On deck today we Andrew Rowland, founder of XP Comics. On to the interview!
What project(s) are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on Melchizedek: King of Justice, a Christian superhero comic series that I’m writing and illustrating.
What do you hope readers take away from Melchizedek: King of Justice?
I honestly don’t expect every secular reader to become a Christian because they read this series. I do hope it’ll plant the seeds and give them a second look at Christianity because of the story quality.
What format(s) do you prefer for telling your stories (e.g., on-going series, mini-series, one-shot, graphic novel, etc.) and why?
It depends on the story. Melchizedek is a series that’ll eventually end. I do plan to make one shot comics that build up the XP Heroverse.
What sources of information and inspiration have helped you along the way?
I look at other manga artists that help me shape my art style. I was inspired by Akira Toriyama’s Dragonball series, Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail and the Last Airbender & Korra series.
What advice would you give to other Christians who are considering making comics
Sharpen your art style. Study anatomy, perspective and facial expressions. Otherwise your art is gonna look stiff and boring. And create an art style that screams your name. Let your art be recognizable. It’s a good start to imitate an art style but as you study, sharpen it to be your own. Look at other styles and maybe mix it up. And don’t think you can only stick to the style that everyone else is doing. Your style can be “cartoony” or manga-inspired. Use a style that you have most fun with drawing. Otherwise it’ll just feel like a chore.
Are there any future projects you are working on, or would like to work on?
I have plans to do some one shot comics that will be part of the XP Heroverse. Much like the Marvel movies, each character will have a one shot story that will lead up to them becoming part of a hero group in the universe like The Avengers.
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?
Personally I think the Christian comic industry is going through a Golden Age where no one cares about Christian comics. In my opinion, too many Christian comics are written too much like Chick Tracts and not written on the same level as the top comic stories like DC or Marvel. A lot of Christian comic companies are too busy on making Bible comics which, in my opinion, is not helping getting the secular audience to take us seriously. I would like to see Christian comics expand their horizons and be like the CS Lewis or JRR Tolkein of comics, and not rely on Chick Tract-like writing to make your stories Christian.
Are you currently reading any Christian-themed comics? If so, which ones?
Unfortunately there aren’t many Christian comics that have my attention. There is one series that I check out for updates is See You on the Other Side on Christian Manga.
What is the best way for people to contact you, and to read/purchase your work?
You can find Melchizedek: King of Justice on Facebook to keep up with the webcomic and any updates on the series.
You can personally contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed the interview. Stay tuned for the next one, and in the meantime check out Melchizedek: King of Justice! #makecomics