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Artists in their own words: Kody Chamberlain

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Illustration of Kody Chamberlain (Photo provided by: Kody Chamberlain)

Who: Kody Chamberlain

What: Comic book writer and artist

Where: Lafayette, LA

Connection with New Orleans: He will be in New Orleans for Comic Con on January 6-7-8, 2017.

 

Q: What do you think is worth waiting for?

KC: I’d say a great story is always worth waiting for, especially if you know it is coming from a great writer. I think about writers like Thomas Harris, who writes the Hannibal series. Those books can take forever to come out, and it seems like there are other authors that are cranking out books faster than I can read them, but when I love a book or a writer, I’ll always keep an eye out for them, no matter how long it takes for the book to come out.

When I was a kid, the first thing I really remember waiting for was the second Indiana Jones movie. I had loved Raider of the Lost Ark so much--we had the VHS and wore that thing down--so I couldn’t wait for Temple of Doom to come out, and even though I don’t know the distance between the two movies, it felt like forever before Temple finally came out. That is one of the earliest things I remember anticipating and keeping my eye out for.

Q: How do you see community changing in the future?

KC: This could be completely anecdotal, but in the age of social media, it seems that people are starting to look for those personal, human connections again. I’m seeing more tabletop gaming, live events, and large group dinners more frequently, so it seems like it’s all coming back home to in-person contact. To have those personal relationships that are not simply online clicks and “likes." Again, this could be just with the people I’m around and that I’m seeing. I love tabletop gaming and personal interaction that comes from those experiences, so I like the direction it is going.

I’m sure there has been a ton of research on this, but I don’t think that we as humans are necessarily changing. Maybe it’s more about social media adapting to what we’ve always wanted, and they’re starting to evolve. Even from the early days, you had message boards, chat rooms, and there have always been these mechanisms to connect with each other. We have always desired that connection, I think, and social media is smart enough to catch up and help us do that.

Q: What are some costumes in your life that epitomized your personality at certain parts of your life.

KC: I’m not really a costume guy. [Laughing]. I grew up poor, so we rarely had the money to go out and buy any of the popular costumes, or the supplies to make custom costumes. We would rip holes in sheets to make a ghost, and things like that, but it never really went beyond that.

As I got older and started participating in the Comic Con scene, I still haven’t really gotten into costumes, but it can be a lot of fun to watch other people run around. Now that I have a kid, we do get into costuming with him. He loves it, and it’s a great family experience, but as I kid I never really had that.

I guess there was one point in my life when costumes did come up. It was right when the Lord of the Rings movies had come out. There was a character named Eomer, and at comic conventions I would get told non-stop that I looked like that character. Not Karl Urban, but the character of Eomer in the films. I had long hair at the time, and I had that look. At one point I thought I would find someone to make a Eomer costume for me, but I never got around to it.

I cut my hair three or four years ago, so now I get the Blake Shelton comparison instead.

Q: What do you wish would be invented?

KC: It’s such a cliché and a trope, but I’m going to say it anyway. You know how adults were always saying that time goes by way too fast when we were little? Well, now I have a five year old, and those five years seem to go by in about eight months. I would love to see some device make time feel more like real time and less like this strange, malleable thing.

Sure, we have clocks, but the clocks don’t seem to work correctly. They’re a lot faster than they used to be. If you’ve ever been on a treadmill, exhausted, and on your last half mile, it feels like forever, but these wonderful, great moments in life fly by so fast. It would be great if we could switch those around.

We don’t need anything too sophisticated. We just need a device to slow things back to normal speed.

Q: When do you find yourself being talkative?

KC: I’m not a talkative person, generally. I’m not shy by any means. I’ve spoken to very large groups, even a few thousand people, but that’s not something I crave or seek out. Even at parties, if it starts getting crowded and loud, I’m the one that’s more likely to step outside where it’s a bit quieter.

I can get talkative when I’m with a group of people that are like-minded. If I’m at a comic book convention with a bunch of comic book creators, that’s when I really start talking. When the passion projects kick in, I can talk forever.

For me, I love talking about and hearing about people's’ processes. How they approach things. The tools and techniques that they use. That fascinates me. It’s not that I’m going to adopt that for my own workflow, but you can learn a lot about a person based off their process, and then you can see that in their finished work. You see their approach and why they come to the work the way that they do.

Kody Chamberlain will be at Comic Con, and he will have a table open for all who want to talk about comics or show him portfolios. Comic Con will be held at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (900 Convention Center Blvd) from January 6-8, 2017. To learn more about Kody Chamberlain as well as see his work, you can check him out on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and you can also visit his website.

 

Kelley Crawford is a professor, writer, mentor, dancer, and constant questioner. If you would like to contact Kelley Crawford, you can email her at kelley@nolavie.com.