5 Questions with a Hypersmash Artist: Scott Arnold

I started this blog in order to promote the comic book projects that are scheduled to be published in 2008. I wanted to showcase the talented people involved, and maybe build some positive buzz. That was the idea.

One of the amusing, unintended consequences of the blog was that each of the artists I work with suddenly realized that there were other people out there drawing my scripts. This blog was their first opportunity to learn about one another and to be exposed to each other's work.

When I asked them for suggestions on how to improve the blog, Scott said:

"One other thing that could make for interesting reading would be a brief
bio on each of the artists, or a "5 Questions" - you send us each 5
questions and get the answers up from each of us. Just a thought... I know
I'm always curious about background on artists (years drawing etc, other
projects etc)..."

I thought that sounded like a swell idea. So I pieced together 5 pretty standard questions for our art crew, and gave them the option of writing as much or as little as they chose.

Providing us with our first set of answers is the artist for Lightning Girl Loves Rocket Boy, Scott Arnold. Strap yourselves in, and here we go:

1) Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? What do you do for a living? And what is your artistic background?
Scott Arnold - artist since I was old enough to stand (literally). I live in the frozen tundra that is Toronto (it's not really frozen - and I don't own a dog sled... honest!). I'm a graphic designer for a living, but have done everything from managing a record store to technical writing to an interesting four years as a staff ad designer and illustrator for a small community newspaper. Artistically I'm a mutt. I've been reading comics since I was 9 (with fervor, anyways) and have been influenced by that. I have a BFA from the University of Toronto and a diploma (specializing in photography and illustration) from Sheridan College. I've been doing professional work in any form I could since high school - and continue to be inspired by the art I consume - from gallery shows, to newspaper work to (obviously) comics of all sorts - with an emphasis lately on indie stuff.

2) Who are your artistic influences? Could you name a couple of your favorite comic books and comic characters?

Scott Arnold - I'm influenced by everything from newspaper strips I read as a kid to the music I listen to. Influences range from everywhere - early New York graffitti to modern comics... my cat's named after Walt Kelly's Pogo so that's something of a touchstone, I guess... erm... Fav books? My list probably looks like a lot of peoples, so I'll mention a few oddities that are well worth people checking out... most recently has been Jeff Lemire's Essex County series. He's 2 volumes into a trilogy of graphic novels, and his work is mind-blowingly good. I also recently read (and really dug) Sentences - the auto-biography of hard core hip hop MC MF GRIMM. He wrote it, Ronald Wimberly drew it - and it's a great story. Takes a lot to make me genuinely sympathize with a gangster... GRIMM did it. I'm also a sucker for some of the mainstream stuff and have been really enjoying Runaways lately (those little portable trades are so hard to pass over).

3) What were your first impressions when you saw the art of the other Hypersmash artists?

Scott Arnold - Surprise. I had no idea there WERE other Hypersmash artists... LOL! Seriously, though, I thought it was nice to see diverse styles, and people doing interesting things WITH their styles. I'll be curious to see how the shared world we're playing in unfolds (and what happens when one of us first has to draw the characters created by the others).

[Roel says: the Hypersmash titles don't actually exist in a shared universe, but you can't blame Scott for not knowing that because I certainly didn't make it clear.]

4) How would you describe the title you are working on? What is the most appealing part of working on the title? And are you working on any other projects?
Scott Arnold - Lightning Girl Loves Rocket Boy pretty much describes itself... A John Hughes film with super powers. And robots. Madbots, in fact. As for other projects... I do a weekly political cartoon, regular illustration for a horse-racing magazine and freelance where I can find it (having recently done some design and art for a Spanish drum group from Chicago). I draw constantly, and spent some time this summer working on the start of what may turn into a long form auto-biographical series of vignettes.

5) Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of the blog?

Scott Arnold - Enjoy the work - there's a great mix of stuff here, and if you (the readers) want to know anything - post questions. This is a promotion for a series of books we're all throwing ourselves into 100% - so if you want to know more... just ask!

--And there you have it! I want to thank Scott for coming up with the 5 Questions idea, and also for taking the time to share his answers with us. I have to confess, I actually learned a lot about him myself. For example, it turns out he doesn't own a dogsled. Huh. My bad.

I told Jason and Jeremiah that I'd welcome responses from them as well. If they take the time to write some thoughts down, you can be sure that I'll pass them along to everyone courtesy of this blog. Keep your fingers crossed!

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