WEBCOMIC INTERVIEW: Jack Slade of Scaredemy

scaredemy-promoHey guys! Today I have an interview with my buddy Jack Slade who creates the webcomic called Scaredemy! Jack’s an all-around great guy and awesome webcomic artist!

Jack has been interviewed multiple times about his comic that features a high school full of monsters and mayhem!

Here’s his interview!

Hi Jack, so tell us a little bit about yourself!

My name is Jack Slade, I am illustrator / cartoonist based in the sprawling megalopolis of Kenosha, WI. By day, I am a Project Manager, but after the kids go to bed I am Cintiq hugging, tea drinking, cartooning megalomaniac.

 Great! So tell us about your webcomic!

My current project is a webcomic named Scaredemy. Scaredemy is an special academy for young ghouls, monsters, and magicians. The protagonist of the story is a young sorcerer named Simon Fairwee. Simon’s only issue (outside of some general bullying), is the fact that he has yet to acquire his magical abilities. Scaredemy is a coming of age tale a young boy and his friends, as he takes the journey from boy to young man.

What was the origin of the project? Was there any specific event that
 happened that made you want to create it?

The idea of a all-monster junior high school is an idea that I’ve been kicking around for five or so years. Since the airing of the TV show “The Wonder Years”, I’ve always wanted to create my own story chronicling. So naturally, I just combined the two ideas.

 How did the style of your project webcomic come about?
 Are there any direct styles or inspirations you draw from?

I was a late “bloomer” when it came to cartooning. I exclusively drew more photo realistic portraits until my early 20’s when the cartooning bug finally got me. It was a big change from what I was doing, and although it looked easy, it was anything but. As far as style and inspiration, I love the backgrounds of Maurice Noble, and the entire lineup of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. My main character Simon, is an homage to Sherman from “Sherman and Mr. Peabody”

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How do you come up with ideas for your webcomic? Is there
 any special way you approach the creative process of the comic?

Scaredemy is a combination of gag-a-day format and a long
format story telling strip. The longer storyline is something that I am
constantly tweaking, but I had fleshed out the entire longer storyline
before I did any visual work. The gag-a-day format is how I tell the
story, and that is a blend of jokes that just pop into my head, and
pieces that move the longer story ahead. The challenge is working the
stand alone jokes into the longer storyline.

 Do you listen to music or watch tv when you work? Is there a specific (tv show)(music album)(insert media) that gets you in the zone?

I do, mostly podcasts. Just about everything on the Frogpants network is great to draw to, also Comics Coast to Coast, The Webcomics Alliance Podcast, Digital Strips and Tall Tale Radio.

 Who is/are your favorite artist(s)? 

My main influences are Maurice Noble, Chuck Jones, Steve Purcell, Craig McCracken and Bruce Timm.

Do you consider them a strong influence on your work?

I think my style is a good blend of many artists, those not even listed in the previous question. I try to steal little bits here and there from any piece of art I enjoy. I really try to break down a piece of art to see why I like it so much, then add that element to my tool box.

How do you juggle your daily life with the webcomic? Are there ever any challenges?

It can be difficult at times. But, I try to work ahead, working late on weeknights, and waking up early on the weekends. I try to steal moments when I can during the week to setup the framework and do the heavy lifting on the weekends.
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Where do you see your webcomic in a year, in five?

I haven’t really promoted my comic at all, except on Twitter for the first year of it’s existence. This year, I really want to get out and do some promotion, Project Wonderful, inkoutbreak, Comic Rocket, etc… Five years from now, the main storyline I have written will have been finished for some time. But, I am leaving open the possibility of new adventures with new students.

What are your future plans for your webcomic?

This next year, I am looking to add commissions in a creative way (have your class picture taken at Scaredemy!), and offer some goodies on my site. Once all is said and done, I am looking to collect it all in one book.

Jack’s Websites:
The Scaredemy Webcomic
Scaredemy Facebook Page
Jack Slade’s Twitter Account
Jack’s Email

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