Bill Nichols’ Prescription:
Comics 10ccs Greg Land
What inspires you to create and keeps you going?
A lifelong love of comics and the challenge to constantly draw them better. Also I still have a kid in college (out of state) and have to work! LOL!
Do you have a set routine?
Oh yes! I like routines, it keeps me more productive. I like to start my day early and treat it like a real job, staying at my table between 8-11 hrs/day with a 20 min lunch break. Before the Corona Virus made us all stay in I would treat myself and go out for lunch on Fridays!
What kind of output do you try to achieve?
I take about 5 weeks to get a normal 20-22 pg monthly book and cover drawn. So I’ll get 4-5 pages/wk done. That’s about as fast as I can go!
What inspires you WHEN you create? Music? Noise? Silence?
I like background noise so generally I’ll start the day w/the morning news on and later either leave the tv on or put on music. I like to listen to old country or 70’s hair bands.
Who was the first comic book creator that influenced you to pursue this?
My 3 favorite artists back in the day were Jack Kirby, Joe Buscema and Gil Kane. Equally strong artists, but all w/ different drawing styles. I liked them all.
When did you realize you could follow this path yourself?
I always knew I would be an artist and comics were my first love, so I was making a living out of college doing screen print art for about 10 yrs and realized I needed to really give drawing comics a shot and it’s pretty much now or never. That’s when I first went to Chicago Con and talked to editors and they critiqued my portfolio ( of comic art, not screen print art) and was fortunate to have an editor like my stuff and give me a chance.
What do you find to be a challenge in creating?
To make each page as visually interesting as you can. Which can be hard if a page calls for characters to only be sitting or talking or something more mundane.
What else do you have to learn?
I feel that I’m constantly learning. Just an overall yearning to get better.
What keeps you motivated to get better?
I was brought up by parents and grandparents who were all very hard working. They put in long hours and took pride in their work, very good work ethic. I think they instilled that in me, makes me want to always try harder and get better.
Can you turn your brain (creativity) off (and on)?
Ha Ha not really! I’m always jotting down notes and little thumbnails when I’m away from my drawing table.
What advice do you have for aspiring creators?
I would just say you have to constantly be working on your craft, be able to tell the story via just the art and become as professional as you can by listening to your employer, meeting deadlines and treating it as a real job.
Do you ever worry about running out of ideas?
I try not to think negatively, but occasionally I’ll have a page that has me stumped so I’ll walk away from it for a day or so and usually I will get it to work after that.
How do you handle the slow times?
I am very fortunate not to have any slow times, but if I do get ahead on a book I can either take another cover from Marvel to draw or in this day and age do a convention sketch from my “virtual con” list that we started from fans on my Facebook page.
How do you feel about the industry?
I love comics! Always have, ever since I was a little kid. I wouldn’t want to work in any other industry!
Do you have a website you would like to promote?
Yes, we recently joined the social media age! I now have a Facebook page: Greg W Land or Greg W Land Comic Illustrator. We post updates on what I’m working on currently, pics of con sketches that I’ve done, pics of covers from upcoming books I have coming out, …etc. We also invite fans to send us pics of drawings I’ve done for them over the years and we will post them. Currently because several comic
cons have been cancelled or rescheduled we started a “virtual con” list if fans would still like con sketches.
As far as work for Marvel is going, I recently finished up the second round of Symbiote Spider Man: Alien Reality. I think 4 of the 5 issues made it to the stands before things were shut down by the CoronaVirus. Issue #5 is done and ready to be released when things start back up. I am currently working on my next Marvel project, but unfortunately can’t talk about it yet.
Well, thank you Bill for the interview, please everyone stay safe and healthy and we hope to see you all in the near future at an upcoming comic con when they start up again also.
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.