Our latest spotlight is our recent graduate, and now professor, Chris Schweizer. We posted not long ago about the release of his first major book Crogan's Vengeance from Oni Press. When he's not waxing about coffee, comics, cartooning, history, storytelling, past adventures, liquor, books, movies... well, he's never not! He makes everything fun and lively and brings to our department the same wonderful energy that he instills in all he touches. Chris is an extraordinary person and a prolific artist/writer and deserves no less than to be our spotlight this quarter.
Q. Where are you from and what originally got you interested in sequential art?
A. Though I spent a number of my early years in Florida and Louisiana, I guess I’d say I’m from KY, as I spent the most time there. I’ve always had the inclination towards drawing – it runs in my family, as does storytelling, and so does an admiration of the comic strip medium. My grandfather was an avid Pogo, Peanuts, and Asterix fan, and my dad got most every quality strip trade that came out, so comic strips were as much a part of my childhood as prose.
Q. What books (comic or otherwise) do you regularly read and why?
A. I reread George MacDonald Fraser’s Hollywood History of the World about twice a year, because it’s amazingly well-written and my historical interests are always shifting, so it’s good to refresh. It’s a combination of apologism and criticism on period pieces made up until the early eighties or so. I also really like Belladone, but as I don’t speak French I can’t read a word of it, and I love Aaron Renier’s Spiral-Bound and Matt Kindt’s Super-Spy. The only serialized comics I read are Scott Pilgrim and Walking Dead. I’m sure I’d like Hellboy, but I’ve never read it.
Q. Who are your major influences?
A. Comic-wise, I’m very influenced by Jeff Smith, Stan Sakai, and Bill Watterson, but thematically I’m very influenced by Disney animated features and the studio system pictures of the thirties and forties, especially ones dealing with westerners in non-Western environments – the exoticism stuff, Northwest Frontier battles and Kasbah intrigue and Incan temples and the like. I also feel pretty heavily influenced by the adventure literature of the mid nineteenth through early twentieth centuries – Pyle, Doyle, Kipling, Haggard, Hope, Dumas, etc.
Click here to expand/collapse the rest of Chris Schweizer's Q&A.
And here's a smattering of Chris' work and a preview of Crogan's Vengeance!