20 Questions with Comic Artists:Dana Atnip of Galactic Dragons

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All of you True believers out there keep demanding more and we are back again with our most popular segment on the Root Beer Party site: 20 questions!   Today we meet Dana Atnip, creator of Galactic Dragons, it kind of like Lord of the Rings meets Red Dwarf, or maybe more like Harry Potter meets Star Wars, or Pretty in Pink meets Planet of the Apes, Ok it’s not like any of those things it’s Galactic Dragons.  It’s a whole new idea and as Dana puts it on her site:

“For thousands of years, mankind has gazed up into the heavens and observed the beauty and mysteries of space, planets, and the constellations.

What mankind has been unaware of is that creatures live among the very constellations that they are named after (no, really, it’s true!) For example, in the constellation Ursa Major live the bears, in Leo live the lions, and in Draco, of course, live the dragons.

Galactic Dragons follows the adventures of Captain Thew and his crew of misfits, doing their best to serve the Mighty Dragon Fleet, stay alive, and have some fun while doing it.”

You can check out Galactic Dragons which updates every Wednesday here:  http://galacticdragons.com/about/  Where you can say hi to Captain Thew, Aurora, Bruno, T-Bone Azimuth, Ion, Sputnik and Copernicus.  We here at the Root Beer Party are committed to bringing you all the best that the world has to offer in comics and Root Beer and Dana brings you one of the best comics on the web, so I won’t torture you anymore, let’s meet Dana:

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Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
I started drawing comic strips when I was about 10 (recreating Garfield and Peanuts). I started creating my own comics when I was a teenager.
Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?
The greats: Watterson, Breathed, Schultz, Davis, Larson, and my hero Carl Barks.
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
I don’t drink a lot of pop but I like Zevia’s ginger root beer.
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
I just want to make people laugh and to entertain. If I can do that then I feel I accomplished something. I would however like to expand my audience; I plan to post on other websites soon.
Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
I also do illustrations; cute fuzzy animals are my specialty! I also belong to the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators). I hope to be able to become a published author/illustrator. Also greeting cards. You can see my non-comic work at http://www.DanaAtnip.com
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
I see myself as a professional. I’ve had single-panel cartoons published in magazines and I’ve been paid to design logos. And I take my comic updates very seriously; I will work all night to not miss an update.
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
Ha! I thought I no longer had to censor myself when I stopped submitting to syndicates, but I find that when I push the envelope my strips seem to get less circulation. So I’m keeping it PG-13. But when I make my Patreon page I will offer my more-adult strips as a reward. And you will never see me do a fart joke, I have never found them funny.
Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
Rough sketches are drawn with pencil and paper, then scanned into my computer. I use a Wacom Intuos drawing tablet, and Photoshop and Illustrator for inks and color.
Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
I’m mostly self-taught, but I also have two Associates degrees, one in Fine Arts and one in Graphic and Commercial Art from Macomb Community College. For a community college they have an amazing art program!
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
Having people comment to me that they enjoy my work makes my day. And when I have other creators and professionals tell me they enjoy my work it’s a thrill! When I was actively submitting to syndicates I would get personal responses from editors and that was always uplifting. I was being considered for a contract from one of the bigger syndicates once but obviously in the end they didn’t, but it was still exciting at the time.
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
Ugh, I still struggle with that. Sometimes I get into funks where I get depressed and think my work isn’t good enough. But I won’t ever stop drawing cartoons.
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
Right now my strips are found at http://www.galacticdragons.com and my illustrator work can be found at http://www.DanaAtnip.com
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
TOO MANY to post them all! My first webcomic friend on Twitter was
Jon Esparza (Bubble Fox)(And Co-President of the Root Beer Party – Editor) and he was so friendly that he helped me get over my shyness of reaching out to other creators. Also Mark Stokes (Zombie Boy), (And Root Beer Party Member – Editor)
Bret Juliano (Dust Bunny Mafia), (And Root Beer Party Member – Editor)
Tom Truszkowski (What Ever Became of Station V3?),
James Boyd (Sunny Side Up),(And Root Beer Party member – Editor)
Eric Gapstur (Wyatt),
Kim Belding (Picpak Dog) (The other Co-President of the Root Beer Party, we are everywhere – Editor) , and
Cyndi Foster (Oops Comic Adventure) have all been extremely supportive!
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
Cartooning is my lifeblood. I will stop when I’m dead (but if I’m a zombie then I’ll continue to draw).
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
No. Trolls are trolls, they’re like parasites and they feel no pain, so there’s no point in ever engaging with one.
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Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
I’m OCD about being prompt and on time, so that keeps me from missing updates. However I’m working on the procrastination issues with other projects.
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
I like cider, all kinds: apple cider from the cider mill, apple juice, and hard cider.
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
I probably don’t qualify, but I support you all in your root beer adventures! (Dana has been inducted into the ranks of the Root Beer Party – Editor)
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
Getting the pencil to paper; once I finally begin, the wheels start rolling and it’s easy to keep going.
Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
I plan on getting my Galactic Dragon strips out to more websites like Tapastic and maybe applying to GoComics. I also have another webcomic in mind (if I could just find the time). I also would like to start doing cons, once I have a book in print and other things to sell.
And there you have it True Believers, Dana Atnip in her own words.  Welcome to the Root Beer Party Dana, sit back and relax and pass T-Bone a cold frosty one.  Yes, you demand it and we deliver another exciting episode into the minds and processes of some of todays greatest comic talent.  You read it here first, and as always True Believers, until next time, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.
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