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