I hope you have enjoyed finding out about Steve Ogden’s new comic Doctor Magnifico. If you haven’t dropped over to check out the comic do so now…well, after you finish reading this of course, then do so. It’s been a great month spotlighting Doctor Magnifico and seeing another great work by the super talented Steve Ogden. So let’s shift the spotlight over to the creator himself as he takes on our “10 Questions for the Pick of the Month”. We hope through this you the reader are able to relate with Steve and come to feel a bit closer to the creator through this. So now I present to you Steve Ogden and our “10 Questions for the Pick of the Month.”
10 Questions for the Pick of the Month
1. First comic you read as a child?
Peanuts. I have many fond memories of lying around reading Peanuts collections. Then it was Sergio Aragones collections. Then Calvin and Hobbes collections. And then everything I could get my hands on. And then… almost nothing until Hellboy in 2004, and the rest, as they say, is written down for you here. (They do say that, don’t they?)
2. Who is your greatest influence(s) as an artist/creator?
Bill Watterson, but a close second is Mike Mignola. Each of these men has taught me different things about drawing – Watterson, how to be quick and gestural, and use calligraphic line weights. Mignola, to blackspot and use dead lines to advantage, treating drawings as graphical elements. I really can’t imagine my drawing without either of these influences.
3. Required drawing equipment or writing necessities?
When sketching or goofing around, I just use laser paper and whatever is to hand – I prefer thin felt tip pens, #2 Ticonderoga pencils, but I’ll use anything. I’m not picky. When doing commissions, I use mechanical pencils, and a light table for tracing pencil work onto ink pages which I ink with Microns and Sumi brush pens. But for my pro work, it’s a Cintiq, Manga Studio Pro and Photoshop. For writing, it’s Microsoft Word or Celtx, depending on what I’m writing (Word for novels, Celtx for scripts).
4. Where did you go to school and what was your major?
I went to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, and my major was Communication Arts and Design (basically Graphic Design, although they had a small animation and illustration program at the time). I started out wanting to be a Marvel comic artist and halfway through the program, I decided I wanted to be a 2D animator for Disney. I never did either of those things, but have worked as a commercial artist for over 30 years now. Currently, I work in the video game industry, a job that didn’t even figure into my plans 3 decades ago. It didn’t really exist in the same way it does now as a viable option.
5. Three adjectives to describe yourself that has NOTHING to do with comics?
Driven, Loyal, Tired
6. What is your favorite environment in which to create in? (Quiet, Music/movie in the background, etc.)
I work on my stuff at home a lot when my family is around, so I insist on working at a table I’ve set up in the family room with my laptop and Cintiq. That way, I’m at least in the room even when the family is just relaxing and we can see each other. I have an office, but I don’t work in it because I would miss everyone. But being in the middle of things can also be very chaotic. So, if I’m wriiting, I need it quiet, and if I can’t have it quiet, I will put headphones on and drown out the noise with some soundtrack music. The Horse Whisperer by Thomas Newman, Moon by Clint Mansell, or Machinarium byTomáš Dvořák are my usual distractions. Once I’m done with the writing and it’s time to draw, chaos doesn’t bother me. I love watching Doctor Who or Sherlock with my boys while I draw. After everyone goes to bed, and I’m still drawing, occasionally I will stream something on Netflix. There are a bunch of sort of crummy movies I’ve never seen that don’t take much attention and I’ll let them run on my laptop while I work on the Cintiq as my primary screen.
7. Embarrassing childhood memory you wish to reveal? (or Most exciting if you don’t want to reveal embarrassing)
At summer camp one year, there were some kids from Mexico who barely spoke English. A couple of my friends spoke Pidgin Spanish, and could speak to them a little I guess. But when no Spanish speakers were around, I would sometimes pretend I could speak Spanish, and I would “translate” to the other English speakers. The Mexicans would speak Spanish to me, getting slower and louder, trying to get me to understand, and I would speak gibberish back to them. No attempt to speak Spanish at all, just something that I supposed sounded like Spanish if you didn’t know any better. I just wanted to impress the non-Spanish speakers that I Spoke Spanish. I Was Smart. And after one protracted bout of this nonsense, one of the Mexicans turned to my audience and said, in heavily accented but very clear English, “He is saying nothing.”I’m still embarrassed when I look back on that. It’s like a scene right out of Todd Margaret, isn’t it? Geez.
8. Who would you pick to play you in a movie about your life?
Well, I’d pick Patrick Stewart. He’s got the hairline, and the voice and great looks I imagine I have. Or Sting. Sting should play me. That’s how I see myself, handsome, distinguished, great voice, and British. However, David Cross is probably closer to the mark.
9. What other information would you like share about your comic? Books? Kickstarter?
Doctor Magnifico is still too new for such things – only 48 comics strong – but with Halloween right around the corner, might I be so bold as to suggest to everyone that they check out my collection of spooky stories, Headstones and Monuments
? It’s a book in the tradition of Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things
– not terrifying stories of gore and man’s inhumanity to man, but just the sort of thing to have you peeking over your shoulder as you go up the stairs to bed at night. I grew up in a haunted house in Virginia, and these stories are based on some of the stuff I experienced growing up. Stories from a Haunted Childhood would have been a better name for the book, I think.More info here:
It’s for sale from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and is available in paperback, eBook, or audiobook.
10. What is the meaning of life?
To make something beautiful. Oh, and poop jokes.
Thank you Steve and thank you readers for taking the time to come here and learn a little more about Steve Ogden. We hope you are able to step away from this article and feel a bit closer to Steve. It’s always such a pleasure to be able to get to know the creators a bit more, and to know who NOT to call if we need a Spanish Translator. 🙂