Interview with John Hazard

Q1: Let’s start with the common question, if you can kindly introduce yourself.

I’m John Hazard, creator of FRANKENSTEIN SUPERSTAR: a humorous/horror webcomic about the Frankenstein monster and his bodacious bride living in modern New York City. Sex, marriage, work, politics, and classic movie monsters abound.

 

Q2: How did you get into the field of your work?

Long ago I was making a name for myself as an illustrator and cartoonist in New York City. Then I got caught up in the internet bubble, and wound up at Nickelodeon Online for ten years, making avatars, game design, etc. My cartooning fell by the wayside, but I always wanted to get back to it. The webcomic is my way of returning to the kind of art I love. Plus I’m teaching at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, which is immensely inspiring.

 

Q3: Do you have any current favourite artists, comic artists, photographers who may have influenced you to become the artist that you are?

I would love to draw women like Jaime Hernandez, heroes like Bruce Timm, backgrounds like Mike Mignola, and anything like Jack Kirby.

 

Q4: What are the main tools of your trade?

I start out old school, pencilling on bristol paper, inking (more often with Pigma Micron pens than brushes or dip pens). Then I scan the page and do my coloring/shading in Photoshop, using a very large, very old Wacom tablet. Word balloons, panels, etc. I do in an app called Comic Life Magiq, which is embarrassingly unprofessional, but it’s fast and flexible.

Q5: How was it for you to learn the process of that? Did you teach yourself, take classes or learn from other existing artist’s tutorial?

All of the above. A good artist is always learning.

 

Q6: Do you think its possible for you to describe the process of your art style, what are the dos and don’ts, the important aspects you set yourself to achieve your style of design?

First, I want to tell a clear story. I focus on facial expressions and hand gestures. Connecting on a human level is everything in humor, horror, and drama. I’m also always pushing myself to get better. Like most humorous webcomics, mine was originally modelled on daily newspaper strips. I often go outside that box and do a sunday comic page or full comic book page to flex my art muscles a bit. I actually do that maybe too often- it’s one of the things that’s ruined my desired “updates 2X/week” schedule.

 

Q7: What are the biggest struggles you encounter as an artist?

My arch nemesis is TIME. There’s so much I want to do, and so little time. Sleep is also pretty evil. One day I shall defeat it.

 

Q8: Do you have any other future plans that don’t involve creative art?

Outside of family, I’m not into much besides art.

Q9: Do you have any personal mottos, quotes or existing quotes that motivates you to do what you love doing? Can you share it with us or provide words of wisdom from your experiences for those who look up to you?

When the flush of a new-born sun fell first on Eden’s green and gold,
Our father Adam sat under the Tree and scratched with a stick in the mould;
And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart,
Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves, “It’s pretty, but is it Art ?”
-Rudyard Kipling

 

Q10: What do you think the future will hold for all artists from all backgrounds from now?

The present is pretty futuristic. The biggest shift in recent years for artists comes from computers and the internet, which allows individuals to create whole music albums, comic books, movies, etc. and distribute them to the public without corporate funding or control. The recently departed Steve Jobs had a lot to do with that.

 

Q11: To round off the last question, where can your fans and new fans find updated news and progress from you,  – Where can we find you?

The webcomic: http://frankensteinsuperstar.com

You can subscribe to the RSS feed or…

“Like” the Facebook page: facebook.com/FrankensteinSuperstar

Follow the Twitter feed: twitter.com/Franky_WebComic

Or buy something from Franky’s store:

http://www.printfection.com/frankenstein

 

Q12: Ok this question is optional for you, you and I know that art theft is so common now in the internet world, so there any words you want to share or shout at to those who steal people arts?

I haven’t had that problem yet with my webcomic. I did do a naughty comic book way before my life with Nickelodeon- you can still find the whole thing on various websites. I didn’t mind too much because it was work-for-hire, so I already made all the money I was going to make off it. Clearly stealing is wrong, though it’s a blurry subject for most modern artists. Geek culture is so cannibalistic, we swipe and re-swipe the same stuff with increasing regularity and ease. Where does pop-culture referencing end and thievery begin? We draw around that line every day.

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