Posted - 04/02/2011 : 04:40:59 AM
Writer for Creating Comics from Start to Finish
Published by: Self Published
Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur/Jazma VP
Rich: How did you decide to create "Creating Comics from Start to Finish"?
Buddy: Well, I really enjoy books about the process of how things are made. Looking around, I didnít see anything that captured the complete process of how comics are made from start to finish. I wasnít really looking to learn how to do each step, like inking or lettering. Ireally just wanted to know more about how each step fit into the complete process. Iíve worked in comics as a writer and as a journalist, so I was familiar with many of the steps, but I wanted to learn more. I figured that if I wanted to know more, other people would too.
Rich: Does the book truly explain how to create a comic from start to finish?
Buddy: Yes and no. If youíre looking for a how-to technique book about the specific steps, there are other great books out there, including my Comic Artists Photo Reference Books, which are also available through Impact books. This book, however, is more about the people who make the comics, how they broke into the business, how they have survived the challenges, and their advice for aspiring creators. So from the perspective of ďhow comics are made,Ē yes, thatís in there, but this book offers much more insight than that. I hope people check it out, since it will broaden their perspective on the different career opportunities that they can explore in comics.
Rich: Who are a few of the people featured in "Creating Comics from Start to Finish"?
Buddy: Wow, itís practically a whoís who of some of todayís most accomplished and exciting creators. Everyone I interviewed is a highly respected creator at the top of their craft and career. I was extremely fortunate to have landed in-depth interviews with these creators, since they are quite busy. I tried to focus on creators who have good name recognition and deliver quality comics. Since I knew I was going to spend a lot of time on these chapters, I wanted to work with people who were interesting to me as a fan and fellow creator. * Mike Marts Ė Editor Ė Batman, Detective Comics* Mark Waid Ė Writer Kingdom Come, Flash, Irredeemable, Spider-Man* Darick Robertson Ė Penciler Wolverine, The Boys, Transmetropolitan, Conan* Rodney Ramos Ė Inker Green Lantern, Punisher* Brian Haberlin Ė Colorist Witchblade, Spawn, Top Cow* Chris Eliopoulos Ė Letterer Pet Avengers, Spider-Man, X-Men* Joe Quesada Ė Chief Creative Officer Marvel Comics* Stan Lee Ė Former President, Chairman Marvel Comics
Rich: How did you get Alan Evans on the cover and what do you think of the final product?
Buddy: Alan Evans (http://artzilla.deviantart.com/) and I go way back, so getting Alan to do the cover was a matter of two friends talking on the phone. Alan was part of the online community that we built at Wizard World Online, back when I worked at Wizard. He was one of the founding members of Cafť DNA, which was a creative online community that nurtured new talent. A few of them went on to be well-known creators including Tony Moore (http://tonymooreillustration.com/) of the Walking Dead. Rus Wooton (www.ruswooton.com), who is a well-known Marvel letterer also worked with me at Wizard and he was instrumental in getting Cafť DNA launched. Of course, Alan went on to do some X-Men work for Marvel, but we did a few side projects together including afew issues of Comic culture magazine. Alan was ideal for the cover of this book. He also contributed several interior pages, which we used as chapter breaks. So his stuff is all over this book, which is how I like it.
Rich: Will there be more "Comic Artist's Photo Reference" books?
Buddy: Yes. I love taking pictures, and since I canít draw, this is my way of making the art that goes into comics. I am constantly uploading new pictures to my Facebook page(http://www.facebook.com/pages/Photo-Reference-for-Comic-Artists/224221057835)because I love to shoot different kinds of things. Nokia loaned me one of those Nokia N8 camera phones recently and they included some of my photo reference shots on their website(http://www.womworld.com/nokia/19942/nokia-n8-%E2%80%93-two-week-photography-review/),and that was a lot of fun. I have thousands of unused photo reference pictures on my computer, so I am looking forward to when the next collection is packaged and released.
Rich: Do you think the internet plays a big role in self promotion?
Buddy: Sure, itís one part of the promotion puzzle. It really just gives you new ways to connect with people who appreciate the same things you do.It lowers regional barriers to allow people to discover new things. I get a lot of emails from people who visit my website(http://www.buddyscalera.com) and I really try to make every effort to answer every single person. I am also a fan, so I want people to feel like they can access me as a fellow fan. I love connecting with people like you, who are devoted to spreading the word about comics.
Rich: What other subjects have you written about besides comics?
Buddy: I write a lot about technology and marketing on my blog at Words +Pictures = Web (http://www.wordspicturesweb.com). I am passionate about digital media and love all of the new toys that come out everyday. Iíve traveled around the country to speak at conferences about web design and search engine marketing. There are lots of exciting things happening in comics now with ebooks and webcomics. I have an iPad, so I am reading comics in new ways now. Itís fun to see how people are experimenting with technology to tell stories in the online medium.
Rich: Would you like to do more work for Marvel and which comic would you most like to write?
Buddy: My ultimate dream is to write one issue each of Amazing Spider-Man and of the Fantastic Four. I got to do a small one shot with those characters with my friend Chris Eliopoulos, and now I want to do more. Iím a child of the 70s, so I want to do one shots with offbeat Marvel characters like Machine Man, Son of Satan, and Ka-Zar.
Rich: What is it that makes you decide to get up and write?
Buddy: Someone once said, ďI hate writing, but I like having written.Ē I like making stuff and I know that in order to have stuff, you have to get yourself motivated. In many cases, itís just a matter of turning off your email or your television and just getting stuff done. I like writing for a deadline because it gives me something to shoot for. Itís harder to write when you donít really have a deadline. So, in alot of ways, my editors keep me motivated and productive by setting deadlines.
Rich: Do you have any ideas for other comics or books?
Buddy: I wish I could do half the comics I see in my head. I have a day job and kids, so I really only get to work at night and on the weekends. I have written many stories, but I just donít have time to even get them drawn and published. Literally, finished scripts just sitting there waiting for an artist to come along and help me get them done. I write pretty fast and I write almost every day.
Rich: Which comics would you recommend?
Buddy: My weekly pull list always includes Amazing Spider-Man and Echo by Terry Moore. Both of those books are terrific. But I tend to read alot of comics as collected editions. So I will buy trade paperbacks of many of the Ultimates titles. I have been reading the Teen Titans for years too. And to be perfectly honest, I follow creators more than I follow specific titles. So the people I profiled in my books are people who I tend to follow as a read. If Waid writes it, itís always good. If Darick draws it, itís always good. I also buy Chris Eliopoulosí stuff so I can share them with my kids. Chris does particularly good kidís comics, which we just donít see much of anymore.
Rich: If you could have one super power what would it be and why?
Buddy: Iíd like the power to be able to stay awake and not require sleep. Lifeís short and I hate that I have to waste one third of my life with my eyes closed.
Rich: How can someone contact you?
Buddy: They should go to my website at www.buddyscalera.com. Check out my stuff and contact me through the site. My email address is up there and people should feel free to reach out and say hello. Please let people know they can check out interior pages of my book on my new website ComicBookSchool.com (www.comicbookschool.com). Right now, there are also detailed previews of my three books in the Comic Artistís Photo Reference series and information from my three CD-ROMS in the Visual Reference for Comic Artists series. And if people want to see some of the comics that Iíve written or helped publish, they should check out AfterHoursPress.net.
Rich: Any final words for fans and professionals?
Buddy: Iíd say that to succeed you must never give up. That doesnít mean that you shouldnít adjust to opportunities. You definitely must be ready to adjust, if a new opportunity presents itself. All of the creators in this book have stories of things they did before they became top industry talents. But they also were nimble enough to explore different aspects of the comic book business. Your career is never a straight line. Follow the curves and keep an open mind.
===========Buddy Scalera Writer, Photographer, Marketer & Jedi http://www.buddyscalera.comBlog: http://www.wordspicturesweb.comTwitter: http://twitter.com/#!/MarketingBuddyPhotography: http://www.flickr.com/photos/buddyscalera/