Bill Nichols’ Prescription:
Comics 10ccs Dan Jurgens
What inspires you to create and keeps you going?
Simply put, I enjoy my job.
I still find a certain kind of magic in trying to tell good stories. The creative process can be frustrating, but when it all comes together and it works with people responding to it… there’s nothing like it.
Do you have a set routine?
I tend to work fairly conventional business hours with extra hours added as needed.
When I was younger—back in the days where I was writing AND drawing two books per month– I worked crazy, crazy hours.
What kind of output do you try to achieve?
That really depends on what I’m doing. If I’m writing, I look for one result. If I’m drawing, another.
The reality now is that if I sit down to draw, I usually have to break away from it for lettering checks, some other writing duties, cover design conversations… there’s always something that interrupts it.
What inspires you WHEN you create? Music? Noise? Silence?
It has to be the work itself that inspires me.
It has to be something I really want to draw or something that I really want to write. It has to be the desire to get it on the page that pushes me to complete it.
Not to mention the looming deadline and absolute knowledge that it HAS to get done.
Who was the first comic book creator that influenced you to pursue this?
I think that Neal Adams was the first artist I looked at and said, “Wow! That is so stunningly different from what I’ve seen. WHY? What makes it work?”
After that, I started to look at all artists—guys like Jack Kirby, Curt Swan, Gil Kane and so many more. I started to identify differences and see the varying strengths that each of them have, which allowed me to deconstruct their work and understand it.
When did you realize you could follow this path yourself?
I know that I was in 5th or 6th grade when I started to think of it as something that really intrigued me enough to want to start drawing and get into it.
As for when I realized I could actually follow it as a path, probably about the time I got hired by DC to draw THE WARLORD.
It’s one thing to believe in yourself. When someone else believes in you, that’s when you realize you have a chance.
What do you find to be a challenge in creating?
To stay fresh and not resort to the easy solutions.
Just because it worked once does not mean it’s going to work again.
What else do you have to learn?
Man… that’s a good question. We don’t know what we don’t know, right?
But I think that trying to adapt is a sign that I recognize that and am trying to find out.
What keeps you motivated to get better?
It’s great to have people respond to your work.
Can you turn your brain (creativity) off (and on)?
Ideas can come at any time, in any situation, from the most unlikely of places.
The unconscious mind is always working.
What advice do you have for aspiring creators?
Don’t talk about working… WORK.
Don’t talk about what you wanted to draw… DRAW it.
Don’t tell all your pals about your ideas… WRITE it.
Do you ever worry about running out of ideas?
I worry more about separating the good ideas from the bad ideas because, in all honesty, we all have our share of lousy ones.
The idea is to make sure they don’t ever see print!
How do you handle the slow times?
That really hasn’t been a problem.
I think that if anyone looked at my output over the years that most people would wonder why I never took a break.
How do you feel about the industry?
We’re in a very difficult period these days… of that there is no doubt.
But we have been in the past as well and there were some great people who helped us find our way to better days. I can only hope that’s the case now.
Do you have a website you would like to promote?
danjurgens.com and I’m @thedanjurgens on Twitter!
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.