QUICK QUESTIONS WITH Tommie Kelly
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO COMICS?
My name is Tommie Kelly and over the past few years I have created a number of comics including ROAD CREW, SOMETHING WONDERFUL, DOWN and MOMENTS. I am also Editor-in-Chief of this website 🙂
WHAT COMIC ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
A few things. I am putting all of my different comics into an anthology called TOMMIE KELLY PRESENTS. Issue one will have new ROAD CREW and DOWN chapters and a new work by me called THE HOLY NUMBERS. TKP will also have previews and comics by other Irish creators. It will be a digital download only as I am moving away from print comics.
I am also working on another space comedy with an American writer Jeremy w. Kafman called Billie Cannon: Cowgirls and Maneaters. It will follow the old newspaper strip format of four panels. Jeremy wrote a great script and I am delighted to be part of the project.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
Getting to create. Being able to get the stories and characters out of your head and on to a page. I love telling stories and I love how the characters of these stories start to dictate the story. I find I am as much a reader of my comics as everyone else because most times the characters decide to do very different things than I had originally planned.
WHAT’S THE WORST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
Not having enough time to do all the stories I want. That and the fact that months of work can be read in seconds.
HOW DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER COMICS?
From my cousin John Farrelly. He was a huge influence on me and basically the reason why I became a comic creator. He turned me onto lots of great stuff when I was really young, like WATCHMEN, BORN AGAIN, DARK KNIGHT, V FOR VENDETTA. All the classics.
WHO IS THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK?
Comic wise: As I said, John farrelly but also people like Mike Oeming, Mich McMahon, Frank Miller, Dave Sim and Gerhard, Jaime Hernandez, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Brian Bolland, J.H. Williams III, Kevin O’Neil, David LLoyd, Al Williamson, Mike Mignola, David Talbot, The Luna Brothers. Loads of people.
Non- comic wise: Robert Anton Wilson, Alan Watts, Aleister Crowley, Tony Robbins, Arthur C. Clarke, David Lynch, The Goons, Jim Rohn, Robert McKee, Stuart Wilde and Ken Wilber amongst many more.
WHAT TOOLS OF THE TRADE DO YOU USE?
Mostly Manga Studio, with Photoshop for effects and touch ups. I use a Wacom bamboo which is so small it sucks and I hate it. I use to use an A3 tablet I bought in Aldi, which was awesome but doesn’t work correctly with widescreen monitors. Recently I have been doing lots of work on actual paper. I use india ink, promarkers, cheap brushes and dip pens.
WHAT IS THE SINGLE WORK OF WHICH YOU ARE MOST PROUD?
ROAD CREW: FOR SALE. It turned out better than I had thought It would. It was quite a risk to go from the gag-a-day type strips to a more serious format but it was something that I really wanted to do. I am so proud of that book and am really enjoying writing and drawing the next chapters. Jim Soundman is almost like a real person to me. He writes his own lines. I have very little control over him no matter what I try. I have even gone so far as to put myself in the comic to try to gain some control. We’ll see how that turns out.
In once sense I think i could quite happily never do a comic again once I finish Jim Soundman’s story. It’s exactly the comic I wanted to read but no one was doing it. But I know I have plenty more stuff that needs to get out of me.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
“Work harder on yourself then you do at your job.” Jim Rohn
WHAT IS THE WORST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
Buy a Bamboo, they’re great.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CURRENT IRISH COMIC SCENE?
I think it’s great. My only complaint is that we should all do more. A lot of creators don’t even get one new comic out a year, which is a pity.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN IRISH COMIC IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
More Declan Shalveyesque success stories. And creators in general doing more.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN COMICS IN GENERAL IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
I’d like people to stop reading Superhero comics. I’m with Alan Moore on this one. I think the American comic industry could really do with a house fire and a fresh re-build. Comics everywhere else are doing just fine. It’s just the United States and in turn Ireland and the UK that is superhero obsessed. It’s like a film industry where 90% of films are westerns. Who wants that?
WHAT WAS THE LAST COMIC THAT MADE AN IMPACT ON YOU?
Undying Love is awesome. First time in years that I have been excited about a new comic.
FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO START MAKING THEIR OWN COMICS? (And don’t say DON’T 🙂 )
Stop making excuses and just do it. Do it everyday, especially the days that you really don’t want to.
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
yea, buy my comics for christ sake.
Tommie Kelly is based in Ardee but is originally from Dundalk. Issue One of TOMMIE KELLY PRESENTS is out in August. You can find out more about him and his comics at http://www.tommiekelly.com