Wizard World 2011 Interview with Brad Guigar
I am sitting down with Brad Guigar, not walking past him, not buying anything from him (although I did that too); nor am I just passing the bull in transit. No, I am sitting down next to the Creator of Evil Inc. He has this look about him, this all too friendly face with an Errol Flynn smile. Not only is he at Wizard World waiting to meet his legion of fans, he is also hoping to recruit new ones, which is why he has his youngest son here with him today. He says it is just babysitting until his wife picks him up, though I think it is a dastardly plot instigated by none other than Evil Atom, rather than something good by Captain Heroic to get people to stop. This was proved to be true, because on Sunday both of his sons were handing out flyers.
I had to know why, or rather how, Brad came up with such a dastardly, diabolical plot to have evil legalized? So I asked him. He jumped right into the conversation like someone was manipulating him from afar. I looked around for someone controlling him or making him answer, but I couldn’t find anyone as he spoke about GreyStone Inn‘s failure to attract readers. The sad part is that the comic strip was good, it just wasn’t making money… or not enough, anyway. While I did enjoy this strip, I admit I’m strangely glad that it did fail, but only because that is what gave Brad the impetus to create Evil Inc (or maybe we were meant to think that).
Brad told me Evil Inc. was a simpler concept that could be followed day after day without giving a thought to rhyme or reason. He pulled back while condensing the story with more mature art to allow make it easier for readers to jump on board. He thought a corporate super-villain environment would be better understood than the comic strip GreyStone Inn (which starring a gargoyle and sometimes didn’t seem to be about anything). (I wonder if DC got the idea of all #1’s from him…maybe Brad is Evil Atom).
Living in Philadelphia, I can read Evil Inc in the Philadelphia Daily News, but I also read it online. I had to know if other places were being taken over by Evil Inc., but I was thwarted when Brad told me he self-syndicates (that sounds so wrong) his own strip. Many newspapers picked this comic strip up, you know the smart ones on the Atlantic Seaboard. This might also be the reason that Daredevil never stayed over on the West Coast or why the West Coast Avengers just couldn’t cut it. The villains of the west coast most likely used Oculore.
Is Brad the first to have web comics? Is he the pioneer I think that he is? He has been fortunate that in the past eleven years he has been able to achieve the modicum of success he has today. He told me that although he thought he was a pioneer at first, he realized that there were a few before him, Scott Kurtz for instance. It was in the year 2000 that Brad Guigar, along with a plethora of others, stormed the gates of web comic domination.
Are web cartoonists tight-lipped? Is there a secret code? A handshake? Are there secrets buried that they wish no one to know about? It seems that whether you are writing for a website about comic books or designing your own web comics, the information flows freely (Evil Atom must put a stop to this!). This seems to be the only way for the readers to get better content and more quality work. This might be one of the reasons that Brad also runs workshops from time to time.
Brad wasn’t always that busy, so he had also been drawing a Monday cartoon column in the Daily News called Phables. This ended some time ago, with only one recent edition that took a full day’s shift to create. Would Brad start this again? Could he? Brad looked worried as he answered this. I checked around waiting to see Lightning Lady, Miss Flame, or possibly Dr. Muskiday making sure Brad answered to their whims.
Mr. Guigar (speaking of his own volition) let me know that as much as he would like to comment, he could not. There are reasons beyond his control (he looks around again) but as with everything I know about Brad, I am unsure that selling his soul over to Evil Inc. has stopped him from talking about any other strip than Evil Inc. Brad also has a heart that it is neither cold nor sinister. He draws a one panel strip for Courting Disaster. Although it is not the advice that he offers in his strips, he draws a panel based off the question. The advice is answered by two others, but Brad might get all the credit.
After a day on the job, I know when I am done how hard I have worked. What about someone that sits at an art desk? I asked Brad if he feels like he works doing what he does? He jokes about the April 15th deadline; which is how he knows it is a job. He also, on numerous occasions, has worked 17 hour shifts. I think this is akin to slave labor. I picture him, pencil in hand, creating the villains of Evil Inc. which in turn are telling him he must draw quicker and draw better. So either he really loves what he does, or it is back to Evil Atom threatening his creator.
Brad doesn’t seem like the guy to take all the credit. His generosity and love for what he does also extends to other web comics, which is how I found out about Gutters (and not the ones on the roof of a business I had to clean). Every day I look forward to a new Evil Inc., and because of Brad I look forward to my Gutters fix. But why does he do it; why does he tell other people about other web comics rather than tell everyone his stuff is great and their stuff is crap? I guess friendship and camaraderie are stronger than Evil Atom’s hold on the innocent artist before me (I still wonder if this is a front). He explained that he did a guest page for Ryan (creator of Gutters) and they also share the same colorist (is that like someone who shares the same hairstylist?). I see Lightning Lady and Miss Match now sitting at the beauty parlor discussing vile things.
Brad doesn’t seem like the creator of such an evil company when he is so willing to help promote other things out there. A new one I never knew about was Frankenstein Superstar. I checked this out (a review for another time) and I like the fact that someone is helping their peers. Have you ever worked as a server? Sure, your fellow servers will help you in the short run, but once they find out you got a bigger tip, or more tables, then the friendship is off.
Who is Brad Guigar? Is he an advice columnist guru, a web comic master, a podcast enthusiast, or even a blog syndicator? I asked him straight out, hoping his masters were not paying attention if this really was the world of Evil Inc. and he worked deep within their bowels. His answer: the mail room.
Thank you for reading! Please check out Evil Inc.! For one it is free; two it is good, real good; and three because in this comic genre-centric world, the only time a good thing stays is when people talk about it and Evil Inc. is truly worth talking about!