Webcomic Spotlight: Strangebeard
As All Hallow’s Eve creeps closer and closer why not gather your loved ones around the bright lit screen of your nearest computer and delve into the swashbuckling Adventure brought to you by Mister Kelly Tindall’s Strangebeard. Kelly Tindall is a cartoonist, web/comic-book creator and an educator to boot who hails from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has worked on a variety of comics such as That’s So Kraven, Proof (With Alex Grecian and Riley Rossmo), Green Wake (With Kurtis Wiebe and Riley Rossmo) and Archie Snow. Mr. Tindall was kind enough to talk about his career and his adventures in comics.
All-Comic: Kelly, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. How were you first exposed to comics?
KT: My father used to buy me comics from Val’s Confectionary in Marsden, Saskatchewan (population 263). I used to read ALF, Transformers, and the lame Justice League with Gypsy and Vibe.
AC: When did you decide you wanted to make comics?
KT: One of my teachers told me that I could do it, and I thought that sounded fun.
AC: How long have you been drawing?
KT: I started drawing when I was two years old.
AC: Did you study illustration or are you self taught?
KT: I had a lot of great instructors. Kevin Quinlan, when I was in high school. I went to the Alberta College of Art & Design for illustration. Rick Sealock was a massive influence on me while I was there. Mike Kerr told me I had chops. Dave Whamond, Elaine Prodor.
AC: Did you get a lot of support from parents and art teachers?
KT: Well, nobody said I couldn’t make comics, if that’s supportive? My parents have always had faith in me. The most support has been from my wife, my family and my colleagues. And the ghost of Blackbeard, played as always by the delightful Peter Ustinov.
AC: What was the first comic you remember working on?
KT: Battle Beetles #1, a homage to the Ninja Turtles mixed awkwardly with Mega Man and Super Mario Bros. Very low print run. I should put it on Comixology!
AC: First off, what a hilarious title! For those not familiar with this comic, do you mind giving us a small introduction?
KT: Aw, thanks! Strangebeard is the story of Jenny Brigham, a simple girl who discovers on the night of her twelfth birthday that she’s the reincarnation of the dreaded pirate Strangebeard. She is gifted with his magical powers but cursed with the loyalty of his duplicitous crew.
AC: What inspired you to create Strangebeard?
KT: Two things: The Secret of Monkey Island, perhaps my favorite computer game, and the tiny village of Shell Inlet which was a pirate town my brother Justin and I built out of Lego in my parent’s unfinished basement. A lot of that little town is finding its way into Strangebeard, twenty years later.
AC: What has been the most surprising aspect of running this webcomic?
KT: If you’d have told me two years ago I’d be running and maintaining a website (that looks pretty good, if I do say so myself), I’d have laughed so hard rum would have come out my nose. I’ve also been pleased with the feedback I’m getting. The invites to comic conventions have been nice, more of those would be delightful.
AC: Would you ever consider kickstarter or some type of crowd funding to publish this book?
KT: Just you wait. I’m planning to Kickstart Volume 1 (consisting of the first five chapters) early next year. Nuts and Bolts
AC: How do you get this drawn out? Physically or digitally?
KT: Pencil and ink on paper, letters in Illustrator and colours in Photoshop.
AC: What are your preferred tools of the trade?
KT: 4H pencil, HB pencils from the drugstore, my Pentel brush pen, Micron pens (01, 05, and 08), Illustrator and Photoshop. Kraken black rum. Kettle chips from Miss Vickies.
AC: How much time does it take to go from a script to a completed strip of Strangebeard?
KT: Between two and four hours, usually. Colour is the slowest part, but it looks so good! I couldn’t do the strip black-and-white, I need at least spot colours (which is what I do for my other strip, The Adventurers).
AC: Did you set up your own website or pay some one to design it for you?
KT: Did everything myself! Well, me and WordPress and ComicEasel. When I did That’s So Kraven!, I had my excellent friend/design guru Scott Borys give the site a spit-shine, but Strangebeard’s been all me.
AC: How do you maintain your website?
KT: It’s pretty manageable… If I have a question, I just ask someone with a slightly nicer site than mine how they did something. That’s how I got to design my own Paypal donations button, my navigation buttons, and my background images.
AC: If you have time, what comics, manga or web comics are you reading?
KT: The Fantagraphics reprints of Carl Barks’ Donald Duck/Scrooge McDuck stories are huge with me right now. I love Saga ( art by fellow ACAD alum Fiona Staples), Godzilla: Half Century War by James Stokoe. Just now reading RASL by Jeff Smith. Anything Riley Rossmo does (although I’m usually lettering it). Can’t wait for the next Darwyn Cooke Parker book.
AC: Do you have an all time favorite creator? Be it music, comics or movies.
Music: Stephin Merritt
Comics: Carl Barks
Movies: Hayao Miyazaki
AC: What’s next for you?
KT: Finishing Volume 1 of Strangebeard and possibly printing The Adventurers, as well.
AC: How can readers best support you and your work?
KT: Read my comics and share ’em!
AC: Thank you for your time Kelly!
There is no need to wait for Kelly to unleash Strangebeard onto Kickstarter, you can read it right now! Yes, both Strangebeard and The Adventurers are available online at no cost to you. Kelly does not dilly dally when it comes to fleshing out his Strangebeard realm. There are (at the time of this posting) three chapters of Strangebeard, not including the prologue and power stats for his characters! Hop to it buccaneers! If you have any compliments or inquires on treasure maps you can reach Kelly on his twitter.