I had the opportunity this last weekend to walk the Long Beach Comic & Horror Con. The past 3 years I have attended as a budding young (well old) artist and enjoyed my time in the Artist Alley. From the veteran creators of the comic industry to the new faces looking to tell their own stories, there is an overall drive of creativity, energy and passion for the comic medium. The diversity of styles, content, ages and viewpoints just show how much people love comics. I took this time walking the isle of the Artist Alley to interview a wide range of creators, all of whom are very driven, thoughtful and extremely passionate.
My name is Jamie Gambell, I am originally from the UK, but now live in LA. I work as a sound utility technician in films and television, and write and create comic books in my scant spare time.
What is your favorite and least favorite thing about being a comic book creator?
As a small-press creator, and as a writer, it is probably not being able to put out a book as regularly as I like.
With my series, The Hero Code, I have nearly two years of scripts finished and pretty much ready to go, but only have two issues completed. Time, money, energy constrains keep the schedule fairly flexible, despite our best efforts!
My first book, Omnitarium, was a four issue mini-series. I wanted to finish the whole thing within a year, and had the first issue completed in time for the first Indy Comic Book Week (a week where major titles weren’t shipping to stores, so Indy creators tried to fill the void) in 2008.
I had the series finished by the following September, so managed to get in on my own deadline, which was nice. However I now look at the book and can only see the warts and cracks, which came about because I rushed it.
Successes should be taken from where ever they are coming! It’s a success to sit down and finish a comic. It’s a success to print that comic, or publish that comic on-line and get people to read it. It’s a success to actually get somebody to pay for your work. It’s a success to have someone want to read what comes next.
It’s a success to make back your table costs at a show – all little victories, but successes none the less.
It really does take time to build on these things, to create a world, to create a story in that world, and then to share that story in a way that people want to read it.
Too many people chase the end product – a big selling book at a major company, or an optioned idea with a film maker – whatever, and forget to enjoy the little moments along the way.
What should people expect from your work?
A real classical, enjoyable sense of what comic books can achieve. The ‘Comics aren’t for kids’ – grim and gritty – what if the real world had super heroes in it song has been sung to death, it’s time to let it go, people!
Chris Waterman lives in Southern California. He is a life long comicbook fan and artist. You can check out some of his work at: http://radixrising.deviantart.com/