Hello, there! Sorry for the delay in posting this newest interview, but, it was well worth the wait I swear. Tim Mayer was incredibly generous with his time to talk a bit about comics, art, and helping developmentally disabled adults get their comics published, let’s go take a look at what he has to say after the jump.
The Gravy Age: What can you tell us about The Anywhere Man?
Tim Mayer: The Anywhere Man is about a hopeless young man who’s destroying himself with alcohol. He gets into an accident at a corporate research laboratory and gains the power to teleport. The problem is that he has absolutely no control over his ability. The story was written by Jeff Lawler, a writer I met through the Legend Comics workshops.
TGA: What’s next for you, anything coming up?
TM: I’m currently working on a book called The Book Prophetica with another local writer, Vince Wesselman. I’m really excited about it! We will be releasing it in digital first, then hopefully as a hard cover graphic novel by next year. Soon I’ll be able to return to The Anywhere Man.
TGA: The Amazing, Invincible, Super Comic Book Project! looks very cool. This was created with students of yours, tell people a little about that.
TM: The Amazing, Invincible, Super Comic Book Project! is the name of the class that I taught at the Ollie Webb Centers Art of Imagination program in Omaha. It is for developmentally disabled adults and the goal was to engage the students in writing and art. Each student learned the basics of comic book creating and had one of their stories published in the comic. We ended up printing three different volumes of collected comics from the students. I continue to teach art classes for them and I love it.
TGA: When you are drawing, what does that process look like? Is there a certain time of day you prefer to work?
TM: I have the opposite of a regular schedule when it comes to working on art stuff. My hours are weird, but I do tend to work late into the night/ early morning. I start on a page with very loose, messy pencils and develop images as I ink them. Ink is what brings an image to life.
TGA: Were there any artists in particular that were an inspiration to you growing up?
TM: My inspirations came from many places. I never paid attention to comic art as a kid, except for the Chris Ware books given to me by my uncle. I had periods when I was really into cartoons like Ren and Stimpy and Batman The Animated Series. Then I started to study art more seriously and got into Dali and Goya and pop artists like Claus Oldenburg. The one constant is Jim Henson.
TGA: Who are some of your favorite artists these days?
TM: Right now, I’m obsessed with Jock, Fiona Staples, Rafael Grampa, and James Stokoe. These people are the modern masters of comics.
TGA: How did you get into mentoring/teaching?
TM: I was contacted by Jim Hoggatt, the artistic director for the Art of Imagination at Ollie Webb Center. He had a student, Amy, who wanted to make a comic book. My name was given to him by Legend Comics. I started mentoring Amy and helped her produce her first comic book. Jim and I then turned the project into an ongoing class and got other students involved.
TGA: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists out there?
TM: Take life drawing classes. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses as an artist. Constantly change how you draw. Love mistakes. Fill hundreds of sketch books with thousands of terrible drawings. Get feedback from lots of different people, but don’t take all of their advice. Take sculpture classes. Watch cartoons and eat cereal.
TGA: Any other stuff you would like people to check out?
Amazing stuff, go check Tim and his projects out, and while you’re at it go stop by the Ollie Webb Center site, as a father with a developmentally disabled child, it absolutely warms my heart to see the work they are doing over there. Fostering a community and helping people realize that they too can create is pretty much what these interviews are all about and Tim Mayer is a wonderful example of someone doing exactly that. I love it.