What's your name and what do you do?
Hi! My name is Jeremy Nguyen and I create short humor comics and illustrations.
Why did you start drawing comics?
I drew as a child all the time. I have no memory of this story, but my mother would tell people that I'd throw temper tantrums as a toddler and all she had to do to shut me up was give me a piece of paper and a pen. I'd calm down and just draw lines and dots. But when I got older I really liked the cartoon section of the library. My brother and I would pour over How-To-Draw books and tons and tons of comic strip collections.
Are you more of a writer or illustrator when it comes to comics?
It bounces back and forth! Lately, I've become more of a writer than an illustrator when it comes to comics. I can't start doing a comic without really nailing down a concept that makes me laugh. I'm hesitant to say I'm more of a writer though, because I don't really write or script out a comic. I just write down bullet points and then as I'm drawing I'm making choices that a writer should have made before an artist goes in it. I'll think of dialogue as I'm drawing, and edit word balloons and captions while I letter. It's kind of like having a switch in my head that I'm constantly flicking back and forth between writer and artist.
What's your favorite medium to use?
I really like traditional inking. I like feeling the texture and drag between a brush and a nice thick piece of paper.
Do you prefer digital comics for online or do you like comics printed out?
Comics in print are superior, but reading comics digitally are way more incredible than I thought it was five years ago. As a creator, having my own books printed are just way more satisfying. But as a reader I like digital comics because with Guided view technology and panel-to-panel reading, there's no reading ahead and being spoiled by accident.
Digital comics are great for reading those monthly issues, too, because its so much more easier to consume. It's candy.
It's easier to take a chance on a title that you know you don't need to make room for on your bookshelf later. But when it comes to my favorite books, or most anticipated graphic novels, I prefer to read them in a nice hardcover bound book with a cup of tea.
Would you rather have your comics only online, or would you like to see them printed as well?Having my comics online have been great. Its always there and accessible and I could just share a link with my friends. I release short pieces, so they read great on the web. Print has its own context though, and it makes books feel more 'official'.
What are you inspired by?
Everything! Of course! How could you not take in everything that comes your way. I am hugely inspired by other forms of comedy; stand-up, improv, sketch. I really enjoy just having conversations because the friends I have are all so funny. People are interesting, have different perspectives that can give something I don't think about an actual comedic premise.
Are there any comics that have inspired you in the past?
I thought i was going to be a dramatic comics illustrator and really took in big books like Blankets and Asterios Polyp as the kind of stories I wanted to tell. I really love journal comics and autobiographical stories, too, like the books in the Paul series by Michel Rabagliati.
What kind of comics do you prefer to draw genre wise?
Now the comics I do are short humor comics. I'm really interested in creating comics with accessible humor to everyone. I do enjoy the occasional funny comic about a crazy wacky character, or any of the millions of video game and pop culture referencing strips. But the comics I enjoy making are satirical of universal truths.
Marvel or DC?
Digital or Print Comics?
Serializing comics digitally, collecting long form comics in print.
Favorite Super Hero?
I love Plastic Man.
If you could play someone in a comic or just be in a comic who would you be or what comic would you be in?
I'd probably be Cuomo, a character in Scott Pilgrim who just serves the purpose of saying who someone else is.
If you could make a comic about anyone living or dead who would it be?
Funny you ask, I'm actually developing a story that parodies the movie Midnight in Paris, but instead of literary authors, the main character meets legendary comics figures. Some of them are Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, Wally Wood, etc. I'd love to make a comic about all the great legendary artists!
About the Writer:
Jen Sparkman is the head of Articles of Antiquity. She loves telling stories and discovering new secrets in the world. You can find out more about her here.