From ‘Jumpin’ Jesus’ to Doctor Who: Six questions with Landry Walker
Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.
Joining us today is Landry Walker, whose work includes Danger Club, Little Gloomy, Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade, The Incredibles, Tron and more.
Now let’s get to it …
1. At what particular point in your career — a specific comic, job offer, convention, etc. — did you realize you’d gone from wanting to be a comic creator to knowing you’re a comic creator?
I first felt like a comic creator the day that I (and frequent collaborator Eric Jones) printed up a mini-comic called Jumpin’ Jesus. We were at a Kinko’s and it was 3:00 AM. We were maybe 20 years old and we had a book we had created in our hands. I don’t recommend anyone read this book, but at the time, we felt like professionals. That said, my first sizable check was from issue #1 of Little Gloomy back in 1999 or so. Getting paid for something I had imagined was a pretty weighty feeling. I felt like I was finally a professional in my field. Then getting published by DC Comics on Supergirl; Cosmic Adventures, I suddenly felt like a real comic creator for the first time. And a year or so after that, when I woke up to a phone call from Keith Giffen, a creator whose work shaped my own, then I felt (once more) like I had truly become a comics creator.
When you choose to make comics, there is no finish line or definitive moment where you’re legitimate. Instead, I think there’s hundreds of unique of milestones that create a feeling of accomplishment. It’s a never ending process.
2. What was the last good book (not comics) that you read?
I’ve been enjoying a series of space colonization books by Ben Bova. I also have a couple of books on medieval culture that I’m liking. I’m kind of reading both series at once.
13. Where did you grow up? Tell us something about where you grew up that we may not know.
I mostly grew up in a small town in the East Bay Area of Northern California called El Sobrante. I also spent alot of time in Rodeo and Oakland. I was a teenager in the late 80’s, and at that time there was something of a punk explosion in the region as It was right around the time 924 Gilman opened it’s doors in Berkeley. I went to school and hung out with the original drummer of Green Day (their song J.A.R. was about my deceased cousin Jason Relva). I was lucky to see bands like Operation Ivy perform during parties. Primus references my hometown and High School in several of their songs. Despite all this anti-establishment type culture, the region was very backwards considering the proximity to Berkeley and SF. People driving pick-up trucks with gun racks and confederate flags taking pot shots at the people they considered “freaks” and “fags” was common. Enough so that a friend of mine named Danton Dibble was shot and killed while practicing for a high school play in the park. So it was both an awesome area and a completely vile and horrible one all at the same time. I could not wait to escape it.
15. What’s the least pleasant part of your job?
Paperwork. Creating invoices. Requesting and scanning contracts. All of that stuff. I’m awful at it.
34. What kinds of reactions have you gotten from people when they’ve first learned you’re a comic creator?
35. What is your all-time favorite TV show?
Doctor Who. I joined the fanclub back when I was 11. Still have my membership pin.