DPH asked Dan Nokes to answer questions about what triggered his passion and persistence to become the talented artist he is today.
1. Where did you go to art school?
I’m for the most part self-taught. I took some art classes in community college and high school, but found I learn best through trial and error. I need to beat myself over the head with a mallet to learn, so to say.
2. What got you interested in art?
I’m a storyteller first and foremost and I use art to bring my characters and stories to life. It’s what gravitated me into comic books and sequential storytelling. It seemed logical to move my art into that field and direction.
3. Who inspires you?
Artistically: Jack Kirby, John Byrne, Jim Lee, John Romita JR, Adam Kubert, Van Gough, Walt Simonson,
4. Do you attend Comic Cons?
VA Comicon, AwesomeCon, Popcomiganza, and Baltimore Comicon
A) Self-taught for sure, but it’s not that I don’t strongly recommend formal training. Mentorship and a guiding hand can go a long way, but it may not be for everyone. I’m one of those who learns best on their own (until they hit a brick wall at least and then asks for a hand).
6. What is your passion?
My creator owned comics, trying to compete against myself, and come up with the best stories I can tell.
7. What scares or excites you about presenting your artwork?
The reaction from the audience. Sometimes you put your heart and soul into a piece and get absolutely no reaction. Sometimes it could be a three-minute throwaway sketch and it gets a ton of response. I tend and hope to stay away from those two extremes.
8. What is your medium?
Pencil and ink are current mediums. I color prints and sequential work digitally, but have experience using markers and watercolor as well.
9 What do you try to convey with your artwork?
Mostly storytelling and I convey my sense of humor and world outlook in my prints.
10. Do you have a story or background?
I grew up in the D.C. Metro area in the 80’s spending my adolescence and adult life in Southern Maryland. I broke into the comics industry in 2002 and have put out a series of creator owned comics, such as THE PARANORMALS, THE PISTOLEERS, ADAM AND EVE BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, and IMPOSSIBLE SPACE TALES OF THE LAST PIT STOP.
11. What do you like/dislike about the art world?
In my corner of comics and pop culture art, I like that fellow artists are willing to share what they know in terms of technique or experience. I dislike the repetition I see at a lot of shows. Sometimes it feels like an overabundance of people playing in the same stagnant pond of ideas rather than trying to find their own voice.
Because it’s something that is mine. I can do the normal day job, perform a task given, and have a half dozen supervisors take credit for my hard work and efforts. However, with art, its mine. There is no dispute that the work and effort belongs to me. The end-product, for better or worse, is my creation.
13. How much of an understanding do you have about printing?
Enough to be able to deal with print and book companies; to know if I’m getting a good product or not.
14. What is your dream project?
I’m doing that now with my creator owned comics. The dream is having it self-sustaining where its working for me instead of vice versa.
15. What is your goal?
When my time has come, I would like to have my life and career mean something that people will talk about in a positive light and be inspired by.
16. Who are your idols and who do you look up to in the art world?
Anyone who puts their work out on their own terms.
17. What is your favorite piece that you have produced?
Print wise: It’s a tie between my THEODORE ROOSEVELT print and BLACK DEATH piece.
The Bio on Dan Nokes
Dan Nokes is a writer/artist/publisher/show organizer with 15 years in the comics industry. He has self-published such titles as, THE REPTILE AND MISTER AMAZING (2002), THE PARANORMALS (2003-2008), THE PISTOLEERS (2008-2010), ADAM AND EVE: BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (2011-2012), IMPOSSIBLE SPACE TALES OF THE LAST PIT STOP (2012-Pres) and BOOTH SPACE (2017 -Pres) for his imprint: 21st Century Sandshark Studios.
He is also the principal character designer for the TEDDY BEAR TALES Universe for Alt World Press. Nokes has credits for FUBAR Press for American History Z and By The Sword, not to mention two Star Wars Card sets for Topps!
Dan also is a convention organizer both as an employee of The Virginia Comicon and owner of Popcomiganza.
Dan’s upcoming 2017 schedule!
- 19-DOVER COMICON
- 26-SOUTHERN MARYLAND COMICON
- 9-10-FOUR STATE COMICON
- 22-24-BALTIMORE COMICON
- 30-VA COMICON
Where to find Dan.
21st Century Sandshark Studios: 21sandshark.com/