10 Questions for Mike Bullock

Mike Bullock Mike Bullock it the creator and writer of Lions, Tigers and Bears and Secrets of the Seasons: The Gimoles. He’s also written The Phantom, Zorro: Enemy of my Enemy, and Sonic X.

Keep an eye out for several new projects from the Phoenix-based writer: The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks , which is a new Phantom series beginning this month from Moonstone Books, and Timothy and the Transgalactic Towel, all-ages graphic novel coming this summer from Silverline Books/Image Comics. The third volume of Lions, Tigers and Bears is also coming this summer from Image Comics.

You can find more about Mike and his work at www.runemasterstudios.com.

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

I think I was in junior high when I realized you could create comics “when you grow up” and right then and there, that’s what I decided I wanted to do. However, it was a bit of a pipe dream until I was in my twenties and really started taking it seriously.

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

I’d have to go with my wife on this one. She’s always been very encouraging, which is something I sorely lacked from others earlier on in life. Believing you can reach for your dreams is half the journey to achieving them.

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

Ron Marz. When I first really got going, Ron took me under his wing and gave me a fair bit of on the job training, which helped mold me into the writer I am now.

The GimolesQuestion 4: What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?

Anything from devouring old pulp novels to watching movies to reading obscure news stories about the oddities of life. It’s really wild when you come across one of those “truth is stranger than fiction” tidbits in the news that inspires a fresh bit of fiction.

Question 5: Describe your typical work routine.

I get up around 3:00 – 4:00 AM, down a cup of coffee while answering emails, then I get to work and try to go at it straight until around 6 AM when I eat breakfast, then get back after it until sometime between 9:00 and noon.

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

Dictionary.com, as well as Thesaurus.com, and Google are a Godsend. If I want to choose just the right word I can hit the former, if I need to know, for instance, what the shoreline of Alexandria, Egypt looks like at dusk I can hit the latter.

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

Seeing the art pages when they come rolling in. I always have a fairly distinct image of the story in my mind, so it’s always neat to see if the artist nailed that vision, or if they enhanced it with a fresh twist of their own.

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

I’m not sure if it was my first CD release, or my first published comic book. I’d dreamed about both for so long that the day I held each one in my hands for the first time was something very special, so it’s hard to pick one over the other.

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’ll paraphrase this, as I don’t recall the exact syntax used, but I remember Erik Larsen telling someone “make sure your stuff is better than everyone else’s”. If you don’t firmly believe, without fooling yourself, that your product is better than most of what’s on the stand, you’re headed for a heartache. That doesn’t mean be conceited, it means be confident you’ve left it all on the table.

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?

Love is all that really matters. Whether it’s love of your family and friends, or your work, or your life in general, if you truly love, it can’t get any better.

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