Q. Where are you from and what originally got you interested in sequential art?
A. I’m a military brat, so I’ve lived all over the world, but most of my life has been spent in Texas. Having lived in Germany when I was little though, anime was very accessible, and something that I watched a lot. It continued until I was in middle school, and discovered that shows like Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z actually started out as comics (this was back in the day when those and a couple of other series were actually released as monthly floppies, and you couldn’t find manga at all in novel form yet). I started emulating the style and took a lot of art classes in high school to improve. However, by the time I started college, I didn’t really think I could have a career in art, so I majored in a few different things. After a trip to Japan where I saw all sorts of people buying and reading comics all the time, I decided there was a lot of potential there, and wanted to make sure I learned to make comics to the best of my ability.
Q. What books (comic or otherwise) do you regularly read and why?
A. The only manga series that I’ve been keeping up with lately are Bakuman and Hitman Reborn, as well as girl-oriented stories like High School Debut and Lovely Complex. I’ve branched out into a lot of Western comics since going to SCAD though, and love series like North 40, Sky Doll, Scott Pilgrim, and Courtney Crumnin. I tend to be swayed by a title’s art a lot more than the story, at least at first. Otherwise I read a LOT of novels, mostly Historical or Fantasy.
Q. Who are your major influences?
A. I think I developed a lot of my style from reading and imitating manga by Hisayo Nakajo (HanaKimi), Kazuya Minekura (Saiyuki), Shiro Miwa (Dogs) and Hiroaki Samura (Blade of the Immortal), along with countless others. I have been turning to a lot more western influences though, and love artists like Ryan Kelly or Becky Cloonan, who have taught me not to be afraid of the brush.
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