#TalkNerdyToMeLover’s Ponder This
If you were to look at Jordan Daniel Mizell and see his large 6’6″ tall stature, long hair and billy-goat beard sprouting from his chin, you’d probably think he’s a tough roadie for a some touring Heavy Metal band. You’d be wrong. Actually, this giant loveable teddy-bear-of-a-guy is a talented “comission-for-hire” comic artist and poet. Known as “saintpepsi” all over the Internet (YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, DeviantArt), Jordan has garnered a reputation as a person who can make magic happen with his imagination and some drawing tools. He recently did the logo for “Talk Nerdy To Me Lover“, using the site’s own creator, Jen Friel, as the model.
“Talk Nerdy To Me Lover” interviewed him to find out more about him.
Q: Where were you raised?
A: A super small town in North Western Kansas called, “Norton“.
Q: How did you get interested in creating comics?
A: Way back in the day, I read alot of “Garfield” comics and that kinda brought me into the art scene (when I used to re-draw them much worse). I got into “Disney” in junior and high school. When I got into college, I adapted more into an anime look (that went on for awhile). I had a comic published in the local paper and it wasn’t until then that I decided I needed to polish my art form. After I broke up with my first serious girlfriend, I got “DeviantArt” and and an art forum called “Sketch Tavern“. Sadly, the latter is no longer up and running, but it was in “Sketch Tavern” that I realized all anime art was changing the hair and the clothes. So, from there, I tried to make my own art my own (still working on that in fact). Right now, I’m really trying to get away from similar facial features.
Q: What’s the name of your favorite comic that you’ve worked on in the past?
A: I was most excited about getting to do the colors for the comic book, “Yenny“, which was my very first nationally published work. I have it hanging over my door to remind me of the first step into the industry.
Q: What is the current or recent comic that you’ve worked on?
A: Lately, I’ve been working on two…. “Fugly Charlie” and “If (Then)“. Both are written by others and I just draw them up. One is about a person so ugly, he’s just rejected by all. And the other is a hipster comic where rants are usually appropriate (it has lots of inside jokes, too).
Q: Are you just the artist? Do you do any of the writing?
A: Sometimes I re-write the script (by editing the dialogue “in the bubble” to make it fit), but I mostly do the art.
Q: What Science Fiction & Fantasy films/television shows influenced you to want to become a comic creator? What are your favorites?
A: Wow! I watched tons of great shows…. “Buffy, The Vampire Slayer“, “Angel“, “Firefly“, “Babylon 5“, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine“, “Supernatural“…. the list could go on forever. I really like the long-running shows. I’d say my favorite would either be “Firefly” or “Dead Like Me“.
Q: What about influences from the comic book industry?
A: “Garfield” definitely, and probably alot of different of DC Comics thrown in. A little “Spawn“. Then I got into manga (my all time favorite of those will be “GTO: Great Teacher Onizuko“… check it out, the art is amazing!). “Blade The Immortal” (one of the most amazing pencil comics ever made). As far as writing goes, I’d have to say, “Sandman“.
Q: What about favorite writers/artists?
A: Never really focused on names. Currently Neil Gaiman as a writer.
Q: What do you think the future is for the comic industry? How do you see it evolving?
A: I see the single books dying and the trade paperbacks rising to the lead. A huge push to do things on-line for most of the issues and then release a book later. You don’t have to pay to have all the minor issues printed and people get to see them for a smaller price and you know your audience better.
Q: If you could get hired by one of the major comic book companies, which one would it be?
A: Definitely DC Comics, especially with their “Vertigo” label where they released some of their greatest books ever illustrated… some of the most powerful stories, too. I site “Sandman” and “Watchmen“… or even the “Preacher” series.
Q: Which comics-adapted films really impressed you and which ones really disappointed the hell out of you?
A: As far as being impressed, I would have to go with “Sin City“, the new “Batman” movies (“Batman Begins” & “The Dark Knight“), and “The Watchmen“. I usually like the DC movies (the animated movies DC is making is amazing!). The first “Superman” movie (with Christopher Reeves) was okay, but the new one, “Superman Returns” (with Brandon Routh) sucked. Sadly, most of the Marvel ones are just too corny. “Daredevil” cracked me up… awful. “Wolverine Origins” was a huge turd and should have been flushed before it was released. I loved “Punisher: War Zone” (lot of fan play to Garth Ennis’ crowd). Best comic book movie, however, has to be “The Incredibles“.
Q: How often do you go to comic conventions? If you do, do you dress up? Do you go as a “fan” or as a “vendor”?
A: Only been to a few conventions, and only once as a person selling art. Usually, I find it weird because you have instant fans for the day. Like these kids will hang our at your table, super-fascinated by whatever you’re drawing. I usually try and interact with anyone and have draw-offs where I would try and draw someone’s character before them and what not. Last time I dressed up for one… “Carrot” from “Sorcerer Hunters” in Oklahoma. I do tend to dress up all the time for themed parties.
Q: Why do you think people love comics?
A: With comics, it’s the same fascination people had with heroes of old or even gods, to believe there is someone (or something) out there powerful enough to issue forth change. With webcomics, it’s usually to relate to similar circumstances with an added fantastic element.
Q: If you could have any super-power, which one would you want? And why?
A: Health regeneration (like “Wolverine“). Sure, you can’t fly or shoot lasers out of your eyes, but it basically makes you immortal. On top of that, you never get sick and you never have to worry about aging. Really, it’s quite brilliant… so long as it starts around when you turn 25-ish, because if it starts when you’re a kid, you’ll never progress. If you live long enough, all the other powers might be available via body modification.
Q: What does your family consist of and do they support your career choice to become a comic creator?
A: I have four brothers. Aaron is the married one (a writer and very good). Stephen (younger than Aaron) is an artist and a musician. Jacob and David are twins and are both very good artists (usually, they work in craft media and will be famous someday…. I guarantee it). My father is a farmer, ranchhand and artist. Lastly, my mother works as a nurse… is also a piano player (as well as a great whistler). My family has always been insanely supportive. They are why I’m thriving in life right now.
Q: What are people’s reactions when they first see how tall you are?
A: Usually, people just look up at me and go, “WOW! You’re tall!”. And sometimes they hug me.
Q: Do you have a regular 9 to 5 job (besides doing art for comsissions)? If so, what is it?
A: Yeah, I work like 40 hours a week as a supervisor at Carlos O’ Kelly’s (a Mexican cafe).
Q: What kind of music do you listen to? Favorite music group/singer?
A: I listen to a wide variety of music. Lately, my favorite singer has been Amanda Palmer. But my fallback is always Flogging Molly.
Q: “Nerdy” is the new “sexy”. What qualities do you have that qualifies you as a “nerd”?
A: Oh, many I’m sure. Totally a nerd about TV and computer stuff. I’m not a super fact guy… I mean… I can’t spout off the dietary supplements of Gene Roddenberry. I know my stuff on Sci-Fi and Fantasy, a decent amount on comics and animation.
Q: What’s your definition of the word, “nerdy”?
A: Nerdy? Someone consumed with the fringe of the technological or entertainment world. To the point that they are offended when others don’t know what they are talking about.
Q: Are you available for art comissions? If so, how much do you charge?
A: Yes — $25 for sketches, $50 for colored single person picture, and $25 for extra characters.
Q: Are there any websites/links you want to shamelessly plug?