10 Questions for Bill Nichols

Bill Nichols is not only the editor of the comics art how-to periodical Sketch Magazine, he’s also a writer and inker whose work has appeared in Blood and Roses (writer, inker), Raven Chronicles (inker), LegendLore (inker), Savage Family (writer, inker) and several others.

In addition to checking out Sketch Magazine and his related blog (www.sketchmagazine.net), you can also look for his current upcoming efforts including Tempered Steele, Blood and Roses, and Manhunt.

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

When I was in my 20s, I started thinking about actually pursuing comics and somehow getting in there and creating.

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

My grandmothers both had belief in me and that’s stayed with me throughout the years, even though they’ve since passed.

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

Bob Hickey has continued to keep me in the thick of things. But I would have to say that other members of APA-5, like Robin Ator, Erik Weems, and Clint Hollingsworth contributed to my being here. Oh wait, if I don’t say Beau Smith, he might hunt me down.

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

Watching a movie at the theater sometimes does it, or reading some good comics, like Ultimate Spider-Man. That Brian Bendis can write.

Question 5: Describe your typical work routine.
There really isn’t a typical routine for me. Just work and move on to the next thing!

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

I write and edit in MS Word on the computer. I still write some things in longhand, though. I ink with a Hunt 102 Crow Quill, a Winsor & Newton Series 7 brush #3 and various tech pens.

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

Getting done and getting inspiration for the next thing!

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

The run of Sketch Magazine that I’ve edited would have to be my answer. I really do wish that I’d had such a magazine available when I was learning all this stuff. And that the tack I take when I look at putting them out: being there for the next generation of creators as well as the current folks.

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?

Practice, practice, and keep learning. And don’t get a big head.

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?

Your dreams are worth your time. Pay attention to your dreams, but don’t forget that others share your life. Pay attention to them as well. And make your day count for something.

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