An interview with J. Kevin CarrierPosted by Robin Childs on July 30, 2015 News | Tags: comics, creative consulting, Lady Spectra and Sparky, writing | No comments
J. Kevin Carrier is the creator of several comic series, including his latest work Lady Spectra & Sparky. Looking for an outside perspective with a different style of writing than his own, he reached out to me for help on a script that wasn’t meeting his standards.
After we’d tackled the trouble spots in his story, I asked him if he’d be kind enough to sit down for an interview about his experience working with me.
What was the project you were working on at the time?
“Cat-astrophe” (as it was originally titled) is a comic book story, an episode of my ongoing superhero webcomic “Lady Spectra & Sparky”. The basic premise is that our heroines Spectra & Sparky are forced to work together with a small-time supervillain named Leopard, in order to defeat a much bigger threat.
How long have you been creating?
I’ve been drawing since I was able to pick up a pencil. But in terms of actually sharing my work with the public, around 1991.
What are your current goals as a creator?
I have always made comics for my own enjoyment, and to amuse my friends, and if anyone else wandered by and enjoyed them, then that was a bonus. Lately, I’ve been wondering if it’s possible to make my stories more accessible to a bigger audience, without compromising too much of what I like about them.
THE NEED FOR A SOLUTION
What challenges led you to look for help?
I mostly liked the script, I thought it had some good action and humor in it. But it was also pretty shallow and generic, not something that would stick with a reader afterwards. Nothing to set it apart from the zillion other superhero stories out there.
What did you try, prior to contacting me, to fix the problems you were running into?
My usual “strategy” when a script isn’t working is to put it aside and let it percolate in my subconscious while I do other things. But this one had been sitting untouched on my hard drive for years, so that obviously wasn’t happening.
DECIDING TO REACH OUT
What was important to you when choosing a consultant?
To be honest, I’d never considered the possibility of bringing in a consultant until I heard about your service. I’ve had people critique my work after the fact, but never while it was still in process. I wasn’t sure if my ego would even allow me to accept that kind of input, but I was intrigued by the possibilities. And since the script was just gathering dust anyway, I thought at the very least it would be an interesting experiment.
Why did you decide to contact me specifically?
I’d seen your comics, so I knew you weren’t just some fake or dilettante. And from your videos and podcasts, I could tell you were observant and insightful when it came to examining stories. It also seemed like you were my complete opposite, stylistically. Your approach is very methodical and analytical, while I tend to be very instinctual and improvisational. Your stories emphasize theme and character, while mine are very plot-driven. So I thought, if I’m looking for an outside perspective, this is about as “outside” as it’s going to get!
What was working with me like?
Very easy. The initial phone call was maybe a little awkward, I was having trouble articulating what I was looking for. But once you had the script in hand, you seemed to “get it” instantly, and zeroed in on all the trouble spots with laser-like precision.
Did my work meet your expectations?
Absolutely. The notes you sent back were exactly what I needed to flesh out the characters and give the arc more emotional “punch”.
Is there a particular aspect of the service I provided that you liked most?
I liked that you were able to point out flaws and suggest possible solutions without trying to take over and re-write the thing for me. Nobody’s going to mistake this for an episode of LeyLines…it’s still my script, only better.
How has the consultation helped you achieve your goals?
I guess it remains to be seen how the audience will react, but I know that I’m happier with the story now. I think the Leopard character is much more memorable, and I think readers will be invested in what happens to him next.
What made my service stand out?
You were super-professional every step of the way. You always delivered results when you said you would (and warned me in advance of any delays), and the rates were very reasonable. I felt in control of the process at every step, in terms of determining what kind of input I needed, and when I felt we were “done”. Your service gets my highest recommendation.
THANK YOU KEVIN!
My gratitude to Kevin for reaching out and working with me on his project! I loved working on a script with so much life, action, and humor. The bombastic energy made for a very fun experience, and I was excited to help bring out an emotional and resonant core. Please take a moment to check out his mother-daughter crime-fighting team! Head over to Lady Spectra & Sparky to keep up with all their adventures.
If you’re struggling with a script or novel of your own, please let me help! You can use this form to contact me: