There are plenty of aspiring pros out there. In fact, there are a group of guys in Sacramento, California who are professionals in the fact that they’ve made comics and gotten paid for them. Have they worked on Batman or the X-Men? No. Will they have the next Walking Dead? Probably not? Are they still comics people would be interested if they had more exposure? YES! I’ve got four different artist who I think deserve a spotlight. John Thomason, Paul Allen, HaiNaNu Saulque, and Jose Gabriel Angeles.
John Thomason is a writer/artist from Stockton, California. That’s about a little south of Sacramento. I would be lying if I didn’t say he was good friend of mine.
Adam Messinger: Who is JOHN THOMASON!?
John Thomason: I’m John Thomason! I’m mixed-american. You can say I do comic books. I write, draw, and paint. I do a whole bunch of stuff, and that’s with an actual job to support myself…and my art.
Adam: What are your big projects out right now?
John: I have three books. There is Sunflower Scribbles which is drawn by me and written by my friend, Derrick Canton. It’s more of a coming of age super hero origin of a heroine. She has a traumatic experience that activates a super-power within her. She later has to figure out how to deal with it. I also have a book called Aswang, which is based upon a mythological Phillipino folklore monster. It’s a short horror story that I wrote and drew. Derrick Canton edited that, and helped plot it as well. I’ve got another book called Words With Art. It involves rhymes,street poetry, drawings, and paintings. There are a few songs too, and Derrick helped me out with that too.
Adam: It sounds like you and Derrick are team. How long have you guys been working together?
John: Probably around 2008? Maybe a little earlier? It’s been a while. It all started with Sunflower Scribbles. It started off as a T.V. script that he wrote in school. I told him I was drawing, and into comics. Then he sent me the script after we talked about it and I offered to turn it into a comic book. After a couple years, in fact last year, I finshed all the pages. I lettered everything, and inked everything. I had to redraw some pages, but we got it all finished and put it out.
Adam: Words With Art is more art and less comics, but are Aswang and Sunflower Scribbles one-shots or continuing stories?
John: As far as Sunflower Scribbles, I know that Derrick has a second and third script for it. In time I’ll start working on it. As far as Aswang, Derrick has some ideas to continue it. We’ve gotten quite a bit of interest in it and we’re looking to make more of it.
Adam: With those three things available, what do you have in the near future.
John: More art. More drawing. More continuing Sunflower Scribbles, and more Aswang. I barely just finished Words With Art. After that I just wanna focus on whatever else and warm back up into comics.
Next up is Paul Allen. He’s the writer/artist of a comic called BrAiNs.
Adam: So what is it that you do, Paul?
Paul: I do zombie and serial killer comics. I just started doing vampire women from outer space comics.
Adam: How long have you been making comics?
Paul: I’ve been doing BrAiNs since 2009 and publishing comics annually.
Adam: Can you give us a synopsis of your work so far?
Paul: Yeah! It’s a f**ked up town called Creepsville where everyone’s a villain. They’re all out to kill each other and they’re all serial killers. Everything that can go wrong, is wrong in comics. There are slutty cheerleaders screwing everyone in town, and necrophiliac women screwing dead zombie corpses. Then there’s Planet of the Vampire Women which is based off a movie of the same name made by the local film festival, The Trash Film Orgy.
Adam: Do you write and draw?
Paul: Yeah, I do both, and there are co-writers helping out.
You can find Paul’s comics on Facebook at facebook.com/brainscomicbook.
Now we meet a quite impressive talent in HaiNaNu Saulque. HaiNaNu is an artist who has drawn comics for Empire’s Comics Vault Press, and is a regular at many conventions on the west coast.
Adam: What is it exactly that you do?
HaiNaNu: I’m a freelance artist. I do a lot of concept work and stuff like that. For the most part, right now, I’ve been doing a lot of my own work and working on a style that’s my own. I’m trying to come up with something that is unique to myself.
Adam: Do you write and draw?
NaiNaNu: I have a buddy of mine who is more of a writer, and I try to assist. If I have an idea, we work on it together. He does more of the writing than I do.
Adam: What are your current projects?
HaiNaNu: Right now, with Ben Schwartz, we’re working on a webcomic. It’ll be a page a week. Something with kids, and they’re a hooligan bunch of kids. They’re like ruffians. We’re working on a concept about that and hopefully that’ll be out soon.
Adam: Do you have any printed stuff out right now?
HaiNaNu: I’ve done a few comics locally in Sacramento, and I’ve done some covers but that was years ago. Other than that I do a lot self publishing of my own art. I’ve got art books and prints.
You can find HaiNaNu on everything at Nooligan.com.
Last and certainly NOT least, is Jose Gabriel Angeles. Jose’s work is stuff that reminds me of a young Robert Crumb. He’s sarcastic and has quite a bit to say through his art. Like Robert Crumb, he explores quite a few things that the mainstream would find disturbing. I like his unique voice, but not everyone will get it or appreciate it.
Jose: I write a lot of sick and twisted comics that have a lot to do with genital mutilation and all kinds of crazy crap. I also do t-shirts of crazy crap also.
Adam: What are you producing right now?
Jose: I got a comic series called Happy World of Loving and it’s definitely not a Happy World of Love. It’s a sarcastic title because it the total complete opposite of what a happy world of love should be.
Adam: Are you writing and drawing?
Jose: Oh yeah, I write and draw! I do comics about all the crazy ideas I’ve had over the years because I’m the only one with the balls enough to draw that stuff out.
Adam: How long have you been doing comics?
Jose: Since about 2003. It’s been about 9 years now.
Adam: How long did it take you to get everything out to the public?
Jose: I’m really DIY and punk ethics. So I’d be done with a comic in a week and then put it out within the week.
Adam: When you say “get it done in a week” do you mean a full 22 pages or are we talking about little comics and zines?
Jose: Yeah, pretty much. Mini-comics and zines are where I started and where I’m getting back to right now.
You can find more sick and twisted awesomeness at http://crudedude.net
Big thanks to all the creators I interviwed. Also a big thanks to Ben Schwartz over at Empire’s Comics Vault in Sacramento for hosting the majority of Sacramento’s talent every week and giving them a spot to work. Come back for the next installment as we wrap things up with on of my favorite creators of all time…Jonathan Hickman!