I.C.U. gets the inside scoop from John Dillard about his comic book - The Buckler - Now funding on IndieGogo
What made you decide to focus on a villain?
Villains are the backbone, the driving force in any situation, and I feel that fact is too often overlooked. In a lot of media, the villain is who he is simply because the hero needs something to do. The motivation is typically sparse. I find the best stories are those that have a situation to overcome that is "conceivable" and a villain that is relatable. Or a villain that "Kinda has a point" (think Magneto, Syndrome, Agent Smith). Their sense of morality may be a bit off, and they may be a little, to extremely flawed in their methods, but a villain that truly believes what they're doing is "the right thing" is the most interesting thing I would want to read about.
I heard a really interesting take once. Someone asked the crowd a question. And the question was "what does it feel like to be wrong?" After a long and awkward silence, they continued, " I'll tell you what it feels like, it feels like you're right". That really solidified, for me, the truth in the statement that everyone is the hero of their own story, and it's merely the worlds perception of your actions that labels you a villain....or hero?
Can you give us a little background on yourself?
I don't have a tale of woe, I'm just a humble man trying to make his way in the world. I'm out here trying to tell a story. That's always been my passion. I am a storyteller. been one all my life. I've been doing art a long time, in all kinds of mediums, from face painting and caricatures to murals and gallery paintings. With comics, the blending of actual imagery with the additional "painting a picture" with words makes it the ideal format for my style of storytelling. Also, I get to draw cool shit.
Are you working traditionally or digitally?
Both, mostly digital, but I save the splash pages for the drafting table. I want the iconic images to be physical. I want to hold those in my hand.
How much of the project is already complete?
Quite a bit, I'd say 80%. its 50 pages. 50 pages are penciled, 46 are inked and 35 are fully colored lettered and formatted. If you have seen my work, you can tell the majority of the time spent is on inks. I really like to render detail. The inks are almost done. It's smooth sailing from there.
What is the future of The Buckler? Would you like to return to the character for more stories after finishing this book?
Being totally honest the future of The Buckler depends on how well the book funds. I have a novella ("The Man from Brownsville") in the works, [The Buckler book 2: Segregation] is half written, a prequel (Temple of Polar Twilight) one shot, a series of shorts called The Buckler Diaries, and a side scrolling 90's style beat-em-up video game all in the works.
But, in order for all this to happen the demand has to justify it. The outcome of this first book is going to directly influence how much time I'm going to be able to dedicate to him. I'm really putting everything I've got into this book. It's going be great.
Back The Buckler on IndieGogo
Follow John Dillard on Twitter: @DillardDraws