Edition: What led you to work in this industry?
Dan: People like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Todd McFarland and Robocop. I love sci fi, and I love artists/creators who are ballsy enough to set fuck the corporation, and build their own. That’s power, and that’s sexy.
Edition: Who/What influences your artistic style the most?
Dan: My father, my mother, my grandfather, and Ralph McQuarrie. As for my style? Have no idea what my style is. I guess controlled chaos. ADD, mixed with a cocktail of anxiety and being a packrat. Sprinkle some OCD in there, and you got my style.
Edition: When someone asks “what is LMS about?” what do you tell them?
Dan: “Shit, do you have an hour?” LMS is about your cliche, been-there-done-that, super-soldier named Gabriel, who ends up finding himself on the wrong end of an operation, and is framed for a crime he never commit. He goes to Level-9 Facility, a prison created specifically for breaking down super-soldiers like Gabe. But, being the badass he is, Gabriel breaks out and sets forth on a smear campaign to take down the CEOs, Corporations and most importantly, the terrorist team that set him up: Pandemonium.
It’s funny, wild, colorful, lot of guns, weapons and babes–but that’s all cosmetics. The real meat is in the story, and as cliche as the above is, the real store is where we get to shine. That’ll be where the comic comes in, as the Killbook is essentially a tool to introduce you to the 40+ LMS characters, the world, and most importantly, Gabriel.
Edition: What was the main inspiration behind LMS?
Dan: 70s, 80s, 90s and color. I love flashy, gaudy, stupid and satirical art. MAD Comics, Looney Toons, Simpsons, and all of that type of stuff. So I took that wackiness, that absurd, tongue-in-cheek nature, and added my own satire on how I see this country. But it’s all in good fun, of course!
Edition: Do you prefer digital or traditional art tools?
Dan: Believe it or not, I used to draw with mechanical pencils every day as a child until about 15. Once I got my digital tablet, a very, ancient, Graphire, that’s when I took digital art a lot more seriously.
Edition: For those unfamiliar, how would you describe the job of a character artist?
Dan: You give me a character, a name, a background, and I add my life into him. Through my designs, I like a history to be seen in them. Whether through their items, tools, weapons or armor.
Edition: What are some of your hobbies that help you in your professional career?
Dan: Drawing and writing were my only true hobbies. I loved to create silly fan-fic for Star Wars, or make my own heist/robbery novels. I once wrote a 350 page book called Marathon, which is essentially the “birth” of my next IP, REDEMPTION.
Edition:What would you say is the key to your success?
Edition: What would you say to someone else starting in the industry?
Dan: Get ready to take a punch. This business isn’t for the light hearted, and no one, absolutely no one, gives a crap about your pace of life. It’s on their clock, on their dollar, and on their command. So you shut up, pray to the entertainment gods, and hope for the best. Or you say fuck them all, and make your own project come to life and be your own boss. That’s why Star Wars is still around 36 years later, and as popular as ever.
Edition: When on a tight deadline : best techniques to keep focused and finish the job?
Dan: Can’t paint without power. Better keep those bills paid. And my cats aren’t going to feed themselves.
Edition: What is the source for your inspiration?
Dan: Music. Anything but country. Right now I’ve been listening to Big Sean’s “Control”. Not because of the diss, which is great but because of the message behind that song
Edition:What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
Dan: Redemption, my next book. It’s different because it’s a lot more serious and complicated than LMS. Deals with true events and situations which are currently going on in third world countries at the moment. Get’s quite dark and sad as well, which is new for me
Edition: What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Dan: Everyday you’re not working, someone else is catching up who wants it more.
Edition: How do you promote yourself?
Dan: Facebook, Twitter, Deviantart, CGHub.
Edition: What is one single worst thing about the entertainment industry? What is the best one ?
Dan: Worst? Suits. Uncreative hacks who have no idea what they want and speak out of their asses instead of cooperating. Best? Producers. Artists and creators that are humbled enough to cooperate to make the best product possible, and not run it like a tyrant. Hopefully Hollywood wakes up before we’re knee deep in flops.
Edition: Would you rather fight a hungry polar bear while armed with a butter knife OR survive in the far ocean against 2 hungry great white sharks while armed with a power drill?
Dan: Great White sharks for sure. Let them eat me. Beautiful creatures, I’d bow down to those guys.
Edition: Are we alone in the universe ? What is the most fucked up alien that you can come up with right now ?
Dan: No, we’re not alone. And you’re far too naive to think so, especially compared to the vastness of our universe. What’s the most fucked up alien? Anything Geiger touches.
Edition: What is the best superpower to have ? What is the worst superpower to have ?
Dan: Best, time travel. Worst, unable to die.
Edition: Would you rather be ignorant of everything and blissful, or have all the knowledge you want, but be horrible cynical of everything?
Dan: I’d rather be ignorant sometimes. Especially with how much stuff I’ve seen, whether through violence (research can be grueling for war books), bad people, bad history, lies, etc….sometimes living an ignorant life can be fun.
Edition: If you could hack into your brain, what settings would you change?
Dan: The ability to get over ex-girlfriends.
Edition: What would be your message to the world before you die?
Dan: Don’t follow, lead.
Edition: What movie/game has left a lasting impression on you?
Dan: Monsters University. Saw it four times.
Edition: What blogs do you read, and why do you read them?
Edition: What’s your latest interest? How did you get into it?
Dan: My latest interest is coffee. Just kinda got into it. One of the slow kids apparently.
Edition: Your advice on motivation?
Dan: Do you want to leave as a nobody, or do you want to leave a mark?
Edition: What is up with the fascination for the 90s? A: Everything felt like an adventure.
Edition: If you could sum up your life in one image, what would it be?
Dan: A photo of my cats.