I pray all is well. As the interviews keep on rolling, I wanted to introduce you to Al Nickerson. Al started working in comics in 1994, mostly as an inker for DC, Archie, and Marvel. He was also an animator and designer for MTV Animation, Sesame Street, and Nickelodeon.
Amongst all of that he, along with some friends, self-published a couple of comics including THE ARGGH!!!, CHRONICLES 2000 EDITION, and NIHILIST-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS #1.
Nowadays, he’s self-publishing AN ACT OF FAITH.
Now for the interview…
When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan? As a writer/artist/creator?
I’ve been readings comics for as long as I can remember. I started as a comics professional in 1994.
Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?
Comics is a very powerful literary form. And a comic book can be created by a single individual. There aren¹t many other forms of art or entertainment that can be created by just one person.
Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?
At DC, I was inking a bunch of their more cartoon-related books like JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVENTURES, JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, HI HI PUFFY AMI YUMI, PRINCESS NATASHA, and other comic books. At Archie Comics, I was inking titles such as SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, TALES FROM RIVERDALE, and ARCHIE & FRIENDS.
What project(s) are you currently working on?
I am writing, drawing, and self-publishing. AN ACT OF FAITH
. The comic is about a young, new, super-hero by the name of Rebecca Stern. She joins forces with other super-heroes, Nemish-Man, Kid-Cockroach, and Professor Jack in searching for the Sword of Eden. You remember the legendary sword used by angels to keep Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden? Of course, a bunch of nasty demons want to try and stop our heroes from finding the sword.
What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?
Well, AN ACT OF FAITH
is a serialized digital comic. Advice from a friend made it clear to me that a serialized comic would be better than having a large, one-shot graphic novel. A serialized comic would be the best way to build a large audience over time. With self-publishing, there are no pesky editors to bother me. As a digital comic, I have no printing costs to worry about.
And as I and a several friends would say, “Comics is comics.” It doesn¹t matter if a comic is in print or digital, whether it’s a monthly comic, or a larger graphic novel. They’re all comics.
What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?
I am a huge fan of the works of Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, John Byrne, and Frank Miller. Those guys really inspired me to want to work in comics.
Say a little about how you¹ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?
AN ACT OF FAITH is a comic with very strong Christian themes and subject matter. Sequential art, comics, is a medium in which very powerful and important stories and ideas (like politics and God) can be told.
What advice would you give to other Christians who are considering making comics?
Well, as I often say to young artists: Be persistent. Never let anyone discourage you. Know your rights. Don’t be afraid to say “no.” Smart work is better than hard work. Never put yourself in a position where you create something (a character or such) that will end up being owned by someone else.
Are there any future projects you are working on, or would like to work on?
Right now, it’s all about AN ACT OF FAITH. I have no desire to go back to working on other people’s characters. I¹m done with work-for-hire.
In future issues of AN ACT OF FAITH, our heroes will battle zombies, a bunch of ninja, and other super-villains. Rebecca and friends will face legendary villains such as Count Orlok and the Green Knight. If that ain’t enough, our heroes will also be looking for Noah’s Ark!
What is your take on the current state of Christian or Christian-themed comics? What, if anything, would you like to see more of in the future? What, if anything, would you like to see done differently?
Secular entertainment is increasingly becoming more ungodly. I would like to see more Christian content in all forms of entertainment; especially comics. Christian comics should have strong Christian messages. They should stand out from all of the garbage that we see in secular mainstream comic books.
Christians should support Christian comics. What I¹m trying to do, what I support, is having more Christian content in comics. To create comics for Christians where the readers don’t have to feel insulted by the content of the comics that they read. And I’m trying, also, to use comics to reach a lost audience. So, I want everyone to read my book.
As far as the Christian comics that I like, I really enjoy seeing the work of Eric Merced. Josh Alves’ ARACHNID KID is really fun to read. I like JACKKET KNIGHTMARE by C Souba Reyes. And I¹m just starting to learn about CAPTAIN SUN by Bryce Morgan and Mitch Martin, which has some really nice artwork.
I was happy to hear about the return of HEROEBEAR AND THE KID by Mike Kunkel. I think Mike¹s a Christian.
Terry Moore is a Christian. Terry’s RACHEL RISING is something that I read on a regular basis. Although, I wouldn¹t recommend the comic to younger readers. It can get kinda creepy, at times.
What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?
Check out my comics at http://anactoffaithcomic.com/, and visit me on Facebook. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any last thoughts?
I’m being interviewed by JCTV. My interview with JCTV is scheduled to air on “Hot off the Press” on Friday, March 29th. The interview will be posted on their website, as well. In the interview, I¹ll be talking about AN ACT OF FAITH, the comics industry, and how I would like my comic to impact readers.
And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoyed the interview, and stay tuned for the next one!