Jordan Berry is a web comic creator who has used his comics for everything from education about safe drinking to entertaining his readers. This Nerd was luck enough to speak to Jordan on what he’s currently up to and what’s next!
Hey Jordan! What is the first comic you remember loving?
My first comic I can remember loving had to be the DC comic book “Steel” I can’t remember the issue but they had it in my local library and I pretty much borrowed it until they forced me to give it back. I still love that character today. As for comics in the newspapers I would take all of them but for some reason to me it was beautiful because it didn’t have to be just one style. I found the more simplistic comics competing against the most incredible photorealistic comics and often the simpler ones were better! It still has a huge impact on my art to this day.
What made you want to start creating your own?
Making my own was an odd story. I had stopped drawing for a long time in order to focus on studying while at Uni before I was forced to go to a meeting about putting together a magazine. I remember not being interested in most of the things they wanted but then I saw comic strip and my mind flooded with those old comics I loved and I could do what they did! My first comics were all published but the first I ever produced was a 3 panel strip with no words about safe drinking. I remember people congratulating me that it was funny and that they then realised the serious underlying message, but because of the humour the message was received more openly then a speech about what to do and what not to do.
What is your favourite work you have produced so far?
My favourite work is one of two comics. The first one ever produced because I got to see my work in a magazine! It was so exciting, it was my work and people loved it. I must admit it never loses its thrill seeing my work in a magazine or paper. The second was a comic I hung on my wall. It was a cross over comic between the characters from my second web comic “the landing party” and the title character from “the walking Zeke” in which the landing party characters were poor and had decided to sell Zeke’s things. I loved that it was a new style I had tried to draw in. I loved how the style looked and so I printed it off and it hung on my wall it was my first art that made me smile every time I looked at it.
Do you have a favourite author or piece of work?
My favourite artist and writer has to be Scott Kurtz, known as the grandfather of web comics I found his work on PVP fantastic available at pvponline.com (It’s such an old address it has online in the title). He’s a hero. I also developed a lot of my cartoony style from how I saw his characters move. My favourite piece of work is actually a collection, it’s from another artist called James Kochalka and is called American elf. James produced a comic every day for I believe 14 years. They no longer exist online except for the occasional ones on google images but you can still buy the books. Every volume is an autobiographical year in the life of James and include his reactions to real world events on the day they happened (His one about 9/11 was hugely touching and beautiful) and tell true stories about what was happening to him on any given day. I one day want to achieve something like that. Also Jhonen Vasquez’s “Squee!” And “Johnny the homocidal maniac.”
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a lot at the moment. In comics I’m doing a one-off run of the landing party reuniting once more due to the popularity it gained online. I am writing, illustrating and directing an animated web show called “the littlest goth” which follows the adventures of a five-year old goth on his war against the world while also trying to find his place in it. I’m working on two board games at the moment I can’t talk about unfortunately and a comic strip about children discovering and playing Pen and paper RPG’s for the first time (This is somewhat autobiographical).
What advice do you have for those just starting out?
My advice for people starting out is draw! Draw everything you think of! Draw on every scrap of paper you have! Let the paper show you the art and you just draw it. But the best piece of advice I was given was by Rebecca Shugar who currently is amazing with her comics and her show “Steven universe” said “if there is something you can’t draw make a comic about it. My brother couldn’t draw birds and so made a comic called bird world now birds are easy for him.”
Just remember the immortal words, “dying is easy, comedy is hard.”
If you want to keep up to date with what Jordan is up to, you can follow him on Twitter or check out his website.