Hey everybody I had the privilege to interview an awesome graphic novelist and got some pretty awesome answers out of it too. I hope you all enjoy this interview with Chris Jaymes.
Thank You Mr. Jaymes for the opportunity to interview its an honor.
Q 1) How did you get into creating comics?
By absolute unintentional force. My past has been filled with writing screenplays and developing stories for movies and TV shows. This specific story was so large in scope and as my brain continued wandering the outline continued sprawling and lingering in various directions until over the course of three near sleepless days, I had created enough content to make the bible look like an obscure pamphlet. The idea of this living in a digital file as a hopeful screenplay in need of astronomical studio support was an unappealing reality, which led to the realization that a graphic novel was needed.
Q 2) For someone like me trying to get into the comic book industry, what’s some advice you could give to artists?
As I’ve been forced to quickly ascertain the equation of the comic industry, the overwhelming respect I have for the creators has heightened. The process is meticulous and thoughtful and there are layers that require a team of collaborators, assuming you aren’t one of the blessed few that have the capacity to deliver at a high level on various fronts… of which, I was not. As the creator, you must consider the optimal variables necessary to deliver the best results for the story you are striving to tell. You must understand your weaknesses and work to acquire the expertise that you are lacking. In my scenario, I needed an artist that would convey the expansive visceral demands of a story that was layered with nuanced specifications. There was the need for building a world that is lacking significant resources. There are no photos or videos from 1821, so you are forced to manufacture a world based on the little you have that conveys what that world might be like. As well as, finding someone who have the capacity to manufacture the emotionally nuances that must be clearly conveyed to tell a complex story. Finding your team is the most important part as you will be stuck together for a significant period of time facing something that is extremely demanding.
Q 3) What can you tell us about your comic Sons of Chaos?
It’s massive. The story is layered and the scope is expansive, not to mention the size of the book alone, seeing as it takes up a serious amount of shelf space. Saw it at Barnes & Noble for the first time last night, as I was curious how it would be displayed and there is no way of avoiding the space it demands. You couldn’t enter the aisle without noticing. Overall, the best thing I can say about it is that after 10 years it exists, and as critical I am about the things I do, I’m proud of it and happy it exists. When I was younger and read Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables I became obsessed with it, and the fact that one reviewer compared it to that, saying it was the Greek equivalent couldn’t make me happier. And in a sense, it is comparable. Les Mis is a story about a nation during the time of Revolution, and the sacrifices people make during that time for those that the love and the greater good regardless of themselves.
Q 4) Did you read many comics when you were a kid?
Primarily, Marvel comics at the time. X-men, Spider Man, Dark Knight, Wolverine.It was a heavy obsession for a period of time, and I would completely avoid paying attention in class without trying to hide it. And somehow, Mr. Batro, my fifth grade teacher was fine with it. He would stop next to my desk, glance over the comic and ask which one it was, nod and continue on. Never once asked me to focus on what he was talking about.
Q 5) What inspired you to want to create a comic based around the 19th Century Greece?
The events surrounding the Greek War for Independence and 1821 is something most of us know very little or nothing about. My early obsession with Les Mis made it something immediately relatable and the story was layered and perfect for this medium. By default, it sort of found itself, more so than my choice.
Q 6) What is your favorite comic story?
Our current political situation.
Q 7) I like asking this with some comic book writers and artists just to see what their answers would be, are you a Marvel or DC or Other comic fan?
Early on, it was everything Marvel. I appreciate plenty of DC now, but back in the day somehow it became almost 100% Marvel. Hard to go back. It’s like being from LA and trying to be a Clipper fan. You sort of wish you could, but it’s so deeply engrained and for better or worse, you’re locked in.
Q 8) How historically based is your comic Sons of Chaos?
There’s far more fact than fiction in the overall sentiment of the book, however a Greek Historian would want to punch me most likely. The changes I made were intentional for story elements and to compress the events into a manner that I could fit within the already packed in 200 pages of book. In order for me to include the key points in the life of Markos Botsaris, to include elements of his father’s life, his death, and key battles he was involved with it would have required me adding more than 4 other battles and locations, a few more years, and 10 more characters. Instead I compressed certain events, and reworked them in a manner that I felt connected with the same overall sentiment, but with a tighter story.
Q 9) With some people in the industry saying comic books are becoming a dying art form, what would you say to artists who are wanting to get into this part of the industry?
Everything’s a dying art form, and everything recycles, and everything that’s relevant is irrelevant. It’s all an idea based on nothing. You don’t succeed by trying to fit a market, you succeed by creating the market. Do the thing that means the most to you, because the thing must stir up enough enthusiasm in you to keep driving regardless of time, convenience, and comfort. If you do, the thing you make will resonate something, because you’ve put so much into it. And if it resonates in the right way, whatever that inexplicable thing is, it will have a certain magnetism that will bring it some sort of life.
Q 10) Last question cause I know you’re a busy guy, if you could choose one person from the comic book industry alive or dead to hang out for a whole day with, who would it be and why?
Seeing as my first obsession was Dark Knight, and now I have a book that is undeniably comparable to 300, it would have to be Frank Miller. There must be some sort of relatable thought form patterns or rhythms that makes me assume we would have a good talk.