In episode 5 of my KC Creators series, I would like to introduce you to Scott Drummond, creator of the NIGHTSMOKE comic series. In this small world of Kansas City, Scott and I actually worked at the same marketing agency for a time, though we didn’t work on the same projects. It’s been cool to see how he applies his mad creative skilz in “the real world” as well as his personal endeavors. Read on to find out how his art has evolved along with his characters.
Please introduce yourself.
I’m Scott Drummond, creator of NIGHTSMOKE, a young adult superhero comic. I do it all for the book: writing, art, colors, letters, you name it. It’s a lot of work, but a ton of fun.
When did you first become interested in art/writing?
I feel like I’ve always loved comics and drawing. I’ve had plenty of Spider-Man- and Superman-themed birthday parties throughout my childhood (and, let’s face it, adulthood). I was always writing and drawing my own stories about my own characters and their superhero teams.
How would you describe your art/writing style?
It’s funny, because it’s changed so much over the course of the past few years. Or at least it has, to me. I used to try to have some cartooniness to my characters and designs, but now I’ve been trying to have more of a stylized realism. This also is because, with the new chapter of NIGHTSMOKE that I’m launching, I’m growing the book up a bit. Sort of as David gets older through the story, the book and its themes are growing up a bit, too, and I want the art style to reflect that.
What projects have you been involved in, and what are you working on now?
I did some work with CW Cooke (another KC native and my bud) for his book Solitary, and had a backup story in Image Comics’ SPREAD. I’ve been shopping a few projects around, but right now I’m really focused on the third volume of NIGHTSMOKE. Now that a lot of the origin stuff is done, I’m excited to tell a story that I’ve been building to for the past few years.
This next story takes place six months after NIGTHSMOKE Vol. 2: Up for Air ends. David and Mariana are both haunted by the horrific possibilities of their newfound powers, but are dealing with them in very different ways. But when a super-powered SWAT team starts terrorizing the city, they have to find a way to work together to uncover something much bigger than themselves.
Seriously, I cannot wait to share this story. It’s gonna be a blast.
What tools do you use to create your work?
All my comic work these days is digital. I write my scripts and thumbnail in Photoshop at the same time so I don’t forget what I had in mind, then move to Clip Paint Studio for layouts, pencils and inks. I work on a Cintiq 22HD with a big monitor arm so I can swing the monitor up sideways to get a larger, more page-like, workspace. I then move back to Photoshop to do my coloring and lettering, and finally I assemble the book for print in InDesign.
What do you love about creating?
There’s something so unique and refreshing about making something all your own. Some days are like pulling teeth, scratching and digging the next plot point out or getting pose or expression just right when your hand just forgets how to draw. But other days, everything just clicks into place and it’s incredible.
Where do you find creative inspiration?
All around, really. I know that sounds cheesy, but friends, family, personal interactions, things I read in the news: every part of my day seems to go into the back of my brain in a place I can draw from later if I need to. Sort of a place where it all just knocks around and gets refined until something interesting comes out. Or at least, interesting enough that I can mold it some more.
How do you publish and distribute your work?
I started NIGHTSMOKE as a webcomic, so the whole thing is free to read at nightsmokecomic.com. However, I always wanted it to be a book series, too, which I why I formatted it like a traditional American comic. I’ve self-published the first two volumes through Kickstarter, which has been a great (if nerve-wracking) experience. The Kickstarter comics community is great and I couldn’t be more thankful for their support. I sell the books now on the website and at conventions I attend in KC and around the country.
What future plans lay ahead for you?
Right now I’m really focused on this next NIGHTSMOKE chapter, but I’m always cooking up new ideas for future projects.
How long have you lived in Kansas City, and what’s something you love about living here?
I’ve lived in KC my whole life. When I was younger I really hated it and thought I would move away, but as I grew up, I feel like the city did, too. There’s so much happening here, and it’s great to be a part of it.
Where can someone find more information about your work?
- Website: http://www.nightsmokecomic.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NightsmokeComic/
- Twitter: @scottdrummond
- Instagram: @scottdrummond