At last year’s COMIKAZE Expo, I got to sit down with some talents. CREATIVE MIND ENERGY come to mind.
The next one up is their illustrator: Nathan Gooden.
UTF: Where did your style come from?
Nathan Gooden: The watercolor was definitely a budget decision. I couldn’t afford the oil or acrylics. I also think the range of color you get from them is amazing.
UTF: When it comes to CME comics, a lot of our readers will not be familiar with them. Can you describe The Gifted, and tell us what kind of comic book that is?
Nathan Gooden: It’s a unique story with no dialogue. It’s from the point of view of an animal. The quick run down is Mother Nature is upset with humans because we have polluted her world and made it into a very nasty black and white polluted place. I represented that through ink wash, very dirty messy ink wash. As he starts to gain consciousness, Mother Nature wants to take human’s higher thought and give it to the animals. It’s literally this wolf’s journey of gaining consciousness and spreading color and beauty back across the world.
UTF: What about the western, DeadEye?
Nathan Gooden: The story of DeadEye starts as a very simple tale of revenge. A boy’s childhood is ripped from him. As he ages and becomes a gunslinger, he decides to go after his revenge. That takes him way out into the Midwest ahead of the railroads, into the fringe where there’s unexplored territory. And what he finds are a few beings out there leftover from the generations before. They’re thousands of years old.
They play this game of chess to solve their conflicts. They like to use humans as pawn pieces on their board so the main hero DeadEye finds out that his whole childhood was kind of a setup to bring him out there. He’s the first one to realize that he wasn’t in control. So he goes on his rampage against them instead of the people that slayed his family in the beginning.
UTF: What kind of research do you do in order to accomplish these illustrations?
Nathan Gooden: We have a close friend of our family that trains animals like bears, cougars and wolves which are the main characters in The Gifted. He trained them for the last Grizzly Man movie. His bears were used as reference in Brother Bear, so I actually just went out and sketched them for a week. Just sat around seeing how they move, interact and feed.
As far as DeadEye, I’ve always loved westerns since the day I was born. Clint Eastwood’s were just the greatest thing to me. Along with one’s done by Sergio Leone. I’ve always been interested. I’ve even studied and written papers about them in college.
UTF: Next up I want to talk about Tara. Why don’t you go ahead and describe it for our readers?
Nathan Gooden: Tara is the rise and fall of a Romanesque empire in this world where dinosaurs still exist. There’s also magic and things like that. It centers around a hero who accidentally beheads the prince of a foreign land who hunted hunted in their territory. It sparks a war between kingdoms that he gets caught in the middle. I did a lot of research, months of it in fact.
UTF: In regards to the research, how did you find a place to begin?
Nathan Gooden: The way we work is we sit around a table and just bat the ideas back and forth until we create a world. Once we do that, we kind of take that and try and find a narrative arc. We ask: where is the most exciting story in this world? We found that the biggest advantages were in Romanesque times when metal started to be crafted. We find that there’s one kingdom that started to be able to wield and craft metal. That gives them the advantages and the power over the other kingdoms. It starts a renaissance and helps inform the art.
UTF: As we close out let me ask: do you have any kind of message you want to get out there? About either your books or becoming an artist?
Nathan Gooden: We’re brand new and family run. We’re looking for support and to get our name out there. We’re Creative Mind Energy, CME, for short. We have tons of fun titles. We have kid’s books. We have adult books. We have everything you can think of and everything in between. Keep an eye out for us.
I want to take the time to thank Mr. Nathan Gooden for the dialogue, and I can’t say enough how much I absolutely dig his art style and design sense.
But what did you guys think of the interview? Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!