Indie Adorbz features WNI contributor Benjamin Bailey and his four-year-old son, Milo, reviewing all-ages comic books. Milo’s reaction is left unaltered and unedited.
Rust: Visitor in the Field is the kind of book that feels familiar, in a good way. It feels like the books you read in school, the tales of simpler times when people had simple beliefs. It’s about a farm and the young man that struggles to keep it afloat.
It also happens to feature giant robots and jetpacks.
The story takes place in a world very much like our own, in a time after a great war. It could be the United States in the 1920s. Only, in the world of Rust, wars were won by armies of robots, killing machines that turned the tides of battle. It’s like a fable, a twist on a story we all know. Read more
I think many artists take too much pride in their process.
There. I said it. Now I may lose twitter followers and artist friends, but I think it might be worth it. I want to encourage the art community to work hard, work passionately, but work like a professional. Be realistic and know that you are not able to achieve the quality that you really want to. You will always be a step behind where you want to be in your craft. Accept it and move towards completion, because it’s better to have something imperfect then nothing at all. Read more
I am one of the lucky ones.
I know it because I’m conscious of it, but also because I’ve been told countless times. I don’t want anyone to think I take it for granted, so I’m just saying it out loud (or in print at least). I don’t only get the great privilege of writing and drawing my own stories that people seem to be interested in reading, and publishers interested in printing, but I also work full time in the video game industry as a lead animator on one of the funnest properties you could ask for. I’m animating Marvel characters 40+ hours a week. It strikes me again even as I type that sentence. I’m at work animating friggin’ spiderman and wolverine, and then going home and trying to invent the next spiderman or wolverine. I prefer to use the term blessed, because luck implies a lack of purpose, and if there’s no purpose then why carry on. What I wanted to explain was how I got into comics and children’s books, because I think it’s worth noting an individuals experience when trying to asses how and why you should break into the storytelling industry. Games is a great industry. I work with some of the most talented artists every day I go into work. It really is a party there, we’re all working hard trying to create something meaningful and unique. It takes hours of collaboration, dedication, frustration, and inspiration. I’m not only collaborating with artists all day but also engineers and designers as we try to work as closely as we can to produce something that sounds so simple and yet so rare; a fun game. And it’s that collaboration that drove me to comics. Working with other creator is a blast, but at the end of the day I don’t fully *own* what I’m creating. I have a hand in it, but I don’t feel that I own it. I’ll never forget the day I was sitting in front of the TV with my roommates, just like any other weekday after work, having a beer, watching a show. Suddenly I realized that I couldn’t sit there any longer. If I wanted to create something and own it, if I wanted to make something that could possibly have meaning and joy in it, I had to get up and go draw. It didn’t matter what I drew, it had to be something for myself, something by myself. I would never submit it to an art director or ask for a coworkers critique. Hell, I’d never show that first drawing to anyone. I just needed to create something that I *owned*. I carried my drawing table into the garage because my bedroom was too small for it at the time. I set up a space heater under the desk since it was the middle of winter, I put on my jacket and grabbed a quill and a bottle of ink.
That’s how it started. I haven’t stopped drawing since. I’ve missed so much good TV (so..much..) Four days a week I get up before work, and draw for three hours. Sometimes I draw after work, but I try to not to. Did I mention how much good TV I miss? But the trade off is that I get to create something that I own. If my audience is just my wife, or my Mother, it has to be worth it. If it’s wider then that, I’m truly blessed. I’m telling this story just to remind people that being ‘creator owned’ takes discipline, hard work, late nights, early mornings, and so many blank pages that ask the creator who the hell he thinks he is. That blank page is taunting the creator day and night, and for some of you, that’s why you stay on the couch. There’s too much pressure. Too much competition out there. The blank page wins. If you’re a creator and you haven’t started that project that you’ve always wanted to do, this is the best time. The world is changing. Publishing, or better put, “sharing”, is becoming more accessible to everyone. Be encouraged. You have a story to tell, so tell it, even if the first story is just told to yourself, and then eventually your friends and maybe one day strangers. At this early stage of creation, the goal is in the “doing” and less in the achieving.
And remember that there is only one way to silence that blank page that taunts you; Draw on it. Type on it.
Royden was born at very young age on the Canadian prairies of Manitoba. He grew up the son of an oil painter and a farmer and he’s been drawing since he could hold a pencil. Royden failed his 12th grade Art class for drawing comics instead of assignments, and was kicked out of 10th grade Math for animating in the corner of his textbook. He now writes and illustrates childrens books and graphic novels while working full time as an animator in the Seattle games industry. He lives in the Seattle area with his wife, Ruth.