This page actually serves to provide answers to questions which actually are frequently asked of me! It isn’t just a formulated interview! Most come from discussions I have with people at appearances. I figure if I’m asked the questions by multiple people, more of you may be interested in knowing these answers!
This page is in progress. More Q+A’s coming soon!
Wait? So Chelsea’s a zombie now? What’s this “My Gal, the Zombie”?
Yes… No… Sort of… “My Gal, the Zombie” is the monster comedy take on Heaven Forbid, proper. It was an alternate version of Heaven Forbid (in actuality a dream sequence), that became quite successful. At some point, I may very likely return to the original Heaven Forbid format. But, after 550 webcomic posts and three published graphic novels, it seemed fun to try something different. It’s still going well, so for now, I’m going to continue this version. I’ve done dream and alternate takes on HF before, this is just the longest running version!
Did you go to art school?
No, I did not. I took art in middle and high school. My middle school art teachers were great! Instead of pursuing formal art training, upon finishing high school early, I called up Antarctic Press and asked if they needed a janitor. They told me they offered unpaid internships. I was accepted and haven’t turned back since! I had submitted to them previously.
I do, however, have a Bachelor’s in Science of Occupational Education.
How long have you been drawing comics?
About as long as I could! Before I drew formal comics, I would draw TMNT like characters in my sketch book- making up similar mutants of my own. When I started reading comics regularly, it wasn’t long before I began drawing my own sequential comic stories. I took it a little too seriously. I even made a monthly schedule where I would draw different titles each week in 6th grade. In high school, I started my first webcomic. As mentioned in the last question, I did my first published story before my senior year of high school, although it was published a few years later in Ninja High School 2005 Annual. I did a couple more stories which were published by the Megazeen before my high school graduation, too. With the exception of a couple years here and there, I’ve been drawing sequential comic stories since elementary school. I did my first published work over a decade ago, in 2002, so I’ve been drawing comics at a professional level for over ten years, now. Although I’ve been working in the industry for a little while, especially since I got an early start, I still feel like I’m just beginning!
Do you draw traditionally [on paper] or digitally [with a computer]?
Both! Nearly every page of Heaven Forbid has been drawn entirely on a computer, with a Wacom tablet. I usually scan in a small sketch, enlarge it, and then draw the page from there. I use Photoshop for just about everything. For other projects, including Maiden Voyage, Cow Puncher, Li’l Dale, and Captivated, I draw on paper. I prefer to use brushes and brush pens, but good markers are nice, too. Sometimes I use a nib. I’ve split My Gal the Zombie about half and half between traditionally and digital. I think I enjoy working traditionally better, but I like the finished digital product best.
Why do you draw comics with girls so much?
Because girls are fun to draw! Seriously, though, there are a few reasons for this. I looked at my comics a little bit ago and realized that nearly all of them have a female lead! I draw these gals because they are characters with great personalities who fit in just about every type of story I can think of. Beyond that, I think our industry needs more comics with strong and interesting female characters. If most writers use primarily male protagonists in comics, I’d rather take the opposite approach and have more prominent female characters. I have a daughter and I want there to comics with characters who are both role models [still with real flaws] and enjoying for her to read.
Where do you get your ideas?
For realistic stories, like the main Heaven Forbid comics, I typically take things that I see or experience or think of doing, and then make them at least 10% more awkward and funny! For non-realistic comics, I guess I think of a fun monster, why it would need to be fought, and how it could logically be defeated in a fun way. Like that, writing a story is like finishing a puzzle. “If I have this protagonist, who goes up against this enemy, with this goal in mind, how do I get there.” It’s like setting up a problem and then having to solve it myself.
Will you speak or appear at my event?
Most likely! Email me at dan [at] crazygoodcomics.com so we can work out the details and schedule it! I prefer to book months in advance, fyi.