What made you choose comics over traditional writing for your stories? How did you find the artists who help you bring Artifice and The Young Protectors to life?

From the Webcomic Wonderland Goodreads Q&A I did on Saturday:

Ezno wrote: “What made you choose comics over traditional writing for your stories?”

My day job and background is as a filmmaker, so the stories that most easily come to me are ones best told visually. Originally, I wanted to tell all my stories as films, but films are very, very expensive to make. Especially the action/sci-fi/fantasy genre stories that appeal to me the most. I’d never be able to either a) afford funding myself or b) convince Hollywood to fund my gay-positive action-adventure epics. But in comics, you can tell a feature-length story for the price of a short film. And you have an unlimited special effects budget. 😉

How did you find the artists who help you bring Artifice and The Young Protectors to life and did you find it hard to pay them on startup for your work?

With the exception of Adam, I found them by posting up ads on artist help-wanted sites describing my projects clearly and offering a solid page rate. (You can find a list of some of those sites on my NSFW blog here: https://www.yaoi911.com/how-to-find-th… )

And because I do pay a real page rate, yes, sometimes coming up with the money requires a fair amount of sacrifice on my part. But I do have a pretty good paying job as a freelance film editor and ultimately I feel being able to tell the stories I want to tell and share them with the world is worth it, even if I’m out of pocket. (And that I have the opportunity to have those stories made real by such skilled professionals who create such beautiful art—well, that just makes me feel like the luckiest guy in the world.)

Where (other than general Science Fiction media) do you find inspiration for your work? Personally I thought that the story behind Artifice was very emotionally endearing – I’m very curious to know what gave you the idea. 

I talk about this in depth in the bonus sections in the back of the printed version of Artifice, but the short answer is I get them from daydreams I have after watching or reading other genre fiction that inspired me. In the case of Artifice, it was the scene from the movie Aliens (which was a huge influence for me as a writer as a kid) where someone called the android a “synthetic” and he gently corrects that person saying “Actually, I prefer the term ‘artificial person’ myself.” As a gay guy, I know that there are real limits for those who are disempowered in asking the majority nicely for equal rights and hoping they will bother to bestow them on you. I wondered what would happen once the “artificial people” got radicalized. I started fantasizing the opening scene of Artifice where Deacon comes up with a more in-your-face way of claiming his identity and thus the seeds for Artifice were planted.

Read more answers over at the Webcomic Wonderland thread.

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