Don Edwards was kind enough to blast through my questions and give me some ANSWERS.
Check them out below.
1. Are you currently working on any projects and what can we see?
Right now, I'm working on Z'Lunar #1 with creator James Bethel. This is my first comic where I've written, penciled, inked, colored, AND lettered the ENTIRE comic beginning to end. James really trusted me on this, as well as a redesign on his character, and just let me cut loose on it. I'm also doing all the art chores on Robert Livingston's Sisters of the Sapphire, a comic in the veins of Spice Girls meets Buffy meets Supernatural. I'm doing layout art for Steve Benton and his American Bison character starting with issue #3, coloring and lettering for Carlos Raphael(Power Company) on a title to be announced later on from his Champion Comics line as well as the colors, letters and the cover for Marcus Roberts' PROJECT: NEXUS, and character designs from Aspyre Comics, too. I'm also the studio letterer for Frank Fentress' 412 Comics which will be debuting their new #1s later on this year. AND...I'm trying to find the time to get my own creator-owned comics,OMEGA MISSION, the UNEMPLOYED DUCK and ULTRAKYLE out into the world. I've been very fortunate to have connected with some amazing indie creators and tasked with helping them bring their projects to light and new standards of awesome!
2. Is there a particular concept or piece you are most proud of in your work and why?
This may sound entirely too cheesy, but EVERY page, panel, or concept sketch I put out there is something I'm proud of. As an independent creator, ESPECIALLY an artist, you find yourself in a veritable OCEAN of talent. TENS of THOUSANDS of people all over the world that share in your dream of creating content in the comic book medium, be it for monetary gain or their own personal enjoyment. There's a LOT competition out there, and while some might view that as a bad thing, I welcome it. MOST of the world only knows about the "big two" comic companies, and an even smaller percentage are privy to the likes of Image, IDW, Dark Horse and Boom, and an even SMALLER percentage are aware of the indie scene, and all of us creators are out there, everyday, trying like hell to get your attention with our stories and our characters. You HAVE to have a ridiculous amount of LOVE and PRIDE in what you're doing to go against such improbable odds in the first place. For us (the indie set) it's not about the $600 page rate. It's about love of comics. And for me, at least, that's something I try to show in everything I put my name to.
3. Do you have any formal training? Do you even think it's necessary?
No formal training for me. I've been drawing since I was about 4. It all started with my dad bringing home a gigantic roll of plain paper (that I STILL have, BTW) and the two of us doodling spaceships and aliens. That carried on into thousands of wasted pages of paper in school of superheroes, villains, and especially Star Wars battles raging on in almost every blank spot of a textbook, notebook or test. As far as it being necessary...I don't know. Maybe. As with anything you want to do, you have to practice to get really good at it, which is in essence, training.
4. Analog(traditional) or Digital, or a combination of both? What tools do you use and why?
Digital, baby. I've haven't drawn a commissioned piece of art by traditional methods since about 2012. For me, going digital afforded me the opportunity to learn coloring and lettering...how to make my art look like the comics I was buying. Plus, there's no paper (cost) or shipping (cost) to send work to my clients. No pencil or ink smudges, no eraser rot, and for the details, I can ZOOM in and really get crackin' at it without killing my eyes. I'm a BIG fan of Clip Studio Paint and the Wacom INTUOS Pro. I very rarely use Photoshop anymore given that I can do EVERYTHING in Clip, and I mean EVERYTHING. I'm running a Dell XPS 8900 with (sigh) Windows 10 64 bit and sporting a 6th gen i7-6700K processor (very fast running BEAST MODE at 4.1 GHz), 16GB of memory and a 4 GB Nvidia GeoForce GTX 745 vid card. I work off of a 27 inch widescreen monitor on a SWIVEL ARM (which is something I HIGHLY RECOMMEND) and a Logitech M570 Trackball which is a fantastic mouse substitute, long on battery life and an elbow saver.
5. How did you stumble into the Indie Comics scene?
Stumble is about the right word! I started off like most artists, having the dream of working for DC or Marvel, but found myself drawing a webcomic called "OLDE TYME GAMER" for Tony DeGerolamo and Christian Beranek over at the Webcomic Factory. I did something like a 89 week run give or take before I got a job working for an up and coming media production company designing their business cards and letterheads and logo, which led to a video game storyboard gig. Around this time I was getting into Facebook and I found this group called ICC (Independent Creators Connection) and got sucked in by all the amazing ORIGINAL content these guys were posting. It was something I wanted to be a part of, but I hadn't really drawn any comic book related stuff in well over a decade, so I was rusty to say the least. I posted some fan art of some of their popular characters and got some decent feedback. After a bit, I became friends with a lot of the members and before long I was hired to do some commissions and some comic work and BAM...I'm an indie creator, which is a badge of honor I am more than PROUD to wear.
6. There can only be one survivor! Penciler, Colorist, Letterer, Writer. Why'd you pick that one? Please Explain.
Letterer trumps all. Plain and simple, a letterer guides your eye across every page and provides you with a map to follow for the entire story from cover to back cover. It's the most important aspect of a comic book yet it's also the most under-rated and under-appreciated aspect as well. Yes, the art can be pretty, the colors flashy and the story epic, but without those fonts, balloons, and SFX on the page to tie it all together, it's not a comic book.
7. Who's your hero? Athlete? Family member? Teacher? Caped Crusader?
My hero...I'm going to sound conceited as hell, but in this moment I am my hero. I'm a 44 year old man that has seen adversity in nearly every aspect of his life, and managed to survive it thus far. I've beat death, depression, oppression, and abuse. While it's nice to be inspired by others, everyone should be their own hero.
8. Do you even read comics, bro? If so which ones, if not...why not?
I do still read comics...bro. But not as actively or as obsessively as I used to. Growing up, I was a Marvel Zombie. I was into Spidey, the Avengers, X-Men, and Hulk. I would foray a bit into DC titles, but they all seemed too...fantastic for me. Except for Batman. But with a very SMALL exception, the titles that were once my favorites have turned into a contrived mess of random political correctness and canon back-pedaling that I simply have a hard time muddling through.
9. You can earn a comfortable living doing ANYTHING. What is it? Feel free to explain why.
What I'm doing now, man. Drawing comics. Yes, I love it THAT much. I mean, hey, I'd like to make the jump to writing them, too, but creating comics is bringing entire UNIVERSES into existence from nothing more than a stray thought. Plus, you can't beat the collaborative process of working with a bunch of like minded individuals from all walks of life in an effort to make this thing and tell this story that no one has ever seen before. Being a storyteller is the bee's knees, broheem. For me, anyway.
10. Where can people see more of your work or find out more about you?
I'm all over the internet.
FB: www.facebook.com/dondrawsstuff and
or TWITTER: @dondrawsstuff
and INSTAGRAM: @theangryeye
I'm always available to my fans and for commissions. Talk, chat, hire me to draw stuff or an awesome commission. I usually hit people back in a day or so.
11. Anything else you'd like to share with us? Political view. Religious view. Baby on the way? Your first job? Email address? Favorite sports team?
Uhhh. I feel like I should impart some wisdom here or something, but what I want people reading this to know is that comics are more than Marvel and DC. GO to your LCS (local comicbook shop) and ASK them to point you in the direction of the lesser known books out there. And concerning ALL comics, for God's sake, stop bagging and boarding them. They're not collectibles, they're comics. Read them, enjoy them, and then pass them on to someone else to discover. I donated all my comics to my local library and it does my heart good seeing all ages and ranges of people sharing in the same stories, characters, and art that continue to influence me as a person and creator to this day. Peace, love and pizza grease.