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Greg Horn: Judgemental

By Darren Schroeder

Darren Schroeder: What is your full name?

Greg Horn: Greg Horn

DS: Age?

GH: 28

DS: Favorite web site?

GH: I'm not sure, but I really appreciate all the search engine sites. I love the fact that you can find anything you need info on.

DS: Were comics a big part of your childhood or did you discover them at a later stage?

GH: Comics were a big part of my childhood. I used to get my books from the 7-11 near my school and copy the art from them. My life really changed when I saw X-men#111 at a friends house. I became a big fan of Byrne after that and I own nearly every book he worked on in the 70's. I was also a big fan of Perez and later John Bushema.

DS: Was art an important part of your education?

GH: In that I drew so much in class that I never got my work done!

DS: What was the first comic you published yourself and how did that come about?

GH: I've never self published, but the first book I worked on was Femforce #19 for AC comics.

DS: How did that work come about?

GH: The local newspaper had just done an article on the publisher, Bill Black. They were local, so I decided to send him some samples of my art. He gave me a chance and I did my best. Looking back.. it's pretty bad art even for 17 years old!

DS: Had you had any training in comic work at that stage?

GH: No, I was all self taught from reading comic books.

DS: What is the worst experience you have had with printers/photocopiers?

GH: The worst was when all the pages of the Espers printed out of order. Luckily we caught the mistake and were able to fix it before the real print run. Right now I'm having a few problems calibrating my monitor to the printed finals. I've almost got it perfect-- I just got my copies of J.U.D.G..E. #2 and they look a lot better color wise than issue #1.

DS: Do you have much control over that side of things with J.U.D.G.E?

GH: Yes, Image is the best place for the creator. They allow you to have a lot of control over your project and I couldn't be happier with them.

DS: How much involvement with the comic does the Image editor have during your working on J.U.D.G.E.

GH: They are extremely helpful with marketing and tweaking the book overall. I work side by side with them to get out the best product possible.

DS: How did the concept of J.U.D.G.E. come about?

GH: It's an idea I've been thinking about for years but never thought I was ready to do it. J.U.D.G.E. is an epic tale.

DS: What materials and equipment do you use when drawing your comics?

GH: I use an airbrush with lots of masks and I use my computer to edit, paint, and color correct.

DS: What computer gear and software do you use?

GH: I work on an IBM type machine and use a variety of software. Lately, I've been using Paintshop Pro 3Dmax.

DS: Is it cost effective working digitally with the prices of computer equipment?

GH: Yes. Computers are cheaper than ever and if you are already a good painter expensive software is not needed. If you are not necessarily a great artist, I would suggest trying a 3D comic.

DS: Do you give Image the finished product on paper or on disk?

GH: The final artwork is a computer file that I send to the printer.

DS: Your characters in J.U.D.G.E. have a very photo-realistic finish, how to you achieve this?

GH: The characters are painted using photos as a reference. My airbrushing style is fairly realistic and when working from photos, some of the smaller figures tend to look a little too realistic.

DS: Who do you see as the target audience for your work?

GH: J.U.D.G.E. is definitely for a mature audience though I believe digital books in general will appeal to a younger generation that this industry needs badly. They have grown up on artwork created in this manner and will identify with it.

DS: Why go the extra step of printing on paper, wouldn't putting it all on the web cut out the middle man?

GH: I still haven't figured out how you sell a web comic. I'll work on that next--do you have any ideas on how to do it?

DS: Well, you can try to make money by selling advertising on a site, or charge a subscription and limit access to members only, or sell the comic to a site that use it to attract visits. Do you think such a move wold be a good thing for the comics medium?

GH: Certainly, my thinking is sell it on paper first, then go to the web. That way you were able to reach a wider audience with the same product.

DS: Do you think with the increasing use of this technology along with the higher exposure to "high quality" graphic design on the web/computer games etc that the comic audience is developing more sophisticated tastes in artwork?

GH: The readers tastes are always getting more sophisticated--though, I guess sophisticated is a relative term-- I think the quality of comics art is at an all time high. The possibilities for digital art are truly limitless and I expect to see a revolution soon.

DS: What work have you been doing recently?

GH: Currently, I am getting ready to start the next chapter of J.U.D.G.E. I have a few other mini projects in the works too.

DS: On the cover of J.U.D.G.E. #1 Victoria is bending over displaying her ample cleavage to the reader. Why did you choose that pose?

GH: Because I like it...a lot!!!! As long as my fiancee is not offended by my paintings, I don't worry about these things.

DS: Do the people at Image worry about this. Have they given you guidelines on what they are happy with/not happy with?

GH: They have asked me to tone down the covers with less suggestive poses. The first covers had poses that were simple vogue shots and we all felt I should paint a cover relating better to the interior material. I gave alittle more thought and effort with issues #2 - #3 and I think they helped sales as #2 did not drop too bad and #3 almost did as well as #2.

DS: Is it fun working for a big name company like Image?

GH: Are you kidding?? It's really rough out there! I'm glad Image believed in me enough to let me do this.

DS:How did get the opportunity to do J.U.D.G.E. for Image come about?

GH: I had worked for Image previously on ESPers. I was never late and always consistent. A year later, I asked Image if I could do my own book and they said yes. I guess I had made a good impression on them.

DS:In 20 words or less, tell us what is so great about J.U.D.G.E.

GH: JUDGE is a fully airbrushed comic--a socio-political epic spanning across 12 chapters.

DS: What comics have you read recently? Why did you like/dislike them?

GH: I read Fathom because I like the art and I buy Alex Ross' books and Hellboy whenever it comes out because it is like Scooby Doo for adults. Mignola's art always sparks my imagination. I'll also pick up the Avengers for the nostalgia. That was always my favorite book when I was younger and now that George is doing it again, I have to get every issue.

DS: If a film was made of your life, who should play you?

GH: My friends tell me that Jim Carrey stole my act.

DS: Are the people who call comics art out of their minds or what?

GH: No way. Comics are great examples of contemporary art that inspire the rest of the artistic community. I've heard from plenty of big name cartoon creators (like Disney), special effects, and video game designers that have copies of comic books all over the place. Comics are the greatest!

Related Links:
James Hudnall's ESPers Site
AC Comics