This month we’ve taken to the skies with Cloudscratcher and been on some amazing adventures with this eclectic group of heroes, but let’s come back down to earth and take some time to focus on the creator of this wonderful comic, Cody Baier. Cody will take on our “10 Questions for the Pick of the Month” and hopefully through this allow you the reader to get to know him better. Without further ado we present our “10 Questions for the Pick of the Month” to Cody Baier.
1. First comic you read as a child?
To be honest, I can’t really remember. I’d been getting comics here and there since I was very little, so I can’t recall what my first one was. The oldest one I think I have is X-Men #1, so let’s go with that.
2. Who is your greatest influence(s) as an artist/creator?
As an artist, that’s a tough one. The art style I use in Cloudscratcher isn’t my normal style; it was developed specifically for the comic to have a 90’s cartoon feel to it (and you can tell from the early pages I was out of my element in this art style). My normal style is a combination of elements from western comic books and japanese manga. Elements of each that I like; the emphasis on linework and sense of style found in manga with the detail and realism of western comics. Kentarou Miura, Eiichiro Oda, Jim Lee, Alvin Lee, and Ryan Ottley are probably my biggest artistic influences. As a writer, I studied a variety of fields I felt were important to storytelling (including psychology and marketing), and there were a lot of authors who did things so right I had to study what they did and why it worked. Eiichiro Oda taught me to think outside the box and add an extra dash of creativity, while Quentin Tarantino was a big influence on writing dialogue. It’s hard to peg one–or even a handful–of figures because I’ve learned so much by watching so many amazing people.
3. Required drawing equipment or writing necessities?
Definitely need a good mechanical pencil to draw. I draw with a lot of fine details and I need a thin pencil to be able to do that. Standard pencils that need sharpening are just annoying to draw with, particularly when the tip gets dull. When I write, I like to play music that fits what’s going on in the story. It helps to put me in the situation and better envision what’s going on and what people are going to say in the moment.
4. Where did you go to school and what was your major?
I actually didn’t go to college, if that’s what you mean. Long story short that’s not an environment I ever want to be a part of. After high school I went to a trade school for about a year before I realized I wanted to draw for a living. The signs were there; I’d been drawing since I was a toddler and I’m completely self taught. If that’s not fate holding a big sign that reads “you’re meant to draw” in your face I don’t know what is. I’ve been working as a freelance artist for the past 7 years or so. Doesn’t make me a ton of money at the moment, but the success does build, and I didn’t need a day of college to do it!
Still, stay in school, kids. Or develop a skill, that works, too.
5. Three adjectives to describe yourself that has NOTHING to do with comics?
Blunt, goofy, and politically incorrect. How a guy like me ended up doing a family-friendly, cartoony comic is anyone’s guess.
6. What is your favorite environment in which to create in? (Quiet, Music/movie in the background, etc.)
Depends on what I’m doing. Like I said before, I like to write with the appropriate background music playing. If I’m drawing, I like to do it while watching TV shows I like, or, more often than not, playing a Rifftrax. Something to distract the half of my brain that isn’t involved in what I’m doing. Rifftrax are perfect for that; they last a good while, they’re funny, put me in a good mood, and they’re good enough to where I can watch the same ones a hundred times and still enjoy them. It helps that I have a ton of them (I’ve probably bought those guys a boat or too with all the money I’ve spent…). When I’m doing the photoshop end of things, I’ll either play a Rifftrax I’ve seen before (so I don’t need to see what’s happening), listen to an album I haven’t had a chance to hear all the way through yet, or a podcast.
7. Embarrassing childhood memory you wish to reveal? (or Most exciting if you don’t want to reveal embarrassing)
Can’t really think of anything interesting. My childhood was dull. Probably why I developed an imagination; it was a necessity. There was nothing interesting going on around me, so I had to create something interesting.
8. Who would you pick to play you in a movie about your life?
A movie about my life?! Good lord, that’d be a crime against cinema… Maybe if it was comically exaggerated to the point where they turned it into a low-budget horror movie or something. I love crappy movies… If they do, get Wings Hauser. I think that guy could convincingly portray me as the douchebag I am. Or maybe Pierre Kirby if anyone can find him.
9. What other information would you like share about your comic? Books? Kickstarter?
Working on publishing a book of the first 4 chapters (Episode 1) with completely remastered artwork, but sadly that’s been slow going. Lord knows if you follow the comic you’ll know when it’s out because I won’t shut up about it. Trying to get a Patreon off the ground, but I have no idea what I could even offer for rewards… However, if you like the comic and want to help support it in the meantime, there is a Cloudscratcher store with tons and tons of Cloudscratcher goodies! Shirts, iPhone cases, pillows, stickers, you name it! Check it out! There’s also a donate button on the website if you wanna toss this performing monkey a coin or two. That’s about it!
10. What is the meaning of life?
I want to thank Cody for taking the time to answer our questions for us and I want to thank you the reader for spending some time with us this month getting to know Cody and shining the spotlight on “Cloudscratcher”. So please take some time if you haven’t already and check out the original POTM write up on “Cloudscratcher” here, and go check out Cody’s wonderful comic “Cloudscratcher”.