Frequently Asked Questions
- How did you get into comics?
While I was in college I did free pinups for Image, and a free cover for Billy Tucci, and in general just worked on my portfolio to show at cons. I was lucky enough to meet Laura Martin thru my friend Roland Paris, who was inking at Crossgen at the time. Laura liked my colors enough to give me a chance at an internship with Crossgen that I did while I was still at LSU. After my internship I was offered a coloring job with crossgen and so then I moved to Tampa.
Two and a half months later Crossgen laid me and a bunch of other people off and soon after went under.
It was Awesome.
- What tools do you use?
My favorite tool is my 1 inch wide chisel. I usually have to sharpen it every day that I work,
cause 16 hours of chipping into stone tends to wear it out. I like to regularly oil it with seal lard to keep it from cracking, because sturdy chisels are expensive.
After I painstakingly chisel all the grooves into a piece, I rub over it with paints that I've made out of buffalo urine, goat poo (which is a fantastic shade of green), and some berries, and occassionally my own blood.
I knew a guy who did that, he said it made his pieces, "more deep and an extension of his soul." I unfortunately don't think I could ever be quite THAT deep, but when I want that iron reddish/brown, blood seems to do the trick.
...Photoshop 7, Wacom Intuos 2, my hands...
- Who are your influences?
That's hard to say. I think a lot of art that I look at has a lot to do with what styles and techniques I apply in my art. I kinda just retardedly stare at art and mentally pick apart what it is about the piece that I like, and how it was applied, then I kinda recall it and do it my way.
I can say that I was directly taught by Laura Martin and Peter Steigerwald so I owe a lot of how I organize my work flow and problem solve with color to them. Watching them work really answered a ton of questions I didn't even know to ask. Oh and Justin Ponsor. He painstakingly explained channels to me. Trust me. I am not smart, it took a lot of patience on his end.
- What anime/manga/comics do you like?
I don't care how many people will beat me up for these answers, they're HONEST.
- Escaflowne is my all time favorite anime.
- Scrapped Princess up until the crappy ending has some of the best pacing in an anime, ever~~~! And I will forever love it for it.
- Azumanga Daioh is fantastic in both the anime and manga format.
- Tramps Like Us has the most luscious lips of all time.
- Afterschool Nightmare is my current must have manga.
- My legitimate loves that even the snootiest of snoots should appreciate include, Blade of the Immortal, My Faith in Frankie, Y the Last Man , Fables, Steampunk, The Witching Hour, American Elf, anything by Craig Thompson, anything by Jeffrey Brown, Same Difference & Other Stories, Summer Blonde, and a few others that I can't remember right now.
- How is it working for Marvel?
No complaints on my end. It's wonderful. Like working for puppies and kittens.
...they BEAT me. PLEASE SEND FOR HELP.
Just kidding. I dig it. It's the best place I've ever worked for and I'm sure a lot of that is cause I work at home all by my lonesome. I like my lonesome. Keeps the drama factor low and productive end high. And they trust me enough to let me get away with some coloring styles that keep things interesting.
- How did you fall into coloring? Did you want to pencil?
Most people in comics will tell you that they started out wanting to be pencilers, and then they changed their minds somewhere along the way. Being a penciler is a lot of work. I'm too lazy for that. Plus my men look like bitches, and unless I draw the comic adaptation of the L Word I might as well quit while I'm ahead.
Although a comic book version of the L Word would be hot...
- How does it feel to be a girl in comics?
Good? I dunno. What kinda question is that? I work in my home. Alone. Who cares that I'm a girl? All those people want from me is back breaking work and they want it on a timely basis. I usually look gnarly and work in sweats and glasses with my hair up in a bun to keep that crap outta my eyes.
Oh, but my room is painted pink with decorative red swirls painted on.
- But what kind of trials and tribulations have you over come as a woman to work in American comics?
Let me tell you something about women in comics... WE BARELY EXIST. And it's not cause men folk don't feel like we belong in comics. Have you ever been in a portfolio review line? See all those pretty ladies in the line? I have. I asked them what they did, and when they gave me a blank look, I asked, "Well, what do you want to be? I see you have a portfolio... you're here for a review... right?"
"Oh, I'm just here holding my boyfriend's place in line."
In my 2-3 years of being in portfolio review lines, I think I met 3 girls holding their own portfolios. THREE. When the numbers are THAT low, is it any wonder that there are barely any women in comics? Contrary to popular belief, you have to kinda have some talent and skill to sell comics.
Cept in my case, cause I lack both the former and the latter; in my case I had to show lots of boobies and booty to several editors... Unfortunately, most just weren't impressed...
- Anything else you'd like to add?
- I have fallen asleep while working and woken up to my face smashing into my keyboard.
- I have burst several blood vessels in my eyes staying up to finish deadlines.
- Yes, I have wanted to punch a fan in the face. But only one. He will hold a special, tender, place in my heart forever.
- My fiance programs video games for a living. Together, we form the ultimate geek unit.
- I don't mind signing books to be sold on ebay. I even signed one once, "To Ebay, Lovingly Yours, Christina Strain."
- My cats, have always been and always will be cooler than yours... The girl cat probably pukes more than any of yours as well.