Sunday, June 26, 2011

Profile Antics: A Chat with Bridgit Scheide!

Bridgit Scheide describes herself as a fidgety illustrator residing in Charlotte, NC. Her favorite activities include occasional aviation and frolicking astronautics, and she claims that she is mostly never caught burgling art supplies or small chocolates. I'll have to take her at her word on that, and also add that in addition to being a talented young lady, she's very easy on the eyes. Bridgit has been appearing at many of the regional comic shows that I attend and I'm grateful that she agreed to "sit" for this interview.

Q) As a blog, “Bridgit All Digital” [see my links section] looks like it might have style, but you don’t seem to stop by very often. Any chance your fans may see some regular art samples, personal opinions or con appearance news there anytime soon?

I always forget I have a blog! I have friends who remind me every now and then that it’s there. It’s true… I don’t post too often. For this reason, I linked my page and twitter to it, which I do use on a regular basis. My deviantart page has my entire portfolio on it, for the most part, and is updated frequently. It also has a link to my webcomic Brother Nash, which I’m finishing up right now. A blog to me is like a journal, and I just find that I don’t have much to say right now other than rambling on about projects I could just show you. Maybe once I figure out my internet voice I’ll be able to write interesting enough updates that make my blog worthwhile to read.

Q) Give me some insight into the kinds of stuff you personally like in comics and have those preferences changed from when you were younger – relatively speaking? Whose stuff did you gravitate towards as a fan?

As a kid X-Men - and the titles based off of it like Gen-X and Excaliber - was my hook into comic books. I loved, and still love, the characters… there seems infinite possibilities to their creation as long as the suspension of disbelief is managed efficiently. And the fact that the environment these powerful mutants live in consists of a society that hates them, the storylines were always about so much more than fighting the bad guys.

I was hooked into comics again in high school by Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus, a seriously amazing piece of non-fiction. Since then, my comic knowledge consists mostly of more recent work. Watchmen made me realize just how in-depth comic construction can go… Alan Moore’s writing is mind-blowing. I must’ve looked through Gabrielle del’Otto’s painterly work in Marvel’s 2006 Secret War series hundreds of times. Horror comics like Hellboy and 30 Days of Night satisfy my love for the horror genre while at the same time establishing Mignola and Templesmith as two major influences for me, though I’m not sure if it’s apparent at all in my work. I can look at Mark Brooks’ artwork, literally, for hours.

Doug TenNapel is most recently a new, huge favorite. The way he cranks out pages to his stories and the expressive use of his inks are all things I can learn from. There are also people who I’m lucky to be surrounded by in my daily life who are super talented, which I’m try not to take for granted… most of these friends are involved in Sketch Charlotte. I’m constantly learning from them. I’m also learning a lot about their own influences, I feel like everyday I’m getting yelled at for not know who someone is! Haha! But seriously, it’s all good. There is so much to discover… which is good.

Q) What was the inspiration behind your web comics, The Kindle Kind and Brother Nash? How has the online reception for these projects been?

The Kindle Kind didn’t start out being a webcomic. It was actually a single issue that I sold locally. Later, when I started making Brother Nash, I uploaded them all onto I’m not sure if the Kindle Kind is still there, I might have taken it off. Brother Nash is only a webcomic right now because I wanted viewers to be able to follow along with me as I created the story. Probably because I was trying to show my friends that I had a reason for being a recluse, that I really WAS making something! Haha. And, because of going to school and working last year, or working two jobs at different points this year, I’m not sure the webcomics format was ideal for people following the story, just because the rate at which I finished pages was a bit slower than the norm. But some people seem to be really into it, so that’s good! They’re just suffering a bit because they’re waiting longer than most webcomics readers for the next page.

Q) What’s the most daunting aspect of producing web comics?

I wouldn’t say there’s anything about webcomics that’s “daunting”. It actually might be the other way around. From the start, I’ve thought of Brother Nash in terms of being a single, 48-page story, printed as a one-shot issue. I didn’t really ever think of it as a webcomic until people started pointing out the obvious, “It’s a comic. It’s on the web. It’s a WEBCOMIC.” But if anything, I put it online to motivate me to complete it. When you’re writing, drawing, and coloring your own comic, you are the whole team. You are all you have, most of the time, to push YOURself towards YOUR goals. The accountability provided through the excitement of the readers is awesome, but they aren’t in charge of your work schedule or how many hours of sleep you’re getting each night. Seeing pages put together into a nearly completed format, to where I can view them and read them in sequence is motivating for sure, keeps my head thinking about the end goal. And it keeps the time it takes to get there from being too overwhelming… or daunting.

Q) Do you have any career goals in printed comics or do online web comics suit you better?

Like I said, I never really think of my comics as being webcomics. The intention is always for them to be in printed format. I would love to do comics for a living, though I’m not sure if that’s too lofty of a goal in my head right now. I know it’s possible, I’m just not sure where I’m heading… I’m just going to keep making comics, it’s what I love to do and what I feel natural doing. Whether I’m working as creator or as an artist collaborating with a writer… it’s pretty open I think. I’m going to SDCC this year to submit a lot of my work to different publishers, just to see if I can get linked up with anything. A lot of people told me it doesn’t work too well that way, but we’ll see. If anything does happen, I’ll just consider any propositions as I encounter them, I suppose!

Q) How does a lone “gal” manage to rein in a rowdy gang of dudes in something called “Sketch Charlotte”?

Oh man, I love Sketch Charlotte. Haha. I’m not the only girl in the group… I’m one of three I think? But yeah, Sketch Charlotte’s like a big family of comic dorks, I love it – it gets me through the week. We all meet up at a Shomars across from Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, talking and munching and drawing together. It’s awesome because there are people interested in all different aspects of comics, who have completely unique comic backgrounds and influences. I learn so much from them, and they’re all really fun people. Tons of laughs… it’s a good kind of rowdy, haha!

Q) I’ve seen photos of you performing on stage and in what appears to be a recording studio. What kind of music skills have you got and do you stick with a specific kind of genre, folk, rock, country, blues, etc.?

I play guitar and sing, mostly, but I was in a pop/rock band in college where I played keys and did backing vocals. We toured a bit, and they got signed a little after I left. I’ve also been playing solo around Charlotte since 2007, just acoustic and earlier on with a little harmonica. I was in a folk/rock band about a year or so back called Pennies for Thieves, which was a lot of fun and focused mainly on vocal harmonies, but we didn’t do too much outside of the local scene. After that, I wouldn’t say I’ve stopped playing music, but I definitely don’t play out much anymore. It’s hard to find the time to even do comics when you’re already working full time, so trying to turn a hobby into a legit gig… I can just picture hours of practice cutting into my drawing time. Haha… so I guess performing music really is a guilty pleasure!

Q) You live in Charlotte now, but are you a native Tarheel?

I was born in Wheaton, Illinois… most of my extended family lives near there. We moved to Indiana before I started school and then moved back to Illinois when I was in first grade. Then I moved to Matthews, NC when I was in second grade, and it’s where I’ve been ever since!
Brother Nash art by Bridgit Scheide
Q) How does one effectively combine aviation and frolicking?

It’s occasional aviation and frolicking astronautics. I’d say as long as you don’t jump out of any given planet’s gravitational pull, frolicking astronautics is the most fun out of the two. You should try it.

Well, that was fun, and I hope that you all get an opportunity to visit with Bridgit at one of her convention appearances. She's full of energy, multi-talented, and no matter which path she takes, I wish her the very best in her budding career. Thanks for everything, Bridgit!

1 comment:

Brownfrown said...

Go Charlotte! Its good to se someone trying to get something going around here.
The Brownfrowns