Saturday, September 13, 2014

Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers CD Review: Yeah Yeah Yeah

Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers
CD Review: Yeah Yeah Yeah

Americana Whip with a splash of beer”

by: Song River

Carol Pacey leads the posse known as, Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers, an all original Americana, pull your boot straps up roots band, with a smattering of hard rock roped in with sticks of dynamite attached.

This is Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers first album release, Yeah Yeah Yeah . CPHS are a massive explosion of Americana Whip with a splash of beer, vocally charmed in a duly noted woman driving her own caravan as her band mates strengthen the bolts and boards to carry this four wheeled buckboard up and over every hill. Nothing can stop this energetic led band as they have taken the Phoenix Valley by storm. CPHS is currently being spun around the airwaves all over the Valley and most recently internationally on The Lopsided World of L with well renown radio DJ- Jonathan L.

Their new album opens up and lets the honey begin to shake with their song, Do You Think Someday, which begs that old question... “do you think someday you'll care to know the new me... maybe someday?” Leading us into The Knitting Song as we unchain our hearts, and skip over to feeling our way to the next track knowing what a “good-for-nothing lying Fool” is. Epic Love Fail leaps from the grooves with wisdom, “You never find the love you want if you don't know what kind you're looking for.” CPHS's, Yeah Yeah Yeah, gives us a Happy Little Tune, and tell us that Rock and Roll Saves, and yes we all sing along in unison. Never short on determination and life's outlook their debut album rounds out with Roll My Way, asking even when things go wrong, “I'll try to appease and let some good times roll my way.” Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers entry album, opens a whole new hive of music in a sweet, and tasty treat for all your musical senses. A throng of sweetness, and energizing droplets of Americana ReCharge!

The original line-up for their first CD release: Carol Pacey Lead Vox and acoustic, Andy Borunda Electric Guitar, Conrad Padilla (former bassist), Ben DeLuca with help from their friends: Jeff Quinonez on keyboards, Danny Torgersen on trumpet, and James Pope with Joseph Asselin on percussion.

CPHS's album, Yeah Yeah Yeah is a culmination that needs to not only slide into your play-list, but is something you must experience live. The explosive capacity of Lead vocalist, Carol Pacey, flirtatious in her jeans, cowgirl boots, and boho country charm, belts out her vocals as she constantly connects with her audience. Carol creates a relationship with each fan letting them know with her wicked smile upon her lips and sparkle in her eyes, that each person dancing and listening is a part of their rock n roll wagon!

Matching her is the powerhouse guitar work of Andy Borunda who brings any room into complete submission with each solo riff, as he transforms himself and his audience into becoming one with his masterful guitar work. Dante Fiorenza thumps his bass, and sets the course of each song as he drives in the mood hard, sweetly, and seductively with each pluck measured forth, and always keeping the beat with a passionate- let's have a good time strike- is their impeccable drummer, Ben DeLuca, who honestly shines in his pure love and enjoyment for what CPHS is creating together. And together they are Americana Power Pop or as I like to call their style Americana Crack an explosion of good times, groovy feelings and great country rock! Ready to set your mood off into the land of friends/family, Friday nights, music, and letting all your cares fall away.

*Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers will be appearing September 26th on the Local KWSS stage for the Summer Ends Music Festival, at the Tempe Beach Park. For more information and to purchase your tickets visit:

We were honored and really excited when they asked us to play the Summer Ends Music Festival. Truth, I had already bought a three day pass before I knew we were playing; I was going regardless if we were playing or not! But then when we were asked to perform, I just couldn't believe it! Our band sharing such a huge festival with all of the other great local bands, most of whom we haven't played with yet locally, and then all of the national acts...mind blown!- Carol Pacey of Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Interview with Author and Illustrator: Travis Hanson creator of the web-comic, The Bean.

Interview with Author and Illustrator:
Travis Hanson creator of the web-comic, The Bean.

By: Song River

Life is a whole new adventure”- I believe would be Author and Illustrator, Travis Hanson's, mantra. Travis recently began the process of coloring his long time dishwasher's adventure web-comic, The Bean, and I asked him to share with us the process and legacy of this regular 'Joe' turned hero.

Song River: Travis share with us a little background about The Bean, this dishwashers journey to self-discovery...

Travis Hanson: The Bean is the story of a young dishwasher who lives in an inn called the Silver Dagger. The Bean is not happy with his lot in life; as he was abandoned by his father to the owner of the inn, a mean ogre named, Gort.

One day, when he was sent on an errand to find some mushrooms, he was kidnapped by a crazy old troll who needed the boy to find a weapon of incredible power. The weapon, a broken sword, eventually ends up in the hands of Bean, who is given a charge to heal the sword.

It's a story about not always being in control of what happens to you, but learning to be in control of how you react to it. Bean finds out that even a dishwasher has the potential for being the hero.

Can a dishwasher really be a hero? 
The Bean shows us we certainly can!

Song: What were some of the nuances you were thinking of when you created this story?

Travis: My disdain for washing dishes. (laughs)

Actually, I am a strong believer that you might not be able to control a situation - yet you can control your reaction to that situation. Which in the end allows you to control your future.

I also watch my own children as they grow-up and observe how they deal with choices and situations. Sometimes, not everyone you meet can be trusted, while other times you meet people that look scary or intimidating, and they turn out to be your closest allies. That's basically what The Bean is about.

Taking old stereotypes and tossing them out the window.

Song: Did you draw from any personal experiences in its creation?

Travis: I did. I took from my love of day dreaming and eating in dinners, while listening to the conversations around me when I was little.

You learn that the world is a much bigger place than you thought.

I also took the story from other experiences. When I wrote the refugee scene… I spent many hours talking to a friend who was a soldier and Chaplains' Aide. He had served in Africa, and had seen some pretty rough stuff. It helped me add a level of realism to my tale.

When dealing with wounds, I asked my cousin who studied to be a trauma surgeon on how one would deal with taking care of injuries on the battlefield, and also symptoms of fevers etc.. I love doing research.

Song: What year did you begin Bean?

Travis: 2002 really, but I did not put it into the current format that you see today, until 2009.

Song: Why did you originally begin in black and white, and were your intentions to keep it in this format?

Travis: I wanted to keep the story going. The story is an epic and I struggled with balancing a job/family/faith and the comic. To color it was way too taxing in the beginning, so I took the, “Jeff Smith Model”, and went for b/w with the intent to color it later. It allowed the story to continue and keep it going - there are many web-comics that start in color, and quit because they cannot keep up with the demand a comic creates. Plus, there is little money at the moment in web-comics, so most creators need to have other jobs to keep the bills paid.

Song: What made you decide to begin this coloring process? Do you think it will enhance the story?

Travis: Because as much as I love black and white- color is what sells. I found that a lot of doors were closed because it's b/w, so I decided to go back and start the coloring process. I had too. I want this story to be told the way I see and though I am still updating in b/w it has always been my dream to do it in color.

Song: You chose Patreon as your instrument to use to take your passion for this story to its full glory. Why did you choose this particular venue to reach your goals?

Travis: I chose Patreon, because Jason Brubaker, reminded (pause), encouraged me to. I found it to be a nice model that allowed fans to help finance a project. It is allowing me to speed up the process. This is important, because Patreon is making it possible for creators to spend time on their own dreams and projects, with the help of others.

It's like the renaissance where patrons helped artists be what they were good at, and that was being an artist. Also, I like Patreon because you can control how much you choose to donate. Most people donate just a $1 per color update, about $8 per month. That's it, and you can cap it. So you control how much you donate. It's very, very cool.

There's no time limit either, there is a reward system, and for me to color 600 + pages I needed a way to ease the burden of a free web-comic - which will still be free.

Song: How can those who want to support The Bean, get involved, and read how it works find your information?

Travis: Here is my link:

Patreon allows people to donate money to help fund creators projects. Since my project is intense and big (600+ pages and constant b/w updates) Patreon allows people to lift the financial burden that a project like this creates. Especially when it is a labor of love. Some rewards included are; Free art, mentoring, secret blog, etc… The other thing is a patron can control how much they choose to donate. It could be just a $1 each month or it could be more. It is all up to the patron.

The main thing is this opens a way for indy creators to produce some incredible projects, and do some wonderful things, while rewarding fans in a way that they have never done before. It is opening doors.

Travis Hanson is an Eisner nominated fantasy illustrator with a huge imagination. His works include comics, children's art, fantasy and just fun illustrations that encourages the need for people to be creative.

For more information on Trav's works, rates and ideas, just send a note to


'94 and American Dischord Comic Illustrator Shelby Robertson

Setting the Comic Book industry standard's-
An interview with Shelby Robertson owner of American Dischord talk's about the industry, and his latest venture '94.

By: Song River

Song River: Shelby you are the epitome of a road warrior in this gilded age of Comic Illustrator/Writer. Working in an industry on various levels for the last twenty years share a little about your beginnings in the industry. 

Shelby Robertson: My beginnings as a comic book illustrator started at the age of 17. I do consider myself to have been a 30 year old mentally by that point due to a straining childhood, so really can't say that my 17 would be an identifiable one with any other teenager per'se. I was already a professional CAD illustrator for a local Blimp company assisting in designs on new era larger than life productions a year prior, so jumping in feet first with Rob Liefeld's Extreme Studios in Southern California wasn't a very difficult transition at all.

Song: How comfortable are you opening up to let your fans into your personal world? 

Shelby: I'm probably the closest to an open book as possible, but I also know that filter is needed for certain individuals. Too much information isn't a grey area for me, I see it all in black and white. My most recent years have definitely been the most interesting *understatement*.  My moving from California to Arizona, changing from a hands on approach- to digital, and the various faces of the electronic gaming industry that I've been working with; most notably the contrasting working conditions that both comics and games project. Unforgivable missed deadlines headlining the one, and open minded-open schedule deadlines at the forefront of the other most notably.

Song: What drew you into the industry? Was there something else you wanted to be?

Shelby: I was always an avid comic collector always focused on the artwork side of things. I generally found myself disinterested in comics as a whole, being that I've seen comics being kind of the bottom of the barrel where storytelling, and good writing is concerned. So I focused on the dynamic line drawings and exciting characters of the various comic book universe's as inspiration. One thing was for certain, I didn't want to end up like my parents. And another driving factor, was growing up being told that there's no money in comics or the art market as a whole, and I'd have to depend on a 'real' job when I 'woke up'. 

Song: Out of high school you began working on the Glen Danzig Verotic line, correct? 

Shelby: That was actually a handful of years, post-Image Comics.

Song: How did that opportunity come about?

Shelby: A good friend of mine, who had also departed Extreme Studios in the mid-nineties, contacted me about their need for pencilers, and inkers. That led to a lot more than just my expertise as a traditional artist for Verotik. Which, included a ton of outside-the-box art gigs and digital pre-press design.  As well, CD creation for a lot of professionals on various record labels.

Song: You traveled, you were surrounded by so many creative people. Were they good times, turbulent times? 

Shelby: A little bit of both.

Song: Talk about some of the stories from those days, are there tales you've always wanted to share? 

Shelby: There's not a ton of stories that would be, in my opinion, extremely important or interesting to anyone looking at the comic subculture from the inside out. I'm relatively drama-free and keep my head down, pencil on paper. You know, you always have haters regardless of your caliber of work. 'Haters gonna' hate', and all that. I could really care-less, and I think that's sort of a fuel for them, the ignoring them. So... damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Song: Do you have any regrets from those early days, or along the way? 

Shelby: I would say that my biggest regret would have to be turning down jobs. I've had a TON of opportunities following my design stint on Star-Gate’s franchise and watching them wither before my eyes. Well, I'll just say that if there was some sort of time travel device, I'd definitely be memorizing MegaMillions numbers to have alleviated a lot of personal business situations that were dealt to me through the years.

Song: What pen did you begin with? Do you still have the first pen you used on your first commission?

Shelby: I think that I have rulers and a few binders and sketchbooks from my childhood. The products I used to use for my early work is not near close to the items I use to pencil and ink these days. Art supplies are disposable to me. Most are likely to have been used until they break, donated to a budding artist drawing next to me at a show, or collecting dust in storage.

Song: Do you recall your first commissioned drawing, and what was it? 
Shelby: Nope. I have a cache of over 25,000 images scanned from commissions to interior pages, to preliminary sketches for magazines and album covers. They all sort of blend, but I have this weird memory where I can be approached by someone that got a commission from me, and their name or face will remind me of the exact piece that I did for them. I'm weird like that.

Song: Is there someone you admired in the industry back then, that influenced your style?

Shelby: Alan Davis is the best in the comic book market. For personal icing and details, I've always loved the works of Todd McFarlane and Marc Silvestri.   Inpart because, their books looked and read good in the eighties, but also because their work wasn't cookie cutter- like most DC and the other Marvel books at that time.

Song: Has your style of art changed over the years, if it has how?

Shelby: Yeah, I got better. Plus, I figured out that hands and feet are easier to draw than believed.

Song: How have other facets of arts influenced your work? Does music, politics, personal life?

Shelby: I don't mix anything with my art. Not a whole lot of life or such. I think that if you want real life in art, it should just be a nuance or else it's just a tangible form of photography by hand. Kind of boring in my opinion. I'd rather approach stuff with dynamics, and style. Music is a constant in my life however. I dig some good music while I work. Get tired of whistling while I work.

Song: Do any of your children share in your passion of creation? 

Shelby: Of course! Plus, I never told any of them that they couldn't make it in something or that art is a waste of time. Because it isn't, and I'm not down with squashing dreams. I only offer advice when asked too, makes things smoother and keeps that open door policy alive.

Song: You've created the persona, you seem to be comfortable with who you are. Did your childhood days direct you here- to where you are now?  Do you believe that everything happens for a reason, or is it all happenstance?

Shelby: Everything does happen for a reason. I've had numerous issues, major life problems, and all that. For myself, personally, they've always worked out; made just enough, and gigs came right when they were needed. I'm pretty comfortable with myself, I'm the only one who has to make sure I come through in the things that measure success for me personally. I found early on that what others think will make you be looked at as 'successful' has never met my own criteria. Around that time is when I think I just sort of said 'f### everybody' and their wants, I got what it takes to fulfill my own. It may come across crass, but it's just a fact of life.

Song: You made the venture out of commissioned works, and began a new approach to your creative side. Giving your diligence over to a project called, '94. First of all, why did you take this venture? 

Shelby: I'll always do commissioned work, gladly people still want to own a piece of me. On the '94 comic book project; basically this is my 20th year as a comic book industry pro and I felt I needed to give myself 'homage' for this milestone.
 I've worked with plenty of artists who've bailed on the industry a dozen years ago to pursue money, girls, or just something non-art-based in general. That's unacceptable for me personally. I deserve a cake with a candle. '94 is my cake.
 It's just me having fun, and haphazardly, almost accidentally... writing something good at the same time. '94 is my most current creator owned series. We launched a preview edition at this years, Amazing Arizona ComicCon, and it sold out during the show. I haven't had a book sell out since 1998, so that's an accomplishment in itself.

Song: Why  '94 how does it connect to who you are as an artists/storyteller?

Shelby: '94 started out as a push-up, and turned into a circus. I'm not really sure how it did, but we initially planned on just doing one book for fun. That became three, and three became six. I'm up to twelve plotted out. This might accidentally become an ongoing title. It would be fitting if it became the book that people remembered me for in some respects. Just having a ton of fun with it, I've had this idea that fun has been missing from comics in general, and this is to be the syringe that gives that to my own creativity.

Song: The venture into '94, as been shared on social media, you've created a panel a day- how have you gone about setting this up? Was the back- story already in place or was it done on a whim?

Shelby: It was on a whim. Plus I'm not too good about keeping up with a panel a day for the most part. I tend to post 3 to 6 panels on different social media pages because I knock out so many pages per week on this '94 book*s*. I'll be thinking that hey, that panel I posted wasn't as good as this one. It get's progressively annoying for anyone following me after that.

Song: Are there advantages/disadvantages to creating a panel a day?

Shelby: Well the advantage of posting artwork is that you avoid the whole 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality that a ton of people share.

Song: How are you balancing all of this while selling your art at con's all across America?

Shelby: There is no balance, only controlled chaos. I'm pretty good about staying on task and really the hardest person I know, is me. I push myself harder than I should. I've heard this several times recently, but it's just my work ethic. If I'm not working, I feel like it's just counterproductive to what goals I've set for myself.

Song:  When formulating this work, did you have others you bounced ideas off?

Shelby: Well again, the idea is a homage-to-Shelby. For most of my creator owned projects I would generally get somebody impartial to review my idea,, and tell me what they think is the strong-point and the weak-point, and focus on fixing the weakest. This one is literally me taking on a story, page to page, then handling the story as I go.

Song: How has the project been received?

Shelby: So far people have been really excited for the book. The nicest thing about it is I'm getting messages from people that took the time to read '94 and they're super impressed with the story. I'm flattered by this, but also a bit sad, does this mean that most artists can't tell good stories or that my other creations tales were total crap in their eyes? I'm just glad that people dig this project. 

Song: What things have you learned from your past projects that you are bringing forward to today? 

Shelby: I'm still pushing the dynamics of comics as a whole. Or at least I'd like to think so. There's more bad than good with comics up until around ten years ago, but there's definitely still bad books coming out on a regular basis. I guess I'm just trying to be the best that I can be.

Song: Your future is open, '94 has been well received. Who is Shelby Robertson? What course, path, journey- are you setting forth? 

Shelby: The ride for '94 has been a smooth one so far. I don't foresee any path or ideal that I'm going to push on others with my books. I'd rather broadside them with creativity, and an approach that they've not seen in a long time.  Possibly even inspire others to follow a particular idea, to see that they can make things happen. Even though '94 is just a comic, again, it's a homage to my journey, so far, but also a new untraveled road.

Song: A young person, fresh out of high school has just entered your independent publishing company as an apprentice...American Dischord. You see they've potential. They are now looking to you Shelby... what do you say?

Shelby: Focus on your strengths, listen to those that are impartial to your workings, because they will lead you to the cracks that need patching, and who's buying lunch today? I've twenty dollars in my pocket.

Shelby Robertson will be at the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con this June.  Follow him on his Facebook and Twitter to find where he will be next.

*Also, congratulations to Shelby and Elizabeth on their first child together. 

Sylvester McCoy of Doctor Who, and The Hobbit's- Radagast the Brown

Sylvester McCoy of Doctor Who, and The Hobbit's- Radagast the Brown

By: Song River

Whether playing, “The Fool” in King Lear's production, or the wizard known as- Radagast the Brown, in The Hobbit; the Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, carries a sweet spot in our hearts. Such a diverse thespian with knowledge that spans the gamut of political savviness, to his various chameleon abilities of acting. He encompasses roles on stage, film, and television- while incorporating endearing renderings that mount the dramatic flair, to the comedic joviality... succinctly put, Mr. McCoy is without pretense- an actor with surpassing abilities.

Born in Dunoon, Scotland, birth name: Percy James Patrick Kent-Smith. he spent most of his childhood in Ireland, before moving to England. He studied to become a priest, and worked various jobs, acted as security for the Rolling Stones, joined the, Ken Campbell Roadshow, where he began his acting career performing plays alongside Bob Hoskins, Jane Wood, and Dave Hill, finally leading him to his true destiny as Sylvester McCoy, the actor. Mr. McCoy is in truth a multifaceted person with a heap of assorted layering.

 What is it that makes Sylvester McCoy a treasure? When one meets him immediately you know... it's that Twinkle in his eye, and a spark of ignited passion for his art.”- Song River

It was during one of his most recent comic con tours, The Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con stop, he and I were able to take a few moments and chat. He spoke of politics during the years of Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and how some of the decisions made during that time affected the actors, and other artists, as the political decision hit the arts financially. Not dwelling too long on her changes and their rippling affects, Mr. McCoy spoke fondly of his time as the Seventh Doctor, and of his two traveling companions, Mel, (Bonnie Langford), and Ace, aka Dorothy Gale McShane, (Sophie Aldred). He was quite proud of the fact that he was the favorite Doctor of director Peter Jackson, which led him to obtaining the role of Radagast the Brown, in The Hobbit. It was a bit of a wonky occurrence, as Mr McCoy had auditioned originally for the part of Bilbo, but it went instead to actor, Ian Holm. However, while traveling to New Zealand Mr. McCoy met Peter Jackson, and as he put it, “we got along well.” At that time though, the director of The Hobbit was to be, Guillermo del Toro, and he wasn’t familiar with Sylvester McCoy. Mr. McCoy auditioned for the part of Radagast and he landed it. Del Toro ended up leaving The Hobbit project as director, and Peter Jackson came in to direct it. The rest for the wizard is history.

It was 1987, and I attended my very first panel as a guest in Atlanta, Georgia, it was late summer, and all I can say is- WOW! It was a heatwave, and these girls with curly wigs, big hats, scarves, long coats came to meet me. I remember ladies wearing leather chamois... I fell in love with conventions, and twenty-eight years later...”

Mr. McCoy went on, “One time I was asked to ride in a parade in Maine, they put me in 'Bessie' (Bessie was the Third Doctor's mode of transportation while exiled here on earth) and I had no idea what to do.”
Mr. McCoy turned to me and asked, “Do you remember Ronald Reagan? He was a Hollywood actor before he was president. Well, I remember what he would do... he would point at people, wave, and smile... so I did the same thing. It worked.”

(At this moment, with a sly grin, Mr. McCoy proceeds to point at a passer by, smiles, and waves. Response? A huge grin from the receiver).

Never lacking in performing, Mr. McCoy appears in a short film, directed by Andy Collier, released in August, called, The Seventeenth Kind. A production about strange sale items on late night cable, he plays the part of Rusty.

In addition there is a new BBC TV comedy with a working title of, Crims, where Mr. McCoy portrays a one-eyed, wooden legged teacher in a prison, and if that wasn't enough to leave his fans feeling exhausted, this juggernaut in the world of acting will be in a play due out this September, an adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters.

Without question, Sylvester McCoy, is a ball of energy that reaches for the stars! An absolute delight of zeal and passion for his beloved profession. Above all, in truth an artist of the highest degree, and a thespian who brings life to all his beloved character roles.

The Impressive Art and Passion of Comic Illustrator: Chad Heinrich

The Impressive Art and Passion of Comic Illustrator: Chad Heinrich

By: Song River

Song River: Chad it would seem by looking at your illustrations, that art is an extension of who you are. Thinking back, was there a favorite character that you drew repeatedly?

Chad Heinrich: A long as I can remember I've drawn Batman. My grandmother recently sent me a bunch of artwork I had done as young as 5 years old, all Batman. But I have to admit I also spent a fair amount of time on Spidey, Spawn, and the X-Men.

Song: I understand you are quite diverse in your artistic expressions, what are some of the other mediums you enjoy?

Chad: I have dabbled in just about every medium I can think of. As for other mediums I enjoy, I find sculpture particularly relaxing, there is something really fascinating about shaping and creating with your hands. You are literally building a 3-dimensional rendering of what you see in your mind, I have the utmost respect for anyone who can sculpt. I also really enjoy digital painting, which I tend to do more for 'fun' no pressure, just experimenting and learning new techniques. It's nice to have an outlet where there's no pressure, one that's just for you.

Song: Did you read, or collect comics growing up?

Chad: I started collecting comics very young, I will never forget how the Batman Story arc Knightfall and the Superman story 'The Death of Superman completely sucked me in as a kid. Those and Jim Lee's X-Men, Todd McFarlane's Spider-Man, and Spawn. I can vividly remember running down to the local convenience store to get my new issues on release day!

Song: Why and when did Batman and the surrounding characters become an integral part of your comic art creations?

Chad: I didn't start drawing Batman on a regular basis until the launch of the new 52 by D.C.

Greg Capullo is and has been my favorite artist for the majority of my life, so when I heard he would be taking over art duties on my favorite hero of all time, I naturally became even more interested in drawing the character. It quickly became what people identify me with as an artist. Brandon James, another fantastic local artist started calling me "the Gotham guy" and I couldn't have been happier with the nickname. I put my heart and soul into whatever I create, and that just told me I was doing something right.

Song: Is there a certain period of time in the past 75 years of Batman that you have found yourself drawn to?

Chad: I LOVE what D.C. has done with Batman for the new '52 relaunch, but what will always be my pinnacle for Batman has to be Knightfall. When Bane actually broke the bat, I was a completely rabid fan, that story was so dark and gritty to me. I'll never forget the impact that it had on my life creatively and artistically. Tied with Knightfall though has to be the animated series, my brother Bryce and I would watch it religiously, all the way through Batman Beyond, those series defined my childhood.

Song: I recall my older brother watching the caped crusader series many years ago.  Who has been your favorite actor to portray in art as Batman?  Are you more fond of the series, or particular movie?

Chad: I get into a lot of trouble for this one, honestly I don't have a favorite Batman actor, I haven't been a tremendous fan of anyone that's portrayed the Dark Knight with the exception of Kevin Conroy. As far as I am concerned he IS Batman. Whenever I pick up an issue or read a story, graphic novel, script, whatever it may be, I hear Bruce/Batman as Kevin Conroy in my head. Mask of the Phantasm was also the first Batman motion picture I saw in theaters, so it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Song: If you could, would you don the black mask?

Chad: My gut reaction is to immediately scream ABSOLUTELY!!! But if I'm 100% honest with myself, I don't think I'm mentally strong enough to endure everything they've put Bruce through in his 75 years. It would take a much stronger man than I to live up to that kind of stress, I'm an artist! My hands are too soft for that kind of street justice, criminals aren't going to be intimidated by being punched in the face by baby soft fists! (laughs).

Song: How do you prepare your time, space, mind for creating?  Do you have a set schedule?  Is there a particular setting that you work in better than another?  What mediums do you like to use when illustrating?

Chad: I don't really have any particular schedule. I do tend to do most of my art, and creating at night, my best work comes out at night. I usually hit the drawing board at the earliest around 11pm, and I've caught myself drawing until 7 or 8 in the morning. Between my job, my children, and just life in general I find that I do my best work when the world is asleep and I can completely hone in and focus on what I'm creating.  

My favorite medium has to be pencils and inks, in comic style. There's something about bringing these comic book characters to life that is so fulfilling, I'm taking a character with an incredibly rich 75 year history and portraying him through my eyes, the eyes of a fan who's lived with, and drawn inspiration from him for over 30 years, there isn't much that can compare to that.

Song: Do you recall your first comic con, as a fan?  How about as an artisan selling your wares?

Chad: My first Comicon ever actually wasn't until 2012, and I went as a fan. I was always terrified that I'd go and see all these incredible artists that were so much better than I am, that I'd be crushed as an artist to see so much incredible work. When I finally walked through the convention hall doors though, I couldn't have been more wrong. The local artistic community has been tremendously supportive of me, so nice, and so friendly. Artists like Mike DeBalfo, Brandon James, Eric Mengel, James Potter and so many more, too many to name. Ever since then I've been attending as an Artisan, and there is nothing like it. I have been so fortunate to meet, work with, and become friends with people I have looked up to and admired for years. People like Thomas Mason, Jonathan Glapion, Joel Gomez, just the most genuine, talented, and upstanding people.

The fans you meet at cons are just mind blowing as well, the support from the local community is overwhelming. You'll find these fans that stick with you through thick and thin, and not only purchase your creations, but promote you to their families and friends, the word of mouth is like wild fire, in just the last six months I've encountered over 1000 people who support me and what I do, there aren't words to thank them appropriately.

Song: How would you like to see the story of Batman progress?  We've witnessed 75 years of Batman in multiple scenes in the creators 'current times' through history- do you ever really envision Batman's attire or attitude of heart changing drastically?

Chad: For me, Batman is at his best when he's dark and gritty. Story lines like Frank Miller's, Grant Morrison's, and Scott Snyder's. As long as he stays true to who he is, strong and resilient, I will always love watching him progress.

Song: What are some of the other characters you enjoy creating?

Chad: I love drawing a huge variety of characters, from Spider-Man to Wolverine, Spawn, Invincible, and I actually really love doing portrait work of people who have inspired me in my life, I'm probably most proud of my Heath Ledger and Corey Taylor portraits. I also have a character I created along with the uber talented, J Wade Webb, that we are developing that I absolutely love to draw.

Song: You mentioned how much you admire Greg Capullo's work, do you as well have other artists in the industry and outside the industry you admire?  Who would you like to meet, work with?

Chad: I cannot stress Greg Capullo enough. I've gotten to meet him, hang out with him a few times, and there is no other artist I admire or respect more than that man. He's my hero and I've been fortunate enough to spend little bits of time with him, I can't describe how it feels when your hero calls you out by name in a gigantic group of people at a con to just come over and say hello.

There are so many artists I admire and respect, not to mention love to work with, and some I have been fortunate enough to do so. Greg Capullo, Jim Lee, J.H. Williams III, David Finch, Tony Daniel, Jonathan Glapion, Thomas Mason, Ryan Ottley, J Wade Webb, Bryce Heinrich, the list could go on and on, all artists inspire me in some way, I simply can't get enough.

Song: Lastly Chad, Batgirl just called, she said she and Robin were meeting Alfred for pizza in about an hour.  They want to know what you, Batman, would like on your pizza?

Chad: (with a half cocked grin throw back his cape over his shoulders, leaning forward he states) “Black olives and Justice...”
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