10 Questions: The Gathering Edition – Sean Leonard

We continue our interview series with members of The Gathering and GrayHaven Comics. We’ve put out the same questions to numerous individuals and can compare their responses. A hopefully intriguing interview series.

Check out our previous interviews.

George AmaruNick FrancisTravis M. HolyfieldJames O’Callaghan
Elena AndrewsVictor GischlerNathan Lee JamesChris Page
Arcadio BolañosAndrew GoletzWilliam LevertAmanda Rachels
John M. CokerDoug HahnerMarc LombardiJason Snyder
Marc DeschampsErica J. HeflinGlenn MatchettSam Tung
Donal DeLayGary Hogan

Up next is writer Sean Leonard.

Graphic Policy: How did you get started in the comic book industry?

Sean Leonard: I got started when my good friend James O’Callaghan became an editor with GrayHaven comics. We had talked several times about going to a big convention in the US together and since he was going to NYCC he suggested that I come along as well and I am glad I did, as I got to meet a lot of the great people involved with GrayHaven. Meeting all those wonderful people helped to give me the confidence to submit a story.

Well that and James threatening me, hahaha.

GP: Were you a fan of comic books before?

SL: I have been into comics since I was about 5 years of age. Living in Ireland though the first comics I read were British comics like Commando, Eagle and 2000 AD. I didn’t get into American comics till much later mainly due to the fact that they were very hard to get where I lived.

GP: Do you read comics now? If so, what are some of your current picks?

SL: Yes I still read comics, although not as much as I would like. I just don’t have the time at the moment. My current picks are 2000 AD and The Walking Dead.

GP: How did you get involved with The Gathering?

SL: Same as answer 1. I’m pretty new to the business.

GP: Each issue of The Gathering has a theme, how did that factor into the comic creation?

SL: It was a huge help to me. As someone new to writing it helped me to focus on what kind of story to write. It leads you down paths creatively that you might not consider otherwise. I never considered writing a horror story but now I have one in GrayHaven’s ongoing Horror comic, Tales from the Abyss.

GP: What advice would you give to independent creators just breaking into the business?

SL: Treat people the way you want them to treat you. Be nice to people and treat them with respect and make friends. The friends I have made since I have started writing comics and gotten involved with GrayHaven have helped me out so much with advice and tip. Also meet your deadlines.

GP: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through your experiences?

SL: The most important thing I have learned is to listen to your editor. Your editor can help you to become better writiers and artists. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions or to ask for help if you need it.

GP: Do you think it’s easier today for creators to get published?

SL: Definitely. The internet has made the world a lot smaller. It has opened up a lot of opportunities for people to get their work out there. Grayhaven is a great example. You have people from all over the US and a number of other countries working together to produce great comics.

GP: How do you think technology like social networking or crowdfunding sites like IndieGoGo or Kickstarter are impacting comic book publishing?

SL: I think they are having a huge positive impact on the industry. More and more creators both professionals and newbies are using them to promote and fund their work. Crowd funding sites also allow comic book fans to help fund the comics they would like to see.

GP: What can we expect from you next?

SL: I have work featured in GrayHaven’s first Dark Anthology, which is out in October this year and again in the second volume due next year. I’ll be in the first and fifth issues of Tales from the Abyss and the War issue of The Gathering. I also have a few other projects in the works but it is still early days with them.