Words from Ben Sears

Tools of the trade?

Everything usually starts with a pen and a piece of paper. My scanner and computer are pretty important, too.

Do you approach logo design different than other projects? If so how?

Logo design is tricky. Like anything else, sometimes it can be wrapped up in an hour, sometimes it takes weeks. Usually it’s the latter. I could make little changes to a logo forever, which is something I can’t do with drawings.

Kinda the same question but does your approach to photography differ from that from illustration?

Any picture I take is a total snapshot/spur of the moment kind of thing. If I know I’m getting into something where good photo opportunities will present themselves, I’ll take my camera with me. I try to make the picture look as good as I can in terms of lighting and composition, but I’m pretty much just taking a picture to remember a moment.

OK I know you’re a big comic book fan so, lets talk comics!
What is your favorite original graphic novel?

Jeff Smith’s Bone is hugely important to me. It’s over 1000 pages and think I read it in three days, that’s how much I loved it. The artwork and story work so well together, I remember when I was reading it I would just stare at certain panels for awhile because they looked so great. It’s also important because I encountered it right after I graduated from high school. I was getting ready for college, moving out, and all that stuff and because of that it sparked a sense of adventure I hadn’t felt in awhile.

Who is your favorite illustrator?

I don’t know if I have a favorite. I find a new artist almost every day who inspires me. The works of Edward Gorey and Quentin Blake have always been important to me. I somehow found out about Jason Sho Green’s illustrations when I was in high school, and it totally blew my mind. His work was what inspired me to do pen and ink illustrations. Right now I really enjoy anything by Paolo Rivera, David Aja, Chris Burnham, Jacob Van Loon, David Cook, and Notalkingplz. The list is huge, and I know I’m forgetting people.
Are you reading anything now that is blowing your mind?

I’m about to start Jeff Lemire’s Underwater Welder, so I’m anticipating my mind being exploded from reading that. The new Hawkeye is really awesome, too. I know I’m late to the party, but I finally caught up on all of the Batman stuff Grant Morrison has been doing. It’s so strange and

epic, I can’t wait to see how he wraps everything up, if he decides to do so.

Who is the best sidekick?

Is Sgt. Cosgrove a sidekick? I think he and Freakazoid make a great team.

Where is the best place to grab a bite to eat?

Papalinos Pizza in Louisville, Kentucky.

Do you make your own prints, tees and zines?

I make all of my own zines and prints, but I don’t have the space at home to make shirts (yet).

Tell us a bit about Black God and Chains/Whips and how you find time to play in two bands?

Black God is a punk band that started in fall of 2010. No Idea is kind enough to release our records. We just finished our third 7″, hopefully that will be out in the spring. WHIPS/CHAINS is a hardcore band that Ryan and I are in, which started back in December of 2011. Deathwish Inc. put out our first EP. We just finished recording a new thing that will hopefully have some sort of release before our tour this fall.

Both bands have sporadic periods of activity due to everyone else being in other projects, so it’s pretty easy for me to make time to play. When the other guys are home from tour we’ll try to write a group of songs and record before they leave town again. It can be hard to work two jobs, go to school full time, practice in two bands, and have a personal life, but playing music is fun so I make it happen.

Who are you listening to?

The new Title Fight is great. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Catherine Wheel, Shipping News, Swervedriver, Ride, Harvey Danger, and The Redneck Manifesto.

Rufus! Name the top 5 funniest things he has stolen.

1. Plush animals bigger than he is
2. Shoes
3. Anything in a crinkly wrapper
4. My wallet
5. Anything in my girlfriend’s purse

How are you summer video game goals going?

I kind of slacked on that, I feel bad letting past Ben down. I found out the library has most of the comics I’ve been wanting to read so I spent my free time doing that instead of saving Hyrule. I feel like a failure.

If you had to pick one thing a person, movie, video game, comic etc. that has influenced you most as an artist what or whom is it?

Batman The Animated Series.

Sandwich or burrito?

Sandwich, because you can technically still use a tortilla.

click Spiderman to see more of Ben Sears work