Today we’re shining a light on a collective effort to create productivity, and whose strategy is obviously paying off in dividends: ArmzRace Comics!
How long have you been making comics?
Unofficially, I’ve been creating comics off and on most of my life. Officially, ArmzRace Comics began in 1998 when Mark! and I decided that we wanted to get serious about making comics. We realized that the only way to get anything done was to set some (realistic) goals and then make each other stick to them. Since then, we have prodded each other along, sharing critiques and information about new techniques, and hopefully we have become better as creators and produced some great comics. Over the years, other creators, like Hardtraveling Hero have joined in the ArmzRace merriment.
What is the concept behind your comics?
ArmzRace Comics is a loose confederation of people who create comics. We’re all amateurs, but we provide support and constructive criticism to one another. Making art can sometimes be intimidating, but by setting a monthly goal and having a support network, we’re able to create some pretty cool work. From there, the sky’s the limit. I tend to do political comics, while Mark and Paul tend to prefer autobiographical. That said, we dabble in anything that interests us.
Why do you create comics? Why do you like comics?
I’ve been reading comics for as long as I can remember. They are a wonderful medium for expressing the whole range of human emotions and ideas. They are relatively low-cost to create, but they have tremendous scope, really only limited by the creator’s imagination. And while there are some “good practices,” there are no hard and fast rules on how they must be done. Sometimes I feel stymied because my artwork isn’t as good as I’d like it to be, but then I remember that there have been some great comics that only had stick people. That encourages me to keep creating.
What is something you’re looking forward to about the 2013 Zine fest Houston?
It’s always great to see what other people are working on, because it helps inspire me in my own work. Plus, I always like asking people how they did something, because I usually learn some new trick or tool that saves me a lot of time. Additionally, I’d love to meet other people who’d like to join the ArmzRace. Zinefest 2013 will be particularly exciting for me, because my ArmzRace compatriots Mark! and Hardtraveling Hero, who are usually out on the East Coast, will be in town to table with me.
What will be on your table at this year’s zine fest?
ArmzRace will have about a dozen mini-comics from Cej, Mark!, and the Hardtraveling Hero. They range from short fiction to autobiography to gag comics. Mark! will bring his new Gags: Bound mini, which is a book of one-panel jokes; and I’ll have my new For Whom the Bell’s, which is an autobiographical comic about dealing with Bell’s Palsy; and Hardtraveling Hero will have a book called Booty Call.
Any final thoughts?
I want to encourage people to come out to Zine Fest and support the arts scene in Houston. Likewise, I invite everyone to take a look at http://ArmzRace.com I enjoy getting people’s feedback, and I’d love to have other creative types join the Race!