Nicole Sixx: What drives you to make comics?
Michael Avon Oeming: I like getting my ideas on paper. Since I was a kid, I've been a daydreamer; I could never really be where I was. I would always be in my head. Thankfully, I can make a living doing that now. I love being able to take some of the things in my mind and getting them onto paper, be it art or writing. I’m also in love with the art form of comics. I worked in video games at Valve Corp, but it wasn't where my heart was. I've done storyboards and traditional illustration, but panel-to-panel, page-to-page storytelling is what I love most. Capturing moments, time, and motion into powerful still images is something I love, whether they are mine or admiring someone else’s.
NS: What do you hope that readers take with them from your work?
MAO: That’s a good question. I’m not sure if I've thought of this before . . . Of course, I want to entertain and leave people thinking about what they've read in one way or another. But, mostly I want and hope that readers feel as passionate about comics as I do. To walk away with wanting more comics. Not just mine, but any comics.
NS: What has been the most rewarding experience from your career to date?
MAO: Being successful in creator-owned comics with Powers, The Mice Templar, and The Victories. My favorite comics as a kid were creator-owned works like Nexus and Love and Rockets, even though at the time I didn’t understand the concept of "creator owned." Also, being able to make comics with my wife Taki Soma on Rapture and other artistic endeavors is rewarding beyond measure.
NS: What has been the most interesting?
MAO: The choices I have to make are the most interesting thing, I think. When you start out and you are young and wide eyed, art is pure; creativity can be done for the sake of it, without worrying about any career consequences or conscious choice of what path you are taking. You just draw, you just write. As I developed an actual career and slowly gathered responsibility like family, partners, and business relationships, I had to make choices about how my creative decisions impacted those aspects of my life. I believe artists should be spontaneous, creative, and free, but also responsible for the life and career we have built so that we can maintain that. That might sound like a drag, but it’s not and it certainly is interesting!
NS: Where would you like to see indie comics go next?
MAO: I want to see them find the financial freedom in digital comics that they've struggled to find in print. I love print, I DON’T believe print is dead, but new voices have trouble getting out in print. There is a freedom in digital comics and distribution that is especially beneficial to new creative voices, but there is still a large financial gap there that largely does not support enough creators to make a living from that voice. In the future, I hope to see a balance between digital distribution, print, companies, and creators that benefits everyone and leaves as many options to getting ideas out there as there are ideas.
Thanks, Mike, for a very interesting interview with excellent answers, as well as the amazing art you provided. I look forward to following more of your work and can’t wait to review The Victories #5.
I look forward to seeing all of you indie fans back here in a couple of a weeks for our next fantastic interview!
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