Name: Aaron Navrady
Type of Creator: Writer / Illustrator
List of work:
Writer/Illustrator of Chefchaouen, a short story about travel first published by Young American Comics, re-published on Top Shelf 2.0 http://www.topshelfcomix.com/ts2.0/chefchaouen/
Writer/Illustrator of Box Tape Passage and Quiché Internet Cafe, short stories about travel published on Top Shelf 2.0 http://www.topshelfcomix.com/ts2.0/artist/305
Co-Creator/Writer/Illustrator of Escape from the Horde, a short story ad piece for BionX International promoting power assisted bicycles (as an effective means of escaping zombies)
Writer/Illustrator of Prize of the North, a short story about the history of CFL’s Grey Cup, published by McGraw-Hill Ryerson in their iLit anthology series
Writer/Researcher/Illustrator of The Cold Fire, a self-published graphic novel (released digitally by chapter) about a Norman Crusader and his conflict of principles
What was the first comic you read?
My first comics were probably Tintin when I was maybe 7 or 8, and few years later I was well into European bande dessinées … titles like Asterix, Yoko Tsuno, Lucky Luke, Spirou.
What inspired you to make comics? A specific story? Writer? Artist?
Comics have always been a part of my life, but my strongest inclination to make them came after picking up issues of Marvel X-Factor drawn by Whilce Portacio in the 90s… before then I had dismissed N. American comic art as a bit silly, but seeing his work was like a lightning bolt.
That said, I didn’t really comprehend the grit required to do this work until I read Stephen Pressfield’s The War of Art. That provided the jab in the ribs to get going on a graphic novel project with reckless abandon.
What do you like about comics? What is it about them that interests you? Inspires you? Moves you?
Remember that part in Understanding Comics where the writer and the painter face each other? For many years it was all about a general fascination with the visual arts, and more recently I have grown deeply affectionate for the written word, and so it’s that interplay between the two, and all the possibilities of communicating unseen ideas and emotions … To shamelessly use a cliché – they say a picture says a thousand words, but then a word can bring a thousand pictures, so … (like the word ‘dog’.)
What is the most important thing people need to know about comics?
Read Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics … the whole thing.
What comic(s) would you recommend to a first-time reader?
Le Local by Italian artist Gipi (Gianni Pacinotti)
Stan Lee and Moebius’ collaboration Silver Surfer: Parable
Matt Wagner’s Batman: Faces
And for Kelly Bender … Blankets. (Mostly for my drunken, feckless counter-arguments against his praise of it … part of a failed attempt to impress a lady.)
As a writer, do you use a pen or keyboard?
I have a little notebook into which all ideas are written long before being scribbled onto the first draft.
What’s the first thing you do when you sit down to work? Do you have a routine?
Swim many laps through the oceanic garbage patch called the internets … then get down to work.
Do you listen to music when you work? Other background noise?
I usually need silence to write, and tunes / talk radio to draw by … about 50 / 50 of each.
Finishing a page so it’s finished … and getting published, generally.
If you had to pick one comic as a favourite, what would it be?
Notes from a War Story by Gipi
What is the:
Most romantic comic you’ve ever read?
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Most exciting comic you’ve ever read?
Matt Kindt’s Superspy
Perry Bible Fellowship
The Upturned Stone by Scott Hampton
Most Disgusting? (I added that one)
Six Hundred and Seventy-Six Apparitions of Killoffer
Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan
Who is your favourite comic character?
What is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted with and why?
Courage … for all the obvious reasons.
What three words would you use to describe your work?
Animate. Coarse. Human.
What is your favourite place to go in the city you live in?
There’s a hill near Market Mall that overlooks Bowness and the river … that place.
Future projects you would like to work on:
Furious envy of others’ great work … no better kick in the ass.
You are stranded on a desert island, you must have:
Which 3 books? (I changed that from comics… I’ve said enough about comics)
1) Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse
2) Anything written by Thomas Hardy (not the actor, the writer)
3) Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson (One would usually want to bring something they haven’t read yet, no?)
Which 3 albums?
1) The National High Violet
2) Joni Mitchell Blue
3) Mos Def Black on Both Sides
Which 3 movies?
1) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
3) The Lives of Others
Which 3 foods?
1) Peanut Butter
And which 3 people would you be happy to be stranded with?
Basia Bulat, Slavoj Zizek and … Emily Watson. Go on.