Who runs Spare Parts Press?
My name is Anthony Woodward, I am an Australian comic artist living in Canada and works as a Librarian. I have a Fine Art degree with Honours, which I entered as a mature age student after drawing comics for many years beforehand. Other than comics I like to make collages, digital art and printmaking when I get the chance.
What is Spare Parts?
Spare parts is the name for my ongoing comic publishing that collects comics, drawings and writing. I created the website, sparepartpress, as a place to showcase and make available the issues as well as another other items I’m interested in.
What is your background?
I grew up reading comics like Asterix and Tintin. Most of my childhood was spent for watching movies. I think this saturation in pop culture and celluloid led me later into picking up mainstream comics in my teen years. I later went onto alternative titles like ‘Madman’ by Mike Allred and ‘The Maxx’ by Sam Kieth. I later got into Crumb which opened up a whole world of new comics and influences to me.
How long have you been making comics?
I started making comics for fun approximately around 1997. Comics can be made on a tiny budget and can include anything in your imagination. Plus they can be worked on in private until you are ready for the world to see them, I like that the most.
How do you publish you work?
I currently self-publish in book form under the title ‘Spare Parts’ as it allows me control over my work. I am not opposed to putting work out by other means. I just enjoy getting my material out there any way I can.
How do you currently make your comics?
I am always trying out new things, new tools, new methods, ink, paper etc.
For the past year I have been making all my comics exclusively digitally, using Procreate on an iPad. When I first started dabbling on the iPad I could see the potential of making comics on there. However, it was really frustrating at first and wasn’t as enjoyable as drawing on paper. After persisting for about 6 months, I started feeling more comfortable drawing on the iPad. Now I would rather draw on the iPad than on paper. I have much more scope of what I can do with a huge virtual art kit, and I can share my work online much more easily.
For posterity here is how I used to draw my journal strips:
- I draw in my A5 or A4 size spiral bound sketchbook. This is because it is portable and thus easier to draw anywhere. I do not mind drawing tables it is just that it can be hard to sit down at them and get work done. The book allows me to be anywhere.
- I recently started using a Col-Erase ‘light blue’ pencil. At first I tried it out from curiosity but now I prefer not having to erase my lines and smudge up the page and my hand from graphite. I try to pencil rough indications only as guidelines for my pen.
- I currently draw all my comics with my Steadtler .05 tech pen. I got so used of sketching with it was only natural to keep using it for ‘finished’ comics. Sometimes I feel bad that I should use a ‘real’ comic tool like a nib or brush and get a more variable line. But that is just another thing to slow down my comics making ability.
- I always make my comics to end up as pure lineart, crisp B&W copies with no greyscale. My preferred method is to save scans as 1200 dpi bitmapped TIF’s.
- I have collated and folded so many books (which can be fun) that I enjoy leaving my focus on actually drawing them, I now prefer to find printers that can make the books for you.