Bill Nichols’ Prescription:
Comics 10ccs Jeff Brennan
What inspires you to create and keeps you going?
Pretty much everything around me. Past experiences, Comics I’ve read, Movies I’ve seen, music and shows I’ve enjoyed, etc.
Do you have a set routine?
I usually work during the day, sometimes as a 3D artist, or photo retouch artist. I tend to do most of my comic book work at night, once my little girl goes to bed.
What kind of output do you try to achieve?
I’m trying to go from a quarterly schedule to bi-monthly. Sales have picked up a bit lately. If sales continue to increase, I’d love to go to a monthly schedule.
What inspires you WHEN you create?
I LOVE movies. I almost always have something on in my studio during the drawing and final art stage. When I’m writing I prefer silence.
Who was the first comic book creator that influenced you to pursue this?
Like many artists, John Byrne was a major influence. Especially his art on X-men. I had the opportunity to meet him a few times, once at his home at a Halloween party. I told him he was the reason I became an artist, he said oh it’s my fault!
When did you realize you could follow this path yourself?
When I graduated the Joe Kubert School, and right away landed a job from Dick Giordiano doing background inks on Superman with Brett Breeding. I did storyboards for animation for a few years after that as well. Plus a big break for my Cyber Girl Leeta comic, was when I managed to get posters of her on the show “Big Bang Theory”, on the comic book store set from seasons 8-12.
What do you find to be a challenge in creating?
I used to work for some of the bigger publishers, some of the smaller ones too. The first issue of Cyber Girl Leeta was put out by a company that now focuses exclusively on toys. I really wish I had a publisher again. Not everything about doing it all myself is fun. I enjoy the creative aspect, but not so much the promoting, printing, shipping, etc.
What else do you have to learn?
There is ALWAYS something new to learn. Recently I have been doing more and more computer generated art. I’m even moving into doing more animated videos to promote my comic. I’m planning a new comic doing more traditional art. I want to make sure I don’t lose those skills.
What keeps you motivated to get better?
There are always better artists out there to inspire me. I will always strive to be the best I can.
Can you turn your brain (creativity) off (and on)?
It Depends. When I’m having a tough time coming up with a plot for the next issue, sometimes I will work on the cover. Many times that will help me come up with ideas for the story.
What advice do you have for aspiring creators?
I would say make sure you have skills that can help you make you a living in case it doesn’t work out. My graphic art, photo retouching and commercial 3D work has helped me get through some times when there was no work available.
Do you ever worry about running out of ideas?
If anything, I find I have too many ideas. One issue will tend to lead to another idea and another.
How do you handle the slow times?
I don’t really have that many slow times, since I make my own schedule.
How do you feel about the industry?
It’s changed a lot since my first job at DC comics. I feel like a lot of newer comics alienate the older readers. I love most comics from the 40’s to the early 90’s. That’s about the time flashy gimmick covers started to mean more than great art and stories.
https://www.cybergirlleeta.com/ for all the news about Cyber Girl Leeta , including current kickstarters and upcoming issues. Back issues are available as well
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.