The Ninjabot

20 Questions With Evan Shaner

Posted on December 7, 2013 at 8:39 am by Heather Antos

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Just last week, I had the very cool opportunity to ask Evan Shaner a few questions. Twenty of them, in fact. Evan’s most recent work can be found in his pencils for Marvel in the Deadpool Annual #1, as well as Blood Brothers from Dark Horse and Ghostbusters from IDW, just to name a few! Check out what the lovely and charming Evan Shaner had to say:

 

 

1.) Let’s start with something easy: How are you?

I’m well! Tired, but well.

2.) Dog person or cat person?

Dog person, always have been. Nothing personal, cats.

3.) Care to tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I’ve wanted to be a cartoonist since I was a kid and have been working as one for the last few years. I grew up in Michigan and now live in Colorado with my wife, our daughter, and our beagle.

4.) If you were trapped on a deserted island and could only have 3 items with you, what would you bring?

The Alex Toth Doodle Book, sunscreen, and a helicopter.

5.) I noticed you call yourself “Doc Shaner” on several websites (Twitter, Deviant Art, etc…). Where did that name come from?

That was a nickname I picked up in middle school, it stuck here and there through high school and college, and as I was leaving college I decided that it would be easier for most folks to remember and spell correctly than Evan. For the most part I’ve been proven right.

6.) If you could have any superpower (or be any super hero) what would you choose?

I’d probably have to go with the old standby of flight just because I love the idea of being able to fly around on my own. It’s hard not to just say “Everything Superman or Captain Marvel can do”.

7.) What is the first comic you remember getting?

The first comic book I bought was a trade of The Death of Superman, in 1993. I would have been about 8 or 9 at the time.

8.) How was it?

I dug it up just last week and was surprised at how much I remember from it, so I must have read it a number of times. Although I didn’t buy another comic book for 9 years or so after that, so who knows?

9.)What got you interested in comics? 

The newspaper strips. I read Peanuts, Calvin & Hobbes, Foxtrot, etc. like crazy as a kid. Right up until I graduated from college I had planned on being a newspaper strip cartoonist.

10.) Who inspired you when you were first getting your start? What motivated you?

Charles Schulz, at the start. I wanted to be Charles Schulz when I grew up for the longest time. When I started getting into comic books and thought about heading down that road professionally, the first artists who I took notice of and really got me thinking were Mike Wieringo and Joe Kubert. I wouldn’t say it was so much a matter of motivation either, this was just something I needed to be doing.

11.) How did you get your start in the industry?

Depends on what you consider a “start”. My first real gig at a publisher would probably be considered “Buddy Cops” which was in three issues of Dark Horse Presents. That was just a matter of coincidence; I’d been talking with Nate Cosby (the writer) about pitching what eventually became Buddy Cops when John Schork, who was an editor at Dark Horse at the time, wrote me asking if I had any ideas for DHP. Granted it took a while to get to that point, but it was a fairly easy “in”.

12.) Do you also write comics?

I’ve tried briefly now and then in very small ways. I’d like to give it an honest try at some point in the near future.

13.) What’s the first comic you ever created?

When I was much younger I had what I guess you could call a strip called “Chuck”, about a boy who was basically just a very thinly-veiled version of me with red hair.

14.) What would you call your art “style?”

That’s a tough one. To be honest I don’t give “style” much thought so I’d be hard pressed to describe or label it. A lot of folks refer to it as minimal or retro so I guess I’d go with that.

15.) How long would you say you spend doing the pencils for an issue? A page?

I can typically pencil 2 pages a day, 3 if they’re not especially strenuous or I’m just having a good day. I tend to pencil 4-5 at a time, then ink that batch, then go back to pencil another 4-5. That way the finished work is coming in at a decent pace for the colorist and I’m not getting bored doing just one thing or the other.

16.) Any advise for us aspiring comic writers and artists?

Just draw, draw, draw. It sounds obvious but so many folks don’t realize just how much actual time you spend drawing in this business. And to be more specific, I recommend finding out how fast/much you can draw as soon as possible. Being aware and confident in what you can do with a given amount of time is key to working in comics. I’m not a writer but I imagine it’s somewhat similar for them.

17.) What has been your favorite project in your career thus far?

At the risk of a cop out answer, whatever I’m working on at the moment.

18.) Any exciting upcoming projects you can tell us about?

There are 2 upcoming projects that I’m very excited about but unfortunately I can’t talk about them as they haven’t been announced yet. Working on both now. Deadpool Annual #1l I just finished drawing for Marvel recently hit shelves on November 27th, and that was a lot of fun.

19.) If you had the opportunity to work alongside any artist or writer, who would your comic dream team be?

I’d really like to work on something with Roger Langridge. Just a big fan of his and I think we have a lot of the same sensibilities.

20.) And lastly, probably the most important question of all…..Marvel or DC?

Whichever one’s paying me at the moment! To be honest, and I’m not just being diplomatic, I don’t favor one over the other. I like so many characters at both companies, and so many great creators have worked at both that I don’t really think about it that way anymore.

You can see great examples of Evan’s work online at his website docshaner.com, his twitter, or his tumblr

Want more of Heather’s Rants & Raves? Follow her on Twitter: @HeatherAntos

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