Bryant Dillon, Fanboy Comics President: Why don’t we start at the beginning - how did you become a comic book artist and what led to Strong Guy Comics?
Guy LeMay: I’ve been collecting comic books ever since I was 8 years old, and I have always been passionate about comic book art and creating my own stuff at home and for school projects, but it wasn’t until I went to my local comic book shop, where the guy who worked there was looking for an artist and it all went from there. He gave me a chance to be an artist on one of his comic books. I didn’t really know the process of how making comics worked until I met him. From there, I taught myself how to use Photoshop and with all of the possibilities on the internet, I was able to get some work on some independent comic books and make my dreams a reality by starting my own company.
BD: What has been the most difficult aspect of working as a professional artist? Were there any major hurdles that you had to overcome?
GL: One of the most difficult aspects of working as a professional artist is time management. I often work on my comics during my day job, as well as on my days off, and my family life keeps me extremely busy. A major hurdle that I have overcome is communicating with fans of my work! I’m a little on the shy side, but I’ve learned to relax a lot more and have fun with it all.
BD: You have a fairly unique art style that focuses on simplistic, yet bold and intense, imagery. Do you have any specific artistic inspirations that influenced your style?
GL: My biggest inspirations are Paul Grist and Mike Oeming. I love that their work is not that of an average superhero comic and their work really stands out. They don’t focus on perfect anatomy and things of that nature. They taught me that the lighting and angles of your art can be anything that you want it to be, and it can be very appealing to the eyes. I used to draw the comic book norm, but these artists inspired me to go in a totally different direction with my art, and I feel that it is so much more rewarding both personally and professionally.
BD: While most of your work features color, Entity Knights is entirely black and white. Was this a stylistic choice, and do you find it easier or more difficult to work without color?
GL: Entity Knights has a really cool story to it, because it was something that I created almost 20 years ago. The pages were so old that I wasn’t even sure that I could make it come to life in comic book form. I didn’t want to spend too much time on resurrecting it, and I thought it looked better with just some gray tones. Working without color is definitely easier. It takes a lot less time, and, in this case, I felt it looked much better that way. I also wanted to make it more affordable for readers at a price of $1.99.
BD: You’re currently working on four different books (Zombie Headhunter, WarWithin, Entity Knights, and Z-Blade XX) from Strong Guy Comics. Could you let us know what you find exciting about each book and which type of fan you think would enjoy each?
GL: I find Zombie Headhunter exciting because, since I am the writer/artist on it, I have full control of what I draw on each panel. If I’m not happy with something, I can totally change it around to my liking, unlike War Within where I had to follow a script with complete details. I really enjoyed drawing that book, though, because the writer gave a great mood to the characters.
Entity Knights was a blast to work on because of it being Sci-Fi . . . I could create planets, creatures, and beings wherever my imagination could take me. As for Z-Blade XX, the main character really inspired me to draw traditional superhero art again. I had a lot of fun working on all of them! I think fans of The Walking Dead and classic horror would love Zombie Headhunter and War Within. Entity Knights reminds me of books put out by Image Comics in the early '90s, and Z-Blade XX would appeal to all of the fans out there who like a good superhero story.
BD: You seem to have an attraction to the dark and more supernatural subject matter, given your credits on Zombie Headhunter, War Within, The Rabid, Dead @17, Sasquatch, and more. Do you have a special place in your heart for the horror genre, or is it simply fate that has linked you?
GL: I’m a huge fan of all things horror. I grew up watching all of the greats like Dawn of the Dead, Universal monster movies and classic B-movies, like Humanoids from the Deep. As a kid, our whole basement was filled with horror memorabilia of statues, posters, masks, costumes, and art that I created. I never planned on drawing horror-related books, it all just kinda happened for me. I think it just works somehow for my style.
BD: What would you say to someone who has never read a comic book to get them to give Zombie Headhunter, War Within, or one of your other books a read?
GL: That’s a tough one to answer. First of all, I would be shocked to come across anyone who hasn’t read one these days, but if, by chance, they haven’t, I would ask them if they appreciate art and a good story. I’d also express how much I enjoy comics and, hopefully, they would love my enthusiasm and want to give my book a chance.
BD: What are your feelings regarding the recent addition of digital comics to the comic book market? Do you see digital comics as a benefit to creators or another obstacle?
GL: I see it as a benefit for independent companies, but as for mainstream, I love having a copy in my hand.
BD: Crossovers are a staple of the comic genre. Just for fun, if you could have a crossover issue for any of the series you are currently working on, which book would it be and who would the crossover be with?
GL: It’s funny you say that, because I am already working on a little crossover. I don’t want to reveal anything quite yet, but you’ll get a hint of what’s to come in Entity Knights #4.
BD: Great creators usually have great taste! Once our readers finish reading your books, which other comic books or graphic novels would you recommend? Any particular favorites?
GL: Savage Dragon, hands down. I’ve been reading it since day one, and that series will never let you down. Check it out! And, if you get a chance, pick up the new Batman titles with Night of the Owls. I’m really digging those!
BD: What can we expect next from Guy LeMay and Strong Guy Comics? Are there any upcoming projects or announcements with which you would like to tease us?
GL: I have had an idea running through my head for a completely new book for quite awhile now, but, with all of the current books I have going, I haven’t had time to put it down on paper just yet . . . but stay tuned for new twists and turns on Strong Guy Comics with my continuing books and keep up-to-date with me by visiting stongguycomics.com.
Thanks so much for the support!