Bill Nichols’ Prescription:
Comics 10ccs Andy Smith
What inspires you to create and keeps you going?
Creating is a part of my life just like breathing. That might sound dumb but if I go a few days I just feel strange and get anxious over not drawing or creating something. It’s a need that I have to fulfill.
Do you have a set routine?
Ever since I started drawing comics professionally I adopted an attitude of keeping normal working hours of 8-5 during the day. If the deadline means I have to work at night and weekends I, of course, will but I try to keep to a normal schedule so I can have a normal life with my family and friends since they all have regular day jobs. Plus I’m not a night owl at all.
What kind of output do you try to achieve?
It all depends on what the project is. If it’s drawing comics where I’m just penciling I try to do 4-5 pages a week and if I’m inking my own work it’s about 3 pages a week, and that’s during a five-day week.
What inspires you WHEN you create? Music? Noise? Silence?
I listen to podcasts now. True crime, comedy, stuff like that. I used to listen to music but I found that normal radio just doesn’t do it for me anymore and when I do I have a custom playlist of songs I really like.
Who was the first comic book creator that influenced you to pursue this?
Mike Zeck and John Beatty on Captain America! It was issue 275!
When did you realize you could follow this path yourself?
I never thought I couldn’t follow this as my career path. I was singular focused from the moment I discovered comic books that I wanted to create them for a living.
What do you find to be a challenge in creating?
The thing with drawing comics is there is always something coming up I haven’t drawn before. I always try and challenge myself to do new things when creating comics and try not to stagnate.
What else do you have to learn?
Honestly, I am always trying to better my work. I love how-to books and can usually pick up at least one thing if not more from them. It could just be a different way of looking at something.
What keeps you motivated to get better?
Not ever really be satisfied with my work.
Can you turn your brain (creativity) off (and on)?
I wish! Nope, it’s always running.
What advice do you have for aspiring creators?
Don’t get down on your work, it’s a constantly evolving process and you have to be objective about your own work and keep pushing and moving forward.
Do you ever worry about running out of ideas?
Nope, I think if you try too hard to think of something it’s tougher. You kind of just have to go with the flow and they’ll come to you at the oddest times.
How do you handle the slow times?
I just try and keep myself busy with sketch covers or commissions. Or just drawing something for myself.
How do you feel about the industry?
I think it’s the best time to be in it as the genres are so diverse now. It seemed when I got into the business in the early 90s there were just superheroes but now there is a comic book for everyone! If you like a certain genre of novel you can most likely find that same genre as a comic book!
Website you would like to promote?
Author, Artist, Editor for ShoutFyre.com
Bill is the creator of Arteest & Ursula comics, writer for Ringtail Cafe, co-creator of Savage Family, writer and inker of HellGirl: Demonseed. Editor for ShoutFyre and Sketch Magazine. Co-author of Camelot Forever novel series.