10 Questions for Will Turner

Will TurnerWill Turner is creator from Norwich, UK, whose credits include the novel Mix Tape , radio sketch show Chubby Fingers , and comics series Reynard City , which is written and produced by Polycomical, and Xavier and Retake hosted by Polycomical. In addition to Reynard City, he’s currently working on an animated series pilot in conjunction with Nudge Productions.

Find out more about Will Turner at www.reynardcity.co.uk.

Question 1: When did you first decide that you wanted to create your own comics for a living?

Well, strangely enough it was when I was younger. It was the bizarre mix of when I first saw Sonic The Hedgehog and reading Asterix comics. As I’ve got older, more influences came into the mix, everything from Yellow Submarine to Animal Farm.

Then when we finally published on the net, the artists have added their influence, creating a fascinating Japanese/Western hybrid that we’ve had described as “the stage between manga and DC.”

Question 2: Who has had the biggest influence on you outside the comics industry, and how did they affect your life?

My dad worked from home for thirty years, so I’m lucky my family have always understood that jobs don’t necessarily mean working out of an office.

Without wanting to sound too sentimental, I’d also say the people working on both the comic and the cartoon are a team. They may come from London, New York and every background imaginable, but it just psyches me up that they all put their passion into the project.

Question 3: Who has had the biggest influence on your comics career, and how has that person changed your work?

Mr Trial and Mr Error. Seriously, I’ve worked with a lot of people and worked on various methods of distributing and promoting comics, and you have to put the work in.

Reynard CityLike I said before, I’ve been lucky to work with a wide range of people. I suppose in practical terms Rach Nobes, aka Arkayen, has proven to be both a practical and perceptive mentor, while Dan Butcher, our artistic director, has done his best to keep things moving.

In terms of the characters, AK Girl, a psychic who inflates on contact with caramel, came from various women I’ve been lucky to meet. Although the comic itself is quite surreal, I thought it was important that the characters themselves are likeable.

Wondervixen, a neurotic superhero with body issues, was more an exploration of typical superhero ideas: is the desire to “fight crime” necessarily always a selfless one? In terms of lead Hyper Rob was a great chance to undercut the typical “anti hero.” I’m personally amused by a “dark” superhero encased in a pie.

Question 4: What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?

I find it hard to switch off, but there’s no substitute for a good cup of coffee and a paper.

Failing that, a good game on the PS2 helps block things out.

Question 5: Describe your typical work routine.

It’s hard to say really as different days require different skills. A day can involve me handing out leaflets around Norwich city centre or recording vocal tracks and so forth.

But mainly it involves a lot of emails — chasing up and trying to keep people together. Because we work on several issues at a time, it’s important to make sure there are no problems, so you have to adapt.

Question 6: What writing, drawing, or other tools do you use?

I myself often use basic Word programs, but I do sometimes draw stuff up on Photoshop as well. I’m also learning Audacity as we speak.

Question 7: What element of your work gives you the most personal satisfaction?

When an artist produces something better than the image I had in my head.

Question 8: What has been the most rewarding project in your professional career – in or out of comics – and why?

Probably when we first went to the Bristol comic convention. It was inspiring to meet other indie creators, help support them and get support in return. Also, it was great to discuss the comic with members of the public, getting the chance to pitch it firsthand.

Question 9: We’ve all met very talented newcomers who are trying to get their first professional projects. What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard given to a promising new creator?

I think in terms of example people like Kevin Smith or Robert Rodriguez: don’t go begging, do it yourself, work for it.

Question 10: Time to get philosophical: What’s the most important “big idea” that you’ve learned in life – in or out of comics – and why is it important?

With Reynard City I suppose that even in the toughest circumstances, even when everything seems against you, there are people out there for you who want to fight with you and get you through it and you will get through in the end. And the same goes for life too.

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