JOtylqqUScott Wauchope is an artist/Writer of fan-art and comics, Dad of two, Husband of One. Enjoys a good episode of Bionic Six. And is a great guy to talk to. Which is what I found out when I met him at this years Hartford Comic Con. Scott took some time out of his day to answer a few questions for us at Guysnation.

Mr. Incredible: So what got you into drawing?

Scott Wauchope: When we were kids, my friends and I played “superheroes”, usually being Punisher or Batman, etc…  However, my friend came up with his own character one day and drew a sketch of him and the next thing I knew we were all doing the same thing.

Mr. Incredible: Do you remember you first few drawings?Magnesium

Scott Wauchope: Oh, yeah.  One of my first characters was named Magnesium and just happened to look an awful lot like the Bionic Six characters.

Mr. Incredible: Now when I meet you at the Hartford Comic Con, you had this amazing picture that displayed the incarnations of The Joker. What made you come up with that picture?

Mr. Incredible: When we talked you said you also take requests?

Scott Wauchope: I will answer both of those at the same time.  The Joker idea wasn’t mine but was, in fact, a request.  Someone (his name’s Rob) contacted me through Facebook and asked if I could do a Joker commission involving a police lineup with the Caesar Romero version, the Jack Nicholson version, the Heath Ledger Version and then the New 52 Version.  I came back with adding in the Cartoon version, which is my personal favorite (and 5 is a better number for the pic).  At that point, I knew that if I made this a print, I’d sell plenty because it was such a good idea, so instead of charging him, I told him I’d do it for free and even give him a free print.  I also gave him credit on the poster for the concept.

This works if I’m planning to color the picture digitally, making prints and if the idea is “sell-able” to others.  If someone is looking for something more specific or if they want the original artwork, than it’s a commission rather than a request.

Quick note: an artist did something very similar to my picture in a recent issue of Batman having different panels of the Joker, each with one of his incarnations.

Mr. Incredible: Now I’ve always wanted to know how hard it is to come up with pictures on the fly when at conventions?

Scott Wauchope: Well, if someone is having me do a commission, often they already have an idea of what they want.  If they don’t and they simply ask for a picture of a particular character, I’ll just sit and doodle a bunch of thumbnails to see what might be the best way to use the character in a picture.  I don’t want all my pictures to have the same poses or angles.  That’ll get boring very quick.

Mr. Incredible: How many conventions do you get to be a part of during the year?

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Scott Wauchope: As I would be part of “Artist Alley” at a convention, anyone can get a table if they can afford the entry fee and have the time.  Last year was my first year and I was part of four conventions and I’ll be part of six (possibly seven) this year.  Next year (as I’ll have my mini-series done by then) I hope to be part of ten or more.  I’ve only stuck to New England (places I can drive to easily) but next year I’ll try to branch out and head further to other large conventions.

Mr. Incredible: Can you tell us a bit about Son of Destroyer?

Scott Wauchope: The elevator pitch:

It’s a superhero universe summer event involving hundreds of heroes and villains having a giant battle on a crazy island full of technology and magic but the story is told from the point of view of a six-year-old boy who happens to be the son of one of the super villains and has little to no clue about what is going on.

To break it down a little more, it’s all ages (it would be PG, if it was a movie) and I would equate the more scary or adult elements to anything you’d see in Harry Potter.  I didn’t specifically write it for children or young adults, but kept the violence and language to a minimum so that I could hand it to anyone at a convention without worrying about a warning to parents.

I would compare the story to an arc in Astro City by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson as you’re thrown into this huge world full of superheroes and villains that you don’t know anything about but, at the same time, it doesn’t really matter.  And like Astro City, this is an original universe of characters, rather than a homage or spoof of popular heroes.  You won’t read the story and say “Oh, that’s the Superman and there’s the Batman.”  In fact, a good amount of the characters in the story are based on characters my friends and I came up with when we were kids.

I’m going to print hard copies for the conventions, but will also be publishing it digitally through Comixology.

And as not everyone reads digital comics but almost everyone has a smartphone or tablet, I also have a plan to develop an App as a way to read the comic which will give the reader a few extra things that they won’t be able to get with just the regular download.

Another quick note: I went back and redid a lot of the artwork for the comic after the Hartford Comicon. I was inspired to create a much less “digital” look in the comic, so I redrew the artwork, keeping it purposefully rougher.A_frontcover

Mr. Incredible: What are the pros and cons or writing and drawing your own project?

Scott Wauchope: Pros:

1. You can work on it whenever you want.

2. You have total creative control.  This is especially helpful as I enjoy playing around a lot with the page as I create it, rewriting dialogue and reworking panels as I go.  I couldn’t do this if I was working with someone else.

Cons:

1.  Never enough time.  It’s a good thing you can work on it whenever you want because as I have a family and a day job, I have to work on it constantly with all of my free time and at very odd hours.  My best friend recently reminded me how much time it takes to create a comic and he’s right, it takes a LOT of time (especially if you’re doing full color!).  I have to give up a lot of time with my kids and my wife and on top of that I’m a whole season behind on Walking Dead and Game of Thrones!04516-secretwarsspiderman

2.  You have total creative control.  That is also a bad thing as you are creating in a vacuum.  I can send off pages to my friends for advice but it’s not the same as having feedback from a collaborator.  I might come up with a bit of dialogue that makes me laugh out loud when I type it out and put it on the page.  However, that could be the laughter of someone working at 1 am full of caffeine.

Mr. Incredible: As an artist and someone with their own book to promote, how has social media help or hinder you?

Scott Wauchope: I only recently have pushed myself into social media, via Twitter and FB (and a few others).  I think for a freshman in the business, it is 100% necessary and is the best way to keep in touch with people you meet and talk to other creators around the country.  You can only do so much promoting at conventions and it’s hard to be above the noise.  But, if you can get some followers than you have that direct contact with them.  I have a promo where if you are a FB or Twitter follower of mine, I’m going to have a raffle at the end of the year and give away some free artwork to some of my followers including my artist banner (which depicts one of my more popular Batman prints).  I hope to grab some attention that way.  It can feel like work at times and can also take a lot of time away from actually getting your WORK done.  I had to stop posting for the past month in order to concentrate on getting Son of Destroyer Issue 1 done in time to print for Boston Comic Con.

Mr. Incredible: Who are some of the artist you look to for inspiration?

Scott Wauchope: Most recently, I was inspired by Terry Moore after reading the “Rachel Rising” volume 1 trade.  I was fascinated with the simplicity of the artwork and it made me want to par down my art to do a nice B&W story as my next project.  There’s also some usual suspects, like Alex Ross and John Cassaday.  Growing up, I would say my favorites were John Byrne (no one can depict a city block destroyed by a super hero battle better), Alan Davis and Art Adams’ earlier work (New Mutants, etc…), and Bill Willingham.  “Elementals” is one of the best super hero comics series ever.

Mr. Incredible: What books do you currently read?036-ivy

Scott Wauchope: I am reading nothing current.  That isn’t a choice but goes back to that time problem.  I am, however, catching up on a bunch of trades that are from the past couple of years: Fear Agent, Locke & Key, Rachel Rising, Walking Dead, American Vampire, Batman (New 52), and re-reading some stuff in my attic, like Alias, by Bendis.  Oh, and I listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks while I’m working, including The Nerdist Writer’s Panel, Stuff You Should Know, How Did This Get Made, and a nice little resource called The Make Comics podcast.  I highly recommend the audiobooks of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.

I’ve downloaded a bunch of stuff off of Comixology too but haven’t had a chance to read anything yet!

Mr. Incredible: What advise do you have for those looking to get into the comic business?020-starships

Scott Wauchope: First of all, start young.  I didn’t, but that’s the load I have to bare.

Look at breaking in as a marathon, not a sprint.  Assume that you will not make any money for a while, but that doesn’t mean treat it like a hobby.

In other words, “breaking in” might not be the goal but just the hopeful end result.  The goal should be being an artist or writer and creating and having a good and fulfilling experience along the way.  Twenty years from now, if I’ve published twenty graphic novels or mini-series, developed a nice fan base and have people coming up to me at conventions asking me to sign their Son of Destroyer T-shirts, but I’m still working a day job to pay bills, I’ll be okay with that.  I’ll still consider myself a successful person.

I had to sacrifice most of my summer to finish the first issue of Destroyer, and I like to think I’ve earned a break, however, I actually look forward to starting the second issue because I enjoy the work.

Oh, and if you’re very lucky, you’ll get yourself a better half that will support you physically and emotionally.  I would not be able to follow my dreams if my wife, Cheryl wasn’t right besides me the whole way and sacrificing her own time for me.  She’s the best.

Mr. Incredible: Thank you for taking time out to do this interview. Is there anything you would like to say to the readers and fans?

Scott Wauchope: We’re all fans!

Selfishly?  Check out my comic!  Follow me on Facebook!  @epicwee boys and girls.

To stay in touch with what Scott is doing, check out:

https://twitter.com/epicwee  http://www.epicwee.com/  http://instagram.com/epicwee  https://www.facebook.com/epicwee

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