Chad Hardin teamed up with Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti in 2013 to re-invent Harley Quinn for DC Comics, and provided interior art for a good chunk of that series’ run, as well as covers for some of the biggest titles in the DC Universe. Chad took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to talk shop with us.
Bleeding Cool: Hey, Chad! How are you today?
Chad Hardin: Fantastic!
Bleeding Cool: Great to hear! You’re about to wrap up a Kickstarter campaign, how’s that been going?
Chad Hardin:Better than I could have ever hoped for. We asked for $9,500 got that in 5 hours.
Bleeding Cool: For those not in the know, you were funding a series of sketch books, right?
Chad Hardin: Yes, and we actually reached our last stretch goal today so we’re scrambling to make new ones. It is a collection of original art done for commissions, that haven’t been published outside of social media.
Bleeding Cool: Nice! From what we’ve seen, there’s a pretty wide range of subjects in there!
Chad Hardin: Oh yeah, I get asked to do all types of commissions, mostly Harley Quinn stuff, and there are a few works that have been published that I did sort of process breakdown for artist who are looking for insights.
Bleeding Cool: Oh, cool! We’ve seen some pretty great sketchbook projects from people like Jake Parker, there’s a lot to learn about the process for people who want to get into comics.
Chad Hardin: Yeah Jake’s stuff is amazing, and what I envy about his projects are that they are all his original characters. I’ve been mostly a company man for DC but I’m trying break into the independent creator owned business.
Bleeding Cool: You have a motive behind this project, too! Can you talk about Temerity a bit?
Chad Hardin: Temerity started as talk between one of my former students (Jemma Young) and I about what I would do if I could self publish. I basically said I would want to do a space opera with manga flavoring,and she had a story she had been working on but needed an artist, so we started collaborating and now were about ready to go
Bleeding Cool: Last time we chatted, you described it as a combination of Robotech and something else?
Chad Hardin: Relationship anime like Ouran Host Club; soap opera meets space opera.
Bleeding Cool: That’s going to be a lot of fun! How far into the process are you two?
Chad Hardin: We are about 1/2 way done with the first issue as far as art goes, but I had to keep pausing to take on freelance for financial reasons so it kept getting put on hold… I need a sugar daddy! (laughs)
Bleeding Cool: And that’s where the Kickstarter campaign comes in, right?
Chad Hardin: Yes, it was Jemma’s idea to kick start the art books so I could finish Temerity without having to resort to freelance that would take me away from the project.
Bleeding Cool: What are your thoughts on crowd-sourcing platforms like Kickstarter, especially when it comes to independent projects like yours?
Chad Hardin: Well, its a godsend, because otherwise I just have to chip away at it and at the pace I ‘m going to would take years. I’m a firm believer in Indie/web comics, I believe they will be the future of all comics but the financial model is still up in the air, without kick starting a lot of these Indie books just would not be happening.
Bleeding Cool: We’ve seen some success with a couple of projects like Atomic Robo, that start out with a web release, then crowd-source the graphic novel. It seems to work!
Chad Hardin: Yeah, Marat Micheals, Brian Pullido, and Jamie Tyndall all have done really well not only surviving but thriving with the kick-starting their books.
Bleeding Cool: Between Temerity and teaching, have you had any time to work on anything else?
Chad Hardin: Covers, I have 5 that I’m trying to finish right now… One for Mike Grell‘s Maggie the Cat, and my best friend’s novel, I’m doing a cover for that.
Bleeding Cool: Nice! When you’re not in creator mode, what are you favorite titles?
Chad Hardin: I follow artists; I love Sean Gordan Murphy, Greg Capillo… (laughs) I keep thinking of people’s avatars! Loish, Mel Milton, Miko, and of course guys like J. Scott, and Arthur Adams… People who everyone in comics love.
Bleeding Cool: Chad, we appreciate you for taking a few minutes to talk with us, please keep us up to date on Temerity when you have a chance!
Chad Hardin: Thank you so much for helping to spead the word and thank you for eveyone who backed the project, it will lead to awesome things I promise!