Picture the scene. A small child drawing a picture of two comic book heroes having sex on a piece of paper. When suddenly -- THUMP! -- his bedroom door abruptly swings opens, and in comes sauntering in, the child's father, who swiftly looks at what he drew, and then praises him for it, and criticizes him for it, both in the same breath. Want to know more? Then please, by all means, check out this interview I had with the big child in question, Gerry Kinssell. Trust me. He's one hell of a guy.
Gerry Kissell on Amazon
1) What are your own origins, Gerry? Plus what path did you take in life to get to where you are today? Origins? That is a big question. Okay. Well, I hope you can spare an hour. Ha!
I always wanted to be a comic artist. I mean, for as long as I can remember. I grew up drawing. Both my parents, as fucked up as they were, were also great artists. So, I had no choice in what I was going to be. I was screwed, Ha! I was metaphorically born with a pen in my hand. When I was age 10, my dad found a drawing I had done of Robin, from Teen Titans, and I had drawn him having sex with Wonder Girl. It was very graphic. He told me that it was a really good drawing, but then punished me for drawing it. I stopped drawing sexy stuff, however, that didn't stop my brain from being fixated on it, Ha!
I used to draw a lot of comic pages and stuff as a teen. My best friend and I used to sit and talk about comics we would do together. However, My goals of doing comics just didn't happen. I had, had a son when I was 18, so, moving to New York wasn't in the cards, and back then, both DC and Marvel would not hire freelancers unless they were established. You had to move there and become a staff artist. So, my professional art career didn't start until I was age 24, when I started working as the lead artist for Selling Power Magazine.
3) What song would you say best represents your style and why? "Go Your Own Way", by Fleetwood Mac and "Shock The Monkey" by Peter Gabriel. Ha!
Iron Sky is the prequel to the hit sci-fi action comedy film that came out last year. It explains how the Nazi's got to the moon, and once they got there, all the stuff that happened that leads them up to the events seen in the film. It was written by Mikko Rautalahti (Writer of the hit Xbox horror game Alan Wake) and drawn by me and Amin Amat.
I did the comic art seen at the end of the film Liberator, starring Lou Ferrigno. The creators later came to me, and asked if I'd like to do an actual comic, I said "Hell yes!" I love Lou Ferrigno. He has been a hero of mine since I was a kid. Blue Water is publishing that. It is a super hero action thriller.
6) If you don't mind me for saying so, stylistically your artwork reminds me of a mix-mash of the Daredevil artist, Alex Maleev, plus the ‘From Hell’ artist, ‘Eddie Campbell’. Out of curiosity, though, what artist inspired you the most to draw? Thanks. Well, as I mentioned before, Al Williamson was a huge influence on me. Frank Frazetta was a huge influence. And Drew Struzan was huge a influence on me as well.
Vindicated is created by me, but, I turned to my writer friends (who are also military vets) to help me develop it; this includes Ernesto Haibi and Robert Scott McCall. The final script was written by best selling author Shane Moore (Apocalypse of Enoch) and myself. For the immense amount of combat, both in the military scenes as well as the urban combat he does in the streets of Seattle, we have Senior Military advisers Dale Dye and Julia Dye, the folks who oversaw the military stuff in 'Platoon', 'Saving Private Ryan' and other great war films. I love working with those two.
I intend to also align ourselves with a charity for wounded vets. This is an important issue to everyone involved.
8) What was the first comic book you ever read? And do you still read mainstream comic books today? I don't remember my first comic. But, I remember the first one I bought with my own money. I still own it, and it is even signed by the artist, Bernie Wrightson. It was Batman vs Swamp Thing, 1972.
9) During your time as a creator, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead? Shame. I really hate being ashamed of not finishing something.