I am stoked to be able to share this interview with you. Brian is so cool and funny. He has had me snorting over my laptop while we’ve been emailing back and forth these past few weeks. Not only that, he is clever, sweet and totally passionate about what he does, which rocks! Enjoy….
Would you like to share a little bit about yourself? Shoe size, favorite t-shirt or ice cream flavor? Anything you like!
Sure! I am a full-fledged gay geek who loves him some Buffy, lives for Wednesday’s new comic books, and who still joyfully watches Saturday morning cartoons, Care Bears and Winx Club being faves at the moment. Yay! I am a sweetatarian, meaning I live for sweets (cookies, candy, brownies, anything sweet), and I am known for my sassy, dirty mouth. I love raunchy, inappropriate humor. The raunchier and ruder the better! I also listen to all the latest pop music, the teenyboppery the singer the better. My friends often call me a 14 year old girl.
I live in San Francisco, I’m a native Californian, with my hot boyfriend of eight years and my cutie pie kitty cat, Isley Vesper Nesandersbitsen. I’m also a gay Mormon who spent two years as a missionary in Guatemala, so I am way fluent in Spanish, even though my Spanish sounds just as Valley Girl-ish as my everyday English. Haha! Oh well. I went to Brigham Young University in Utah (where I met my boyfriend) and graduated with a BA in English, which is ironic being that I can’t catch my grammatical and spelling errors to save my life. I’m the worst self-editor. Finally, I didn’t fully realize I was gay and didn’t come out of the closet until I was 26, so I didn’t even have sex for the first time until then too. I’m a way late bloomer.
In your bio on Prism Comics I read that you’d ride your bike to the comic store 30 minutes away, even in the rain! I have to say I had a kinda SNAP moment because I did the same, except to the local library in the small town where I grew up. I think it was almost a 2nd home!
So, obviously you’re a comic boy… what were your favorite comics growing up and now?
I always loved the X-Men the most. I love strong, powerful women, and the X-Men were always a female centric book. I loved the Fantastic Four when She-Hulk was part of the group, I’ve always enjoyed the Avengers, and of course I adore Wonder Woman. My fave characters are all the female heroes: Wonder Woman, Rogue, She-Hulk, Spider-Woman, Super-Girl, Bat-Girl and Dazzler. Now my fave comics are still Wonder Woman and the Avengers, but I also like great books like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and I totally read all the Minx books DC comics put out.
What inspired you to create your own comic?
My dream has always been to write for comics. But breaking into mainstream comics? I figured I had a shot in hell. So one day I realized, “hey, why not just write my own comic.” And since I didn’t know anyone who drew, and at the time didn’t know how to find someone who could draw, I decided to just draw the darn thing myself. I know I’m not the greatest artist in the world, but I think I’m able to convey my point. It might not be Jim Lee, but I think it’s cute and fun and (hopefully) somewhat endearing. My preference would be to just focus on the writing side of creating, as I am my own worst critic, but I am happy with what I have been able to do thus far. I think I get better and better the more I bust out my pages.
I kinda just fell into self-publishing as a fluke. I learned everything about creating a comic by trial and error, and just like I’m a self-taught artist everything I learned about creating comic, everything, I learned just by getting in there and trying to figure it out; I actually had to re-color the whole first issue twice just to get it right. It’s been an experience, to say the least.
Originally I wanted to do So Super Duper as a weekly webcomic, but after I decided to get a table at the Alternative Press Expo I figured I would just print the first 30 pages of the story as a first issue to build interest. After the thoroughly enthusiastic response I got (people actually liked it and bought it!) from the first issue at the convention I switched gears and decided keep it a print book. I’m so glad I did. It’s brought a more solid, firm story to each issue and has allowed me to plan and develop the plot as an ongoing story arc instead of single, but sized story elements played over weeks at a time.
Have you always drawn and is there anything or anyone that influences your artwork? (which I think is totally cool BTW).
Aw, thank you. Every time I get a compliment on my art, when anyone tells me they actually like what I drew, it shocks, surprises, and delights me. I can’t believe that people like my meager artistic skills.
I would say one of my biggest influences has always been Trina Robbins. Growing up I loved both her California Girls comics and I super adored her Meet Misty comic book series for Marvel back in the 80’s. Trina’s art was always simple, but strong, very stylized, very cute, and totally awesome. I also really loved June Brigman when she penciled Power Pack. She always rocked and brought so much energy to her pages. Other than that, I loved all the major artists of my youth, from John Byrne, to George Perez, to Mark Silvestri, to, of course, Jim Lee. Right now I am really loving anything by Nicola Scott, who worked on Birds of Prey and is now in Secret Six.
Tell me more about that raunchy humor you like… :p
haha! Glad you like my dorkus voice joke! I’m such a dweeb! I do like raunchy humor, my friends say that everytime I call they are sure to hear some dirty sexual joke and or rude un-PC commentary come out of my mouth. I think penis and vagina are two fave words of all time and I say them often! Which is funny considering how my comics tend to be more G to PG related. Maybe I’ll break out and do a total dirty comic book next! 🙂 (which you will then send to me!!)
Tons actually! Psyche is based on me, as I used to be (‘used’ being the key phrase here as I’m now like 193lbs and totally plumps) 135lbs, totally nerdy, wore glasses and was such a little, whiny, nobody. Haha. So in many ways Psyche is just me with super powers. The other characters in SSD are just my ideal superheroes, characters with far more power and strength and confidence than I, and Psyche, normally have. Billie, from Unabashedly Billie, is totally me. That story is very autobiographical. It’s as close to true to life as I have come in my comics. And Reignbow has shades of me, in the humor arena perhaps, but in everything else, not so much.
What are your plans for the next Psyche comic? I know there are several story arcs that are moving through the issues but do you have a long term goal or plan? Without giving away too many spoilers of course!
Yes! I do have a long term goal and a stopping point, and I have the last page all laid out in my pointy little noggin. I’m thinking I’ll try to make it issue 12 and make that my final issue in the series. It’s a lot of work doing this alone and I’m finding life getting in the way of my comic book work more and more (stupid life!). Next issue of SSD takes Psyche further into the exploration of who he really is. It’s issue 7, the one after next, where everything change and the shiz-nit hits the fan!
Is there a particular piece of art work, character or scene that has special meaning for you?
All my work has special meaning to me just because I can’t believe that I have actually created something. I wish it looked better, but darn it if I’m not happy that I just got my lazy buns off the couch and actually wrote and drew something and can now see all my hard work in a real life book.
What do you hope people gain from reading your work?
A boner. Haha! Just kidding. I want people to smile, maybe giggle a bit, and hopefully feel that they had a good little read. It’s not meant to change the world, but maybe it can make the world a bit more colorful, gayer, and cuter. (mission accomplished for me, errr… minus the boner! heh)
From my love of cheesy action films. I looooove action movies, and I love all the one-liners and the straight dudes getting the girl and all the punching and explosions and all that. So I realized one day while watching the latest action flick that I had never seen a super gay action hero just kick ass, say lots of cheesy one liners and get the guy. So I dreamed him up, his partner Dee-Va, and the entire story while in the movie theater. I went home and stick-figured it all out and poof – Reignbow and Dee-Va was born.
Best thing about writing comics?
The best thing? That fact that I am writing comics. I just love it. I love everything about comic books. I love writing them, I love seeing the art develop, I love seeing how the story and art combine to create magic. I love it. Comic book writing makes my spirit sing and my loins quiver!
What work do we need to keep an eye out for?
Uh, wow. I dunno, more So Super Duper, of course. I have a 6 page short story coming up in Queerbait, a gay themed anthology series published by Carabosse Comics, and another short coming up that I wrote with art by a new creator I am working with, and I dunno, that’s it for now. 🙂 I have too much going on already! I also write for Instinct Magazine, which is a super radical magazine and EVERYONE should subscribe to it, and I sometimes have been known to review comics on newsarama.com. Whew!
Being a total book geek, I wondered what are you into reading?
I am a book reader. Although in recent years I have mainly read comics, there are just too many comics out there right now. I have been reading the Twight books, love them, and I love Augusten Burroughs books. I usually go for funny gay bio books, like Swish, that was the last one I read and I LOVED it!
Shoe memory? I would say back in middle school where I was brave and I bought a pair of neon pink and neon blue vans and wore one of each! I was usually a quiet, geeky, conservative kid, so this really surprised my step-mother. I still remember her face when I came out with one pink and one blue shoe!
AND, please share your current top 10 playlist! (I am still drooling over Goldfrapp and Kings of Leon at the moment – LOOOVe their lead singer, so hot!)
Current to top 10? Miley Cyrus! Teen pop rocks! Dolly Parton, just saw her in concert, the new Pink song, Metro Station, Jay Brannan (love his voice and I find him SUPER sexy), I like the weirdo song by Jesse McCartney, I like the new Jonas Brothers, Lady GaGa for sure, love Ne-Yo’s Closer, and I always have something by Madonna thrown into any top ten!
Brian, you are so cool! Thank you so much for answering all my questions and keeping me entertained till waaay past my bed time with your groovy comics. You are the sweetest. Mwah!
All Artworks Copyright © 2007 – 2008 Brian Andersen. All Rights Reserved.
Please do not repost without permission.