Hey everyone! I am back again with a new article interviewing Sherard Jackson, creator of the webcomic, "Darbi". This comic is about dinosaurs, well particularly one: Darbi. The story starts with Darbi being taken by another pack of dinosaurs, and forced into fighting for his life. It continues to build and revolves around survival. In this time, it is either conquer your enemies or be eaten, while watching other breeds slowly be picked off. Sherard does a beautiful job with the illustrations. I am constantly fascinated by the color schemes he chooses. Every panel pops with bold, brilliant color. I am especially fond of the panels that have landscape. The way they are painted- they are soft formations that capture the essence without being overly garish. There are a few night scenes that were a lovely display of the land with stars twinkling overhead. They're magic. Some of the opening panels talked about trauma, survival, pain....these really hit home, and while they were about Darbi- the words Sherard so carefully chose would resonate with anyone who has experienced a traumatic event. What makes this comic great is, you get the best of two worlds: lots of action, blood, and carnage- while getting a great story.
Comics artist, animator, and former Cyber-Ninja, Sherard has worked for several independent comics companies including: Image Comics, Devil's Due/1First Comics, DC, BOOM! Studios, and others . His previous animation work includes the Warner Bros. film, A Scanner Darkly, and Collection Agency Film's Flatland: the Movie. He currently works on Darbi for Webtoon.
What is Darbi about?
Darbi is the story of a blood thirsty baby T-Rex and his family as they fight to survive in a world where everything hates them and wants to kill them. Story-wise, I want to show how Darbi and his family grow overtime and learn to adapt to an ever changing world.
What do you hope to accomplish with Darbi?
I want to see how far I can take it. I want to grow Darbi creatively. I want him to exist outside of the comic into other media.
There are some crazy stories I need to get out of my head, and Darbi's the perfect platform for that!
Also, I want to show progression. I've never liked animated shows where the characters are stuck in time. It feels outdated and shows lack of growth. I want the character and the property to mature overtime with the audience. The actions these characters take will have consequences. So, the Darbi you see now will be considerably different from the one that ends the series.
When did you begin creating this comic?
I started playing around with the idea back in 2014. I'd always loved dinosaurs, and wanted to eventually do a comics project based on them. The following year, I started developing the story for a dinosaur comic. Initially, it was going to be serious and period accurate, but I couldn't get it to work right. It didn't feel genuine. So, I took the two main characters, aged them down, and told the story online as honestly as I could.
Considering you have done previous animation work, have you considering creating some animation for Darbi?
Absolutely! I'm looking into making that happen, and I believe there's an audience for it. I mean, c'mon! A blood and guts anime about a psychotic baby T-Rex practically sells itself!
Are you working on any other projects currently?
I'm doing some part-time work on the Bunny Ears website – www.bunnyears.com. I'm helping my friend with flats and lettering on a few projects. I also have a major comics project that's currently in the planning stages.
Will you be at any shows in 2018, if so which ones?
I'll be at a few shows this year. Nothing set in stone, but I'm favoring shows in Denver, New York, Atlanta. I'll do a few local shows too as they pop up.
Do you have prints of Darbi art or books?
The webcomics episodes are strictly online for now. I'd made some ash cans of the first episode last year that were sold at the conventions. Currently, I have a convention exclusive comic that's a 12page story that inspired the Darbi webcomic.
I do plan on making an art book for Darbi, It's just a matter of figuring out what to include in it.
Do you do any commissioned work?
I do, B/W and color. Traditional commission sizes are normally 9x12 and 11x17. I also do digital commissions, and those vary in size. You can DM me about prices on any of my social media tags.
What is the best advice you have received during your career?
Some of the best career advice I'd gotten came from my time at Antarctic Press. My boss there said if you want to be successful in this industry then you need to be on time and be monthly. My colleagues told me to always be drawing towards something.
Meaning you have to produce. Don't just "think about it",do it. You have to work with a purpose and make it good. You have to do the work, and you need to keep your deadlines. That shows you're dependable, to the editors and to your readers.
What do you think is best about working in indie comics?
Creative freedom. I can tell whatever story I need to tell with little oversight. With Darbi, I've been able to go to some dark and brutal places in the story when I needed to and I haven't gotten any push back. I'm grateful to Webtoon for that opportunity.
Also, originality. The best comics stories I've read have come from independent creators. You're getting something new, different and complete without worrying about preexisting continuity.
What is something that you have struggled with in the industry and how did you overcome that?
Self doubt. We creatives are our own worst critics, and sometimes that goes into the self sabotaging territory.. I spent a lot of time and many years telling myself "no, you can't" and because...reasons.... and at times that's stifled growth. We all get like that, and that's when we have to push through it and prove ourselves wrong.
Now, if you're one of the lucky few who's like "everything I do is great!" and "gonna conquer the world through my art!", then bravo. If you're like the rest of us, then you have to tell yourself it's better to do it and risk failing at it than not and never knowing how far you can take it..
What sites can we follow you at for updates on your work?
There are few sites where you can find me.
I post a lot of images and updates on my Instagram account:
I also have a Patreon: www.patreon.com/sherardyouare
Darbi updates can be found on the Facebook and Twitter pages:
Check out Darbi on Webtoon: