Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Once Upon a Time Atist Interview - Jason Hart

As part of our indiegogo campaign to raise funds to print our anthology, we are doing interviews with some of the artists.

First up is Jason Hart, artist of "Small Wars of Inconsequential Beings" and the cover artist for the Special Edition Variant cover, available now only through a $30 donation on the Indiegogo campaign.
What is your story about?

"Small Wars Of Inconsequential Beings" is a take on an old Greek/Roman story, "Batrachomyomachia," about a war between mice and frogs (which has been speculated may have been a satire of Homer's Iliad). My take doesn't modernize it necessarily, but attempts to make the story a little more universal.

The king of the frogs invites his friend, the mouse king, to a celebration at the frog lodge. On the way there, the mouse king accidentally drowns, and a war between the two species ensues...

Where did you get your ideas and inspiration for your story?

I was looking for a tale that had what I saw as a flaw to it – so that I had somewhere I could improve it with a re-imagining. The latter part of the original tale brings in the Greek gods, which for the sake of the parody, worked at the time, but didn't really make sense from a modern perspective.

I also really try to have a theme or driving message with my stories, and the basic setup of the frogs/mice war lent to something I wanted to say about the interconnectedness of our world today – that any war or struggle, even of a very small or seemingly unimportant people, today has a very significant impact on its neighbors and on the world balance overall.

What made you decide to do a story for Gurukitty Studios anthology project?

I've been writing comic scripts for a few years now, and about 6 months ago, I just sort of hit a wall, where I had all this stuff written, but nothing published to show for it. My wife suggested I look into anthologies, and so I started hitting up any comic anthology that seemed legit and that I could find a story to develop under its theme.

I have a long love of folk tales, so Once Upon a Time... was a natural fit. It was also only my second time illustrating my own work, something I'm developing more now. (And yes, there was a reason I chose a story with very few humans in it.)

About the artist

What other comics have you done? Tell us about them.

I have upcoming short comics in Melaina Comics' Cartoonists Against Bullying and Grayhaven Comics' The Gathering: Kids Fairy Tales, with a few more pending – as well as a 7-issue circus mini-series that's been scripted and a 4-issue adventure/comedy mini-series that an artist and I are developing. Currently, I'm illustrating two new stories for anthology submissions.

Where else can people find your work? Are you included in any other publications or a website?

The two listed above haven't been published yet. Updates on my work can be found at my blog:

About the cover

How did you come up with your cover design?

Even with single-image illustrations, I really get excited if I can tell a story, or at least hint at one. The hard part was finding an image that would evoke the genre without being too specific to any one tale (while still being interesting). I came up with a scene of a young adventurer who seeks out folk tales to collect in her snake-skin cloak. She confronts a spider in its lair, who also collects tales and hoards them in its subterranean web. A sort of parallel to the idea of the anthology within.

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