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Posted December 24, 2010 by Norby Ela in Comics
 
 

KOMIKS INTERVIEW with John Amor

I know KOMIKON 2010 is already done. I conducted this interview before the said event. So, that was like… months ago. I apologize for that. Been busy with everything and almost 8-9 ‘Komik Interviews’ were scheduled to be posted were delayed also. But, it’s better late than never, right?

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FLIPGEEKS: Hi, John.
JOHN AMOR: Hello, Norbmeister.

FG: Tell me about yourself?
JA: My name is John Amor. I am a comic illustrator and concept artist based in Cebu. I’ve been published by Image and Zuda Comics, and I’m currently working on new books for some American Indie publishers. I host a comic review podcast called, Tres Komikeros.
FG: Wow. Nice intro.
JA: LOL, it’s less glamorous than you think.
FG: Image Comics and Zuda Comics? What projects had you’ve been involved within those two publishers?
JA: With Image (Comics), I drew a story written by CB Cebulski in his autobiographical comic, WONDERLOST. And with Zuda (Comics), I had a fantasy story with writer, Gabe White, called PLUCK.
FG: Hmmm. Nice.

FG: As a person, What is the best part of yourself?
JA: Seriously? LOL
FG: Yeah. Hahaha. You can speak in Tagalog. But, not in Cebauno. Hahaha.
JA: I don’t know how to speak Tagalog. I guess the best thing about me can also be the worst thing. If I’m interested in something… and I’m passionate about… I get very involved in it. It’s almost an obsessive thing, but I hope it’s not that bad. Whether it’s research, or artwork, or work in general… if I’m focused on something… everything else gets ignored.

FG: How did you first discover comics?
JA: When I was 3 or 4 years old, my older brother showed me an issue of Superman, drawn by Jerry Ordway, and a couple more Teen Titans books, drawn by George Perez. I remember the art was just mind-blowing. I’ve loved comics ever since.
FG: And while you were growing up, what were the comics that you’ve read?
JA: Well, as I mentioned, it was Superman and Teen Titans. But since those were my brother’s heroes, I later wanted to find my own icons to follow. I got into the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. I also read some Image books here and there, but I never really stayed as a big fan.

FG: Do you have a day-job? If the answer is yes, then what is it?
JA: My day-job is this: illustration. It’s pretty much full time. Non-comic illustration work for ads and stuff, also help keep the lights running.

FG: If you weren’t working in comics, what would you be doing?
JA: I’d be trying to work in comics. Haha
FG: Hehehe.
JA: I don’t know. Maybe, I’d still be in law school… in a parallel universe.

FG: What are you most likely to complain to an editor/a co-creative team member?
JA: Haha… it’s usually me who gets complained about. I don’t know how to answer that without sounding presumptuous. I dont know. I’d probably complain, if my collaborators are quiet people. I like to talk. And talking feeds creativity. So, yeah.

Haha… I was kidding about the complaints. Everybody loves me. Hahaha.

FG: You said that you’ve worked with CB Cebulski, How did you get the gig? But which one was first, Zuda Comics or Image Comics?
JA: Image (Comics) was first. I sent CB samples of my art when he did Chesterquest a couple of years back. I guess, he thought my work was decent. And I heard back from him very quickly regarding the project.
FG: Tell me about WONDERLOST?
JA: Wonderlost was an Image project with CB. It’s an anthology that features short stories from Cebulski’s youth.
FG: How much did you get paid? Hehehehe.
JA: LOL… enough.
FG: And what about Zuda (Comics)?
JA: They paid – enougher.
FG: Hehehe.

FG: Tell me about PLUCK.
JA: ‘Pluck’ was a sword and sorcery story. It started in Januray of this year. Our story was just starting to pick up, but unfortunately Zuda (Comics) closed a couple of months ago.

FG: Who is the biggest influence on your work?
JA: There’s a lot. But the two biggest are Joe Madureira and Stuart Immonen.
FG: I just heard from your (Tres Komikeros) podcast about your love of (J. Madureira’s) Battlechasers.
JA: Yeah. Hahaha.
FG: Did you know that Image (Comics) will release Battchasers in HC?
JA: Well, unless it has new material, I dont really care. Hehe. I have all the singles
FG: I think they have additional pages like, sketches and some extra stuff.
JA: Interesting. I’ll look into it. Thanks
FG: But, it has a $100 tag price.
JA: Well, its a hardcover. If it has NEW sketches, then it’ll be worth it.

FG: Besides those two books you’ve mentioned earlier, what were your other past works?
JA: Thats it, bud. I’m still a small fish in the comic scene.

FG: What are you working on right now?
JA: Right now, I’m working on an indie called, 1888. with writer Wolfgang Parker. We’re in talks with IDW and Dark Horse (Comics) about publishing it next year. And also a small comedy series with Comic Book Club host, Justin Tyler. There’s a couple of other things, but I can’t really talk about it.

On the local scene, I have Urban Animal. And the first issue comes out in October.

FG: How do you work? Do you do any rituals before, during and after work?
JA: I sacrifice a lamb before I start work every day. While working, I listen to a lot of podcasts. I’m currently listening to old episodes of Around Comics. I’m also currently re-watching old episodes of Spin City. And then when I visibly stop working and get too distracted, my fiancee reprimands me.
FG: Have you check other podcasts other than Around Comics?
JA: I’ve checked out iFanboy, but for some reason, I never really got into their group dynamic. I do enjoy Word Balloon though.
FG: Word Balloon is nice.
JA: (John) Siuntres has an evil laugh.
FG: I like when he pods with BMB (Brian Michael Bendis).
JA: Oh, The Bendis Tapes are fun. But the best shows, in my opinion, are with (Matt) Fraction and (Rick) Remender.
FG: ‘A Fireside chat…’?
JA: Yeah.

FG: What is the single work of which you are most proud of?
JA: I try not to linger on stuff like that, because then it becomes hard to improve. So, I guess you could say that every day I try to make something I can be proud of.

FG: Name one your guilty pleasures.
JA: Old monster movies. Good or bad. I don’t care. If its got a classic horror aspect, I’m in.
FG: How is that a guilty pleasure?
JA: Dude, have you heard of that movie, ‘Hobgoblins’? It’s f*******g terrible. I love it. LOL.
FG: OK… I get it.

FG: What is the last comic that you bought?
JA: The last trade I got was Scalped Vol 2. The latest single issue was Superman #701. Grounded.
FG: What is the last comic that you’ve downloaded?
JA: Hahaha.
FG: Hehehe.

FG: Who could play you on a movie about your life?
JA: Geez. Hughead Jones? Haha. Probably, a less attractive Joseph Gordon Levitt.
FG: Who’s he?
JA: Arthur from (the movie,) Inception. Google him, dude.
FG: Was he thaty guy from the 3rd Rock From the Sun (TV comedy series)?
JA: Yeah, that guy.

FG: Pick three things that you couldn’t live without.
JA: IPod. My girl. The internet.
FG: Your “girlfriend” is a thing?!
JA: She is an icon. Like Superman.

FG: What is the strangest thing in your house?
JA: Alan Moore.
FG: Whuuut?!
JA: Hahaha
FG: Do you have a piece of Alan Moore? Like an ear? A strand of hair?
JA: Every full moon, someone, like Alan Moore would climb down our tree and says hi. And he would get my absolute Watchmen and reads it aloud.
FG: Hehehe

FG: What music are you listening these days?
JA: I’m getting into Wolfmother’s new album, Cosmic Egg. But, I also enjoy Lustmord, Skindred, and The XX

FG: What TV shows & series and movies you like?
JA: Spin City. Entourage. House (MD). High School of the Dead. The last two good movies I saw were Toy Story 3 and Inception… oh, and Under the Red Hood.

FG: If you have superpowers, what would it be? What would be your superhero name?
JA: I’d want the power of flight. And I wouldn’t be a superhero though. Not even a villain. So… no, I wouldn’t have a superhero name. Haha.
FG: So, what should we call you then?
JA: Mister Amor.

FG: What is the worst advice that you’ve ever received?
JA: Wow. I don’t know. I don’t think, I can answer that.
FG: Really?
JA: Yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten bad advice. If I did, I think I just ignored it.
FG: Hmmm.

FG: What is the best advice that you’ve ever received?
JA: Do what makes you happy.

FG: Name someone you admire. And explain why.
JA: Rick Remender. He’s a good inker and illustrator, but an even better writer. He’s always got books and projects (that) we keep hearing about, which means he is always keeps busy.

And his output is always good.

FG: Have you tried reading his ‘The Last Days of American Crime’?
JA: I’m waiting for the HC for that.
FG: Yeah.
JA: Don’t tell me anything.
FG: OK.

FG: What do you think of komiks nowadays?
JA: I think the local scene is healthy and promising. Cebu had it’s first comic convention last September 25th, and I was astounded by the strong crowd turnout. I kinda thought that Cebu was ONLY an anime and manga town, but it felt great to learn that there are a lot of comic fans and comic creators here in Cebu.

FG: Are you more of a comic book artist or an indie komik creator?
JA: At this point, I don’t think I’m more of one thing or the other… because I have my hands in both scenes. But, I’d certainly like to keep it that way. Its fun drawing the icons and working for the big publishers, but its also great to create your own stories.

FG: Tell me about being an independent komik creator?
JA: Being an indie creator is challenging. Its a little scary because if your product sucks, there really isn’t anyone else to blame but you. Haha.

But, at the end of the day, you get to tell your story. and that’s why we do this. To tell stories.

FG: What would you like to see happen in Philippine comiks in the next 12 months?
JA: I’d like to see more people doing more books. I’d like to see currently ongoing-indies gain even more success and possibly even branch out to other media. ‘Trese’ is perfect for a TV series. And ‘ELMER’ would make a brilliant animated feature.

FG: What the world needs now is…
JA: less (Justin) Bieber.
FG: Agree. Hehehe.
JA: Hahaha.

FG: Internationally, who is your favorite and up & coming comic artist, writer, creator?
JA: Sean Gordon Murphy. He’s been around for about 4 or 5 years. But, I can’t wait for him to get a huge book.
FG: Locally?
John Amor: Locally, I’d have to say Andrew Drilon. I got to be in The 24-Hour Comic Challenge with him. The guy is a machine.

FG: Tell me about ‘Urban Animal’.
JA: It’s about a guy who gets animal powers and struggles to control them. And while he’s doing so, he discovers that it wasn’t accidental and that other people are behind his curse/blessing. Haha.
FG: How many issues is it?
JA: It’ll be a 4 issue mini with an over-sized last issue.
FG: Is it a big story? Will there be more volumes?
JA: It all depends on how the first four issues do? Hopefully, people will like it, coz there’s a lot of stories I’d like to tell.
FG: What will we see in the next coming issues after issue 1?
JA: Blood.

FG: You said, it’s going to be released in October. When in October? And where?
JA: It’ll be released here in Cebu initially. And then in Manila in November at Komikon.
FG: Are you going to be there in Komikon?
JA: I would certainly like to be. But, the sexy men at Big Ape Design Studios, the publishers of Urban Animal, will definitely be there.

FG: Thanks a lot. We’re done. But, are there some stuff that you wanted to plug?
JA: Thanks for the interview. And thanks to Flipgeeks for the feature. I hope you guys check out Urban Animal, and if you’re bored and lonely on a Saturday night, give ‘Tres Komikeros’ (podcast) a listen.


Norby Ela

 
FlipGeeks Operations Editor, Managing Editor of Comics, Komiks, Manga, atbp.