|Artist, Jacqueline Taylor|
JAC: Um...This is a phone interview. What are you talking about?
BENJ: Oh, is this your cat? Hey, kitty. You’re a cute little guy, aren’t you.
JAC: Uh...What’s going on?
BENJ: So, before we get started, do you prefer Jac or Jacqueline?
JAC: Either. Ever since I remember, everyone called me Jac. My best-friend's parents would always sing "Hit the Road Jack" before they'd boot me out the door. Most of my friends admit my name was too long to write, so they always wrote it Jac or Jack. And in high school, I'd tell my teachers to call me Jac so I wouldn't have to hear them mispronounce my name every time- Or call me Jackie. I absolutely DESPISE that name. (No offense to other Jackies)
BENJ: You went to school for animation. What prompted you to jump in to the sequential world of comic books?
JAC: Before animation- My main objective was to complete and publish my own comic book. It was some silly thing that was inspired by a bunch of old friends, before turning around and making it into something more. Animation was just my opportunity to draw better, and expand my horizons. Also, I love comic books and any kind of graphic novel. So why not pursue something I know and love?
BENJ: What are the main differences or challenges of comic book illustration as opposed to animation?
JAC: Comic Books vs Animation? Not much difference. You visualize a world and the people that live in it, and you bring it to life- whether by reading it or watching it, its the same impact. Of course more time and preparation is involved with animation and you're drawing til' your fingers bleed, but Comic Book-wise you set up the important key elements of the shot for telling the story, while in animation you bring those elements to life. It's initially storyboarding- something Animation can't perform without.
The hardest part of Comic Book illustrating is getting that PERFECT shot. I'm a stickler for detail. It's something I'm always looking for in both what I watch and read. But detail doesn't have to be the accessories to a character's costume, or architectural structures of a background that a character stands on. It's how realistic this world and those characters are to the readers. Between body language and dialogue- How real can it be? No matter how fictional and other-worldly that story is, if you can believe it, then so can everyone else.
BENJ: Is it true that coffee has driven you to homicide and harming forest creatures?
JAC: Forest Creatures, no. The unfortunate people who stand within fifty feet of my presence, yes.
BENJ: So, American Dark Age. What exactly compelled you to work on this book?
JAC: The story. The story is brilliant. I can see it's potential for going somewhere BIG- So, obviously I had to make myself a part of it.
But Brody's character was the real winner. I'm a REAL sucker for the ass-kicking heroine type. (The damsel's in distress type just make me want to gag-myself with a spoon.) Brody is a fierce, headstrong, whirling dervish of awesomeness and after reading the American Dark Age script, she made me giggle with uncontained excitement.
BENJ: What do you hope to bring to the book with your art?
JAC: I just want to get OUT there. Out in the comic book world. Have my name written under the superstar artists, like Jack Kirby, and Stan Lee. You'll never get anywhere, by sitting around and waiting for those opportunities to come. You have to work hard for it. Really hard. And for me, the opportunity to draw American Dark Age was like winning the lottery.
BENJ: Has the experience of creating a comic book soured you at all to the medium as it shoud?
JAC: Absolutely not. It's ALWAYS a challenge. And I love challenges.
BENJ: What’s the comic book scene like up in Canada?
JAC: It could be bigger. But in the last few years it's been increasing in popularity real fast. It's nice to be able to go to the bookstore and find WALLS of comic books to browse through. I wish we'd get more Comic' Conventions, more in Ottawa anyhow. Montreal and Toronto get most of the spotlight.
BENJ: Who are your biggest artistic influences?
JAC: That's a hard one, since almost everything I read or watch has an influence some how. My main artistic influence, that got me into the whole comic book shindig in the first place, was when I picked up the Danger Girl Sketch Book by J.Scott Campbell. I was driven to draw as good as he was, and make it out there in comic book world, like he did.
But my biggest inspiration for just creating a story, would have to be Joss Whedon.
BENJ: I know that you’ve been developing your own comic book for some time now. Can you tell us a bit about it?
JAC: Basic good vs evil story type- The world is on the verge of massive apocalyptic war, as demons, monsters, and demi-gods from every myth and lore ever written are out to destroy humanity's very existence. The story is about eight immortal warriors, created by the gods who are each given, an elemental power: Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, Power, Thunder, Light and Dark.
The main character, Cerridwen is focused on the Element of Fire - like I said before: ass-kicking female. She's hot-headed, has a vile temper, and always resorts to blowing up demons, warehouses, cars etc. And when her temper begins to boil so do objects around her.
She gets nicknamed the 'Red Sonja' quite frequently for her barbaric nature and flaming red hair.
But because her temper is a literal 'short-fuse' she needs to learn how to keep it cool. Although it's hard doing that, being surrounded by her fellow elemental warriors who are not exactly the warriors they were prophesied to be. They're either: drunk, gay, pranksters, narcissists, have height problems, hate the world, or are perverted. All this while trying to save humanity from being destroyed by the demon race.
Laughs. Violence. Horror. Action and lots of beautiful curvaceous women.
BENJ: What do you think of Megabrain Comics so far?
JAC: Love it. Love the people, love their devotion and enthusiasm towards this project. Team Megabrain for the win!
BENJ: And finally, I am going to ask you 10 questions originally asked by French Television's Bernard Pivot and currently asked by American Television's James Lipton.
- What is your favorite word? I guess 'frickin'. I say it enough times...
- What is your least favorite word? lawl- because it's a damn computer lingo- that should STAY as computer lingo, not as a way to verbally express oneself. Also makes you look like an illiterate numfar.
- What turns you on? Dark chocolate. No explanation why.
- What turns you off? Earwigs. They make me cry.
- What sound or noise do you love? My black cat, Boo. He's very vocal, but never sounds like a cat. More like a cross between sheep, dog and duck. Makes me smile everyday.
- What sound or noise do you hate? Squeaky shopping carts. Murdering thoughts usually follow.
- What is your favorite curse word? I don't know if I have a favourite. I just say what comes to mind. I'm terrible around children, especially if I have to give them a dollar every time I curse. (Kid left with thirty-five dollars in one day).... Most common would be 'Shit' I guess. Everything is referred to shit. Even in a nice way.
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Anthropologist. I watch too much Bones.
- What profession would you not like to do? Retail...
- If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? You can wear high heels again.
BENJ: Well, Thank you for doing this Jac. I’ve had a great time and thank you for inviting me in to your home.
JAC: I’m gonna hang up now. -clik-
BENJ: And I thank you, loyal Megafan for joining us here in the chilly great white North of Canada. This is The Benj and I will see you next time, here at THE MEGABLAH! Keep that grey matter flexin'.