Hi guys! It’s my pleasure to present to you my interview with Vince Dorse of Untold Tales of Bigfoot! Vince is a spectacular guy who has made an amazing comic. He’s an award-winning illustrator who really understands the art of storytelling.
Thanks for joining us Vince!
Hey, thanks, Michael. I’ve read all the interviews you’ve done with comic creators and
they’re a lot of fun. Let’s hope I don’t sink the ship.
I doubt that would happen! So Vince, tell us a little bit about yourself!
Welp, when I was a kid and people asked me what I was going to be when I grew up,
I said “artist.” If I’d known then that I had the power to call something into being by
just uttering it, maybe I’d have said “millionaire playboy” or “superhero.” But as it is,
freelance illustrator/cartoonist isn’t too terrible a gig. It allows me to hang out with my
cat all day, so I’ve got that going for me.
Sounds fantastic! So Vince, tell us about your project!
My primary project right now is the webcomic, Untold Tales of Bigfoot. You know
the schtick: A camping-trip-gone-wrong ends with a puppy named Scout lost in the
woods. In that same stretch of wilderness lives a Bigfoot – isolated for decades and
desperately lonely. Despite these two working at cross purposes – Scout wants to go
home, Bigfoot wants a friend – the story is about the journey they take together and
the challenges they overcome.
made you want to create it?
It was really a confluence of events, Michael. I’d been interested in trying my hand
at a webcomic for a little while. I wanted to tell some stories and I wanted to work on
my sequential art. That year I’d lost touch with some old friends and moved to a new
place. So, at the time, I was feeling a little detached and isolated from people, and
the stories in my head were leaning in that direction. Coincidentally, I’d been fiddling
around with some cartoony designs of a bigfoot character. All those factors rattled
around in my skull for a while and eventually spilled out as Untold Tales of Bigfoot.
How did the style of your project come about? Are there any direct styles or inspirations you draw from?
Well, time constraints are a big influence on how UTOB ended up looking. If you’ve
visited my portfolio site, vincedorse.com, you might notice my children’s illustrations
are layered with texture and brushstrokes and detail. It was tempting to take the
same approach with my comic, but I figured I’d never get the pages done on time. I’m
obsessive enough that I’d still be tweaking the first page at this point.
So I basically stripped down my style to inked linework with flat color. I didn’t want to
use gradients, textures or other photoshop effects – partly because I knew if I started
doing that I wouldn’t stop, but mostly because I wanted the comic to have a simple,
retro feel. There’s a certain innocence to those old kids’ comics from the ’60s and ’70s.
Just inked line and flat color and story. It was sweet and pure. And that’s what I
wanted to try with UTOB.
How do you come up with ideas for Untold Tales? Is there any special way you approach the creative process of the comic?
For UTOB, I have the overarching storyline locked up tight in my noggin. But, to keep
it fresh for me, I approach each page with very little planning other than a vague idea
of what has to happen. A lot of surprises present themselves to me, working like
that. I’ll start penciling a character in a setting, rough out the dialogue and suddenly
he’s saying something I hadn’t planned for him to say. And that leads to something
that branches off in new directions I hadn’t foreseen. It feels very organic and less
structured than I usually work, and I’m having a lot of fun with it.
Do you listen to music or watch TV when you work? Is there a specific tv show, music album, etc that gets you in the zone?
I don’t have any set rituals, but it’s almost always music. Mostly music from the last 80
or 90 years. That’s a good range. Lots of solid stuff in there. Depending on my mood,
I could listen to almost anything when I draw. Iron Maiden, The Carpenters, Elvis
Costello, Mike Viola, The Jackson 5. A lot of the time it’s stuff from the ’40s and ’50s.
Rat Pack, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Big Band stuff….you know. Crooners, swing
and doo-wop. I’m also addicted to old radio mysteries from that time period, The
Shadow, The Whistler, Inner Sanctum, Suspense… If you walked into my studio space
on those days you’d think I was a 90-year old man. And, really, who’s to say I’m not?
But, honestly, anything goes. And some days it’s just dead silence with maybe the
sound of my cat breathing in the background. Those days…those are the dark days.
Who is/are your favorite artist(s)?
Gosh, well, like everybody else, my hero is Matthew McConaughey, ten years in the
future. But, really, I admire so many different artists in so many different disciplines
it’s difficult to narrow this down. Every time someone asks me this I remember and
forget someone new, but let me try to rattle off some people whose visual storytelling
amazes me. Will Eisner, Wallace Wood, Jack Davis, Bernie Wrightson, Charles
Schulz, Charles Addams, Marc Davis and the rest of Disney’s Nine Old Men, The
Termite Terrace gang, Bill Hanna & Joe Barbera, Jim Henson, N.C.Wyeth, J.C.
Lyendecker, Norman Rockwell and literally hundreds of others who have informed and
educated me with their genius.
Do you consider them a strong influence on your work?
I don’t know if their influences show through all the time, visually. Certainly, with Untold
Tales of Bigfoot, I imagine you might feel a little of a Looney Tunes/Hanna-Barbera/
Peanuts/Muppets vibe…maybe a little of those Harvey Comics from back in the day.
I’m not sure what you see, but sometimes I’m in that headspace when I’m working on
it. Still, I don’t think all the people that influenced and inspired me end up as visual
echoes in my work. I’m not sure you can actually see their influence, but they all
inspire me constantly to work harder and keep improving. That’s the whole reason I
started Untold Tales of Bigfoot. To get better at what I do.
How do you juggle your daily life with the webcomic? Are there ever any challenges you face?
Well, it helps if you’re a hermit. It’s not like I don’t have fun, because drawing is really
fun for me. But it has, over time, replaced other, more time-consuming things I used to
do for fun like hitting the clubs or going to movies or stepping outside into the fresh air
or sleeping. But yeah, it’s all about organizing your time.
Are there any exciting things we can look forward to in the webcomic?
Well, if you’ve been reading it, you know that recently one of the characters
experienced a tragic loss. That’s something that we’ve been heading toward for the
last year and a big part of the story. The next big thing to look forward to – if you want
to look forward to it – is the conclusion of book one. And, I gotta tell you, we are racing
toward the finish line at this point. So if anyone wants to jump on, now’s a good time
to catch up. Oh, and, of course, there’s that tragic end scene I’m toying with where the
sasquatch eats the puppy, but I’m still on the fence about that one.
Where do you see your webcomic in a year, in five?
Barring any ill-conceived, last-minute plot twists, “Book One” of Untold Tales of Bigfoot
should be finished within a year. When I started it, I wasn’t sure anyone would even
read it. But the response to the comic has been encouraging enough that I’ve been
working on a storyline for book two. Nothing formal, just some mental notes. But if I do
work on a second UTOB story, I won’t create it the same way – writing and drawing
pages week to week and posting them. I’ve learned enough from this little experiment
to know that, if there’s a next time, I’m going to do the lion’s share of work in relative
isolation before releasing it for public consumption. I’ll miss the feedback and the
thrill of the deadline, but it’ll give me more time to craft better pages. I may prefer that
method, I may not. But it’ll be a learning experience either way.
What are your future plans for your webcomic?
With UTOB, I suppose if some publishing house doesn’t come knocking on my door,
waving a fistful of money in my face and asking to print this thing, I’ll probably spend
some time knocking on theirs. But knowing the odds against swinging a publishing
contract, I may resort to printing it myself. Getting it printed was never part of my initial
goal, but after putting so much work into it, it’d be nice to have something tangible
to riffle through. So, I suppose something like Kickstarter is always a possibility. I’m
hoping I’ll have the reader numbers to support something like that, but we’ll have to
see how it goes.
Do you have any plans for upcoming conventions or shows?
Nothing set in stone. But when Untold Tales of Bigfoot goes to print, I’ll likely try to
hit a convention or two. Honestly, I’m constantly working on various comic and story
projects and even collaborating with other comic creators. So there’s a chance I may
show up behind a convention table for one reason or another. I’ve never been on that
side of the table, but all you guys who have keep telling me it’s a blast.
So there you have it! Make sure to follow Vince’s webcomic and connect with him on social media! Also be sure to grab a copy of Untold Tales of Bigfoot when it goes to print!
Untold Tales of Bigfoot: untoldtalesofbigfoot.com
Vince’s other comic & cartoon art: vincedorse.tumblr.com
Vince’s children’s illustration/main site: vincedorse.com
Vince’s process/news blog: vincedorse.wordpress.com