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Webcomic Spotlight: Write Jesse Write

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This week on the All-Comic Spotlight, Mister Jesse Young, 33 from South Florida steps up to the plate. Jesse has been building an online portfolio of webcomics with a little bit of everything. Lighthearted all ages comics that cover slice of life, fantasy and even a caped crusader or two. Read on to get to know Jesse and his work a little better.

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Interior art from Here We Go

All-Comic: Jesse, How were you first exposed to comics?

Jesse Young: I got into Image when they first came out as a kid because a cousin of mine read comics, so for like ten minutes, so did I. But then it wasn’t really until I was about 28/29 that I picked up Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan and everything changed. From that moment on I was hooked.

AC: When did you decide you wanted to make comics?

JY: The same time I read Pride. I’ve always loved creating things. For 15 years I’ve been a singer/songwriter. I’ve toured all over and opened for a lot of big names so music has always been a big passion but another big passion was telling stories. I took screenwriting classes in college and wrote a novel and a friend of mine wanted to do a graphic novel so I told him I’d help. I picked up Pride because I wanted to learn more about comics before I started writing them and once I saw the potential of storytelling comics was capable of, I was all in.

AC: What inspired you to make the half-dozen comics you have available for free?

JY: I had started my own publisher called Saint James back in 09 with the above mentioned friend and this was our way to launch our own books. We had a few different titles and finished issues, got reviews places, went to cons, etc, but were never able to sustain the books long term. Once that ended and I decided to continue making comics, I knew I needed another approach. Artists put together portfolios to show around online and at conventions so I decided I wanted to do the same thing. Shorts are easier to manage, lighter on my pocket book which allows me to pay really talented people and I think from an artists prospective, easier for them to commit to doing a 5-7 page project rather than signing on with an unknown for a 5-6 issue series. I am trying to build enough content for my site that it serves as an online portfolio of me as a writer and then I hope to collect them all and print them in some form to pass around to people when I am at conventions.

AC: Have you co create any of these comics or do you reach out to an artist after having the complete story?

JY: Collaborating is by far my favorite part of working in comics, but the shorts I’ve done so far I have created and then I’m finding an artist to draw the scripts. And not for any reason other than that’s how it’s worked out. Even still in these shorts, I encourage my partners to give input and make changes as they see fit. One of the pitches I’ve posted called “The Amulet of Isanove”, was a true collaboration with the artist. I asked her what she wanted to draw, she mentioned she liked dragons, so I worked on developing a story. Once I had something I bounced ideas off her and we keep trading ideas until the story was developed. A lot of story elements that went into that pitch were then artists idea.

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AC: How do you go about finding an artist?

JY: Deviant Art is where I have a lot of luck. I posted an ad on Digital Webbing once and that’s how I got Anwar for “Here We Go”.

AC: You’ve made a variety of comics in different genres, even a short Spider-man story, how do you pick your next project?

JY: Sometimes it’s just the concept that’s rolling around in my head at the time or sometimes it’s a suggestion or writing for an artists strengths. With “Amulet“, the artist was really good at fantasy and wanted to draw dragons, so I built a story around that. A friend asked me to write a short for him and wanted to do a Western, so I’ve got a 5 page western. (still looking for an artist) “Here We Go” was inspired by a pic of a mom and son that another friend of mine drew and it just evolved into this action/adventure. The Spider-Man short is funny because I actually have no real desire to write for the Big 2, but one morning while I was getting ready for work, this running gag popped into my head and it made me laugh. I ended up writing the script as an exercise and then I was trying to get George to draw the Western but he said he really wanted to do Superheroes, so I said, I have this really dumb Spider-Man idea and he loved it so we did it. It wasn’t really one I was planning on actually finishing but I am glad I did, because it turned out a lot better than I imagined.

AC: Which of your current stories is your favorite? I liked Here We Go, but Amulet of Isanove is the most fantastic and I hope to see more.

JY:  Here We Go” is the one I most proud of and the one I think is my best work. “Amulet” I also really love a lot as well, but mostly because Hannah’s art kicks so much butt, I really think she deserves to be published. We pitched that around a bit and haven’t had any takers as of yet, but that is one I really do wish we could finish one day.

JYHere we go Cover

AC: Would you ever consider kickstarter or some type of crowd funding to publish these books?

JY: I’ve done kickstarter for my music. Back when KS first launched I used in in 2010 to record a 4 song EP. It was a challenge raising the money for that and I know a lot more people who’d buy my music than my comics, so I am not opposed to it, but I’d like to try and build awareness of myself a little more first.

AC: Did you set up your own website or pay some one to design it for you?

JY: I actually did the website myself. I use SquareSpace and they make it really easy to put together a great looking site.

AC: Follow up: How do you maintain your website?

JY: Just updating the blog as much as I can. I am trying to have as much content on there as possible.

AC: Have you been published before?

JY: No

AC: If you have time, what comics, manga or web comics are you reading?

JY: I read a ton actually but have fallen behind a little. This isn’t the whole list and I know I am leaving a ton out, but I am really digging Five Ghosts, Doc Unknown, Fatale, Hawkeye, Knuckleheads, Masks & Mobsters, The Activity, October Girl, Revival, Saga, Sheltered, Virga, The Wake, Theremin, Mind the Gap, The Killer, Peter Panzerfaust, After Houdini, Deadhorse.

AC: Do you have an all time favorite creator? Be it music, comics or movies.

JY: COMICS: Brian K. Vaughan
MUSIC: Phil Collins
MOVIES: Steven Speilberg
TV: Aaron Sorkin

AC: What is next for you?

JY: Right now, trying to get the word out about “Here We Go“. I am also developing a pitch for a larger story set in the universe of “Here We Go“. It is being co-written with Tim Daniel (Enourmous) and drawn by Nick Johnson (Wolf Hands). We’re working on the pitch right now. I am also working on finishing a two other shorts. One is called “The Daring Adventures of Android Jones” and is a sci-fi action/adventure and the other is called “Ex Occultus: The Sword of Pelus“. This is being drawn by Joanna Estep (Fraggle Rock, The Thrilling Adventure Hour). The elevator pitch for Ex Occultus is: Indian Jones meets the Ex Files in the 19th century.

AC: How can readers best support you and your work?

JY: Follow me on twitter @writejessewrite and honestly the best way is if you dig a story I wrote, pass it on to someone else you think would enjoy it as well. I just wanted these in front of as many people as possible.

AC: Thanks for your time Jesse, I hope to see more of your work online and hopefully, on day, in print.

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Jesse is working away building his comic empire. If you would like to help spread the word his comics can be found here. Jesse is easy to get a hold of on twitter and I hope every one of you shares his page. I would love to see more of  “The Amulet of Isanove”.

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