Every comic convention has an Artist Alley. The alley is a small section of floor space reserved for the people that make comics amazing. Along the rows of tables in the alley you can meet all sorts of incredible people. Some of the artists have been working in comics forever while others are up and coming. Personally the up and comers are my favorite because they have a solid dream that is motivating them. The up and comers are laying their creations out to be judged and that can be a soul crushing experience. During my last comic con visit in Anaheim California I had the privilege to meet Rachel Young. Rachel’s comic is an excellent piece of work. Her comic is the exact type of thing you just want to stand behind and help promote. With only a little cajoling Rachel agreed to take part in our 5 questions interview, and we are so pleased that she did. Enjoy the interview and be on the look out for a review of Rachel Young’s comic in the near future.
1. Tell us about your comic. What’s it about? Why is it cool.
Witchman is essentially a super-hero story, but it takes place in a fantasy world. He wears a mask and has a double identity, but his super powers are magic, his day job is at a smithy, and the super villains are mythical monsters. The title character is something of an unlikely hero, who didn’t exactly sign up for the job, but finds himself getting tangled up in a mission to destroy seven goblin creatures representing ancient evils. Meanwhile, he’s making friends with ghosts, demons and fairies. So it’s cool because it’s a genre crossover story that has a little something for everybody.
2. Who are your biggest influences?
It’s not really a “who” as much as a “what.” I started off my artistic career in animation and allow those influences to cross over into my comic book work. My biggest influences would have to be the animated feature films of the ’90s because that’s what I was watching when I was a kid, that’s what inspired me to draw in the first place. I take the same cinematic approach to my comic book pages as I do with my other work, hoping to achieve a unique style in comics, and I think it shows.
3. On a more personal note: how did you end up where you are today? What lead you to comics?
Well, I consider myself as still starting out. I ended up in LA in search for a job in animation. But I’ve always been the type to create my own characters, and then create back stories for each of them, and then develop a story about them and so on. Working for studios is great, but there’s always this artistic need to do my own thing as well. Witchman is a story I started putting together in college. One thing led to another, and I found myself drawing sequential images of the characters in scenes that I had written and the next logical step was to edit it all together.
What led me to comics is that it is something I can do entirely on my own. It’s my own personal project, it’s my story to tell, and it’s exactly the way I want it to be. I can always work on it, even if it’s just on the side while I’m busy with other things in life, and it’s something I will always be able to do no matter where I’m living.
4. What advice would you give to someone trying to break into comics?
Just do it. Sounds cheesy and cliche, but there are so many people who talk about doing great things in their lives, and never even take the first step. Stop thinking about it and talking about it, and get started. But when I say “just do it” I don’t mean rush into a final copy before you’re ready either. Take the time to make sure you have a story and a design that you really like. Spend years developing your characters and story first and then the production will just flow naturally.
5. What’s your all-time favorite movie?
“The Little Mermaid.” It was the very first movie I ever saw in a movie theater and the grandness of that opening scene with the ship and the crashing waves on the big, huge, enormous screen is one of the few things from that age that I can still remember vividly. I am still very impressed with how full and how solid of a story it is, and it’s only about an hour and ten minutes long. It is a great example of precision story telling and proof that your movie doesn’t have to be three hours long in order to be good.
Learn more about Rachel Young and discover her work: www.witchmancomic.com