I am the first to admit that I’m not a comic book expert. The idea of them has always appealed to me, but the potential for it to be a new addiction has always kept me away. But since I got the opportunity to do a post, interviewing comic book artist and writer Dave Beaty, I have been reevaluating my position. I am always in awe of people who can create visual art out of nothing. That, unfortunately, is not one of my talents.
GeekDad: When and how did you first become interested in Comic Books?
Dave Beaty: My love of comics comes from my grandfather. My natural father abandoned Mom and I when I was maybe 3 or 4 years old. We lived with my grandparents until I was about 8 or so. Instead of the typical bedtime stories my grandfather read me comic books my grandmother had sent him while stationed overseas during World War 2. I’ve been hooked on comics ever since.
GD: How long have you been reading Comic Books?
DB: I don’t remember the first time I read my first comic book on my own but I was very young. It’s safe to say I’ve been around comic books my whole life.
GD: What is your favorite Comic Book and or character?
DB: My favorite single comic book to this day is Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk. It’s also the first comic I bought with the money I earned doing chores. And my favorite character has always been Batman.
GD: When did you first realize you wanted to write & draw Comic Books?
DB: I was inspired to draw comics after reading that same Batman vs. Hulk comic book. I had been drawing since I was 5 years old. My love of art comes from my mom. She never achieved her dream of being a Disney animator but watching her draw inspired me to want to draw as well. But that’s the comic book that launched my dream of drawing comic books. I write Bushi Tales because I couldn’t convince any of the other writers I know to do it.
GD: Since you write and draw Bushi Tales: What are your writing & artistic influences?
DB: I consider myself a storyteller more than a writer. But Writer / Artist is the commonly accepted vernacular. I have really enjoyed Alan Moore’s writing for years. Specifically his Miracleman run from the 1980′s. I also love Len Wein’s stuff. Specifically that Batman vs. Hulk comic I keep mentioning. But my main storytelling influence is Will Eisner. My favorite of his graphic novels is The Dreamer. It’s about a young man who dreams about working in the world of comic books in the 1930′s. Artistically I have a lot of influences but for comic art: Alex Raymond,
Mac Rayboy, Reed Crandall, Jose Luis Garcis Lopez, Steve Rude and literally too many to keep listing.
GD: What is Bushi Tales about?
DB: BT is about four female Samurai sent on a quest by Hachiman the Japanese god of war. It’s set during a post-apocalyptic future.
GD: Why did you write Bushi Tales?
DB: Because I couldn’t trick any of my “real” writer friends to write it for me. Lin Workman, BT Co-creator and good friend, and I created Bushi Tales to create a comic book that was our own. It’s pretty much a purely creative endeavor. We love comics and wanted to create our own.
GD: How long does it take to create an issue of Bushi Tales?
DB: Roughly a month. From script to finished art. Our 48 page 3rd issue took a little longer but normally a month.
GD: What do you like to do when you’re not writing or drawing Bushi Tales?
DB: When I’m not working on BT I’m usually helping someone else with their comic book. BT is not my “day job”. I work for DC Comics as an inker. I work with penciler Scott Clark. He’s a great friend and we’ve been working together since 1997 or so. We just finished Titans #23 and will be working on DC’s big event series Brightest Day. Lately when I’m not doing that I’ve been producing sketch cards for Breygent Marketing’s Golden Age of Comic Book Heroes and Villains set. Since I grew up with my grandfather reading comics from the Golden Age I’ve been really enjoying this assignment. I like to think he’d be proud.
GD: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Comic Books?
DB: How great everyone in the industry is from the Editors I work with to the fans. It’s a great community and I’m proud to be a part of it.
GD: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
DB: Yes. Mostly everyone who’s read Bushi Tales enjoys the series.
GD: Do you like to create Comic Book for adults or children?
DB: Bushi Tales and the DC Comics I work on are for readers 13 and up. Although most of it’s tame compared to some things you’ll see on TV. But there’s a great comic book out there for everyone. Visit your local comic book shop or bookstore and see what’s available. I know you’ll find something you’ll enjoy.
GD: What do you think makes a good story?
DB: Compelling and interesting characters. Comic books are like any other form of serialized entertainment. All the plot twists and surprises don’t mean anything unless you care about the characters.
You can learn more about Bushi Tales and Dave Beaty on their websites. Also, Dave and friends have recently finished the Art of Bushi Tales book, which looks to be a great companion to the comic book series.
I look forward to what interesting comic books I can find at the Phoenix Comicon in May, which I’ll be covering for GeekDad. Dave Beaty will be there as well, so be sure to stop by and check out Bushi Tales!