Live Comic Chatcast with Gavin Aung Than:
Marc Hansen at work...
DavidS: Who's your favorite movie actor?
Marc: I like Bela Lugosi. I've seen almost every movie he made. A very funny man.
DavidS: Tell me about the process you go through to create your art.
Marc: I work traditionally for the most part. Pencil on strathmore, ink with a brush. Lettering is done on the computer with a custom font. Coloring is done digitally also.
DavidS: I see that Ralph is now on Twitter.
Marc: I love Twitter... now. It took me a while to figure out how it could be useful. But it's fun to have Ralph Snart on Twitter. Fun to write the tweets.
DavidS: Do you work a regular job full time or are you just doing comics?
Marc: I work at home. I work on my comics and do work on the side as a graphic designer.
DavidS: What do you do when you're not working on comics?
Marc: I recently bought a house - an old bungelow, so I'm doing a lot of remodelling. Still working on getting my beer making going again - I make an awesome pale ale and grow my own hops.
DavidS: Any other interests?
Marc: A lot of things interest me; art, comics, design, movies, classic literature, architecture, furniture design, computer programming. When not doing comics, I'm painfully boring.
DavidS: Any favorite authors?
Marc: American: Fallkner, Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Salinger
Russian: Gorki and Chekov
DavidS: Anymore you can tell us about yourself?
Marc: I live in a small town in Michigan. Divorced. Unmedicatedly happy.
DavidS: What comics are you working on right now?
Marc: I'm working on coloring Weird Melvin: The Comic Strip Collection and Ralph Snart: Comic Collection #4. Also working on new Ralph Snart stories.
DavidS: Tell us about your three main comic book creations.
Marc: Ralph Snart(below): Mild-mannered accountant goes insane and regresses into a fantasy otherworld of beer guzzling adventures.
Weird Melvin(below): A boy's favorite comic book character has come to life and now his reality is intertwined between life as a sidekick to a monster killer and the life as an ordinary boy.
Doctor Gorpon (below): A mysterious man with supernatural abilities and a vow to gruesomely destroy all monsters passes his duties and legacy on to an alienated teenage boy.
DavidS: Who were your main comic book influences?
Marc: Mostly E.C. Segar, Tex Avery, John Stanley and Harvey Kurtzman. Others could include Wally Wood, Bill Elder, Jack Davis, Basil Wolverton, Jeff MacNelly. If you look at my work over the last 25 years, it's changed quite a bit - evolved.
DavidS: What other books have you worked on besides Ralph Snart?
Marc: Did most of my work for NOW Comics from 1985 til 1993. I did Ralph Snart Adventures of course but also wrote (and laid out) some of the Married with Children books, and did work on Astro Boy, Speed Racer, Ghostbusters and Rust. Did a few storyboard scripts for Disney, did a couple backups for Marvel and did a backup story for Kitchen Sink. List of my work is here: http://www.marchansenstuff.com/fansite/list.htm
DavidS: What was it like to work for Disney Comics?
Marc: They were cheap. I asked for more money and when I didn't get it, I moved on.
DavidS: What was it like to work for Marvel?
Marc: I did the art for two backup stories written by Chuck Dixon (www.dixonverse.net). He let me do whatever. Marvel paid well, supplied the board, but it took some wrangling to get them to let me do the lettering which I was able to do on the second backup.
DavidS: Any advice for aspiring cartoonists?
Marc: The business has changed so much over the years, but do it if you have a passion for it. Have something safer to fall back on though. Draw, draw, draw. Start small and work your way up. Show other people your work, expose yourself and get feedback. Use the feedback - whether it's positive or negative, there's something to be learned. Start your own website and put your work online. If you're any good, things will happen.
DavidS: Which is better digital or printed comics?
Marc: I love print, I love books, but digital books are just as awesome. Plus digital has all of the great advantages for a publisher; ease of creation, no printing, paper, shipping, storage or distributing costs. The printing process also inherently ruins some of the image quality of the art (art-to-plate-to-paper process, screening of tones, off registration of plates, stock quality, etc.). Digital books will kill comic distributors and retailers.
DavidS: Thanks Marc. Glad you came on the chat.