Pecos Bill Believe it or not, once upon a time I used to be a teacher at an elementary school. Wasn't a bad job really. I had long holidays. A regular paycheck. And it was nearby too. Heck, the only thing at fault with this temporary-vocation, was that I had to inform the little brats how to use crayons in a orderly fashion. Hey! Wait a minute. That reminds me of my good pal, Brian Du Pont. Please check out this conversation I had with him only the other day, whilst ordering crayons in an disorderly fashion.

Pecos Bill #1

1) What are your own origins, Brian? Plus what path did you take in life to get to where you are today?   I grew up in a small farm town in Illinois. My school was really small, so I didn't have art classes until high school. I loved art class so much that in my Senior year, I spent 6 of my 8 classes in the art room! When I got to college, I continued taking art courses. I knew I wanted to be an art teacher and one of the best parts of my education was being forced to take all sorts of art classes like drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and weaving (yes, I took weaving). So, now, I'm here, an art teacher in central Illinois, married to a book illustrator, and father of 2 comic book lovin' children.

Pecos Bill Artwork2) What prompted you to create your tumbler site ‘colringbk’?   I'm already on several other social networking sites to share my art and projects. Facebook is for my family to see, Twitter to communicate with other artists and creators, deviantArt to share and document my art. But, Tumblr is a site where I'm attempting to connect with more artists and to get some more exposure for my art and comic book. So, if you see something you like, reblog it! Heck, even if you don't like it, reblog! “Colringbk” comes from my first email and I wanted “Coloringbook” (y'know for the art teacher thing), but it was already taken.

3) Being a teacher, what would you say was the one thing you've noticed about the youth of today, compared to the youth of yesteryear?   I haven't been teaching very long, but one thing I've noticed about my students, compared to when I was a student, is that now, they really want to bring their personality into the artwork. When I was a student, I felt like it was my place to just work on those Elements of Art and make artworks to that. It didn't feel personable enough. As a teacher looking at these students, I see they want to bring their individuality and interests to the classroom. This is challenging. I'm over twice as old as they are, so I keep my eyes and ears open to what they talk about and what they are interested in. That way, I hope they create an art piece that they are proud of and show ownership to. Plus, I'm not a fan of the 'Elements of Art', and would rather teach about how to create figures through comic books.

4) What’s the genesis of your up and coming comic book project, Pecos Bill? And do you have any publishing affiliations?   I started thinking of my comic book, Pecos Bill, well over a year ago. I started wondering what it would be like if the tall tale legend continued into today. What if he never aged, but still had to experience all of life through the entrance of the 20th Century, past the Depression, through McCarthyism, and now today? How would other people react? Would they know who he was? Should he settle down and live life like a normal person? Or still chase down twisters? Those thoughts sparked this book.

Frederic Remington Artwork
I decided that Pecos would live the business life of owning a ranch, but still longs for those adventures. My future ideas for this series involve looking back into the missing times of Pecos Bill: like when he meets inventor Nikola Tesla and acquires a secret jetpack, battles the Soviets during McCarthyism, and even having an adventure with Pop-Artist Roy Lichtenstein.

5) Who inspired you to draw? Plus what’s the biggest difference between what they do stylistically, and what you do stylistically?   There are several people that have influenced me. When I was young, my mother and grandmother would constantly buy me drawing tools. I remember my grandmother bought me one of the first set of Crayola Washable Markers which I promplty tested on the interior of our Chevy Astro van. They weren't so washable. Later in life, I had an awesome high school art teacher, Mr. Carpenter. He really enjoyed his job, and he always let me visit the art room before and after school to work on extra projects. In the art world, one of my favorite artist is Frederic Remington. His art pieces always have action and suspense. All of these people have played a role in my desire to create.

6) If your style of art was a song, what song would it be and why?   I feel that my art has a narrative quality to it. Whatever I work on, whether its an etching or a comic page, I always want to tell a story and get my audience to think about the story. So, I think of songs like 'LeRoy Brown' by Jim Croce. Whenever I hear that song, I get a clear image of what's happening, plus what LeRoy looks like and how he gets pummeled at the end of the song. I'd like to draw this song someday. I have to say, too, that Kirby Krackle songs show up in my drawings frequently.

Age of Apocalypse
7) What was the first comic book you ever read? And do you still read mainstream comic books today?   Honestly, I don't remember the first comic book I read. I think it was one of the X-men books during the early 90s when Professor X gets accidentally killed by his son and it sends the X-universe into the Age of Apocalypse. I loved that series. But what came out of it was one of the stories I remembered most. Generation Next #4: when Colossus, for as strong as he is, and loyal to the cause, is forced to fail saving his team from their death. That last page when he is running as hard as he can towards the closing door and watching his face showing determination, struggle, and then defeat got me realizing that these comic books aren't just telling a story or using nice pictures, but that they can change you and affect you.

8) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, what person would you get, and why would you want to choose this particular person?  Patrick Swayze -- but he has to be Pecos Bill from the Disney film 'Tall Tale'. My family would watch this movie as inspiration, and my son would yell, “I'm PECOS BILL!”

9) During your time as a creator, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   My wife bought me a Wacom Intuos tablet last year and since then, I have been able to put my thoughts into drawing. I tried to draw on paper the first page to Pecos Bill, and lost focus on it. That tablet has made it so much easier to create my comic book.

... and what makes life easier for you, Bri, also makes life better for us too. So what are you waiting for, dear reader? You know what to do! Step One: Visit Brian's Deviantart site. Step Two: Check out his Tumblr page. And Step Three: tweet-tweet. Go on. You'll get a biscuit!

Patrick Swayze
Pecos Bill #1 ]

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