On deck today we have Kevin Terry, a bi-vocational pastor and art teacher who loves comics, cartoons and story telling. His goal is to glorify his creator and redeemer by being creative.
Let’s dive in!
When did you first get into comics as a reader/fan? As a writer/artist/creator?
My mom let be buy a comic at the local grocery store when I was in elementary school. It was a She-Hulk comic. We then went to visit my older cousin, who had collected comics for years, and when he saw I had a comic, gave me a stack of some of his old ones. I was hooked. It was never enough for me to just read comics, I was compelled to make them. This got me interested in art which I would go on to study and teach and eventually would lead me full circle back to making comics again.
Why comics? What do you like most about this medium?
Initially it was the content, the idea of the hero who rescues those in need, the nobility of ” with great power, comes great responsibility” just appealed to me. Later it was their ability to communicate on an emotional level; how you could feel the action and the emotion in just a few beautiful lines. And of course big muscles in cool costumes knocking down buildings was a plus.
Say a little about the project(s) you have worked on in the past (if any), and what they were about?
My first comic was with some friends in high school which was simply a hand drawn comic that we didn’t copy. In college I made a couple of issues of a comic with a hero named Crash. It was black and white and kind of a mashup of Sin City and the Savage Dragon which I was reading at the time. I made zerox copies of that and actually sold a few. I have tried a few other ventures but making independent comics was a lot harder back then. Now with technology you can do so much more.
What project(s) are you currently working on?
I currently have a webcomic called O-boy. It is meant to be an allegory of the gospel where the King of Light comes to rescue a race of robot people called Lumen by taking on their form. But he doesn’t come as a mighty warrior he actually takes the form of a Lumen child.
I am also set to draw four issues of a print comic called Team S.L.U.G. about an elite fighting force of slugs who fight hedgehogs in a world war II type setting.
What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?
I grew up with on-going series but for independent creators I would suggest you have an ending in mind before you begin. You will be more likely to finish and it will make your story stronger. And if it’s your first time out, less is more. Get a one shot or mini series under your belt. This will build your confidence while keeping you from getting bogged down. If you are thinking print comics, graphic novels seem to be the way to go these days.
What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?
I got my start reading Stan Lee which really formed what comics were for me. Later I read the works of John Bunyan, C. S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkein which really inspired me to tell stories that illustrated the gospel. Of course the Bible is the one book that inspires everything. God is saving the world through a story!
Say a little about how you’ve been able to communicate your faith through your project(s)? What has that process been like? How has it evolved over the years?
I hope it is being communicated and that is my goal. At the very least we imitate God by creating and telling stories. But hopefully the specifics of the great story–that God took on flesh in Jesus Christ, died for our sins to rescue us and rose again to give new life to all who repent and trust in Him–will be made clear as well. Like I said that’s my goal.
What advice would you give to other Christians who are considering making comics?
Just do it. With technology and the internet the opportunity is there.
Are there any future projects you are working on, or would like to work on?
Super excited to be working on O-boy and Team S.L.U.G. at the moment. In my ultimate dream world, I would love to work with Christian creators like Doug Tennapel, Mike Maihack, Tom Bancroft, Steve Crespo, Jason Brubaker, or Scott McDaniel. Those guys are awesome. I also love animation and would be thrilled to work on some kind of project like Veggietales or another Christian animation project. O-boy would be awesome animated. Ok now I am drooling so I better stop day dreaming.
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?
The names I mentioned above are making some awesome stuff and are really gaining more respect for the medium. I think this is building kind of like it did for Christian music 20 years ago, so I am super pumped about that. Of course we all need to produce high quality material which I am striving for even if I haven’t attained it yet. I also hope to see more from sites like this one that will give people a place to find Christian material. If you google Christian comics right now, you don’t find anything near the variety and high quality that is out there.
What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?
You can contact me via O-boy.