-Interview conducted by the talented Ari Carr-
The Brothers Ford clearly up to no good
Jason Ford, of The Womb Mates podcast, The Servant and general interwebby fame is one of the most enthusiastic people I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking to about comics. Everything he says is fired up with the passion of a thousand suns, and he takes such pride in his work it’s hard not to be inspired by his crazy work ethic. I was recently lucky enough to be able to grab a chunk out of his busy schedule to interview him about his podcast, his web comic The Servant and his work here at Fifth Dimension…
AC: Hi Jason! You have a hell of a lot of stuff going on in the geekosphere [the Wombmates podcast, your comic The Servant and working on Ascension for 5D]. What’s it like to be putting so much out there?
JF: First off thanks for interviewing me! As to why I put so much out there… Quite simply because it’s so easy to do now! With social media, like twitter and the internet, that is a must in today’s society, its easy reaching out there and getting people interested in what you’re doing. It all comes back to creating something you love, putting it out there and now it’ll find the people who also love it. I put so much out there because I have so many (sometimes too many) projects going on. It’s a great problem to have though. I have also found out that I don’t need sleep. Imagine that…
AC: What’s your favourite thing to work on?
JF: My favourite thing to work on is The Servant by far. It’s a project that I have been writing for the last 10 years and have finally pulled the trigger on letting it go into the wilds of the internet. It’s a comic that has everything I love in a comic but isn’t being done right now. The tag line I use is ‘It’s the greatest D&D game you never played!”
AC: Have you found places where all your work can come together?
JF: The Womb Mate podcast has opened a LOT of doors for us. We’ve been able to meet indie creators which turn into great friends and even hosts of the show like Andrew Grieve of Team Stryker! We’ve also met guys that we are now working with on comics like KING BONE PRESS and of course 5th DIMENSION COMICS. All and all the podcast is a great hub for us to do all the creative ideas that we have.
AC: Your comic The Servant is a fast-paced hilarious action adventure! Tell me about the creation process.
JF: The Servant is a high fantasy tale that deals with 6 brothers in a world readying for a new God and has been in my head for a LONG time now. The creative process has been a blast! I get to work with Felipe Anguanio on art, Sean Fagan on lettering and of course my brother, James as an editor. I have the entire 9 chapter story paced out and I’m in the middle of doing the thumbnails of issue 6. First I go over the story for each issue with James and then from there I do thumbnails which I then send to Felipe to beautifully draw. Once I get the pages back I then do the dialog. Then I send it off to Sean to work his magic on lettering and then finally to James for a final proof read and then I post it to the website! I work in a sort of the Marvel way I guess. It’s been working for us.
Jason and Felipe running shit
AC: Where would you like to see The Servant in the future?
JF: The future of The Servant is set in my mind, it’s just the matter of getting done with the art. I want to go to Kickstarter with the project as soon as Chapter One is done. Right now I’m doing zine sized books that I hand out as ‘advertisement’ trying to get the word out about it. I will always keep it up at the website for free to read because that’s how I roll. From there I will do a Kickstarter every time a chapter is done.
AC: What’s the inspiration behind The Servant?
JF: The inspiration behind The Servant is that it’s the story that I have to tell. Pure and simple. It’s about leaving some mark on this world while you’re here and doing The Servant is my calling. I also love being creative so that helps. It’s the story that wakes me up at night while I scramble for my notebook to write down a scene in. Don’t laugh it has happened more than once.
AC: Your podcast is a riot! What’s the best thing about podcasting?
JF: The best thing by FAR in doing the podcast are the people we meet! It’s a sneaky way for us to talk to the people who make the comics we like reading! We’re clever like that…
AC: What’s it like podcasting with your brother?
JF: Growing up James and I were the only ones that liked comics and all we had were each other to talk about them with so it was a pretty easy decision to do one with each other. To say we had a lot of practice is an understatement.
AC: You recently had my friend Andrew Grieve [Team Stryker web comic] on the show. Do you get guests often?
JF: Andrew is now a permanent host on the podcast! He’s a perfect fit on The Womb Mates and I really can’t imagine doing the show without him now. As to getting guests on, we try to get creators with Kickstarters going on to hype up their projects or creators that we’re big fans of. It doesn’t always work with everyone’s hectic schedules but we try to help the indie guys out as much as we can.
AC: What can you tell me about Ascension? I love the sound of it!
JF: Ahh… Ascension… That’s the million dollar question David Brown should be answering! It started out as a short story David did but then quickly spiralled into this massive project that involves a lot of creators, me being lucky enough to be one of them. It’s basically a world ending story told in 3 parts. The first part is going to have world building and will be the set-up of the crisis told through the different races of the realm. That will be in an anthology trade. The second part will be 3 different story lines told by 3 different creative teams all coming together in the end. The third part will be ‘the event’ where the second part left off and will be an original graphic novel or OGN. David and I have had some LONG talks about it and I will say when it’s done it will be like when DC did 52 only indie style!
AC: What is the inspiration behind Ascension? It sounds like a hugely ambitious project!
JF: We wanted to do something that we each haven’t tried before. David really liked what I was doing and I loved Wisdom of Fools so that was an easy match. Along with David and I, we have Philip Nolte on board helping with the writing duties. I never worked with a ‘writing team’ before and it turns out I love it! Doing comics is such a solitary experience and can get lonely but this way you can bounce ideas around and become a much better writer. I know I have. We want to push the comic medium in different directions and try new things. This project is perfect for that. Now if we could only have some spare cash to pay these artist…
AC: What do you hope to get out of Ascension?
JF: What I hope to get from this experience is an Eisner because when we pull this off it will definitely deserve one! It’s a HUGE project and we have a TON of creators helping out for free so an Eisner is the least they could do! I kid… I kid… but it would be nice!
AC: Will there be any crossover of your work- elements of The Servant appearing in Ascension and vice versa?
JF: I’m sure I’ll throw some nerd eggs in there from The Servant but not any full blown cross-over work. Not yet that is… DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!!!!! Being a creator owned book does have its perks in that I don’t have to answer to anyone when I make comics. James, Andrew and I do have a cross-over project coming soon that is pretty funny but that’s all I’ll say for now.
AC: Tell me about your projects with Fifth Dimension.
JF: My other project with 5th Dimension is The Gifted that started out as a 4 page break from The Servant for Felipe and myself that has tail-spun into a 16 page epic battle!!! All I will say about it is that it has a 100 foot tall baby fighting Godzilla. Mic. Dropped.
AC: What do you hope to bring to Fifth Dimension?
JF: I hope to bring awesome comics and a ton of attention to 5th Dimension Comics by the projects I’m doing with them and the hype we do for them on the podcast and blogs. David is a great guy to work with and we share the idea of doing comics for the pure love of them. Also it’s really fun working with all the guys over there!
AC: Where do you hope to be next year in regards to your comics?
JF: Next year will hopefully have The Servant #1 the 48 page comic in print, the Ascension anthology out, James and my anthology for The Womb Mates out, The Gifted in print and James and my comic strip, The Swashbucklers of Shadow Seas, coming back! So yeah… I’ll be busy.
AC: Lastly, do you have any teasers about what we can expect from you in the future?
JF: *shaking magic 8 ball* The future says… With the help of Pete, our Womb Wizard, we are going to finish off our stop animation short Twin Tales with a movie. We’re also working on a 8 bit video game to accompany The Servant and a web series is in the works as well. All in all, The Womb Mates will be quite busy for a long time to come!!! As always…enjoy!!! BOOM.
For more info on Jason Ford and his kingdom, check out http://thewombmates.com/ and follow him on Twitter @Thunderduck360 or @thewombmates
For more on Ari Carr, visit her endlessly entertaining blog at: http://comicsandcookies.com/ and follow her on Twitter @Ariellalphabet