For those playing at home, introduce yourself along with some of your works.
I’m a writer and content creator, and I’ve been mostly making comics and novels in my career so far. I’ve worked on Robyn Hood, Adventure Time, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, Avengers, Thor, Disney Princess, Charmed, Underdog, Casper. A lot of freelance work. I’m starting to focus more on original creations, while still keeping the freelance projects going.
How long have you been writing for and at what point did you realise that you wanted to pursue writing as a career?
Oh, I’ve been writing for as long as I could read. Shortly after reading my first couple of novels, both of them Goosebumps books, I started creating my own short stories. I’d ask my mom to get her typewriter down from the attic, or scrawl what I could in the margins of my notebooks. I’d even write on the broken wooden planks from my karate class. I’ve always wanted to do this, in some form.
What was the first comic book that you wrote and what did you learn from the experience?
The first one I wrote was called Fabric, and it was this sci-fi drama about waking up in
a different reality. Honestly, I remember thinking it was good and then, not long after, realizing that I had no idea what I was doing. I was working as a playwright at the time and I’d gotten a few short plays produced and I was working on a one-act, so I was driven by that arrogant need to conquer all forms of writing. I thought if I could do one, I could do the other. I supposed I learned that I couldn’t. It took a few years of false starts before I figured out how to write comics enough to get work, and then a few more years of learning on the job. My first published comic was Angel: Yearbook from IDW Publishing, and I look back at that fondly. It was two-pages long, of course, so they didn’t give me the space to mess up!
Let’s move from writing to publishing. You have established a publishing company, Space Between Entertainment, how did that come about?
Space Between Entertainment is me giving myself and creators whose work I love a platform. When we as content creators don’t have access to the platforms necessary to get our art out there, it’s on us to build our own way up. It began when I successfully funded the first volume of my creator-owned series Destiny, NY on Kickstarter and I realized I had to keep doing this. And not just with comics. We’re going to produce podcasts, web series, vlogs, audio books, and more.
Can you indulge readers with the background the name of the company?
It all centers around the idea of exploring the divide and overlap between art and work, life and story, what’s now and what’s next.
What can readers expect from Space Between Entertainment in the not-so-distant future?
We’re doing one Destiny, NY book every year. That’s the flagship. It’s a graphic novel series about magical girls in love in a world where magic is a real and accepted part of everyday life. That series is basically my beating heart transferred onto a page in black and white and shipped to readers. It’s all of the work I couldn’t do on freelance titles that I now have the freedom to create.
My wife Amy and I are putting out Clonsters this December, and that is an all-ages story based on a line of clay monsters that she’s created. It’s such a fun book that we like to pitch as “Aaahh! Real Monsters meets Adventure Time” because it marries the quirkiness of 90s cartoons with the energy of modern animation.
Other titles include our horror anthology Modern Dread by me and Ryan Fassett, which turns the anxieties of today into a series of terrifying tales, and Prison Witch, a supernatural crime drama I’ll be co-writing with Amy.
Sooner than all of that, though, our team – me, Amy, Ryan, and editor-in-chief Shannon Lee – will be releasing the Space Between Podcast, where we talk about art, business, and life.
What do you love most about indie comics?
That they can be anything.
What’s one piece of advice that you’d give anyone wanting to create indie comics?
Do it until it’s good. Be passionate, be dedicated, be empathetic. Work more and live more. You won’t always sleep, but you should probably try to.
Plug your work:
Clonsters drops this December. Destiny, NY Volume One is out now, available on Amazon. Volume Two and Modern Dread both drop this summer, and Prison Witch will hit Kickstarter in the spring. The podcast will be released in Fall 2017 – kinda nowish – so follow us at @SpaceBetweenEnt and me at @PatShand pretty much everywhere.