It’s time once again True Believers, for everyone’s favorite segment in on the root Beer Party Page: 20 Questions with comic creators!
We are here once again at the beautiful Root Beer Party Estates where we have flown in our special guest and one of our newest members Chris Bays. The Root Beer Monks silently serve us a very special 2017 vintage root beer to mark this special event. You can find Chris Bay’s comic Mythdirection here: http://mythdirection.com/
after several hours touring the vast Root Beer Party estates, we have settled here in the Root Beer Party poolside bar, overlooking the fields of vanilla nd sassafras being carefully tended to this spring by the dedicated Root Beer Monks, but we came here today to introduce you all to Chris, so let’s get to it.
Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?
I’d done comics here are there for years. A painful setback in writing fiction had me pick up the comics habit again. I made a promise to myself to work on it for two years and it’s almost been three now.
Question 2: Who was you greatest influence?
Professionally, Gary Larson, Bill Watterson, and Wiley Miller. Personally, it was a kid I befriended in the 6th grade that drew amazing things. Unfortunately in the 7th grade he turned bully so I got two lessons for the price of one.
Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?
Sadly, I’ve never liked root beer but I support everyone’s right to an ice cold IBC any time they want.
Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?
I just want people to laugh. I think there’s enough stressful stuff happening in our lives and a laugh helps get through it.
Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?
I write every now and again. I’ve also done some close-up magic and I’m a bit of a dork when it comes to that stuff.
Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself?
I think right now I’m somewhere in between. I’d like to say I’m a professional but I feel like I have to keep my head down so the Fraud Police doesn’t come sniffing around.
Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?
I don’t put blue material in the comic. I have written some off-color ones but those are only seen on rare occasions when I share them with friends and sometime on my Patreon feed. I’ve still got two comic ideas I know I’ll never draw because they’re way too out there.
I want the comic to be accessible to most people. At most my comic is sometimes PG-13.
Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?
Simple pencil and ink. I do the final work in Gimp. I hope to make the leap to digital before next year.
Question 9: what sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?
None. I just drew. I had some art classes in high school so that helped.
Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?
Having a comic go crazy on Reddit and make it to the front page. In the end, over half a million people viewed it.
Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?
Realizing that a comic going viral means nothing. I thought this was the moment things were going to start happening. I hit a low point after that and it took a while to recover and find my way back to just focusing on one comic at a time and building an audience. No shortcuts!
Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If So where?
I’ve got a book out on Amazon in print and ebook (Little Known Mythical Creatures). I’m considering a second book for later this year.
(You can find that book Here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/154315767X/ -Editor)
Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?
There’s not enough room to list them all. I’d have to say, in short, Brian Gordon, James Boyd (who gives crazy amounts of support to everyone), Hillary Price, John Sutton, Dave Kellett, Deya Muniz, and Chris McCoy. I’m secretly in love with Jennie Breeden but let’s keep that between us. (Done – I won’t say a word -Editor)
Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?
It’s given me the confidence to be more outgoing. I’m an introvert by nature but it’s hard to do that when you have to put yourself out there all the time both online and in person. I’ll keep doing something artistic. It might not be the comic but it will be out there.
Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)
No advice for the trolls, they’re not going to listen anyway. I do have some advice for other artists regarding trolls. Don’t worry about them. They’re not your audience anyway. Trolls remind us that there are just unhappy people out there who can’t do what we do, and frankly don’t have the courage to even try.
Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?
I am awesome at procrastinating. My only trick is I get a bunch of penciling done all at once since I can ink and letter doing other things. That reminds me that I should really get started on tomorrow’s comic.
Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?
I had to give up soda recently (I loved Mr. Pibb), so it’ll have to be water with MiO added to it.
Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you?
I am. What’s it to you buddy?
Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?
Consistency. I don’t have the luxury of using the same characters over and over again so I feel like I’m reinventing the comic all the time.
Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?
I’m moving forward on the webcomic but I’ve thought about doing other illustration work down the road. Maybe go back to school to improve my art.
So there you have it True Believers, Straight from the horse’s mouth another great interview with one of our very own root Beer Party members. Be sure to tune in again for more insights into the minds of the world’s greatest comic creators. Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.