RICH INTERVIEWS: John Warren Inker/Letterer/Colorist/Web Designer/Animator for Dark Spud

First Comics News: How did you become involved with online comics?

John: It was kind of a natural progression. I did a lot of small press work over the years. I self published, for awhile. Doing them online was a good way to get my work out there for everyone to see, with virtually no overhead. And that led to what we are doing now, with the animated comics and comic strips on youtube.

1st: What will people find at ?

John: The original issue of Starchy the DarkSpud is online. We are posting weekly comic strips. There is a link, right in the middle of our home page, that will take you to our youtube channel, which we are updating frequently with some great animated adventures of everyone’s favorite Spud. And look for some of our other projects to start showing up.

1st: When can we expect the Starchy the Dark Spud trade paperback to be out? How is your Kickstarter doing?

John: Well, it’s done and ready to go to press at a moments notice. It’s 140 pages. That includes 4 issues of the DarkSpud comic book, over 100 comic strips, a pin-up section, and several pages of special guest stars. It’s been several years since we published an issue of Starchy, so we set up the youtube channel as a way to start building a buzz, to drum up some support for the character. So the faster the support and fan base grows, the faster the Kickstarter campaign will come. We are adding a new animated adventure every week or two, and telling everyone we meet to spread the word about the youtube channel. Honestly, we are just having such a great time creating the animated adventures and watching our little audience of die hard fans grow, that we aren’t terribly worried about the time line yet. There will be a steady flow of new and exciting content available to entertain our fans.

1st: What does an animator do?

John: Make pictures move. In a somewhat exciting way, if they are doing it right. The style we are using to animate is somewhat unique. It’s more detailed artistically, for whatever it may be lacking in other areas. We found a process that works great for us, and looks pretty nice on youtube. I prefer watching our videos on a large screen tv, preferably 60 inches or more, to better view all the colors and details in the art. They really pop on a big screen.

1st: What advantage do digital comics have over printed ones?

John: Other than man hours, there is virtually no production cost. And you can get them to the consumer instantly.

1st: What do you think is the main selling point of “Dark Spud”?

John: The humor is contagious. And it’s an easy concept to explain. What if Batman were a mentally challenged potato? And we parody everything. So you’ll always has something fresh and new to laugh at.

1st: What was “Holy Terror” about and what was your part in creating it?

John: I didn’t have a part in creating it, but played a small role as the colorist on the book. I knew the creative team on the book: Jason Caskey, Phil Hester, and my brother Jim Woodyard was the inker. They called me because their colorist lost the
file of all the pages he’d colored, or something like that? And they knew i was fast and would get it done. Issue 1 was due at the printers in 3 weeks. So I had to color the first issue, the covers to 4 issues, and some pin-ups and design sheets in 3 weeks. I had a full time job that I worked around 60 hours a week at the time, and had just started dating my future son’s mother. So that was no small task.

1st: You ink, would you like to pencil as well or have you?

John: I pencil as well. I’m the co-writer and penciler on Nuts N’ Bots. Mark McElligott and I just work really well together as a creative team. And he’s much better at the complexities of drawing a super hero potato, so I defer to his expertise and embellish his pencils.

1st: What other comics do you like to read and did you as a child?

John: I don’t really read a lot of comics right now. To busy writing my own, I guess? The Byrne/Claremont run on the X-Men was one of my childhood favorites. I liked Alan Moore’s run on Miracle Man. Frank Miller’s Dark Knight. And to many others to mention.

1st: Why are you attracted to comics?

John: Well, they are certainly more fun than the real world. I’ve just always been attracted to the creative process. I never feel more at home than when I’m creating something new. Whether that’s writing, drawing, inking, coloring, or animating. I enjoy the whole process.

1st: What one super power would you most enjoy having and why?

John: Telekinetics. You could do almost anything if you were telekinetic. You could fly, move objects around, or erect a force field around yourself. On a higher level you could alter matter itself. So it’s limitless what you could do.

1st: What would you like to say to all your readers?

John: Strap in. You’re in for a wild ride!

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