Creator Interview: Jordan Clark
When did you first start writing? Why did you choose to write comics instead of prose?
So I started writing comics about 4 years ago. I had just gotten out of college and was looking to do some TV stuff, so the first thing I actually tried to do was make a webseries. Sadly that took more money and people coordination skills than I had at the time, but it got me thinking about trying to do some of those stories as comics. I had just fallen back in love with comics in school, and it only required (ideally) me and another person to do. So I just started reaching out to artists online and figuring out the best way to go about it.
I think the reason I gravitate more toward comics than prose is that I’m a really visual thinker, so when I’m coming up with stories I’m seeing them play out in my head. I also really enjoy the collaborative aspect of comics. Being able to bounce these ideas back and forth off of different people and seeing what they come up with, and then building off of their work is a lot of fun, and something that you don’t get with prose.
On your website you cite family trips to Chicago as your introduction into comic books. How did those early stories and characters influence the way you write characters?
Well it’s definitely shaped the way I view the comics industry as a whole. Not coming into it with the concept of continuity or the history of all these characters, I was able to just get absorbed into the stories. I really just fell in love with the characters and I think that’s carried over into how I view my stories which tend to be very character driven. Also because I was usually just picking up random issues of comics, I had to continue the stories in my head. So I think that’s helped me think about how to construct my own stories.
How do you select specific collaborator(s) for your projects? How much work do you have done before bringing on a collaborator? How much do you direct?
It all depends on the project. I usually do a good amount of work on my own before I bring an artist on board just to make sure that there’s a good story in place before I bring them on. I always try to see if I can find any POC or LGTBQ creators as well, because as a marginalized creator myself I know how hard it can be to get work out there.
I tend not to direct artists. I really like giving them the freedom to interpret the script in their own way and bring their own style to things. If there’s anything I want specifically, in terms of shots, panel layout, etc. I try and make sure I put it in the script to let them know, but otherwise I trust collaborators to do their thing and bring the stories to life.
How do you keep track of your ideas, such as future or dream projects?
I actually keep a big folder on my computer of all the upcoming projects I want to do as well as carrying around a notebook that I jot things into when I’m out and about. I definitely have a lot of things that I want to work on, so I’ll often find myself bouncing from project to project in my head, so this helps me keep things straight. I’ll also start working on scripts to projects I want to do one day just to get some practice in when I’m not working on anything specifically.
What is one thing you wish someone had told you before you started working on your first comic project?
I’m sure there’s some advice that could have helped, but I really think me jumping in head first and making mistakes was actually the best learning experience I could have had. There’s really no substitute for doing the work, and you learn so much from just going through the process of creating that you can’t get anywhere else. That being said, the best advice I have for people just getting started is to start small and grow from there. Work on finishing something short first and then keep expanding from there.
Your newest podcast, Stark After Dark, explores romantic relationships in comics. Are there any changes you would like to see in how couples in comics interact with each other?
In general I’m a fan of couples like Ralph and Sue Dibny and Mr. Miracle and Big Barda. Couples that feel real and relatable. Sometimes it just feels like there’s too much manufactured drama, like killing off women in order to give men purpose. Let’s have some more couples that love each other and work through their problems!
And people can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Jrsosa18