One great thing I love about being personally involved in the comics industry is that I know of so many extremely talented artists. Factoid: Marvel and DC Comics are the leading comic book publishers, followed by Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and IDW Publishing, founded in the 1980s and 1990s. Entrance into the inner cabal of these companies can be difficult, as even the best of the best can confirm. The comics industry has its own challenges, as does any other, but the rise of technology and the internet has made it possible for many artists to forge their own destinies.
MYTH creator Sean Z. Maker introduces us to his series thus: "MYTH is the series I wanted to create without the usual mainstream “edit buttons,” found in other published works, be they web, published or otherwise. It’s an opportunity for me to experiment and express myself creatively in genres and subject matter close to my heart, and I hope you—my most auspicious readers—will enjoy along with me.
"MYTH is a story laden in Science Fiction, High Fantasy, Mythology, Eroticism, Sexuality and Adventure of epic proportions. A story where a large cast of characters reside, interact and will change and grow from the humble beginnings you’ll be privy to experiencing right along with them."
Let's meet Sean!!
1. Could you introduce yourself for the readers, and tell us about your work?
Certainly! Hello all you wonderful, delicious readers! I’m Sean-Z (pronounced: “Seanzie”) artist, writer and creator of the on-going comic-book series called: MYTH. Which is sort of a blend of sci/fi, high fantasy hybrid of epic-proportions and a myriad of sexuality and eroticism for good measure, because I don’t like to leave anything out of a good and engrossing story. *grin*
2. What drew you to creating comics?
Well, I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember—and my interest in the comic-book medium has always been a bit of a love-affair for me, growing up. As my tastes and talent matured so did the kinds of stories I wanted to see reflected graphically. I wanted to see stories that didn’t have the usual limitations, genre standards or a “mainstream” rule set placed upon them. I wanted more stories that reflected parts of who I was in them—especially parts that are usually shied away from in a more mainstream expression.
3. Who or what are your artistic and comic-making influences?
Many. Some known and some not-so-known; my creative influences are as diverse as I am! LOL! Anime/Manga styles, Todd McFarland to Tom of Finland. I don’t think there’s enough room in this very, limited space to cover all of my specific creative influences.
4. What were your prior experiences/training that led up to your making a career out of comics?
Well, I avoided doing comics in my early twenties because I had this great fear of becoming the stereotypically, “starving artist.” So, I avoided trying on a comic-book creator’s hat and focused instead on graphic design, story-boarding, and conceptual rendering and design for Hollywood. What ultimately led me back into my love of comic creation, was how miserable I ended up focusing on something I wasn’t truly passionate about.
5. Where do you plan to take your series next?
Well, I’m currently finishing up part one of the third book. Every complete book is considered an Act—Book 1, was called: “Beginnings.” Book 2, was called: “Answers,” and Book 3, begins with the Act called: “Changes”--where the readers start to learn a lot more of who the villains of the story are after and why. Two of MYTH’s main characters also finally acknowledge their feelings towards one another—so expect some romance, as well.
6. What remains as the biggest hurdle to Independent comic creators in the digital age?
Right now? PR—making time to getting your work seen is a constant effort. Creating opportunities to share your work –and in my case, zeroing in on the audience who will most connect with and enjoy my brand of story-telling as well, as letting them know where to find my work. I’ve embraced the digital age—e-book are the future, and I have begun every effort to ensure that I encapsulate and promote the digital medium as well as the print one.
7. How has the rise of web-based comics impacted the industry?
MYTH started out as a web-based comic. And giving my positive experience with it, I’d say a very worth-while one. It’s been a great way for new talent to emerge on an equal playing field. Not to mention, the limited expense of putting it out there to share with the world. A lot of good things have come from web-based comics—I especially appreciate the level of diversity found among them. It also continues to show that there is no one; right way to tell a story in comic-books.
8. Has your comic ever been compared with existing movie/books/comic/fictions by your audience? If yes, could you tell us a bit about it?
Hmmm. Not particularly. Or if it has, no one has shared those comparisons with me, yet. *smile*
9. When it comes to your own strips, which of them have gotten the most comments from your readers? What is special about the strip or comic?
My character Zander, gets the most love (or lust, depending upon who you ask), I think because he’s current got the most visual appeal to certain readers. He done a bit of everything so far in the story, which is odd for me personally, because I find him—from a personality stand point—among the least likeable currently.
10. Is there a particular genre you haven't tried before that you think you'd like to get into?
Oh, yes. It’s already in development as I’ve always had a soft spot for telling a children’s story. Once I’ve gotten certain aspects of my current timeline of work activity under a bit more control, I plan to devote a bit more time to this particular concept I’ve been itching to devote more attention to.
11. Could you list down your top 3 favorite webcomics? Tell us briefly why do you recommend them?
Drowtales – because it one of the most engrossing and well-developed fantasy webcomics on the net. It also has prominent female characters, amazing world lore and it’s been around for more than 10 years now! Another would be Erfworld, as sort of story-driven fantasy tale with pop-culture and gamer-like elements. It’s incredibly well-written, humorous and I love the variety of character found there. As my third, I’d say Magellan Universe, for its diverse imaginings of what superheroes and villains can *be* like—outside of the usual archetype trappings.
Honestly this question was a challenge as I have a love a great many webcomics for many different reasons.
12. Besides comics, do you have other creative works (written novel/blog/tutorials/etc) published online?
Not yet. But give it time…I’m sure I’ll cross that road eventually. *wink*
13. What is the worst mistake a webcomic author would make? Any inspiring advice to budding artists out there?
Comparing your work to someone else’s. I find this to be a great waste of time, when you could otherwise be creating. The only person you should be in competition with is yourself. It’s a game I thoroughly enjoy playing with myself: How can I outdo my last creation—where can I push myself, to see what else I’m capable of? I’d share this with others wishing to do the same. Oh, and have a plan—a realistic one—that you can see yourself grow into a future you want to create for your work and yourself.
14. Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
Outside of my comic creating, I’m also responsible for a comic convention we’ve affectionate named: Bent-Con.
The best way to describe, Bent-Con is it’s like a comic con, only gayer. LOL! It was a creation born of love and a desire to bring my audiences to me. But it has evolved into a space that openly celebrates and showcases LGBT contributions to comic-books, film, sci-fi, fantasy, horror and other related creative outlets where the underground to the mainstream professionals and fans can build community, have unique panel discussions, network and share what is possible from people like us. If you go to the site: http://bent-con.org you will be able to find out more info about out annual, end of the year convention (Nov. 30 – Dec. 2). And I hope to meet and see some of those reading this there.
Find Myth online at http://rated-z.com/myth
Copyright © 2008-2010-2012 Rated-Z Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Myth and all related characters © & ® 2008-2010 Sean-Z/Rated-Z Studios