Interviews

Round 5: JillyFoo interviews NickGuy of Kung Fu Komix!
skoolmunkee at 9:32AM, Feb. 26, 2009
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posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
This interview is of NickGuy, whose comic is Kung Fu Komix (among other projects)!
(interview conducted by Jillyfoo!)

1. Let's begin with the introductions, Nickguy. Who are you? What got you into comics?

Well, my name is Luis-Nicholas Valdez. I am 21 years old, I will be 22on april 7th. I have a beautiful daughter that I have shamelessly posted pics of all over the photo threads, isabella elizabeth valdez. she currently lives with her mother in Missouri.

What got me into comics? well, I dont really know. I have a few vague memories that sort of sum it up. I remember being little and drawing the rocketeer all the time…I remember having some old spiderman comics but i dont remember where they came from. Now, art runs big in my family (my uncles and father are famous graffiti artists that were big in the 80s New York City style wars scene, my aunt can draw) but I am the first one to do sequential art.

The one memory that is most vivid however, is my step father bringing home to me the book How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way. I pretty much taught myself how to draw on that book alone.

2. How did you get started making comics?

You mean for the net or period? I just had a composition notebook when i was 4 or 5 and wanted to make my own comics in them. so i did lol. no inks or colors at the time, just pure pencils.

3. Your MySpace page says you're from Rochester, New York. I heard comics are big in New York. How big? Are you doing anything in the comics scene there?

Comics are as big in NY as theyll be all over the US, sadly. I hate to make it sound like New York is the center of the world, but it really is. It just has so much. Comics make the newspaper there. Civil war made the newspaper. Secret Invasion had television ads. Its just a totally different environment there, a more artistic one. I lived in Missouri for two years and i couldnt find one person who knew anything about hwat was going on in the comic book world…In new york, everyone knows. Its just part of the zeitgeist down there.

Actually right now I am working with a local writer at turning his screenplay into a comic. Other than that I really havent had the time to look up comic drawing groups or anything, but I plan to.

4. How do you like having your comics online? What you think of the experience of being a webcomic artist compared to making comics by it self?

webcomics have a lot of problems. The major one is an over-saturation of crap. 90% of webcomics arent worth reading. There isnt enough content in webcomics right now, and I think that is something that needs to change. Comics need to say something, anything. I look at sprite comics as a real big offender in the fact that, here is a great opportunity to make some sort of relevant statement about the obsoleteness of old video games, or crappy graphics, or the creators lack of skill…but instead its wasted on toilet humor or inside video game jokes. Now, of course Im generalizing that whole genre and if there are some great sprite comics Id love to read them, but thats just my impression of them.

Now how do i like having my comics online? I love it. It definately creates a quick and easy way to gather fans, but its not a quick easy to get happenstance. Just like if you make a comic by yourself, you need to go out and promote it. Im going to use my buddy literacysuks1's comic, Acrobat, as an example. by all means that comic should have been featured a long ass time ago. its over 400 pages long! and here i made KFK and was featured when i hit 80 pages. the difference, I think, lies in the fact that I make it a point to be an active member of the drunkduck community. Coming onto the message board and talking about bs, or even hyping yourself, definately helps in getting noticed. Is it right? well thats not for me to say. But it's just what it is

5. Why did you choose Drunkduck as your webcomic host site? What do you think of Drunkduck?

I actually followed a link from a forum signature on penciljack here, thought it was neat, thought the best part was that it was free, and decided to do it.

I really like drunkduck. this is sort of my second go at it. when i was doing goku vs superman, I thought this was a pretty shitty site, to be honest. then i left, and when i was coming up with KFK, I thought “man it would really help to get some fans” because the goal of KFK from the beginning was to make it for print. Then i remembered drunkduck and decided to look into the community and found myself really enjoying it here.

6. I looked at your recommendation list, I see you prefer action and adult comics. For the most part I've seen that all your comics contain action scenes. Why do you like action comics compared to other genres?

because im a red-blooded male that likes boobs and bullets *laugh*. no, I dont really pick action over any other genre on purpose, Im just distracted by flashy things. I have read lots of other comics that arent action oriented and would recommend them easily, but i just notice the action stuff more. doesnt everyone?

7. What makes a good fight scene in a comic?

pacing, composition, layout. pacing for the fact that you have to be realistic….know when a fight would be over. dont just drag it out because you dont have a story to tell. Or if you are going to drag it out, do it because theres a point. right now in KFK I am starting a 40 page fight scene….20 double page splashes with no words or sound effects, just images of guys fighting. this was a conscious choice. I want to give the feeling of time and space. when the fight scene begins, they are at the bottom of a tower. when it ends, they will be at the top. that cant happen in a page or two. so I make the scene long and epic, so when it ends, not only are the guys breathing hard, so are you! and now we are at the top of the stairs.

8. I know that a lot of webcomic artists are intimidated by drawing fight scenes. What would you recommend to comic artists that want to beef up their fighting-drawing skills?

Know what looks good. this will lump together with layout. Know how to make a page “flow”. this is something thats impossible to teach, since its just really storytelling. read alot of actiony comics. look at how the action flows from one panel to the next. read from different artists, too, so you dont just pick up one artists traits. look at frank miller and john romita jr, sure, but also look at tite kubo and eiichiro oda. Look at frazetta. look at Paul Gutierrez. Look at the old looney tunes cartoons, watch the animation closely, look how expressive it is. open yourself up to more ideas.

9. Any action webcomics you recommend? Both on Drunkduck and off.

well, i dont really read any webcomics not on dd, so…

I like Kerslash. I really like Scorch by bittertea. she really knows how to make a page flow. (although i wish she would ink her shit all the way lol) I like Acrobat by literacysuks1. uhm…really, just look at my recommends lol.

10. Any (PG) comments about adult webcomics? Are you in the future going to make anymore adult webcomics?

Yes. I love GRIND. It is beautiful in every aspect, from its colors to its chunky inks to the cartoonish figures. I would love to have lothar color something of mine.

I still want to do something with Porn Wars, but I dont really have any story…I thought maybe just doing a pin up gallery of smut instead so i can get my porn on.

11. Questions about your comics. You seem to have a combination of American and Japanese Manga influences. Do you lean a certain way or prefer to look to them both for influence?

haha yeah, the best way i could describe my style is…Frank Miller's shadows and blacks meet John Romita jr's poses and figures, with Eiichiro oda's sense of dynamic-ness, and tite Kubos scratchy pen lines….and all inked by Klaus janson. of course what comes out in the end is absolute crap, but oh well.

I was very american-ized up until about 6th grade. I wanted to draw exactly like todd mcfarlane. then DBZ came and blew my fucking mind!!!!!!! I had to draw like toriyama. well that fascination lasted all the way through high school, until i refound the awesomeness of american comics. now i just try to find a happy mix.

12. What was your inspiration for Robin's groovy character design in Batman and Robin Kicking Names and Taking ass?

that batman story was really my statement of…people always say the 60s batman show was so good. well, have they really watched it? that stuff was awful! Thank god for frank miller and neal adams and the gritty batman! so I was really just trying to say “ok, you liked that show so much? heres how much it sucked” I made batmans cape too short and his shirt short sleeved. I had robin be black, because cmon, why WOULDNT Robin be black? and everything else just sort of fell into place…the chase on the batskis, batman and robin breakdance fighting…it was all so utterly perfect.

13. The majority of your comics contain ninjas. Why do you like ninjas in your comics?

because they are such a great metaphor. dressed in black, perfect for impressionistic takes, you cant see their face so they are nameless, and neverending waves of them.

14. Are you ever going to finish Goku vs Superman or Smokar in TeH MONSTAR?
Smokar: thats in the air. smokar is a character I co-created with a friend who is now serving our country overseas, Kicking ass and taking names. when he returns I hope we can do something more with him.

Goku vs Superman: YES! thats your answer, you heard it here first *laugh* I want to finish the story so badly, because I have such a perfect ending. and now that my art is 50 times better than back then, It will rock. I have alot of stuff to finish first though.

15. I see from your Superman and Batman fancomics you are a DC fan. What about Marvel?

I like marvel, but honestly, the characters arent as fun to play with because marvel already does that. DC fans are much more conservative. Look at ASBAR and DK2. People literally flip a shit if you dent the batmobile or make fun of green lantern. I like that. I WANT to piss people off. and icons are alot easier to do that with than regular guys. I mean, I could make spiderman a wife beating drunk and people would take that alot better than if i did the same thing to, say, superman.

16. How did you come up with Kung Fu Komix? What do you think of Kung Fu Komix compared to your other webcomics?

Ive said this story so many times now lol…So you guys get the short version. a night of watching Kung Fu Hustle and being amazed, and then thinking that it would make a perfect comic.

man, compared to other comics? well, there really are no comics like KFK….thats why I made KFK. but if you mean other action comics, I think it deserves to be mentioned in the same name. its a fun read.

But there is alot of content in it that I havent hit on. right now everyone thinks its a joke comic. thats fine with me, but theres alot going on in it. Theres abondonment issues, child abuse, and I havent even hit on the parental aspect of this. Theres alot in this personal for me…I have alot of rage and guilt over leaving my daughter in Missouri, and i havent really had anyone to talk to about it. this is my outlet. Ive gotten alot of flak for leaving my daughter, alot of “if you loved her you wouldnt have left”. this is basically my “fuck you, what the fuck do you know about my situation” to those people, even though they may never read this comic *laugh*

17. Have you printed any of your comics for sale yet? Have you ever gone to comic conventions as an artist selling commissions or comics?

NO! and I want to! Ive been talking with my good buddy mattchee *whos comic MASTORISM is also a must read!!!!!!!!!!* about putting KFK in print when its all completed.

18. What are your artistic goals in webcomic making? What do you want to improve on if you can pick any thing?

I'd love to be able to spot blacks on buildings like literacysuks1. Id love to have the chunky inks of mattchee. Id love to throw in all those scratchy details bittertea does, and draw elegant armor like her. uhh….Id also love to do some more collaboration stuff like Heroes Unite. that was a blast and I look forward to working with those chums again

19. What are your ultimate goals in comic making?

to not lose money when i self publish….basically. and to get my work out there so i have something to show when i tell people i do comics.

20. Any final remarks you wish to make to your fans?

I have fans? Are any of them girls? *looks at the camera* If you are out there, my email is luis.rules@gmail.com, my myspace is myspace.com/liquidsharpie, my phone number is…..
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
houseofmuses at 12:48PM, Feb. 26, 2009
(online)
posts: 156
joined: 4-4-2008
Wake up folks!!!!!

This was a very good interview. I'm going to check out Kung Fu Comics! XD
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
finalfantasyfreak_07 at 3:45PM, Feb. 26, 2009
(online)
posts: 28
joined: 1-10-2007
I've been reading every interview up until now, and personally, I think this was the most complete and professionally done. And it really pleases me that someone wasn't afraid to mention the problem in webcomics, and how important it is for proper storytelling in a comic (although, I do think Scott McCloud's Making Comics book does help with pacing the story without preaching about styles).

Can't wait for more interviews. These have me visiting the site at least once a day now. :D
http://www.drunkduck.com/Alternate_Earth/

“N00b?! Why, them's fightin' l337!”
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:29PM
literacysuks1 at 4:56PM, Feb. 26, 2009
(online)
posts: 105
joined: 1-26-2006
WOO. I was mentioned. WOOOOOOOOO.

and yeah, nice interview nick. I did one recently and your answers make MY answers their bitch. I still need to read your comic too.
Go read my superhero comic…because I told you to
http://www.drunkduck.com/Acrobat/

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:35PM
NickGuy at 11:06AM, Feb. 27, 2009
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posts: 988
joined: 2-22-2007
Man I wasnt even aware this got posted yet! heh. It felt good to let alot of stuff off my chest.

I look forward to reading your interview, josh.

“Kung Fu Komix IS…hardcore martial art action all the way. 8/10” -Harkovast
“Kung Fu Komix is that rare comic that is made with heart and love of the medium, and it delivers” -Zenstrive
“Kung Fu Komix is…so awesome” -threeeyeswurm
“Kung Fu Komix is..told with all the stupid exuberance of the genre it parodies” -The Real Macabre
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:15PM
JillyFoo at 11:17PM, Feb. 27, 2009
(online)
posts: 626
joined: 1-2-2006
This was a fun interview. Twenty questions easy. I could have asked more. You notice how I secretly added questions insides the questions.. haha ha.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:08PM
smkinoshita at 10:01AM, March 5, 2009
(online)
posts: 240
joined: 8-20-2007
Good interview, JillyFoo! I wish my answers were more interesting. They seemed like such a good idea at the time…

I totally agree with NickGuy as far as 90% of comics being crap. But we've definitely got wildly different tastes. The 60's Batman show was AWESOME because it was a perfect parody of how comics were written back then. On top of everything else, everyone KNEW they were doing camp, so they were determined to do it as seriously as possible so the results would be hilarious. There's a commentary on the movie DVD where Adam West reflects on the scene with the obviously fake shark attached to Batman's leg. He mentions how some staff were saying “You can't leave that horribly plastic sound of you hitting the shark in! It sounds so fake!” and Adam West said “That's precisely why we gotta keep it in!”

Most people who hate the old 60's version just don't get it, they want their dark and gritty Batman. (Never… attempt… to combine… the two)

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM

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