We’ve had a lot of fun in May spotlighting the latest comic creation by Minna Sundberg. Minna definitely shows her talents and creativity in the wonderful comics she has created, but let’s take some time and get to know Minna a bit better as she takes on our “10 Questions for the Pick of the Month”.
1. First comic you read as a child?
Probably one of the several decades worth of Finnish Donald Duck comics (Aku Ankka) that my mom had left from her childhood. I haven’t really been into comics before I got into this whole webcomic thing, so I only read what my parents happened to have, which was mostly Donald Duck and a whole bunch of central European comics like Tintin, Asterix, Iznogoud, The Smurfs, Spirou and Marsupilami. Oh, and the old “Alien” comic, but I wasn’t allowed to read that one as a kid. Of course I still did and got pretty traumatized when the very first spread I opened was the one where the Alien burst out of that one dude’s stomach, ahem. (Kids, if your parents forbid you to read one of their comics until you’re older then just don’t.)
2. Who is your greatest influence(s) as an artist/creator?
I think I’ll say Don Rosa is my earliest and most influential comic artist, I find myself often emulating the kinds of facial expressions and panel compositions that I saw in his comics as a child. My parents also had a nice collection of Tintin and Asterix comics that i kept reading over and over, so I do pull some influence from Hergé and the Uderzo and Goscinny duo.
3. Required drawing equipment or writing necessities?
Well…now that I ink digitally I really do need my little Wacom Cintiq, I have a hard time with hand-eye coordination for precise lines when I use a non-screen tablet. Other than that I don’t have a lot of “must-have”s for comic making, I could really just go back to inking traditionally with random pens and markers and color with watercolors or something if I’d have to.
4. Where did you go to school and what was your major?
I got my bachelor’s degree at the School of Industrial Arts at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. I don’t think we have “majors” in Finland, but I studied at the Graphic Design department so it was just different aspects of graphic design all day, every day for three years. Even the nation-wide mandatory language classes were mostly just “learn to write and talk professionally about graphic design and yourself as an artist/creator in x language”. It was really cool, I didn’t get to draw much but everything I learned has really helped me with the design aspects of creating a webcomic and making a book from it. I was so happy that I was able to actually talk with the printers for my first book at an actual professional level and use the correct terms for everything, I feel like that really contributed with everything running so smooth with my first time getting anything printed.
5. Three adjectives to describe yourself that has NOTHING to do with comics?
Nervous, calculating, self-centered.
6. What is your favorite environment in which to create in? (Quiet, Music/movie in the background, etc.)
I like having some TV-show on in the background, something that I can get a bit of amusement from without actually having to look at it or pay too much attention to. American sitcoms are the best, everyone’s just talking constantly so I can follow the plots and jokes without ever having to look up from my drawing. Documentaries with with constant narration are good too, but animal documentaries are impossible because I keep getting stuck looking at the animals being cute and forgetting to draw. Recently I also “watched” all 12 seasons of America’s Top Model in this way, and while I could follow all the drama and the photo-critiques just from listening I don’t even know what most of the contestants looked like since my eyes on my comic through the whole show, heh.
7. Embarrassing childhood memory you wish to reveal? (or Most exciting if you don’t want to reveal embarrassing)
I don’t have one big, bad memory, I’m mostly embarrassed by the fact that I was always crying in front of everyone about everything. I’d cry at school because I didn’t want to eat the food, I’d cry in class when I got a “bad” grade (like an 8), I’d cry if I forgot my homework, cry when I was frustrated by some group assignment and then I’d cry when other kids didn’t want to include me in whatever. University was the first school where I did not cry in front of my teachers or the whole class, and I’m pretty releaved by that. Okay, during the critique for final thesis presentation I almost cried In front of the audience and the critiquing professors because it was literally just all negative feedback, but I managed not to. I’m pretty sure the people in the front row were able to see the tears welling up in my eyes, but I’m going to count that as “not crying” to preserve some dignity.
8. Who would you pick to play you in a movie about your life?
Oh nooo, my terrible actor-knowing-skills are revealed. The only female actor that I can put a name on is Jennifer Aniston, and I wouldn’t pick her to play me because she doesn’t have the image of “nervous, unsocial shut-in artist”.
9. What other information would you like share about your comic? Books? Kickstarter?
Mmnnneeeh… I don’t have anything going on right now, just rolling on with comic. I’m sure I’ll have a crowdfunding campaign for the first book of “Stand Still. Stay Silent” sometime closer to the end of the year, so everyone; look forward to that! It’ll be a hardcover book of the first ~200 pages plus extra content, I think it’ll be really cool.
10. What is the meaning of life?
Trying not to die while also not being sad. For me personally… I really just want to get as much of the stories I want to tell out in comic format before I die from old age. It’ll be what’s left of me once I’m gone.
There you have it folks, now go check out Minna Sundberg’s great comics Stand Still. Stay Silent and A Redtail’s Dream. Also if you haven’t already go check out the POTM post for “Stand Still. Stay Silent”.