Monday, July 21, 2008

Cream City Conversations with Jon Sloan

Hello all!

Another happy Monday and I'm back with another 'interview'. This time up brings us the return of Jon Sloan. It's always great to listen to Jon's excitement about the medium. I hope at least a hint of that comes through your computer screen.


1) For the uninitiated, your name and location?

Jon Sloan, I live in the Northwest Minneapolis metro area.

2) What have you been up to lately? What projects have you been attached to in the first 6 months of 2008?

Still juggling my duties as an Art Teacher, Security Guard, and Tae Kwon Do Instructor. I've been busy working on my submission for "Muscles And Frights", as well as working on my book "Sa-Bom Jim"... I've also done my first spot illustration for a corporate newsletter for Cargill Corp., as well as contributed to the "Lutefisk Sushi C event this past Spring.

3) When and where can people pick up and/or see these works?

The submission for "Lutefisk Sushi C" is in a limited edition box set with other works. Remaining copies should be available at FallCon. "Muscles And Frights" is slated to be released at FallCon, and I will have copies of my book available for sale, as well as have a portfolio of my work at my table for convention goers to see.

4) What projects and events are on the horizon? Do you have release dates in-mind at present? If so, indulge us.

I am going to be featuring a back-up story in issues #7 and #8 of "Sa-Bom Jim" that will be written and drawn by Earl Luckes. I've been in contact with Earl, and his story really looks good so far. I'm excited to see how another person will be interpreting my work. The projected release will be this Fall.

5) Have you been working in any new mediums or experimenting with your known style and tools, at all?

Yes, as a matter of fact. For the "Muscles And Frights" story, I am red-lining my drawing style quite a bit, going for more realistic drawing as opposed to my regular loose, cartoony style. I am also experimenting with using pencils as well as inks in my finished images.

*Note: Reads cool, Jon. I'm already looking forward to it. -AR

6) If you've been trying new things, share a bit of your thoughts on that process.

To give you a bit of a teaser, the story does involve zombies, so I've had to really examine anatomy to make sure things look authentic enough for what I'm doing. This is taking more time for me to draw, due to the unfamiliarity of this new style, as well as constantly making certain that I don't slip up and ruin what I've been working hard at.

As far as mediums, working with the pencils are more natural for me... as that's what I've been drawing with ever since I graduated up from crayons as a little kid. Inking has always been my nemesis, I always feel that I lose quite a bit of my drawing quality when I ink my work. I hope that by working more with both of these media, I can bring out more quality in my artwork.

7) Do you keep a sketchbook? If so, what do you get out of this process? Do you think it's a good thing, in general, for an artist to do?

I have a few sketchbooks that I doodle in sometimes. I'm trying to become more practiced in doodling and sketching out ideas and details, mostly for future use. I think it's a necessary tool for an artist to have. It's a good repository for ideas, even if you don't have any use for them at the time you draw them. Having a sketchbook and working in it is a great way to keep your skills sharp.

8) Do you ever use these sketchbook drawings for your printed works? If so, please explain how the sketchbook art informs your finished work.

Yes, when I was trying to think up the character design for Sa-Bom Jim, I ended up looking through my sketchbooks I drew when I was a student at St. Cloud State. I found a few thumbnail sketches of a martial arts character I drew. It was from this basic idea that I built the look for Jim.

9) With convention season in full swing, where can the comic book reading public expect to see you and purchase your merchadise [personally]?

I am planning on being at FallCon this year again, where I am eager to meet more of the comics-reading public as well as hobnob with other comics creators. Folks will be able to buy books from my table, as well as go to my website:

10) The big convention this year has got to be Fallcon 2008. If you plan to be there, will you have anything special for that particular show?

I don't quite know yet. I hope to... I am in training to test for my 5th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, also slated for this Fall. If I am able to have something special for this show, I will announce it on my website.

11) Now we're caught up on what you're doing and where we can see this year. What are you reading and watching these days? Is there any particular book or film you'd like to make sure people are looking for?

With my work schedule, I haven't been able to see all the movies I wanted to see this Summer. Within the last year or so, the two books that have stood out for me have been "An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, & True Stories" Edited by Ivan Brunetti, and "Will Eisner's New York: Life In The Big City".

*Note: It's always good to see other artists are reading Eisner's wonderful works. His stuff is among my most prized personal library pieces. -AR

Brunetti's anthology is a wonderful collection of work done by outstanding artists in the field of alternative comics, and is something every comics person should read. Eisner's book is a collection of his New York City stories in one volume, but is a great read for literature as well as analyzing the works of this late master.

*Note: I'll have to look up that Brunetti anthology. Thanks for mentioning it. -AR

12) Anything already in the works for 2009?

The one question I always ask myself at the completion of one project is "What's next?". I definitely want to get more issues of Sa-Bom Jim done, and I'm batting around ideas for some separate projects, hopefully collaborating more with other members of the ICC.

*Note: That reads really cool. You can count me in! -AR

13) Do have any other thoughts you'd like to share?

Just a stray thought from an interview with Frank Miller done years ago when he said "This is a great artform to be working in....and this is a GREAT time to be doing comics!"

*Note: Amen!

Thanks, Jon!