QUICK QUESTIONS WITH: John A. Walsh
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO COMICS?I’m John A. Walsh, the Author and Illustrator of the Graphic Novel/Web-Comic GO HOME PADDY. I’m an Irish-American and I live in Boston, MA in the U.S.WHAT COMIC ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?Right now I’m working on GO HOME PADDY, which is the tale of one Famine era Irish immigrant’s aching struggle to succeed in a Bostonian society that fears and hates him while not forgetting his own people’s wretched history. I’ve also launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds to see the project completed.WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF MAKING COMICS?Creating. Just getting ideas into my head and running with them. At the beginning of a project there are NO limitations…you run into those later.
WHAT’S THE WORST PART OF MAKING COMICS?
Limitations, definitely. Limits of time, money, skill, etc.HOW DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER COMICS?I’m the youngest of five boys, so at some point one of my brothers must have brought comics into the house and from there I was hooked. My earliest memories are of Batman comics from the 70’s; things like Giant Sized Batman or Batman Family.WHO IS THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK?This is going to sound ABSOLUTELY ridiculous, because you can’t see a speck of their genius in my work, but THE big influences for me were Frank Miller, David Mazzucheli, Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and Chris Ware. Like I said…ridiculous. I’m also enamored with the work of Windsor McCayWHAT TOOLS OF THE TRADE DO YOU USE?I’m a brush, nib, pen, toothbrush kind of guy. Also, Photoshop and InDesign for cleaning up, coloring and lettering.WHAT IS THE SINGLE WORK OF WHICH YOU ARE MOST PROUD?Without a doubt, GO HOME PADDY. It’s a story that’s been burning in me for a few years now and putting it to paper has been tough, but gratifying.WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?Just do the work. Even if it’s subpar, just do the work and you’ll get better.WHAT IS THE WORST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?“Comics?! Are you nuts?”WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CURRENT IRISH COMIC SCENE?Well, since I’m here in the States, I don’t get to see as much of it as I should. But there seems to be a whole generation of Irish comic creators out there, and I can’t help but to think that they’ll be making their mark on the industry in due time.WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN IRISH COMIC IN THE NEAR FUTURE?I would love to see the Irish Comic scene begin to get the recognition that some other spots (for example Portland and Brooklyn here in the U.S.) have received.WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN IN COMICS IN GENERAL IN THE NEAR FUTURE?I think more and more original CREATOR OWNED Graphic Novels would be great for creators, buyers and the industry. Original ideas by original creators – not the same old rehashes that the main comic publishers keep giving us.WHAT WAS THE LAST COMIC THAT MADE AN IMPACT ON YOU?Two that really stand out to me are Alan’s War by Emmanuel Guibert and Three Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man by Matt Kindt. I can’t recommend these two highly enough! I think both are wonderful examples of what can be accomplished in this medium. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that both Guibert and Kindt are top-notch creators.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 😉 )Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Keep working and you’ll get better. And network as much as you can—you’ll meet really cool people that love the same art form as you!ANY FINAL THOUGHTS?
Thanks for giving me the chance to answer these. Very kind of you all and the next time I make it back to Ireland (???) I would love to sit down and talk shop with you guys!