The charming Scott C, writer and artist of comic books, children’s books and art director of video games, was kind enough to talk to me about his influences, happiness, and what’s coming next.
Who were your biggest drawing influences?
Early on, artists like Richard Scarry, Maurice Sendak, Norman Rockwell, and Heronimous Bosch. Later on, Lane Smith, J. Otto Seibold, Shag, and Jim Flora. But through the years my influences change as i am exposed to new art and new friends! My friend Paul Allan had probably the biggest influence on my style after college.
What are your favourite themes to draw?
i enjoy good vibes. happy characters. having a good time with one another. so my paintings often include happy things. but i do also enjoy uncomfortable moments and pensive moments. this could come in the form of a mummy contemplating alone on a rock or a knight lying on top of his freshly slayed dragon wondering why he must always do battle and slay things.
If you could illustrate for any author, living or dead, who would you pick?
Ray Bradbury. I would just love to work with that guy so much. His stories are my favorite and he seems like a pretty happy and inspired dude. we’d probably create some nice things together.
You transitioned from games to comic books – was that very different?
Well, i’ve been doing comics alongside my game career, so it has been a sort of compliment to the games. As the video games became more gruesome, as they did in Brutal Legend, my paintings and comics became cuter. Working on a game for 5 years, one often needs a break and creating comics was a welcome change of pace. The Double Fine Action Comics were done as a warm up each morning before getting to work on Psychonauts, our first game. Really comics are a quicker fix than video games, but creating stories and characters can be equally as satisfying.
How much control did you have in games like Psychonauts and Brutal Legend?
It isn’t so much about control when you’ve got so many talented people working together with like minds. i was art director on Psychonauts and worked very hard on that game establishing the style and maintaining it throughout, but Tim Schafer had the final say. and luckily he has amazing taste! He is the best. I loved working with him. Brutal Legend, i oversaw the preproduction phase which was the inspiration stage, getting everyone excited to create this new world. Lee Petty was at the helm of the production. But it was a very collaborative process. everyone had amazing ideas and sometimes i was there to make a decision if one needed to be made, but mostly i was just into getting everyone pumped.
Do you have any advice for artists to break into video games or comic books?
i would say, keep making things on your own! i got my start in comics by just making mini comics with my friends and going to comic shows. Later i began posting comics online and tumblr. The online community is an exciting thing to be a part of. Video games have changed quite a lot since i started in the 90′s. i would say get versatile in what you can do and try interning first or getting a job at a very small company where you can get real experience. or just make you own little games with your friends! that is the best proof that you can do it.
From your book Great Showdowns, which is your favourite Showdown?
Ghost. I always say Ghost. Because it is just so silly. Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze versus the little clay pot dude on the pottery wheel. Such a happy and sexy moment.
What’s coming up for you?
Well, ONI Press is releasing the second volume and reprint of the first volume of the Double Fine Action Comics. Should be any day now, unless it is already in stores. And my third children’s picture book comes out in the Fall called If Dogs Run Free, a story by Bob Dylan, the songwriter that we are all familiar with. The second collection of the Great Showdowns comes out in the Fall as well. And i am currently working on writing and illustrating my first picture book all on my own! It is about Hugs.
Let’s talk pipe dreams. If you could do ANYTHING with your career now, what would you do?
Probably make some movies. I like movies.