Tuesday, December 11, 2018 • Evening Edition • "For when life fails you."

Picking Jimmie Robinson's Brain (Griot Vine Interview)

Written by Greg Anderson-Elysee on Tuesday, September 08 2015 and posted in Columns

Picking Jimmie Robinson's Brain (Griot Vine Interview)

Bomb Queen's Jimmie Robinson stops by to talk about his thoughts on presentation of diversity in comics and genres, his upcoming race project, and his process.

GREG-ANDERSON-ELYSEE: Jimmie Robinson! Thank you for visiting (Heard It Thru) The Griot Vine today! How are you today?

JIMMIE ROBINSON: I'm okay. I could be better, but can't we all?

GREG: I'm with you on that. For the sleeping folks that need awakening, can you tell us about yourself?

JimmieJIMMIE: I'm an artist, writer, and creator for comics and graphic novels, primarily through Image comics. I don't have a specific genre that I stick to. I've done all-ages stuff right up to heavy rated-R stuff. I'm also the type to do about everything on my book. Most books are comprised of teams; I like to do as much of the work myself. But I can still play well with others. I've collaborated before and I will again in the future. Other than that, uhm... I'm an old guy. 52 years-old. African American. Born and raised in Northern California and making comics is my full time job.

GREG: Now how long have you been working in comics and how did you get into it? You have a pretty expansive résumé.

JIMMIE: Yeah, you might say that. A lot of times I tell people what I've done and often I leave out a ton of other things because when I really sit down and think about it I've been making comics, in one way or another, for a long time. I was really into self-publishing for a while. In fact, at one time I swore that I would only do it on my own. That came to an end around 1996 or so when I stopped self-publishing and went to Image Comics.

But in total how long? I guess the bottom line is a solid 20 years.

Now when I say 20 years I'm taking into account all the things I've published and all the things that I've had in print (like anthologies, etc.). In my early years I hopped from one book, or story, or cover, or pin-up, or to another. I was doing whatever I could to find solid ground in the comic industry. I've joined groups, collectives, clubs, APAs, small press organizations, I even helped run a number of conventions and speak on panels. I was doing anything I could to get noticed. Over the years I learned how to do things and how NOT to do things. In all, I got into comics because that's what I always wanted to do since I was a kid. However, unlike other folks, I didn't grow up reading a lot of comics and I didn't follow comics in my teen years. I was too busy being a stupid punk skateboarding kid, hahaha! My art career was always in the background, but I didn't get serous until I was around 30 years-old. Yes, 30. I got married early, I got divorced, I became a single parent. I didn't have any real open space until I was about 30 years old. That's when I really got serious.

But y'know... in a way I've always been serious about it. My comic career was just that thing over the horizon so I kept planning for it. In college I took classes like commercial printing and photography and typography because I knew as an artist I needed to know my limitations in print. How heavy can I draw, can I ink, how much color is okay to use, how to care for art and manage art. Stuff like that. You can say I was preparing myself. It did help.... in a LONG way around the bush to get to comics. I ended up with a job in the printing industry. We printed all the junk mail flyers you get in the mail and shopping catalogs. I was at that printing company for 13 years. I learned a LOT about the trade. And you can bet I also used a lot of the "company supplies" to help my comics. Back before desktop printing/digital computer technology if you wanted to get something printed it had to be on FILM. At the printing company I had access to a wealth of industrial commercial-level equipment. It cut the cost of my comics production fees to the point that I could easily lose money and still print a book. When the digital era came in I simply learned those skills, too. In fact, I was right there in the middle of the digital/online revolution. It was a good time to get into comics.

AmandaandGunnI kept self-publishing my sci-fi book CyberZone for a few years, but then I hit a wall and decided to take a break. It just felt like I was working so hard only to take one step forward and two steps back. But the truth was I was always going forward, I was just impatient. Nonetheless, I decided to take a break from comics and so I wrote an open letter to the comic industry (as if anyone had cared to even listen to me, haha!) announcing that I was getting out of comics (even though I was not even IN comics, I was just self-publishing). Jim Valentino at Image Comics somehow read about it and offered me a chance to make a series with his "non-line" branch of comics at Image. The "non-line" was comics published by Image that didn't have superheroes. I know that TODAY Image is all about diversity and they publish a ton of non-superhero books, but in the 1990s that wasn't the case. Image was very much about superheroes just like Marvel and DC. Jim Valentino wanted to do something different. Little did he know he was creating the model for what Image is today. So I was part of a group of artists to be published by Image - in black and white - with non-superhero titles. There were about 6 or 7 titles. The series I did was called Amanda & Gunn, which was a spin-off of my self-published work CyberZone.

You could say that's where things really got going. After that I tried to create new series and books with Image. They like my work and I love working with them, so I've stayed with them ever since.

GREG: Now you said you didn't really grow up with comics like a lot of people who work in comics have. So what has inspired you as a reader and as a comic creator?

JIMMIE: Oh, I don't know. I see things here and there that I like, but none of it really sticks with me. Even the stuff I WISH I could be inspired by. When I sit down and make a book, write, draw, whatever.... it's still only MY style that comes out. Now, there are things I do like that I try to add into my work. I like anime, so often some of my camera angles might get some help from that. But it doesn't come out looking like anime, so the inspiration might be understood, but just not executed. As for what I read? To be honest I'm not reading much because I'm SO busy making comics. It's like my friend who works in the video game industry. He works on stuff and people ask him all the time what did he think of the game, but he has no time to play it because he's always working on games. That's a bit how I feel. I see comics out there. I even pick them up and read a few, but I'm not collecting and sticking with the story every month. So I end up reading a lot of everything, but at the same time nothing substantial because I often don't see how the story develops or ends. But I have read a lot thanks to Comixology. It helps me catch up on books without leaving the house. I really like their service.

BQGREG: Probably one of the most popular children of yours is Bomb Queen. Can you tell is about her and the books? What went through the head of yours to create such a character?

JIMMIE: Bomb Queen was a bit of a joke. It was supposed to be a one-off and done. The whole thing came about because I wanted to take a stab at the superhero genre. I figured superheroes in the comic industry were a no-brainer. I was wrong of course, but more than that I didn't know exactly how to make my superhero book different than others. I considered what made Batman popular and realized a lot of his content was built around the enemies he fought against, like The Joker. So I set out to make a good villain to fight against my hero. I never came up with a hero because I figured the villain was good enough. That's how Bomb Queen came about.

As I looked around at other villains I realized a lot of them were actually not all that bad. They were often misguided, misunderstood, blackmailed, had broken lives, whatever. I wanted a villain who was truly a villain. None of this sympathy crap. But when you think about heroes and villains you have to also understand the society that sets them up. In a regular comic the city - or the world - is protected by the hero. The villain is on the outside of it all. Often the villain just wants to be inside. They want to rule the city, or the world, or the universe. They want to be included. I couldn't place Bomb Queen in a regular world because everywhere she looked society would basically be against her. That's when I decided to make a city just for the villain. New Port City became a character just as much as the queen. An environment where wrong is right is a perfect platform to perpetuate an evil lifestyle. And at that point, the entire book took a satirical tone, because this was a flipped society, but... it was a society that also reflected our own — in a gross way.

Also, Bomb Queen is a political book. She rules an American city so government issues are involved. At the time George Bush was in office and he because my political punching bag. When Obama took office I had Bomb Queen beat him up because Obama was representing change, which the Queen didn't like. So in all, Bomb Queen is a mixed bag that takes no prisoners and covers all the politically-incorrect stuff that a lot of us really want to talk about. There's a reason the series is almost 30 issues long and still has a huge fan base. She strikes the nerve of what a lot of people are thinking, but aren't allowed to say.

BQ6 2GREG: Have you gotten any type of hate mail or backlash writing Bomb Queen? I can see her causing a lot of trouble in real life too!

JIMMIE: Surprisingly... no! Hahah! I mean, I really thought I'd get the paddle when Bomb Queen took on President Obama. She actually beat him to a pulp. But... nothing. I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, there was one website that complained that Obama was getting too much attention in comics, and that I was riding the trend of using Obama to spur sales. Funny thing is, that website was a conservative website and they didn't even read the comic — which is anti-Obama. If they actually read it they might have enjoyed it. Hahah! Don't get me wrong, I actually like President Obama. I voted for him. However Bomb Queen, as a character, would hate him. So I had to write it from her point of view. Here was this new President coming in talking about change for the better, which are all the things Bomb Queen is against. The character was conceived during the Bush administration because, at the time, it seemed that a city like Bomb Queen's could exist during his term.

Now of course I've had people complain about Bomb Queen in reviews. Bloggers, websites, etc. That's their job. And Bomb Queen is a polarizing title. It's not trying to be your friend; it's trying to offend you. It's trying to be ALL the wrong things. So plenty of people didn't get the joke, the satire on the superhero genre, or the dark humor on American culture and politics. But as for actual hate mail, from a reader...? No. At least... not yet. Hahah!

GREG: There's still time! Are there any plans to have a new BQ arc?

JIMMIE: Yes. I have other book obligations, first. But I've always planned to bring her back. This new political campaign is ripe for a new series. And think of all the craziness in the world today. The outrage people get on the Internet, folks are offended by everything now, racial tension with police, Florida, mass shootings, politics, the list goes on and on. My biggest problem is getting Bomb Queen back into the correct time and space. What I mean by that is, I left the series set in the future. Like 100 years or so into the future. Bomb Queen's city is gone and she became a Ghost in the Machine. Vaporware. I'd have to do some kind of time travel story just to get her back to New Port City (which was a favorite of all the readers). I'm not that interested in a time travel story so I might just do a reboot. A new Queen. A new city. All that jazz. Or who knows, I'll tie it together with the old run and do a time travel story. Whatever works. But yes, I do plan to bring her back.

GREG: You're currently working on THE EMPTY. What is that about and how is this different from your previous works?

Empty 01JIMMIE: The Empty is my jab at sci-fi / fantasy. It's a post-apocalypitic story about how people evolve and how people affect change on the planet. In a way it's my environmental statement. The story focuses on two women, each from very different parts of the world that are unknown to each of the women. One woman is from a drought-stricken and barren wasteland called The Empty. The other woman is from a lush and vibrant world where life is plentiful. Through an accident they end up meeting each other's "species" for the first time, and together they set out to discover why the Empty is so ruined. I wanted to do a Heavy Metal kind of story. Where things are just... odd, weird, different, alien... and then I unveil parts to the reader that explain the truth about what's going on. i don't want to give too much away, but that's it in a nutshell. Albeit, a very large nutshell. Haha!

This one of those stories that I've always had with me. I originally created this back in the 1990s in a classical high fantasy style, with dragons, knights, castles and such. It was called "Lila's Garden". But when I dusted off the story to use it today I decided to give it a huge twist. And then a twist on top of that twist.

GREG: Honestly, how do you find the time to do everything you do? I understand doing one particular role when it comes to comics, but you're a bit of a mad man. You're often the writer, artist, AND letterer of your books. What is your general time frame in creating books while also having a social life and keeping up online (as you definitely have an online presence)?

JIMMIE: Simple. I just cut out all the other stuff in my life that slows me down. I'm an introvert at heart, so I don't do much socializing. I run around online because it's quick and easy, but other than that... I cut out TV, video games, parties, social events, gatherings, concerts, whatever. Some people will spend 3 or 4 hours in front of the TV at night. And if they stream an entire season they can binge-watch the entire day away. At some point in my mind I just realized the amount of time I was losing to other factors — and those factors were not helping me pay the rent. In fact, often those other factors cost me money. So I cut them out.

EmptypageIt wasn't hard because I'm a cynical guy anyway. I'm not following a lot on TV and reality TV and such because I see them for what they are. Pure entertainment, scripted in a way to make me want to watch it, just so they can sell advertising (either commercials or product placement in the shows itself. I like to be ahead of the curve, not the end of it. I want to be a creator and producer, not a consumer and a follower. Trust me, there are plenty of times when I wish I WAS. When people get together or when I'm at a convention I often feel out of the loop with pop culture. People are doing and enjoying things I'm not even aware of. It kind of sucks, in a way. Hahah! But that's how I make the books. I have my own internal reward every time I finish an issue or a series.

As for doing it all? I'm not the only person who does all the work on their book so it's not like it's unheard of. However, I LOVE doing all the work because I can envision what it looks like from the start. Doesn't mean it will look like that, but at least I have an idea. Hahahah! Also, when I set out to break into comics I wanted to understand all the aspects of production and learn my limitations. Furthermore, my art style didn't fit the "house style" of most comic companies. So I kind of knew I would be on my own. I can't draw Spider-man in the way Marvel liked so my choices of how to break into comics basically fell into self-publishing. Just about all self-publishers (at least back in the 1990s) were doing almost everything. I'm just happy that Image Comics was formed at the right time because it allowed me to continue my self-publishing mode while still being published.

GREG: Your work is also well diverse in content! I can definitely pick up a different series by you and get introduced into a totally different world, sometimes very kid friendly and sometimes pretty damn adult if I may say so, haha! Is that a conscious decision on your part concerning your creative process?

5WJIMMIE: Because I do all the work on my books it often means I can only do one series at a time. I have a LOT of ideas for stories and characters but I only get so many chances to do them. So when I get an open spot I try something new. Well, I guess for me it's something old because I often have ideas for a long time before I get to publish them.

Also, I want to see more genres in the comic industry. I want to see more all-ages books, romance, sci-fi, heroes, western, mystery, whatever. In my mind comics are no different than movies. Hollywood cranks out movies of all sorts across the board. Nobody says we have too much of one type of film or another. If people don't want to watch a romantic-comedy they find something else. Nobody advocates for less movies to be made — even if a certain movie fails at the box office. But in the comic industry a huge portion of the books are stuck on one genre. Superheroes. Don't get me wrong, I love the genre, but I also love other things, too. In a weird way now we're seeing a LOT of superhero movies being made, but that doesn't stop the studios from making comedies, dramas, and other things. That's how I'd like to envision the comic industry. Just like the movie industry or the prose book industry.

So that's how I create my comic series. I hop from one genre to another and find new audiences for all the stories I have in my head. Granted, there are times when that doesn't work well. In fact, sometimes I lose some of my audience because they often expect me to crank out the same stuff they liked the last time. It's a tricky situation to be in.

GREG: I can understand the trickiness of it, but for readers like me I absolutely love to be surprised with a creator's work when he or she dabbles on a different type of genre or form of storytelling. I may not enjoy a piece over the last but it keeps it fresh as a consumer.

JIMMIE: True, and that brings up the concept of branding oneself, not just branding the work a person does. Some people follow my work because they want to see what I am doing, not what the characters are doing. However, I'm not on that A-list level that I can do just about anything and make it a hit. I'm still in the mid-ranks, at least that's how I see it, so I still feel the need the fight for every order and sale. Also, keep in mind that the people who are really ordering the book are the retailers. Sure people pre-order books, but the bulk of my sales come from the retailer community who are banking on me to deliver something that their customers will buy. Some retailers order only to what a customer asks, other retailers order what they think works for their traffic and their store. So it gets to a point that not only are retailers looking at what I am doing, but HOW I do it. Am I on time? Do I go too far with something like Bomb Queen? Do they have an all-ages section that will work in their store? Do they like Image Comics? Stuff like that.

Sometimes a surprise isn't what people are looking for. There are a large number of folks who like to know exactly what they are getting from their entertainment. It's like a movie trailer that shows you all the good scenes so you'll want to go see it. But there are people who get upset because the film wasn't like the trailer, or a scene from the trailer wasn't in the movie, or that their was a twist to the plot that was never hinted in the trailer. It's all about consumer psychology, expectation, and delivery.

GREG: Another thing I've love about your work is the presentation of character diversity. From gender to race. Bomb Queen, besides obviously NOT being a role model, is a very strong female lead who could be seen as empowering. And 5 Weapons, an absolute favorite of mine and among some of my students, had a Latino lead with a very very diverse supporting cast. Sadly a Latino lead is a bit of a rarity in comics. What are your thoughts on diversity within the comic world?

JIMMIE: Well, there's not enough, that's for sure. But we can say that about a lot of things beyond just comics. But here's how I see it. The comic industry, while smaller than other industries can have a great influence on the larger culture in North America. fiveweapons01 p1Just look at all the Hollywood movies created from comics nowadays. So if we can make diverse characters work in comics then the larger world could take notice of that. We see a few changes that Hollywood likes. A black Nick Fury, a black Human Torch in the Fantastic Four, a black Kingpin in Daredevil, etc. But those are some of the easier targets. We still don't see enough representation of Latino and especially the Asian community.

Some folks say that's a reflection of the production system. In short, that if the people who made comics were more diverse then we'd see it reflected in the content. I'm not sure I buy that. Don't get me wrong, I want that to happen, too. But when I think of the potential of the comic medium I like to think of great epic adventures where fantastic things happen. Superhuman achievements with far flung fantasy and science fiction. I mean: if people can dream up such wildly imaginative things then surely they can dream up how to involve race, gender and sexuality. A person doesn't have to be black to make a good black character, but a person should have their eyes open to the possibility of a wider audience, an audience that includes all races.

GREG: I always felt a little annoyed and uneasy growing up and watching a lot of fantasy and sci-fi shows. It was often that aliens were used as "stand-ins" for Black characters, or other "minorities." And I have such a pet peev when people use weirdly colored aliens as a sign of diversity over actual racial diversity. And it was a lack of racial portrayals as to why so many kids my age growing up just made a character like Piccolo a Black man in our own mental canon. Or any other non-human colored alien.

JIMMIE: Yeah, I know what you mean. But for me it's just one of those things that I live with. It's like a ship's captain complaining about the sea. It is what it is. Can it be changed? Sure. And we're seeing a few things here and there. Nothing dramatic, but some crumbling of the old structure. However, I've always lived with the idea that I would have to carve out my own way, or that I would get what I could out of entertainment without the racial diversity. It's being a woman with large breasts, you get used to people staring at you so much for your entire life that you end up ignoring the stares. I'm not saying to acquiesce and go with the flow, but I'm saying there's also nothing wrong with enjoying life as it is now. It will change, it will get better. The next generation will take over and make even more changes. That's how it goes.

Until then, yeah... as you said, we just imagine certain characters as black, or in The Last Airbender as Asian, or whatever. It's really sad when you think about it. But THAT is the strength that gets people like us (people who care) through it all — until we see real change.

GREG: Seems to be a bit of an uphill battle with a lot of rolling boulders.

JIMMIE: But, y'know... here in the real world, just trying to make it in comics is hard and often playing to what works is one of the few ways to survive. As a black creator I haven't done a lot about race — at least not directly. I tend to have diversity in my characters and books, but I haven't tackled race as an issue straight on. That kind of eats away at me. Sometimes I feel like I'm dodging the issue — especially in today's racially charged environment. But part of me thinks just making diverse characters available will help in the long run. It may not address the bigger issues today, but I hope my work survives long enough to be part of the story when race is LESS of an issue.

That said... I do have a story I am working on that addresses race. I DO have something to say about it. I mean I've been black on this planet for half a century. I've seen and been through a lot here in America. I'm at a point in my career where I can make a point about it.

GREG: Wow, would you say this is exclusive news, Jimmie?!

JIMMIE: Sort of. I want to do the project MY way... well, that's always how I do it, I guess... but this time I really want to be DONE with it before I even pitch it to a publisher. I want to have my say, make my statement and drop the mic. I don't want to work on this month-to-month and wondering if I'm doing the right thing, if the sales are working, if I need to change tactics or twist the story to make people happy.

I'm at a point in my career where I can take this kind of chance. I plan to do it, complete it, and then start something else. That way I'll be ahead and not have any downtime between series.

GREG: What aspect of race would this story focus on? Any hints as to some ideas you may present without spoiling too much?

JIMMIE: It will hit everything. And I mean all the buttons. I'm not going to preach or be didactic. I'm not going to give answers and wrap everything up in a nice little bow. Race tensions in America isn't something that is easily fixed. It's a part of growing as a country. An awareness and a generational concept. It might take decades or even centuries before we reach the point of thinking we're done with this. And when that time comes we shouldn't even see it as a problem. At least that's how I think about it. But yeah, I will hit all aspect of race. Not just what's going on now, but how we got here and a lot of the injustice that happened along the way. Native Americans eradicated from their own land, slavery, social economic ghettos, attitudes about race and gender. And I'll do it on a community platform not just a personal platform. What I mean by that is, this won't be an up close and personal story about a black character that deals with a white character, this will be about how society as a WHOLE deals with race. I will just use the characters to bring that out.

I'm doing my research on the story now and I'm digging into a lot of details. Not all of it will make it to the page, but it will help me understand how to develop the story.


GREG: When it comes to presenting these diverse characters in your work- ranging from race, gender, etc. What comes to your head when it comes to portrayal and giving them an "authentic" voice, let's say?

JIMMIE: What comes to my head is how to make the reader see it from the character's point of view. So it's less about how I write the character and more how I get the reader involved. That's the lovely aspect about comics. I can use words and art. In my series The Empty, when the warrior Tanoor overlooks the gravestones of her spouse and child that is a connection to the reader. It's a tug of sympathy to put the reader on Tanoor's side. It's not that I had her say a lot of poignant and sorrowful dialog or write her to break down and cry. I wanted her to be tough and I wanted the reader to understand her. So often what comes to mind is the story, first, then the how the character fits in that story. That way it is less about a woman and more about the character in that situation. In some ways, by doing this, the gender is almost interchangeable. I make an exception with Bomb Queen because she is all about flaunting her sexuality. That is part of who she is. She's an extrovert in a backwards world, so she gets to play that card. She is the focus. In my other books, it's more about the story.

11038793 10152898582268388 2674997376659569262 nWhen I have the freedom to design the story first, then I have the freedom to make the characters whatever I want. Let's look at the story I'm going to tackle about race. In that case I went for the jugular. Straight to the heart of the matter. Since I'm dealing with race issues the two main characters are not only black and white, but also... a black teenage male and a white woman in her twenties. Black teen males are stereotyped the most, and white females are often thought to be the most in danger in a racial situation. See, that is a story that is already bursting at the seams with potential because it's hitting buttons. It doesn't matter the background of the two characters, if they fit their stereotypes or not — the tension is already there. THEN I put the characters into it. I bring to mind what type of people they are, their names, family, backgrounds, etc. I think the authentic voice you're talking about comes from all the above. It's not just Batman versus the Joker, because they can fight in a vacuum and it wouldn't matter to the rest of the world. That's a story about characters, Batman and the Joker, not about the situation or the society that they are in. No matter who wins, Batman will still be same. Gotham will still be the same. Society is just a backdrop or a stage for them to perform.

GREG: What do you think of the complaints from readers who feel certain decisions of presenting and portraying people other than straight, white males as pandering? Why do you think some people have such a backlash against some of these decisions?

JIMMIE: I think the backlash is because the characters that get changed out / switched or whatever, don't change the comic itself. If there were REAL change it would be more than just skin color or sexual/gender orientation. Making Spider-Man black is nice; not changing one thing about his world and how the world sees him is another thing. Granted that might not be the best analogy — since Spider-Man wears a full face mask. The funny thing is, I think whites see this more than people of color. Hence the complaints. People of color are used to incorporating themselves into the story because we are used to having no representation. We had to find a place for ourselves, even if it meant just a bit part, or switching places with another character.

Now is it pandering? I don't see this as black & white, no pun intended. Publishers are trying to make money so they can make books. If there's a segment of society that the publishers want to get on that bandwagon then some might see this as pandering, but others might see this as a sign of inclusion. In my view, I don't look at how things are now; I often wait to see what is affected later. Because later is when it really matters. Does this help or not? We don't know. Are they trying? Yes. Is this the right way to try? We don't know. Is it better to try than to do nothing at all? Yes.

I think readers will support, or not, the titles they want and we will see how long these changes continue, or not. The beauty of comics today is that there is MORE out there than the traditional Big Two companies. Race, gender, sexuality can be found easily — if a reader looks beyond Marvel and DC.

GREG: Jumping to the end of our discussing, what has been some of your proudest moments as a comic book writer in the industry? Most challenging thus far?

pestJIMMIE: Hah! I dunno. I don't have any specific moment. I will admit, I was VERY pleased to be receive the Inkpot Award at San Diego Comic Con in 2015. I even received a lifetime membership to San Diego Comic Con. But that's mostly for everything I've done in comics, not just as a writer in comics.

GREG: What about most challenging?

JIMMIE: Probably trying to accept my place in the industry. I'm not an A-level talent with books selling in huge numbers, so often I feel like I don't belong where people say I am. So, I'd say my biggest challenges are within myself. Doing better art and making my voice heard in the writing.

GREG: I wouldn't beat myself too much; your work definitely hit a lot of bases for people. Do you have any advice, tips, or warnings for aspiring Griots (storytellers) out there?

JIMMIE: You have to do it. Talking about your work isn't the same as doing the work. At some point a person has to really invest a significant amount of time into breaking in, or making their comic or whatever. Write the story. The WHOLE story. Then put it away. Write another one. Go back to the first story. Which one is better? Did the person improve? Did the craft of a beginning, middle and end come together? Is there room for improvements? All that standard stuff. The thing about advice is that it's often always the same. No matter who is asked, the response is similar and the path they took will echo other creators. Granted, there are plenty of exceptions. There is no one-way to make it in this biz. But then again... I guess the definition of what one considers "make it" in this industry will differ from person to person.

GREG: Where can people find you?

rockfJIMMIE: Basically, I use my real name around the Internet, so you can google me all over the place at...

Twitter - @jimmie_robinson

Facebook - jimmie.robinson

Tumblr - jimmie-robinson.tumblr

GREG: Thanks for stopping by, Jimmie! It was wonderful having you!

JIMMIE: No problem, I hope I didn't go on too long and sound like a rambling old man. Hahah!

GREG: Oh please, haha! It was an absolute pleasure and great interview. I'm honored to have you here. Any final last words?

JIMMIE: Please support the arts. Be it comic books, movies, TV, prose books, theater, whatever.

And if you're trying to get work in comics always remember... it's not that hard to break into comics (depending on what your definition of "break into" means), but one is certain... it is VERY hard to stay in comics. Good luck and stay well!

And eat Top Ramen! Hahaha!



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We get it. You don't feel like signing up for an Outhouse account, even though it's FREE and EASY! That's okay. You can comment with your Facebook account below and we'll take care of adding it to the stream above. But you really should consider getting a full Outhouse account, which will allow you to quote posts, choose an avatar and sig, and comment on our forums too. If that sounds good to you, sign up for an Outhouse account by clicking here.

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About the Author - Greg Anderson-Elysee

Gregory Anderson-Elysee is a Brooklyn born and based filmmaker (director and editor), playwright, comic book writer, model, and part time actor. He was one of the first writers and interviewers of The Outhouse. He is the writer and creator of the upcoming book Is'nana the Were-Spider. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

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The Outhouse is not responsible for any butthurt incurred by reading this website. All original content copyright the author. Banner by Ali Jaffery - he's available for commission!