Burgers, baddies, beat-downs, welcome to the Buzzboy interview! Let's see what creator John Gallagher has to say about bringing Buzzboy to life...
1. For the poor souls not already reading, please give a brief synopsis of your comic.
Buzzboy is the tale of the world's coolest super sidekick-- instead of having a secret hideout, Buzzboy has made his home a diner, due to his unending addiction to cheeseburgers and milkshakes. He is helped in his battle for justice by Becca, a sarcastic sorceress, Zoomer, a super speedster, and Doc Cyber, a former super villain who gave up evil to become a baker, Together they fight for truth, justice, and all you can eat at the Buzzboy Diner.
2. What materials and/or software do you use?
When I first began Buzzboy, it was pencils and inks on bristol, with paste up computer lettering (anyone remember WhizBang?). Nowadays I still layout my comic in pencil on vellum, then scan to the compuiter, where I ink with a combination of Manga Studio, Photoshop, and just about every Adobe product out there.
3. Are there any books, movies, toys, artists, or authors that have inspired or continue to inspire your comic?
I try to write Buzzboy for that 10 year kid I was who loved the escape the fun comics of the 70's gave him. Captain Marvel (Shazam!) was the first comic I ever read, and Batman and Robin soon became my favorites. Later years became more about the creators who influenced me, from animation great Alex Toth, to Jack Kirby, and later Kyle Baker, Bruce Timm, and Darwyn Cooke. But really, a great deal of thanks goes out to Scott McLoud-- his "Undersanding Comics" was like the graduate course I needed to really start creating comics. Also, Chuck Jones and Bob McKimson of Looney Toons fame.
4. Are any of your characters based on real people in your life?
Buzzboy is hoplessly immature, overly optimistic, and obsessed with junk food-- so that would be me. Becca, the brains of trhe outfit, is based on this cute little redhead girl I had a crush on in middle school-- no really! Charles Schulz doesn't have a Monopoly on this sort of thing.
5. Are there any actors you know you would want to play or voice certain characters in a movie of your comic?
When i first started Buzzboy, the stories were actually about him as a 19-20 year old, and the big influence was Nicolas Cage from this old movie called "Valley Girl." Nowadays, Nic would play Buzzboy's former mentor who goes a little crazy and starts talking like Elvis.
I'm not really sure who I wuld want to star in it, but I would want it directed by my friend Chris Bailey, animated or live action. Aside from being the original diector of Kim Possible, he has handled the animation on the Garfield movies, Chipmunks 1 and 2, and Hop. He even has his own character, Major Damage. (www.majordamage.net)
6. What songs would you like in a soundtrack of your comic?
"I get knocked down" by Chumba Wumba, because Buzzboy is literally always getting knocked down. His powers are derived from the Buzz Belt which gives him strength, the ability to leap tall-ish buildings, and also a force field. but the force field is only strong enough to keep him from dying. He gets pretty bruised up, but never gives up.
7. What is your overall goal for your comic?
Buzzboy is a true all-ages comic, and that has always been the goal. Most of my fans are adults, and they love the Chuck Jones, Looney Toons type humor, and sly remarks. Kids like it because its FUN! It's weird, that used to be the norm for comics.
8. How has managing a comic impacted your life?
What life? :)
The best part of comics has been the friendships I've made. When I was a kid, there wasn't a single other person I kenw who read, drew, and loved comics like me. Because of Buzzboy, at conventions, and on the web, I have made some great friendships, with folks who not only get my lame pop culture references, but are good, decent folks I can really connect with.
9. What do you do to advertise your work?
Project Wonderful is great, Facebook is a must, posting every update on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. That connects to Twitter. But the biggest plus for Buzzboy webcomics right now is the fact that I am working with Keenspot.Com-- my pal Benny Powell (waywardsons.net) introduced me to them, and really pushed for Buzzboy to be a part of their growing all ages comics. With all the linkage and attention that has gotten me, I can really say that Buzzboy had more readers in the first six months, than all the Buzzboy book readers combined over the last 10 years-- it's amazing.
10. Web comics can be very time consuming and sometimes expensive to keep up. Often there is little reward in regards to money and sometimes public attention. Why do you do it?
I don't do comics because i want to do comics. I do comics because I NEED to do comics, tell stories, draw new faces, and make readers smile hopefully. Comics are how I learned to read. As a kid, they were my escape from what could be a pretty rotten family life at times. In many ways they saved me, and worked as a compass about doing what's right. But that doesn't mean I want to starve.
Well, I can say that I have never made a fortune off of Buzzboy, but I have made money BECAUSE I do Buzzboy. I have a wife and three kids, a house, a dog-- so I must make a living. I have my own company doing web and print design, as well as custom corporate comics (www.skydogcomics.com).
Everyone should try to make money at this, and approach it as a business as well as a love.
11. Got any other projects we should know about?
I am constantly trying to find ways to speed up the process, so I can tell even more stories. In fact, my friend Rich Faber (who has inked Buzzboy) has teamed with me on Roboy Red, a story of a runaway theme park robot (roboyred.com)
And later this year, I'll be launching a new comic I am writing with my ten-year old daughter, "Zoey & Ketchup", about a girl and her dog.
12. What advice would you give to aspiring creators?
Do your own thing, and do it for you. Too many great characters have been given away to the corporations, and the internet, ebooks and other avenues have helped to level the playing field. Don't be afraid to make your dollars with a day job, but if you can, make it related to the art you love.
Thanks John great answers!
Here's where we ask how you feel about Buzzboy, John's answers, the questions or additional questions you'd like to see in the future. If you don't have anything clever to say, please check the funny, interesting, or cool boxes at the bottom to let us know you were here.
As always thanks for reading! Buzzboy updates Mon. Weds. and Fri. so there's a new page waiting for you there now!
Next Weds.- Next Town Over by Erin Mehlos
If you would like to be interviewed about your web-comic send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org titled "interview" with a link to your comic.