Custom spotlight image for Ben

Interview with comic book creator Ben

Tell readers about yourself

I make my living as an engineer and have worked on nuclear power plants, hydrogen fuel cells, and gas turbines. I’m a veteran of the US Navy.

As a writer, I’ve written four books of prose in sci-fi, fantasy, and a historical novel based on the life of my grandmother growing up in the Ukraine during World War 1.

I’m currently working on a comic book about a bioengineered shark and have just completed the first issue.

Tell readers about what you do

I’ve always wanted to make a comic book, but I didn’t know how to draw and didn’t know anyone who did. What I do know is how to use a computer. So I’ve spent the last year learning how to leverage that ability to make art.

I use a combination of 3D modeling and digitally drawn work to create a style that I think is a unique blend of new and old and that lets me bring my vision to the page the way I imagine it in my head. I’m excited about the work and hope others will enjoy it when they read/see it.

shark flying gif

Tell readers about your website

My website is www.bitingcomics.com. If readers sign up there, they’ll get a free mini-comic book showcasing my work that includes a complete short story. They’ll also get other freebies like an animation of my main character in action. And they’ll get my newsletter where I talk about my artwork, my writing, and my marketing efforts.

A lot of your author readers may get as much out of my adventures with Facebook advertising and running a Kickstarter as they do out of my comic book/artwork.

Pick one of your creations. Why this one?

My comic book, Shark of War is Robocop meets Jaws. After a massive bioengineered shark escapes a secret military lab, he makes himself the law of the sea, battling the Mob, his creator, and the monstrous creatures she’s made to stop him. I’ve written it as a 5 issue initial series. The first issue is complete.

I decided to do this because I’ve always wanted to do a comic book and I’d noticed that while sharks are incredibly popular, most shark fiction since the original Jaws hasn’t been that great. And for some reason, the shark has always been the bad guy. But everyone loves sharks – so what if the shark were both the victim and the hero? And thus Shark of War was born.

Shark War comic book cover

Imagine the best version of yourself. Who is that?

Probably a better listener and more open to the opinions of others. I’m trying to put myself out there a lot more for this project which isn’t something that’s natural for me.

If you could have a conversation with your younger self, what would you say?

Well, the first thing I’d say is to borrow all the money you can, and buy as much Apple stock as you can.

But the second thing I’d say is that if you want to be a successful writer/artist you have to work on it regularly and consistently, not in the occasional bursts I actually have done it in until now. You have to be open to marketing yourself and promoting your work and not just think you can send it out and expect people to find it.

Off the top of your head, who would you give a shout out to on Twitter?

The #WritingCommunity in general which is very large and active. Specifically, authors such as @pfdonato who regularly do writers’ lifts.

And especially folks like @spinasoul who’s been most enthusiastic about my comic book people online about my work.

What’s rocking your world this month?

Getting ready for the Kickstarter which should now be underway. Please go and check it out. I’ve got a lot of fun things to show, including some animated Gifs I’ve created, more art samples, and some neat promo items.

Page from comic book

What would you like to tell Dragons Codex readers?

If you’re at all interested in comic books or are fans of movies like Jaws or Robocop (the original), then please check out my website, and try my mini-comic book – it’s free. If you like that, please consider supporting my Kickstarter, the lowest levels are no more than the cost of a regular big two comic book.

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