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To Better Know a Renegade: James Zintel

Sean Tonelli - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Laserz! Explozions! Night Elves riding Panzer Dragoons! These are a few of the things that will not be in this interview. It’s time for another installment of...

To Better Know a Renegade! Featuring cartoonist, writer and general gadabout James Zintel. James’ work, Shump #1, is coming to Renegade: Voices on October 4th. Under a ‘pay what you want’ model, all the proceeds from Shump will go straight to James. Will drinks be on him? Keep reading to find out… the answer will not shock you.

Sean: How did you get started as an artist?

James: I got started by drawing on walls with crayons. My mom likes to tell the story of how she almost electrocuted her self censoring my work off an electrical outlet. Which is really more on her than me. Professionally I’ve been doing art for around ten years or so working mostly on the graphic design side of things. I started doing my own terrible superhero comics then moving onto webcomics when I realized that it would let me release content without being stuck with hundreds of unsellable copies of “Fireball”. Once I started it never occurred to me to stop.

Sean: Your style is impressive… most impressive. Who are you inspired by?

James: A little bit of everything I guess. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a big one. As a kid it hit all my “this is the coolest” buttons from the character designs to the humour which play a lot into my current work.

Asterix comics as well because they were the only comics they had at the library when I was a kid so I read as many as I could. I guess I just like things with bright colours.

Sean: Since this is 100% off the record, could you tell me some secrets about your creative process?

James: The secret of my creative process is that I don’t have one. It’s a jumble of loosely scribbled notes, sketchbooks full of half finished drawings and half finished cans of Rockstar Pure Zero Sugar Free Watermelon™ (yo Rockstar hit me up for sponsorship, I’m shockingly cheap). I usually start with a few rough ideas then try turning them into thumbnail drawings, and thumbnails to rough sketches and the sketches onto complete pages. I’m a terrible comics writer who seldom works from a complete script unless I actually have to show one.

Sean: What are some upcoming projects that you have on the docket?

James: There are lots of things I’m working on. Like I’m trying to build a pet shop out of Lego.

Sean: I-- I don’t care about... Lego… pet shops.

James: Oh you mean comics and such? I just put out the first volume of Shump as well as my first kids book Saskatchewan A to Z. It teaches you all about the province of Saskatchewan and the alphabet! What more could you need! I also have a few pitches that I’m working on as well as the second volume of Shump, so I got that going for me too.

Sean: Which is good! I know Bill Murray movies. (raises hand for highfive, highfive is not reciprocated.) *cough* What are some of your favourite tools of the trade?

James: I tend to draw in the cheapest sketch pads I can find with various colours of Prismacolor Col Erase pencils. I do everything else in Adobe Illustrator from lineart to colours and lettering using a ten year old Wacom Bamboo tablet. I also use a computer I paid $100 dollars for. Because I’m thrifty. Not cheap. THRIFTY.

Sean: Any advice to up and coming creative types and/or rivals?

James: STAY THE HELL OUTTA MY WAY! And just do the work. There’s no “push button - get famous” because if there were I’d have already pressed it and then destroyed it. Put out your work. There are so many avenues to get your work out in front of an audience (like Voices from Renegade Arts & Entertainment [I get my cheque now right?]).

He didn’t.(Ron Howard voice)

Also try and learn as many aspect of production as you can. Making comics is expensive so the more you can offset that by doing it yourself the better. And design is important! Stop using the Badaboom font for your titles!!

You can find more of James’ work HERE. Shump #1 hit’s Voices on October 4th 2017 so save the date!