We are back once again True Believers with our world famous segment 20 questions with comic artists. Today we have flown in Vlado Janevski from Babe’s Times Comic (and his cat Bromo for some reason) all the way from Australia to the secret Root Beer Party headquarters to show him around the vast palatial estate as the newest member of the Root Beer Party. You can check out his comic on his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/babestimes
So now we sit overlooking the fields of sassafras wavering in unison as the breeze blows across the fields. So I invite all of you True believers to sit back with a frosted mug of your favorite root beer and read along as we get to know Vlado Janevski
What got you started in doing a comic series
One of the main reasons I got involved with comics was my annoying cat Bromo. That was few years ago. Bromo is still around annoying me and I am still working on my comic. At the time, the comic was called Bromo’s World and it was about my cat and me. With time, without any notice from Bromo, I was replaced with a bear and the comic changed the name to Bear This. Then the poor bear was replaced by a sock and the comic was renamed Almost Happy Sock. More than a year ago, out of nowhere, a baby appeared and gradually, together with few more babes, pushed the sock away. That’s when the comic changed the name again and now it’s called Babes Times. Interestingly, my cat survived all these changes and has been the only constant in the comic. The bloody cat is poised to win Survivor Australia. He even looks younger than years ago!
Who was you greatest influence?
I don’t think there was some great influence as such. I just want to find a way to escape the everyday rat-race and mostly create episodes based on my day-to-day life. But, it did help to read good comics like Dilbert, Garfield, Hagar the Horrible etc.
What is your favorite root beer and why?
I am not a complicated beer drinker, I’m ok with most of the beers, as long as they are served cold. Apart from cold water, beer is my preferred drink in summer.
What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
I hope the cat will leave me alone and I will maintain my sanity. Each day Bromo wakes me up very early in the morning and plays mind games with me into the night. You can understand then why the comic is my life-saver.
Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
Yes, I am also a published author: one book with awarded short stories and a novel. I am also an artist with quite a few of my paintings and drawings in private collections around the world.
Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
Yes. I am the true professional cartoonist. Kidding. I am not sure how that would work. What will happen with the fun and the freedom I have as the author of my comic if suddenly I turn professional? Actually, I think that I will be OK with that. I don’t have a problem to deliver a new comic each day or to prepare comics few weeks in advance. I have them ready, hundreds of them, and heaps more ideas for new episodes.
What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
I think no subject and humor should be off limits, but to me it is very important not to offend or humiliate or promote hatred and violence.
What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
I use anything I can find, first to scribble the new idea, then to make a quick sketch etc. I am OK with the old school, doing it all manually and the new school, doing it all digitally. Since I am frequently traveling, I prefer the digital equipment. The final result is exactly the same. As for the style, I try to develop my own style and more importantly, to make sure each episode has got a good and clean story.
What sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
I am self-taught. I believe that creativity is something that you either have or don’t. The rest is a matter of hard work and a lot of patience, especially if you have around someone as annoying as my cat Bromo.
What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
Highlight? Haha, the highlight most probably is yet to come. But otherwise I can say that over the years my cartoons were published in newspapers, magazines and online, both in Australia and in Macedonia. Personally, a highlight is when someone makes a comment about my comic saying that it made them laugh or think about life.
What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
Some years ago, seeing how badly it was affected by the digital era, I was ready to walk away from cartooning. In the last few years things have been improving.
Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
If you mean, a comic book in a bookstore, then not yet. I have enough material for several books. But, no rush, to me the main thing is to be creative and have fun and hopefully one day the good stuff will be published. Otherwise, there are few of my e-books, graphic novels, published on Amazon. Here is the link to my author’s page: https://smile.amazon.com/Vlado-Janevski/e/B01M0A0LV6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1501219521&sr=8-2
Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
I admire the works of Scott Adams, Jim Davis, to name a few.
What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
In my case cartooning is the best medicine to keep me sane, the best escape. Not doing it? Never give up, never surrender!
Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
Get a life!
Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
No deadlines or tricks, just having fun. No problems being motivated as long as my cat is around.
Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
Water, milk and occasionally some red or white wine.
Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
Yes, few days ago I was introduced to this hilarious party and am loving it.
What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
To go beyond the creative part of cartooning and try to promote my comic a bit more.
What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
As mentioned above, I need to work more on the promotion of my comic strip. Approaching a publisher or a Syndicate may be the next step. As for other plans, I am also an artist and a writer and hope to sell more of my paintings and publish my next novel soon.
So there you have it True Believers, another amazing interview from the Root Beer Party. You demand to meet the world’s greatest comic artists and we deliver. Welcome to the Party Vlado and Just so you know Bromo has been drinking your root beer.
So we will head back inside and finish our tour, but stay tuned to the Root Beer Party page for more interviews with your favorite comic artists and news and reviews of all the great root beer and comics that the world has to offer. So until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.