*Please note that the subject matter discussed in the interview contains adult content and is for mature readers only.
One of my favorite webcomics, Khaos Komix, recently came to a planned end, and I felt it was the best time to find out just what goes on in the mind of its creator, Tab Kimpton. Much of the webcomic has a personal significance for Kimpton, given the information I’ve gleamed in conversation and looking on the comic’s website, as the subject matter has touched both myself and my fellow FBCer, Kristine Chester, deeply; however, because of said subject matter and the artistic style used, a lot of the webcomic is considered mature content and not geared toward children, so be careful when reading it. Now, thanks to some friendly emails between the two of us, I was able to have an interview with Kimpton about Khaos Komix and other ideas.
This interview was conducted on February 27, 2013.
Robert J. Baden, Fanboy Comics Contributor: Thank you for talking with me. So, right off the bat, what prompted you to create Khaos Komix and its particular subject matters?
Tab Kimpton: It was a boring summer, I’d wasted all my study time on reading webcomics, and I picked up a copy of a How to Draw Comics book and thought ‘Why the heck not?’ and then just started it. The beginnings were awful little doodles in a sketch book that I shared with friends, then eventually the internet. The story lines got hashed over again and again as I figured out what I wanted to write about, then after a couple of false starts, I began Steve’s story in July 2008.
Gender and sexuality are topics I’ve personally found the most confusing in life, so the comic started as a way for me to explore it myself. I wanted a comic that told people that no matter how different they feel they aren’t alone.
RJB: Did you have a specific process involved for making the storylines and the individual pages?
TK: Each chapter would get scripted in text format, starting with narrative, important dialogue, and any other notes I had in mind for the story. Khaos uses a rashomon style narrative with each chapter from a different character’s point of view, so I would re-read the old archives repeatedly before each script to make sure the events match up correctly. By chapter 8, it was a logistical nightmare!
The script would then get split into pages with a maximum of 6 panels. The techniques for drawing them varies throughout the comic, but towards the end I was sketching the comic in Photoshop, inking it in Manga Studio, and then moving back into Photoshop for shading and text.
RJB: Now that Khaos Komix is finished with, you’ve begun work on a new comic called Shades of A. What is it about?
TK: Shades of A is about Anwar, a 23-year-old, openly asexual blogger writing about his experiences on the BDSM scene.
RJB: I know you just started Shades of A after a long time working on Khaos Komix, but do you have any future plans for when Shades is finished?
TK: Depends how long Shades goes on for! It started out as a bit of a parody comic, but then the plot points started to take hold and the characters shined through, so we may be in for another epic.
The next comic is planned though—it will be called Los Tres Pecadores. Some of it is set in the ’80s, so I wanted to be a better background artist before starting on it though.
RJB: Other than Khaos Komix and Shades of A, have there been other projects that you have worked on that you’d like to get the word out about?
TK: A lot of people don’t know that I’m a costume maker! My website is here: khaoskostumes.com. I’m not taking on as much commission work this year, so I’m not advertising that, but any fellow costume makers might find some of the tutorials there useful.
RJB: Is there a particular artist (or artists) that have influenced your style of artwork for Khaos Komix and Shades of A?
TK: I got early influence from the How to Draw Manga and How to Draw Comics books that I’m slowly trying to unlearn! They tend to only teach you one MANFACE and one WOMANFACE which makes character distinction difficult. Shades of A is my tribute to beautifully interesting noses.
RJB: Finally, do you have any advice from you own personal life experience in the process for anyone who is thinking of creating their own comic?
TK: Best advice is always to just start. Stop thinking about what you want to do and just start it. It will never be as good as you hoped, though it might end up better.
(And, save your files in a regular format at 300dpi+.)
RJB: Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to answer my questions, and I wish you success with your new comic.
TK: Kind Regards.