Richard: How did you end up creating "Trek Life"?
David: I had just received my most recent comic strip submission to the syndicates back, and I was watching ST: DS9 on TV at lunchtime (at my Garfield office) and thought "If I could come up with any comic strip I wanted for no other reason than that I want to do it, what would it be? I immediately thought of Star Trek, being an uber-fan for so many years. I cooked up a premise, some characters, and shot an e-mail to STARTREK.COM's editor and pitched it. And after a few days, they liked it, got back to me, and we worked out all the details with Paramount!
Richard: What is the purpose of "Trek Life"?
David: The purpose is simple ... to allow me to live vicariously through the characters in all their Trekdom and fandom, and to allow me to share the love I have with Star Trek and Gene Roddenberry's vision with all my fellow fans in Trek.
Richard: What are "Gene's Journal" and "Rod & Barry" both about?
David: Gene's Journal is about a young Gene Roddenberry, who keeps a journal of all the strange events that happen to him, specifically being abducted by (and the pet project of) 2 lost alien beings who wish to study humanity, via little Gene Roddenberry. This journal and his experiences influence his future, and his creating the greatest sci-fi of our time!
Rod & Barry is about two crazy aliens who become the first extraterrestrial sci-fi uber-fans even though their original mission was to scout earth for annihilation. The two happen end up watching, talking about and debating the newest in science fiction and fantasy the same way I do with my friends and the same way other fans I know do every day.
Richard: How did you meet Trevor Roth?
David: I met Trevor and Rod at the big Las Vegas official Star Trek convention in August of 2006. We hit it off right away, and already started inquiring as to each other's interest in working together. We saw each other again at the Vegas show in 2007, where we formalized that interest, and shortly thereafter Trevor contacted me about working with them.
Richard: What is Paws, Inc?
David: Paws, Inc. is the company that Jim Davis created for all things "Garfield." We create all the art, the comic strip, create and approve all licensing, publishing and online initiatives from Paws, Inc., reaching the entire world. Garfield is distributed through Universal Press Syndicate.
Richard: What was it like working with Jim Davis on "Garfield"?
David: I've been working for Mr. Davis for nearly 5 years now, and I still work there, and it's a fantastic experience, and a great atmosphere. Jim is a wonderful boss, a true cartoonist at heart, and it's wonderful to learn from him, and my co-workers all the time! And, well, I just plain love that fat orange cat, too. ;-)
Richard: What did you learn while working for the Herald Bulletin?
David: I worked at The Herald Bulletin daily newspaper for 6 years as the staff editorial cartoonist and newsroom artist. This was literally a classic artist at the newspaper... I created art, illustrations, paintings, cartoons, single-panel cartoons daily for the front page, in addition to my 3x a week editorial cartoons. I learned to work VERY fast, to meet deadlines, and to take a lot of criticism. It comes with the territory. I also learned, working at it everyday, full-time, to hone my skills, to hone my drawing style, to work in MANY different styles, from dramatic to humorous, and to be able to switch gears on the fly. It was necessary! I also learned how to stand by your drawings and opinions, even when a small angry mob comes upstairs to "talk" to you! (happened many times!) That's when you know you made it as an editorial cartoonist!
Richard: What do you personally get from drawing?
David: I get true bliss and satisfaction. It's what I've done, and all I wanted to do, since I was 5. Drawing for me is like eating, sleeping and breathing. If I didnít do it, I would surely wilt away. Thatís why it is such a blessing to me, and I feel so fortunate to be able to do it for a living, to have the opportunity to share it with others (and in turn have them share their passions, fandom, and even drawing with me).
Richard: Were you a fan of Star Trek growing up?
David: Absolutely. The Original Series in reruns. All the way back to early childhood. I wanted to be Kirk.
Richard: Which series of Star Trek do you prefer?
David: The Next Generation, because so much of it resonated with me, and the story-telling was impeccable. Deep Space Nine is an easy second, and comes awful close to 1st for me as well. I LOVED the serialized storylines in it.
Richard: What can we look forward to seeing from "Legend of Bill"?
David: Well, first of all, stop by at www.Legendof Bill.com ! You can look forward to seeing fun comic strips based in a fantasy world (something else I love) featuring Bill the reluctant Barbarian, and his little sidekick and best pal Frank the blue dragon, as well as Princess Gina, interacting with their world, from Orcs to Dwarfs to Elves to Dragons to a wicked sorceress who has the hots for Bill! Twice a week, with a daily blog. Swords, Sorcery and Stupidity! ;-)
Richard: How does it feel to be published in the Star Trek magazine?
David: It's a true honor, and I feel blessed to share my work with my fellow Star Trek fans, as when it comes down to it, that's what I am... a huge Star Trek fan who REALLY loves to draw and write comics!!
Richard: Would you like to see your strips collected into one book?
David: Absolutely... funny you should mention that ... ;-)
Richard: How can someone contact you?
David: I invite anyone to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a comment in my blog at www.LegendofBill.com !
Richard: Any final words of advice?
David: Do what you love. Sometimes you have to start out small. 15 years ago I was drawing single-panel cartoons for my local small weekly newspaper for free, just to get the experience of seeing my work in print, and sharing it with others. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. And practice, practice, practice. Practice makes ... permanent. ;-)