Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hateful Interview


We have the opportunity to have an interview with D.C. Johnson, the creator of The World Hates Jimmy!

Comic Unknown: What made you want to work in the comic book industry?   

D.C. Johnson: It started with a love for fighting game art to be honest. Y’know like Capcom and SNK type stuff? Around age fourteen I started trying to learn how they designed their characters, which got me into art. But eventually, it felt hollow creating my own characters and having no game to put them in, so I started reading comics–manga specifically. Mostly because it was stylistically similar to the designs found in fighting games, but also because you didn’t need an entire game studio to create a universe. Akira Toriyama’s work on Dragon Ball had the biggest impact on me and sealed my fate more or less.  

CU: How did you come up with the story line of The World Hates Jimmy?

DCJ: Really it’s just based on my life, but exaggerated and conveyed humorously. Long story short, I tried to make a go of comics for a while and couldn’t, so I gave up and got a “real” job at a corporate bank. Immediately into the gig, a crazy girl I didn’t want started harassing me, my boss decided she hated me, and I literally turned the whole place upside down unintentionally. It was a mess. So I quit/was chased out with pitchforks. I sat at home feeling sorry for myself while I put in for other gigs– again. But the fish weren’t biting. It was like the world had conspired to thwart me. And one night I thought to myself “Hey if all this was happening to anybody but me, it’d be pretty funny. Like if somebody was watching my life, Truman Show style, the ridiculousness of it all would keep them coming back for more!” And that was my hook; or at least, the hook behind the hook.   So yeah, it’s an exaggerated version of my existence, but truth be told, it’s a little scary how real some parts are. I’ve lived an odd life… 

CU: Were any of the characters inspired by another character or person?

DCJ: Jimmy himself, is inspired by me. He can’t win. He’s not allowed to. That’s how things felt for me around that time. It was all one big bummer. So I tried to create someone that’d react to stressors in a more entertaining way. And out crawled Jimmy. He’s optimistic, but not eternally so. However, he bounces back quickly. He’s simultaneously brave and cowardly. He can be a realist, but usually an idiot. And he’s undeniably the cause of some of his own problems. All traits one could ascribe to me. The only difference is, Jimmy doesn’t let it drag him down. He keeps moving forward, usually with a smile. And he heals up quick. Good as new even.   So as dorky as he is, Jimmy is the “me” I would like to be. He never gives up.

CU: How many issues do you have in mind for the series?

DCJ: I’ll keep going as long as they give me a soapbox to yell from.

CU: Will the comic's universe continue after the series?

DCJ: Maybe. I was just talking to my inker the other day about the possibility of spinoffs. I suppose if there was ever enough demand, or I got sufficiently bored of telling Jimmy stories, I might explore other avenues of his universe. But right now I’m having too much fun telling his tales.

CU: What was the most difficult part in the production of The World Hates Jimmy?

DCJ: My own ADD continues to be the unseen antagonist of this series. Time management and I aren’t particularly close buddies, and couple this with the fact that I’m a slow artist, writer, and a bit of a perfectionist, and it makes for a bumpy ride. But thankfully I have the most patient inker in the universe. Seriously, he put up with my crap back on our first series, and gave me a chance at redeeming myself on this one. And my editor caught on to my limitations fast, so she nudges me forward when It looks like I may get off schedule. Both are proactive in reining me in, and because of them, the production difficulties are starting to smooth out.

CU: Are you planning on any new series after The World Hates Jimmy?

DCJ: I mean, my brain never stops creating really. I’ve got 50 ideas bouncing around my head at any given time, but no, nothing in particular is planned for after Jimmy. Although it might be nice to take a break from drawing down the road, and try my hand at a writing only gig some day.

CU: Who is your favorite all time super hero/villain? Why?

DCJ: Batman is my favorite hero, and though I find him unnecessarily cruel these days, The Joker is probably my favorite villain. I think the depth and complexity of those two particular characters is boundless. And both can be a lot of fun if written correctly.

CU: What is the best way readers can find The World Hates Jimmy?

DCJ: At the moment, digital is the easiest way to get your hands on it (ha! Irony!). It’s available on DriveThruComics and the WP site. But it’s also coming to Comixology soon too, and the physical issues are slowly making their way out there via comic stores and Cons.   Plus we’re looking to get trades into bookstores within quarter one of next year. But digitals are available to all right now, and I really hope people give it a shot!


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