Arts Desk

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Trickster Artist Chris Piers

WoA Cover JPEGChris Piers is the illustrator of "Moshup's Bridge" in Trickster, the new anthology of Native American tales featuring work by a number local cartoonists. He's the third cartoonist in the book to answer our standard questions.

Washington City Paper: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

Chris Piers: I am both a writer and an illustrator. I tend to draw action stories, although I've done freelance work for the journalism department of the Department of Defense, illustrating nonfiction accounts of their work. One of my self-published books that I draw is Woman of A.C.T.I.O.N.

WCP: When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

CP: Weymouth, Mass., in 1975.

WCP: Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

CP: I moved to the metro area a little over seven years ago for a new job in marketing/graphic design. I currently live in Alexandria, but my fiance lives in the Adams Morgan area of D.C.

WCP: What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

CP: Pretty much self-taught, although I have taken various life drawing classes over the years to brush up on my skills.

WCP: Who are your influences?

CP: John Romita, Jr. Mike Mignola. Tony Moore. Sean Gordon Murphy.

WCP: If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

CP: It's not a regret, but I would make one change to have sped things up. In college I majored in marketing in the business school. I thought that was the career path that lead to one getting to create ad campaigns, but I was studying more the business side of things. I might have changed that to a minor in business and majored in some form of art or illustration.

WCP: What work are you best-known for?

CP: Possibly Woman of A.C.T.I.O.N. but that's because the writer, Chris Sims, has a sizable audience on the Internet because of his comics journalism at his personal site and on comicsalliance.com. Locally, I teach "Writing for Comics" with fellow DC Conspiracy member Jason Rodriguez, at the Writers Center in Bethesda.

WCP: What work are you most proud of?

CP: Trickster, because the finished book is gorgeous and fascinating.

WCP: What would you like to do or work on in the future?

CP: I have a number of hard-sci fi stories I've written that I'd like to collaborate on with the right artists and pitch to publishers. I'd also love to illustrate a western.

WCP: What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

CP: I keep an idea file of scenes and characters. Throwing them around in different permutations can help. Also I often just power through and write, knowing that the revisions and editing is where the story will really take shape.

WCP: What do you think will be the future of your field?

CP: Without a doubt, affordable digital comics will be the platform for the medium. However, I think alongside that will come the ability to print off hard copies at home. I think cheap, high-end printing technology for the home is right around the corner.

WCP: What's your favorite thing about D.C.?

CP: The creative community. I never would have guessed it, but I have a large circle of friends not just in the comics world, but also painters, side show performers, stand up comedians, and podcasters. D.C. has a lot of talented and hard-working creative types.

WCP: Least favorite?

CP: Driving and parking in the city is too much of a hassle considering it's really not that large a city.

WCP: What monument or museum do you take most out-of-town guests to?

CP: The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum or the Spy Museum.

WCP: Do you have a website or blog?

CP: www.televisionzombies.com. Thanks Mike. Appreciate the opportunity.

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