Indie Interviews – Scott A Ford
This week we sit down and talk to the one and only Scott A Ford. If you like comics, and we’re sure you do, you’ll want to take a peek at what Scott is up to. After you’re done, be sure to check out his work here.
What was your reason for getting into comics? That is, how did you end up involved in comics?
I’ve always loved making up stories. So like a lot of kids, my natural introduction to storytelling was through creative writing. But the more I wrote, the more I found myself desperately trying to control what my reader was picturing, filling every scene with the most minute details. I’ve also been into art and drawing for as long as I can remember. So, at the end of high school, when I discovered the potential of comics, I realized that I could combine my two interests by writing the stories that I wanted to write, through pictures instead of words.
Who would you say is your comic book inspiration as a writer?
My first comic inspiration was Mike Mignola, which comes across pretty strongly in my first comic series, Romulus + Remus. Mignola is still a big influence, but I have since found a lot of inspiration from Paul Pope, Chris Ware, and Dave McKean, to name a few.
What was your first work in comics like?
My first comic, Romulus + Remus, is an action/horror comic inspired by ancient Roman mythology. It’s a relatively simple story that revolves around a showdown between a fallen angel and a banished demon. I created two issues of Romulus + Remus, which respectively serve as the beginning and end of what I consider the ‘first season’ of this comic series. So far I’m pretty content with just these two issues and have since moved onto other projects, but I may eventually decide to return to Romulus + Remus for what would be the ‘second season’ of the story.
How many years have you been working in comics?
I’ve been making comics for about 8 years, starting Romulus + Remus Issue 1 in the summer after high school.
Tell me a little bit about your work. Where does it draw inspiration from? Where do you come up with your ideas?
If I’m being honest, most of my inspiration these days comes from video games, animation, and standalone illustrations. I’m inspired by character designs and world building. New ideas stem from just about anything: it could be an artistic style that I want to experiment with, an interesting character design, or an environment that I want to write a story around. I catalog a lot of these little ideas and eventually they start to fuse together and shape what a new comic could be.
Who have you worked alongside in the industry?
So far, almost all of my comic projects have been entirely independent. I’ve collaborated with some other creators that I’ve become friends with over the years: Scott Henderson, David Robertson, Andrew Lodwick, and Steven Charles Rosia, mostly through comic projects published by Portage & Main Press. Although I love working independently on my own passion projects, I’m interested in collaborating more in the near future and maybe turning some of these personal projects into collaborations.
Growing up, who is your favorite character or team? Who is it now?
I was never really interested in comics as a kid, so I never had a favorite character growing up. I remember liking Batman, Spiderman, and Superman, but I think that had more to do with the toys than the comics. Reading Hellboy at the end of high school was the first time I felt really passionate about a character and the story that surrounded them.
Do you have any advice for a new writer who is just getting into the business?
My advice for any developing writer or artist is to practice and experiment. When I was first interested in storytelling, I thought that I had to be an author, I didn’t see any other options. So when I discovered comics, I discovered that I could tell any story through both art and writing. But what that writing says, or what that art looks like, is almost limitless! And I’m still experimenting, and trying new and crazy ways to make art and tell stories, like my experimental comic Giants’ Well for example. Don’t limit yourself. Not all experimentation will be fruitful, but sometimes knowing what doesn’t work is just as valuable as knowing what does. My other advice is being patient. In my experience, everything takes longer than you think it will, and most projects will be more challenging than you thought at first. But if it’s important to you, then you’ll persevere, finish those projects that matter most to you, and keep learning every step of the way.
Where do you see your work taking you?
I’m still not sure where my work is headed. I’m just starting to dip my toe into comic collaborations and professional publishing. And I’m still experimenting: with my artistic methods, my professional priorities, and my avenues for showcasing my work. Like most artists, my overall goal is to expand my audience and share my work with as many people as I can. I make my art for myself, but I still make it with the enjoyment of others in mind.
What are you up to next?
I am currently finishing up my first full-length graphic novel, Ark Land, which is also my first professionally published book, by ChiZine Publications. In short, Ark Land is The Legend of Zelda meets District 9. It’s an adventure story about a humble fantasy world turned on its head by the sudden arrival of mysterious alien arks, transporting alien creatures to their planet. This is easily my most ambitious creative project yet, and it’s very close to completion. It will be released this spring (2018) and I am incredibly excited to finally see this project come to an end and get it out to the public.
Where do you see the direction of the comic industry heading in 20 years?
I’ll be honest, I don’t really follow the comic industry as a whole, or try to pin down fluctuating trends. I think the biggest thing (which could be said for the entertainment industry as a whole) is bringing more diversity to the comic landscape. A diversity of all kinds; in its creators (writers, artists, publishers, etc.), as well as in its content (characters, worlds, themes, artistic styles, and more). I don’t know if my work will necessarily be at the forefront of that movement, but I’m hoping that it will at least contribute in the right direction.
Where can we buy and/or see your work? How can people get a hold of you?
A little history…
Scott A Ford is an award-winning comic creator, illustrator, and designer from Winnipeg, Canada. His work puts an emphasis on atmosphere and rich visuals, drawing inspiration from video games, graphic design, film, and animation. His comic projects include Romulus + Remus, Giants’ Well, and Ark Land. Scott’s experimental fantasy horror comic, Giants’ Well, received a 2017 Manitoba Book Award, for book design and illustration. His work has been featured in galleries, publications, on beer cans, and book covers, and has spoken about his artistic practice at numerous public presentations about art and design.