Challenges of the Unknown..
Sooo Mr. Michael Carroll, I hear you’re a man who likes a challenge. Especially a Mini-Comics Challenge! You recently completed eight mini-comics in seven days! Share with the class. How did this come about?
Well, honestly, it was more like seven and a half in eight days! One per day for seven days, proper, then a "Postscript/afterward/what the heck was I thinkin'?!?" comic to summarize the whole event.
I started and finished one at Gem City Comic Con on Saturday March 23. I was still feeling inspired at the show on Sunday, and put together a second one. At that point Bob Corby jokingly dared me to do one a day for a week. I pondered it overnight, and when breaktime at the office rolled around Monday morning, I decided to go for it!
Can you break each one down? What’s the story behind your minis?
With the first one, I started drawing my RAInBoW characters, figuring their personalities could carry an eight page minicomic, and it did come together pretty fast!
The second one was, again, taking an existing character from my 'cast' and letting him go, in this case it was my version of Death, known as Rip, discussing his typical day. This was something I'd intended to do with him for a couple years, this felt like the right time and circumstance.
"World's Beardest" is the result of some notes I took last summer after I saw "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"; I figured if Abraham Lincoln was all brooding and Batman like, then Uncle Sam would surely be his "Superman"! So it turned into a sort of parody of World's Finest Comics.
Chibi Ninja-Robics is the first time I've made a hand drawn comic with my ninja characters; I've mostly composed ninja comics in Adobe Flash, since I created them in the 2010.
CanMan is another digital character, hand drawn for the first time in this comic.
F'orceMen is a 'typical' case for Rip's team, aka The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I love the idea that they would try to stop the end of the world.
Finally, the philosophies of my RAInBoW characters, in comic form for the last one. A nice way to bookend the week.
With the 24 Hour comic Challenge, The Hourly Comic challenge, the 24-Minute comic challenge, etc. why do you think as artists, particularly in independent comics, we put ourselves through this?
I think it's as much a "because it's there" thing as it is a good way to prove a creator can meet an intense deadline, and/or also work through any creative blocks they may typically experience. It's also a good opportunity to try out new techniques, tools, etc.
What was the experience like for you personally trying to achieve this daily deadline?
Just making sure I made the time to do it! Some days were more challenging than others, but I had some confidence that I could get through it; I'd also participated in 24HCD four years previous, and one MiniComic Day, so I already had "no excuses" going into it.
What did Bob Corby say when you were finished?
He knows I finished from my Facebook updates, but he hasn't read any outside of the first one yet.
Last year we talked about your stick figure humor/adventure comics. What was SPACE like for you last year?
Best sales year, most traffic, lots of people to talk shop.
What’s the most memorable thing someone’s said about your work at a show?
"I'll take one of each."
"Wow. I can actually share these with my kids."
Which do you enjoy creating more: the mini-comics or the merchandise of your characters?
I love making pin-ups of my characters, and people respond very strongly and positively to the oversized versions I bring to shows, but making the comics will likely always be my first love.
As a veteran of the SPACE experience where do you see the show in the next five years?
It'd be nice if it became slightly more high profile; there are a lot of talented creators in this area who deserve the spotlight, and as much work and exposure as they can handle.
Where would you like to see your own work in that time?
I'm slowly building my own following, taking commissions and getting my seen by many people in and outside comics. I can see that increasing in the coming years, with some work and a little luck.
This Isn’t Goodbye…
So at this year’s show, what can people expect to see?
I'll have all seven of the minicomics mentioned above for sale, plus several issues of Main Enterprise' *PPFSZT! featuring a two page Rip comic in each! Plus, it's the 25th anniversary of my autobiographical minicomic, AsthmaAttack! and I hope to have something ready to celebrate that also.
For those that can’t make it to the show, where can they find you online?
On Facebook as Michael Anthony Carroll and at:
In the World of Horror: Universal Monsters or the Slasher Seven?
Easy! Universal Monsters! They've survived remakes, sequels, spoofing and re-imagining! They're very durable fictional characters!