Arvid Nelson: How I Got Into Comics

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Computers were absolutely critical to us then, and they’re even more important now. That’s another piece of advice for young creators: master computers the way a Jedi masters the Force. Comics are lettered and colored on computers. One of my later comics, Zero Killer, was even drawn on one.

Back in college, our final product was a little raw – it was very raw – but I’m still proud of it.

On the night we sent the thing off to the printer, we were all feeling pretty high. And why not? We’d were all jacked up on caffeine and high fructose corn syrup.

But some of us were graduating. What the hell were we going to do with ourselves? A question no college senior likes to think about.

Billy, of course, had it figured out.

“Why can’t we do this?” he said. “Why can’t we do comics?”

Everything fell into place for me, like Tetris.

That summer I went to the San Diego comic book convention for the first time. There I met EricJ, who was destined to become the artist and co-creator of Rex Mundi, a comic I’ve just now finished, after ten years.

Rex Mundi has been a labor of love. I blame it for the loss of all the hair above my neck and the growth of all the hair below it. There have been more than a few times when I considered dropping it altogether.

But there’s a happy ending! It’s now published by Dark Horse Comics, and we’re hard at work on a film adaptation at Warner Bros.

And while Rex Mundi might have been a struggle, twenty years ago it would have been simply impossible. With the technology available now, anyone can create a comic.

The Internet has shrunk the world into a golf ball with time zones – I’ve worked with artists as far away as Argentina and the Philippines – and with computers, one or two people can do the work of a dozen, in a fraction of the time. There’s never been a better time to be a creative person.

Arvid Nelson, comic book writer best known for his work on Rex Mundi, can be found online at http://www.arvidland.com

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