Words of Wisdom
What inspired you to create your comic/graphic novel? Places, people, things, etc….
My inspiration for AYELE NUBIAN WARRIOR is twofold. FIRST as a creative homage to the late children’s book artists Leo & Diane Dillon. Second as catalyst for youngsters and teens to EXPLORE African History, Antiquated Cultural Stories and Tales.
What is your writing/drawing process like?
My drawing process involves rough pen & Ink drawings that I call ‘notes.’ From those ‘notes’ I either scan into digital form or revise then scan to create full page and proportionally correct pages to either finalize in Photoshop or print full size to create ACTUAL inked pages. Words, sound effects, color and titling are done from this point. Writing on the other hand for this project is more on the fly, meaning dialogue and pacing is determined after the hard visuals are done. Admittedly I had a Basic outline of start, direction and conclusion of the AYELE NUBIAN STORY that is simplified on the inner back cover of every issue. But actual dialogue is roughly gone over with my editor after the ‘notes' are created. Final editing is done AFTER final inks, colors, and sound effects are established.
How many hours a day do you write/draw?
My last guesstimated time of my Writing Process takes about 4 to 8 hours per issue. This includes conception, editing, revisions and the final editorial process. Drawing on the other hand depends on each issue and how I choose to take on the finalization of the Issue. Upfront I dedicate a MAX of 8 hours per weekday (M-F) for my drawing process. Some days more others less or not at all but Sat & Sunday OFF. ALSO, these days on Sunday I have another JOB. Yes Literally.
What does success look like to you?
Wow! For me a successful ABYSSINIA MEDIA GROUP means I am working on my three established franchises, one of them being AYELE NUBIAN WARRIOR and The Land of Nubia in Comic Books, Comic Strips, Motion Comics, Animated Shorts, Animated Episodal Shows, An Animated Movie and an Online Gaming Platform. This is what I work toward for my business’s future.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Finding Finances toward publishing the printed versions of my creation and allowing for distribution, promotion and mailing. I am learning as I work the crowd sourcing methods, fund raisers and literal begging for dollars. The last statement may seem extreme but, if you are trying to chart a future of gainful employment, having the opportunity to create employment for others to assist you in creating a nerdish/blerdish dream of creating Entertainment Media with YOU ‘N MIND!, Begging is the most appropriate term to me.
Does doing this work energize or exhaust you?
AYELE NUBIAN WARRIOR energizes me just by my actions of FINALLY being able to GO FULL OUT in the creation of this character but most of all create THE LAND OF NUBIA. AYELE is a limited series scheduled to end with issue #6. But the spirit if THE LAND OF NUBIA lives on ONLINE via my Patreon Page online at CJ JUZANG – ABYSSINIA MEDIA GROUP.
If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
I normally do not entertain "What if Scenarios" but for the record, I would have told my younger self to HOLD OFF getting AFRICANS OF ANTIQUITY coloring book by that printer in Chicago. LOL …I am sure the Author Leotis Johnson would laugh with me on that one. At this point I am now done with THAT MISTAKE IN THE PAST. To be forgotten and mentioned nevermore.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a comic/graphic novel?
Research for AYELE NUBIAN WARRIOR was an accumulation of knowledge of African Studies, knowledge of Printing and Digital Arts Studies and knowledge of Comic or Sequential Media Studies. Now if that makes no sense let me say I am retelling OLD, LOST or IGNORED tales, stories legends of the African Continent. AYELE and the LAND OF NUBIA is focused on ZULU COSMOLOGY. For a more detailed understanding I suggest you get a copy of AYELE NUBIAN WARRIOR #2. The process was longer than I believe any creative person should endure.
What advice do you have for other Black comic creators?
You live in a time when getting things creatively done is about the “BEST EVER." True there are hurdles of FINANCES, RESOURCES and /or the RESOURCFUL PEOPLE. But on THAT NOTICE, they are really NOW at an abundance for a NEGOTIATED price if not FREE. I see it, you as a creative being see it too, I am sure. And with the help of the PANDEMIC…. NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE IT HAPPEN! NOW is the time to USE YOUR TALENTS TO MAKE YOUR ARTISTIC DIFFERENCE! Do it Culturally! Do it Religiously! Do it FUN! Do it FREE! The ONLY limits are the one YOU SET! I will conclude sounding like your Grand Parents or Great Gran Gran but… “Child, they sending people to the Space Station, the Moon and Mars to shoot movies now-a-dayz!"