|(Photo credit: Bob Laramie / RJLphoto.com)|
Past, Present, and Future with...Brad Guigar
What got you into comics?
"My newspaper comics section. When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the ability to create a funny story in three or four panels. I remember pouring over strips like Beetle Bailey, Broom Hilda, Animal Crackers and Drabble. When I got a little older, Berke Breathed’s Bloom County bowled me over. In college, I had a subscription to the Detroit Free Press solely for the purpose of reading that strip.
My first comic strip, Greystone Inn, was heavily influenced by Breathed’s work — and I think it shows. I wanted so badly to capture that spirit."
What are you working on these days?
"HA! Talk about a 180-degree turn! These days, my most successful project is Evil Inc After Dark — a NSFW comic that takes place in the same universe as Evil Inc (which started as a newspaper-strip spin-off from Greystone, but developed into a series of graphic novels). That’s available exclusively to my Patreon backers at Patreon.com/guigar — and I’m Kickstarting the first print collection of NSFW work this month.
I also do a website devoted to helping other independent cartoonists — Webcomics.com — and the original Evil Inc comic."
Do you have a dream project?
"Yeah. Making my living exclusively through my work in comics. I’ve been living that dream since 2012. As with most Dream Projects, it has its share of nightmare moments, but overall, my twelve-year-old self would be flabbergasted over what the future had in store."
What one piece of creative advice would you give?
"It’s impossible to get worse at something you do every day.
I like that because it’s one part encouragement and one part kick-in-the-ass.
It’s encouraging because it’s a reminder that getting better at anything is all about building skills. “Talent” will only get you so far — if it truly exists at all. Real success comes from a slow process of improvement. That’s encouraging. It’s a reminder that you’re not always going to be this bad. If you practice and apply yourself you will get better.
It’s a kick-in-the-ass because it’s a reminder that you have to put the time in — every day — to get better. There’s no magic hashtag, weird SEO trick or social-media shortcut that will do it for you. You’ve got to do it every day, year after year after year, before you start to get really good at something. And that’s a real kick-in-the-ass because getting good at something happens so slowly as to be almost imperceptive."