Greg McCray, writer and illustrator of Laser Dog returns to STL-SPEx to show us what the next adventure.
Tell us a little about yourselves; what makes you tick and what makes your publications tick?
Yours Truly (Greg McCrary) entered into existence knowing that if I had to choose between life without drawing and death it was off to the guillotine! I grew up with early influences from Cartoon Network favorites: Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory, all imagined by my artist idol, Genndy Tartakovsky. As a child I would draw through reams of paper, driving my mom batty with weekly trips to the store. If there was no paper in sight, I would go batty myself from all the monsters and superheroes that were collecting in my brain, like a creative constipation. Growing up multiracial had its complications as well and eventually served as inspiration for my art. As the youngest of four interracial brothers, the son of a White mother and a Black father, a resident of North County, and a student in the Kirkwood School District, I constantly felt pressure from my peers to choose a racial identity. It was confusing, but my art and my writing allowed me to channel those frustrations into something cool and exciting: comic illustration. Through the duality of this medium, the ability to write and draw my characters into existence, I could represent the duality I encounter in everyday life and share that cool imaginative stuff with others.
What drew you to creating, publishing, editing and presenting your projects?
As I said previously, I’ve had stories cluttering my brain as long as I remember and at a point and time in my adult age, I felt the need to share this madness with the world. Drawing and writing comics seemed like the most reasonable choice to reach a audience seeing as it doesn’t take as long, as is a bit cheaper than other mediums, not to mention it’s pretty darn rad!
What do you think of the relationship between publishing (what you do) and reaching an audience of readers?
I don’t stress too much on the fine art of publishing/reaching readers. I worry on how to pour my best efforts into what I draw and write in each issue of my comics. What I publish speaks for itself and if it’s good enough the audience will come to me.
Can you tell us about your creative, editorial, and collaborative process?
My process of writing begins with inspiration from other artists, genres, or history and science. When flirting with the idea of a story, along with what characters are involved, I give myself plenty of time to write and edit the idea. Really nurturing the story as organically as possible, not rushing and making sure it’s grounded in dialog. I believe the writing should read like real conversations, despite if the setting is further from the truth.
How did you get into working with small press publishing?
I got into self publication from the need of showing off a portfolio for clients. There were no opportunities to grow my body of work so I figured Small Press Publications was a great way to create my own opportunities.
What advice would you give to someone starting a small press or publishing project?
DO IT! No need to worry about the Pros and Cons, just commit. If you talk to any successful person in any profession they will admit that the key to success is learning from failure. So get out there and become a huge failure! But don’t forget to learn what you can do better.
How long have you been at it (by “it” I mean publishing)?
I’ve been publishing for four years.
What would you have told your younger self about what you are doing? and What do you hope your older self might tell the you of today?
My younger self I would of told to start working and refining your skills as early as possible. I think some people at a young age believe they will start learning your craft when they are older, but in today’s day and age, your education and career starts as soon as you choose it. And I’m sure my future self will tell me to have patience, there is no rush to being successful. And flying cars are awesome!
Other than your own projects, what are some other presses and publications that inspire you to keep reading and supporting the small press community?
I’m very impress with my buddies that created, Ruff and Tumble Comic (Writers- Jim Ousley & Oscar Pineda-Madrid. Artist- Ben Sawyer). Also Brian Moncey’s comic, Ghost Town (Artist- Jessie Kwe).