One thing I love about going to conventions, is meeting other artists and authors. Taylor is no exception to this. I loved his work so much that I commissioned him to design my Logos for Irregular Mischief Productions. Taylor and I are now pretty good friends, and I intend on keeping his Artistic Awesomeness on retainer.
IMP- How long have you been Illustrating/Making comics?
Taylor- I’ve been drawing since I was a kid, and constantly making my own comics. A few years back my parents moved and my mom found a comic I made when I was 8. It was 4 pages and was about a fish named Mr. Fish, who had a pimp cane. I took some comic classes in college that were a mess, but in about 2013 I got serious about trying to break into comics again and worked on some pages, that I later showed the publisher, Gnosis Comics, who I started working with professionally this year.
IMP- What got you into Comics?
Taylor- Spider-Man #24. My mom randomly brought that issue home for me in 1992 and ruined the rest of my life. I was obsessed! In elementary school I remember staying in from recess and drawing pictures of super heroes. I was in middle school when Dragon Ball Z started airing on Cartoon Network and that really drove the nail into the coffin. I studied illustration at Virginia Commonwealth University with the intention to get in to the comic business. After graduating I partied a bit more than I should’ve, worked dead end jobs and left illustration on the back burner. My wife helped get me back into gear after getting married, and one of my best buds and incredibly talented illustrator, Morgan Sawyer, really helped me get back to where I needed to be artistically. Morgan was actually the one who recommended me to the editor at Gnosis.
IMP- Favorite Comicbooks growing up and why?
Taylor- All of the early 90’s Spider-Man comics. I loved all of the crossovers and tie-in series at the time, especially Maximum Carnage, which everyone complains about today. I had a Super Nintendo and when the Maximum Carnage game came out I about lost my mind. At the time it really felt like I was Spider-Man, even though it was just a standard beat-‘em-up game. Spider-Man was a visually striking character and Peter Parker represented the common man so well. I’ve since re-read a lot of my old Spider-Man comics and picked up on a lot of off panel sex that I totally went over my head as a kid.
IMP- Favorite projects worked on so far?
Taylor- One of my favorite illustration gigs ever was a comic themed wedding invitation where I drew the bride and groom running from a T-Rex The groom was a graphic designer and made the image into a fake comic cover.
As far as comic gigs, I’m loving the series I’m currently working on for Gnosis Comics called I Am Michael Watcher. I really dig the collaboration with the writer, Brian Hawkins. It was an experience I missed out on doing sample pages and comics on my own. We’re taking the late 80s/early 90s slasher genre and throwing in a new level of mystery with secret societies and police drama, while still focusing on an iconic killer. We worked to make a more realistic Jason Vorhees, or Michael Myers archetype. Brian really took the “horny teens get murdered” trope and expanded on it in a unique way that could only be done in the comic medium.
The first issue is available for free on our I Am Michael Watcher facebook page, which we update regularly. Mature readers only. CLICK HERE
IMP- Any Future projects?
Taylor- Brian Hawkins and I are setting up I Am Michael Watcher for the long run. We’ve created so many characters that we’re waiting to slowly kill off. I’ve got another contract in the works with Gnosis for a mini-series that I’ll just be coloring. I hope to be able to announce that soon. In what little free time I’ve got, I’m working on a short comic pitch with a writer friend of mine, Dusty Scott, for a comic which takes place in a cyber-punk world. Hopefully that will see publication in the near future.
There is also a writer named Spike Bowen who I’ve done some character work with that I would love to collaborate with on one of his comic scripts. We work well together and he is my go to guy for advice on weapons.
IMP- What are some of your Biggest achievements so far?
Taylor- Being able to quit my last job and start supporting myself through illustration was one of the greatest feelings ever. Getting the first issue of I Am Michael Watcher out into the world was huge. It was my first full comic ever. There are quite a few things I wish I had changed or spent a little more time on, but I’m still really proud of it. And the next few issues keep getting better.
IMP- How do you feel the industry boom, with conventions, movies and games; has affected comicbooks?
Taylor- This comic boom, just like the one in the 90’s, has allowed for independent publishers to pop up and put out really great books. I love that more people are becoming fans and attending cons. My wife usually helps me out in the artists’ alley and she always asks people if they’re at their first con. One of the funniest responses we heard was from a lady in her 70s, who was at the con with her grandkids, telling us how it was her first con and she couldn’t wait until next year when she could attend without the grandkids. Another upside to the rise in attendance in cons is that more aspiring writers and artists are able to set up tables in the artists’ alley for the first time and make the first step in pursuing their passions as a career.
IMP- If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Taylor- I think stretching powers would be the best. I could be working at the drawing table and reach in the fridge for a beer without getting up. I would basically be the laziest man alive.
Taylor has such a passion for what he is doing that it is a shining example ofhow to follow your dreams. Keep up the AMAZING work Taylor! Everyone Else go Give Him a LIKE ON FACEBOOK!
CEO Spike Bowan is the Pittsburgh based Actor/Director/ Author/ Creator of the Alternate History Genre/Fiction saga "War in the Backyard".
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