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
You are worthless, you are scum, you are not worth my time. I fart in your general direction.
Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
Sadly, my self-imposed deadlines seem to pass me by unheeded. It is tough staying motivated. Do you have tricks? Please tell me.
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
I would kill for a cask of Amontillado wine.
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
I already belong to the Green Party, and the Communist Party, so I would be happy to join the Root Beer Party.
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
Staying on track and focused on just one project. I really admire and envy cartoonists who publish their work daily or even once a week. I sometimes struggle with that. I like to start multiple projects at once, so staying true to a strip and publishing it in a consistent and timely manner is challenging to me.
Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
In addition to a third issue of The Devil & Mr. Gandhi (as well as more daily format strips), I am also beginning work on an All-Ages Sci-Fi/History/Adventure story entitled Shakespeare Jung. I hope to add to more to http://www.shakespearejung.com
as soon as I can. I am also getting married this July to a beautiful librarian, which has been my dream of mine. I plan to steal the Hope Diamond, find Amelia Earhart, and build a better mousetrap.
So there you have it True Believers, another introduction interview with an up and coming legendary cartoonist. We here at the Root Beer Party always give the people what they want, You demand it and we deliver. You can also tell Pat is a really good guy from the fact that he likes Hires Root Beer, all good hearted people drink Hires. So until next time, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.