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ROBERT JEFFREY II

Words of Wisdom

What inspired you to create your comic/graphic novel? Places, people, things, etc….

I love larger than life stories. That's why I'm I'm fan of speculative fiction. My goal was to write something which was as epic as the books I was reading from the local library. I wanted the story to involve someone who looked like people that I knew in my hometown of Chicago. I got tired of black characters being pushed to the side as sidekicks, partners, stereotyped bad guys, or the comic relief. With Route 3 I wanted to have a story where WE were central to this larger than life story being told. Outside of that, I just wanted to write something I'd have a fun time reading.


What is your writing/drawing process like?

It starts with an outline of the story arc, and then I try to break each issue down page by page. Once that happens I'll go through several drafts with my editor, until we get it to a final draft.


How many hours a day do you write/draw?

4-5


What does success look like to you? Writing full time for a living. I'm getting closer to that, so I'm happy. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process. Sometimes the brainstorming can be a little nerve-racking, but it's not too bad. Self doubt can also kick your butt from time to time.


Does doing this work energize or exhaust you?

Depends on the day.


If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Don't give AF. Take chances, take chances, take chances.


What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a comic/graphic novel?

I think you need to be informed on what you're writing about, so some form of research is always going to be needed. Especially if you're focusing on something you aren't familiar with. For example, I'm currently working on a pitch right now which focuses on the Reconstruction era South. That's involving a lot of research which I feel will help the project in the long run. Though myself and the artist knew a bit about this particular period of history, we needed to go that much more in depth to bring authenticity to the story we hope to pitch.


What advice do you have for other Black comic creators?

Keep pushing forward, and learn as much as possible about the industry, business, and your craft. Never stop learning. Also, take mental/ physical health breaks. Being a creator can wear on you, and you need to maintain yourself mentally, spiritually, and physically.