Today let’s visit with artist and writer Jayson Kretzer, and talk about his newest work.
Mark: What are the title and the topic of your new comic book?
Jayson: Wannabe Heroes is the title and I’d say the topic is geek culture and superheroes. The comic follows the adventures of six people entrenched in the geek community as they develop unique powers and battle with an array of villains, including a comic shop owner who’s frustrated with digital comic readers and online shoppers who just use his store as a hangout. It’s all in good fun, though, as it’s an all-ages book.
Mark: Where can readers find it, and in what formats is it available?
Jayson: Right now the best places to get this comic are at my website, WannabeHeroes.com for the digital version, and at IndyPlanet.com for the print version. Of course, if you live close enough to Panama City, FL, then be sure to check in with Arena Comics & Gaming and Comic Emporium as both shops are currently carrying the book.
Mark: I’m always fascinated with archetypal characters and their lineage. For instance, I think you can trace a line from Sherlock Holmes to Hercule Poirot to Spock–they are all characters who use logic but not emotion to solve problems. Another example: ancient strongmen like Hercules, Samson and Gilgamesh are the precursors to Superman and the Hulk.
Your Wannabe characters include a cosplayer, a gamer, an elitist, a comic book collector and an artist. You managed to capture much of our culture in these archetypes. How did you come up with this idea?
Jayson: Honestly, I’m not sure I remember exactly how I came up with the idea. I think it just sort of developed after I started really paying attention to the comic convention crowd (and the usual suspects who hang out at my local comic shop). One thing I do remember is that I really wanted to make sure there was a character that most any geek, myself included, could relate to.
Mark: When you drew pictures as a boy, did you also write stories to go with them, or did that come later?
Jayson: They were always tied together. I don’t think I could even finish drawing a character before my brain was already working on a backstory for them. I love drawing, but it’s the writing that fuels my passion for art. If I were to just do illustrations with no input on a story, I doubt I’d remain sane for long. That is, if I even qualify as sane now.
Mark: I know you’re working on a novel. Do you feel you have more freedom with that format, or do novels seem to have as many conventions and standard practices as comic books do?
Jayson: I’d say I feel more freedom working in comics. Mainly because with comics I don’t have to just tell you about things, I can show them to you in different ways, from different angles and such. I know there are those who can work magic with their prose, but I’m not one of them…and don’t get me started on my bad grammar skills! I’m a storyteller, not a writer. That’s probably another reason I prefer the comics medium–if I do it right, I can tell a whole story without using a single word and that’s always been such a fascinating idea to me.
Mark: What’s next for the Wannabe Heroes brand?
Jayson: Wannabe Heroes issues 2-4 are currently in the workings and I’m writing some other comic projects, some that I hope to find artists for and some with artists already on board. All in all, I’m planning on 2014 being a very productive year for Wannabe Studios, so stay tuned! hehe
Mark: Thanks to Jayson for stopping by.
Jayson: Thanks so much, Mark and I’m looking forward to the next time I get you on the Wannabe Podcast! 🙂
Please hit the links and check out Jayson’s work!