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Bill Nichols’ Prescription:
Comics 10ccs of the late Gerry Alanguilan
Gerry Alanguilan was a comic book creator and person I had corresponded with and admired for years. Sadly, he passed December 21, 2019. And the world lost a good man and friend.
What inspires you to create and keeps you going?
It’s a compulsion more than anything. I have to do it so I do it. If I don’t do it, I start to go crazy. I really have to do something creative every day. I don’t wait for inspiration.
Do you have a set routine?
I want to. I want to start working at around 4am and work until 6pm. And after that I just goof off and play computer games or watch stuff on Netflix or read my feed on Facebook. But it’s hard to get that discipline to just have that unshakable adherence to a schedule. My mind is kind of a mess. I do work. Goof off. Work. Sleep. Work. Play. Work. Eat. Play with the dog.Work. What happens is I start working around 4am or 6am right up to midnight. On and off.
What kind of output do you try to achieve?
When I have a deadline at Marvel, I do try to do a page a day, which is standard. But for my own personal work, I don’t try to be so crazy about it and just do something, anything everyday. I could do a bit of writing. A bit of drawing. I don’t let a day pass that I don’t do anything creative.
What inspires you WHEN you create? Music? Noise? Silence?
When I write, I’d rather have silence. Complete silence helps me to focus, which I need when I write. That’s why I do a lot of my writing at night. When drawing or inking, I’d rather have something playing on the computer. Documentaries… more specifically plane crash investigations, crime, paranormal or any disturbing stuff. Those help me keep awake and alert.
Who was the first comic book creator that influenced you to pursue this?
When did you realize you could follow this path yourself?
When I met Whilce Portacio. Before I met him, all this comics stuff was just a hobby which I didn’t take seriously. That’s why I was able to finish my college degree and get a license to practice Architecture in the Philippines. But after meeting Whilce, it was like… wow. He’s a Filipino like me so I thought maybe… if he can do it. Maybe I can do it too.
What do you find to be a challenge in creating?
It’s easy for me to think up ideas and write the stories. The challenge is to just hunker down and draw it. which takes an enormous amount of time.
What else do you have to learn?
Oh, I still have so much to learn. I still have so much to improve and develop. Of all there is to learn about comics, if I can put a number on it…. I know perhaps only 1% of what I still have yet to learn.
What keeps you motivated to get better?
No motivation needed. Like I mentioned before, it’s a compulsion. I have to create. I have to do my next project better than the last. I have to keep pushing myself. I can’t help it.
Can you turn your brain (creativity) off (and on)?
What advice do you have for aspiring creators?
You gotta love comics. You gotta love the job of doing comics. Because if you try to get into this with all the wrong motivations… glory perhaps, or money, or girls… the sheer difficulty of the job will make you quit. If you love comics and love what you’re doing, you won’t mind the difficulty. In fact, you will revel in it, and use it to push you into doing your best.
Do you ever worry about running out of ideas?
Not really. I have a collection of ideas that could last me decades.
How do you handle the slow times?
I sleep. When I wake up and get some good sleep, things will pick up again.
How do you feel about the industry?
The problem is that a lot of creators have unrealistic expectations of what the industry can do for them. I don’t think that way. There are opportunities and you really have to chase them. I have no time to be disillusioned or be jaded about the industry. I will take what I can take and if I don’t, I don’t worry about it. I will not be a bitter old man ranting about how the industry screwed him. I’ll create my own opportunities.
Website you would like to promote?
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Author, Artist, Editor for ShoutFyre.com
Bill is the creator of Arteest & Ursula comics, writer for Ringtail Cafe, co-creator of Savage Family, writer and inker of HellGirl: Demonseed. Editor for ShoutFyre and Sketch Magazine. Co-author of Camelot Forever novel series.