Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your comic book series, Checkers’ World! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the series’ premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Jarrod Elvin: Thank you! Checkers’ World is about the crazy adventures Checkers has in his cartoon form and world thereof. It is entirely separate from the dark and gritty Checkers’ Asylum and Checkers’ Abyss graphic novels and is a much more light-hearted and comedy-based social commentary. I suppose that in a way it was inspired by those zany, irreverent cartoons of the ‘90s, like Beetlejuice, Freakazoid, Animaniacs, and many others.
BD: Likewise, what can you tell us about your comic book series, VioleNt Streak?
JE: VioleNt Streak follows the story of Dot Nightingale, a teenage goth who has just moved to a new town and started at a new high school. It all seems very normal, almost boring, until she stumbles upon a dead alien creature and is subsequently thrust into an intriguing sci-fi conspiracy! I think Dot, too, was inspired by Lydia from the Beetlejuice cartoon series, but the storyline came separately from a dream I once had! (Even though the story has departed somewhat from it.)
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in balancing the writing and artistic duties, and what have been some of your creative influences?
JE: I find it very time-consuming to be a one-man band, and it can be difficult when there are so many stories you want to tell, each with their own, often highly detailed, artistic style! For my comic series’, I tend to draw out all the pages in rough pencils first, then go back over them all with inks. For my color graphic novels, I am more inclined to finish each page of pencils, inks and colors, one at a time. I try to complete all my projects, but I’ll often take a long break from one if inspiration takes me away to another idea.
Initially I drew my artistic comic inspiration from Spawn and X-men comics, Disney animated movies, some Anime. I believe I got my storytelling inspiration from Hollywood movies. For example, Checkers’ Asylum is clearly inspired by the movie Se7en, The Crow, and Cool World.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
JE: Ultimately, I want people to be inspired by my work. I’d like them to see unique styles of art and storytelling that is different from the mainstream, but still shares common sensibilities. To see that it is done by one person and maybe inspire them to create their own comics, art and stories. I’d like it to be able to take people away into new worlds and present memorable characters that people will relate to and talk about with their friends.
BD: Do you have plans to expand the respective projects’ worlds into additional graphic novels or arcs?
JE: Checkers’ Asylum and Checkers’ Abyss graphic novels were always intended to be two parts of a trilogy, so eventually I’ll get to work on the third book to finish it off for good.
Checkers’ World I have put to rest. Each comic issue has closure to its storyline, so I can comfortably leave it where it is and work on other ideas.
VioleNt Streak is technically still going, although production has essentially ground to a halt while I work on other projects. The story hasn’t finished. Ultimately, I want it to transition into a more superhero/sci-fi/action based comic called Ultra-VioleNt Streak set in the post-apocalyptic near future. The events in VioleNt Streak lead up to that scenario.
BD: If given the opportunity to expand your series into other entertainment mediums, in what format do you hope to see it adapted?
JE: I dream that I could have my comics made into media without having to do it myself!
I think VioleNt Streak could make good animated series or even live-action.
I always had in mind that Checkers’ Abyss and Checkers’ Asylum could make cool live-action movies with animated sequences, and I made the graphic novels with that in mind. Checkers’ World would then be an animated spin-off series of those.
I mentioned earlier that Checkers’ World is put to rest, but I have considered to make one of those point-and-click adventure/’Quest’ games of it. Yes, this is something I would do myself, so I’ll have to finish off a lot of projects before I even think of starting that! I am still only learning how to develop games at the moment, but I have started making a first-person-shooter game of Ultra-VioleNt Streak in virtual reality as something to practice on!
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
JE: Primarily, I have been steadily working on a new graphic novel called Ranger Dentface, a whimsical story of redemption set in an undead Australian outback. I am also producing regular pinup art of some of the leading ladies from my comics called MickMacks’ Meatbucket MegaBabes on Patreon!
Behind the scenes, I am developing and fleshing out the concept of VioleNt Streak and how it will get to the events of Ultra-VioleNt Streak, and there are a few games I am working on, mainly just for practice at this point.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about your work?
JE: Just go to my website, www.mick-macks.com. From there you can find previews, synopses, art, information, and links to purchase all of my available books and products.