Brian Martin is a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and the creator of the comic-strip “Creek”, a light-hearted comic about a small community of woodland creatures. I had the privilege to speak with Brian about his world he created and where he sees it going.
David: It was a great pleasure to speak with you today. Can you tell me how you got started in the world of comics?
Brian: Thanks David. Well, I’ve wanted to be a cartoonist for as long as I can remember. My parents tell me, that when I was 3, I used to steal my Dad’s dirty magazines and copy the cartoons inside…I guess I was too young to read the articles. That was, apparently, the beginning of it all. I later moved onto copying “Garfield” in the Sunday paper which made my young portfolio a little less controversial.
I created “Creek” in high-school. That is really when I first started working on developing my writing. It was featured in the school paper which was my first experience at not getting paid for my illustrations…it certainly wouldn’t be the last.
I had drawn the comic on and off for many years. I always took long breaks from it to work on other projects. I was never really happy with the direction the strip was going and I felt the art was really lacking so I got bored with it at times.
In college, I rediscovered some of my old High School drawings and decided to re-vamp the characters and re-build the comic. To be honest, Herman the box Turtle and Ethan the earth-worm have been the only staples in the comic. Dudley the duck was originally a salamander…who later became a beaver. I don’t know why I kept changing his character but I think I am happy with him being a duck now…I hope. I created Preston the frog when I got out of college and moved Ethan to being a background character. Of course…those who have never read the strip have no idea what I am rambling on about and none of this matters.
David: I love your comic strip Creek. I consider your comic absolutely beautiful, with fun story lines. What has been the inspiration behind Creek?
Brian: I find that my cartoon people can be awkward and weird looking so I decided to go the funny animal route. As a kid, my fondest memories are of stopping through the wooded area behind my house and playing in the creek with my siblings. We used to catch all of the frogs and turtles and climb on the fallen trees….oh…to be a young redneck again. Creek is kind of a way for me to go back to exploring the world like I used to.
David: What are your future plans and goals for Creek?
Brian: My main goal for Creek is to get syndicated. I have a lot of passion for this strip and it would be amazing to be able to do it full time….but…as a cartoonist, I understand the reality of that happening. So, for now, I am working on selling merchandise and getting the comic out to local papers and magazines. There has been a pretty big request for a publication from fans so, now that I have a good volume of comics, I am putting together a book. I know it is possible to be successful web comic artists so I am going to give that route a shot.
I am currently competing in the Cartoonist Studio Comic Contest. There is so much talent in this one. It is very refreshing to see so much passion and desire still exists for this art.
David: What are some of your favorite comic strips and comic artists that you’ve admired and even help shape your work?
I was fortunate enough to grow up in what I believe to be the greatest generation of comic-strips. I’m sure many will argue with me but being able to see Bloom County, Calvin and Hobbes, The Far-Side, and Peanuts all featured on the same page was a true blessing. Bloom County was my favorite. I am still awe-struck by Breathed’s work…I am always getting in trouble with my kids from stealing all of their kid’s books he has done.
Walt Kelly is an obvious inspiration. His line work and background are absolutely breath taking. I could look at his work all day. I am also a big fan on Jeff Smith. Animation wise there is none better than Tex Avery.
Thanks so much for talking with me today Brian! Your artwork is amazing!
For more fantastic comics check out Brian’s website at www.creekcomics.com