And in our final interview of the January Competition, The Knave has a chat with Sheldon Vella, creator of Supertron.
Knave of Krypton: Could you explain the history of SuperTron? I've heard that this series was actually published, in Image Popgun? Is this a story you've wanted to tell for a long time?
Sheldon Vella: Haha, to tell the honest-to-god truth, there's puddles in the street deeper than the history of SuperTron. I was working construction and got sent to a new site on "SuperTron Avenue". Being totally bored with my job, but completely inspired by the street name, I spent all day planning out the SuperTron script in my head, while jackhammering away in 35 degree (Celsius) heat.
More often than not, most of my story idea's come from cool words I'll see out and about, or a line out of a song i like. Idea's come to me easier when I'm not trying to think of them.
And as for the Popgun Anthology, my name was passed on by my good mate Elio ( www.eliohouse.com), and I got invited to contribute an entry. Being my first ever published work, SuperTron seemed like a fairly "all-rounder" story to intro myself into the industry.
KofK: You're utilizing a pretty non-conventional, almost radioactive color palette. Is this something that you chose for the web or do you think this would also work in print?
SV: Even before Popgun, SuperTron was intended for print. But, this being my first published piece, my experience with printing colours was ZERO. If this were a perfect world, everything on screen would look like it does on paper.
That said, my reason for the colour selection was simply a question of mood. SuperTron being a "fun/frenzy" themed comic, one would assume the colour scheme should reflect and support said theme. After some colouring tips (thanks charmaine! xoxo) I went with the acidic/toxic greens and yellows pushing out the baby-ish pinks of the robots.
KofK: What was it about the Zuda model that was appealing to you and caused you to submit this series?
SV: The money.
KofK: Honest answer...
SV: Haha, well that AND the fact that I saw so many hardcore critics on there slaying and praising the other entries, I just couldn't wait to get my share of those sweet sweet comments. I'm a total whore for attention.
KofK: Okay. So who are some of your artistic influences?
SV: Like I mentioned before, I get alot of my drive from things outside the comic industry like graff/urban culture, tattoo art, heavy metal music, porno e.t.c. But as far as PICTURE artists go i'm a big fan of Geoff Darrow, Katsuhiro Otomo, Frank Frazetta, Simon Bisley...blah blah blah. Name dropping influences is boring.
KofK: Sorry I asked! I particularly enjoyed the diagram cut-away on page six. It really adds to the industrial/technological feel of the series. Are there any bigger ideas you'd like to make with SuperTron or is it mainly for entertainment?
SV: Haha that panel was a total fluke, but I'm glad you liked it. I needed something to make Spinbot's little "talking-to-himself" moment a little more exciting. And i think because i made the design of the characters fairly simplistic, i wanted to show that they still had all those awesome moving parts underneath their shells. And i pretty much just referenced car parts for Spinbot's insides, it was a lot of fun to draw.
So i guess the next time the comic starts to "slow down", I'll come up with something to make it entertaining.
KofK: Do you think it's a challenge to make dynamic characters out of robots? Do you look for ways to humanize them?
SV: "Challenging", not really. "Fun", oh fugging definitely. You could be drawing any kind of "mechanical/inorganic" object, so long as you give it the flair and the fire, it'll jump right off the page. And given the assumption that their faces are made of metal, giving the mouth that slight bend or twitch to an eye-brow expresses that tiny little hint of emotion and, I think, gives them all the humanity they need.
KofK: Anything else you'd like to add?
SV: Just my love and appreciation to my entervoid.com crew, and all my other freinds old and new, home and abroad who have supported me this far (not just in Zuda either) and have brought me to where I am today.