An Interview with Comics Creator Kevin Sheely

kevin sheely interview oneshi press
“Trouble with a Capital T” cover, by Kevin Sheely.

“Kreepy” Kevin Sheely created the amazing art for the short comic “Trouble with a Capital T,” where a villainess tries to seduce a superhero into a life of delicious crime! “Trouble,” with writing by Michael Norwitz and lettering by Cardinal Rae,  appeared in our third comics anthology. We took some time to chat with “Kreepy Kev” about his work on “Trouble” and other projects, his likes and dislikes, and some other projects that just miiiight be in the works for Oneshi Press! 

Why and how did you start creating comics?

Well to tell you the truth I doodled and drew like most kids did and in high school I did take a couple of art classes, but I was really always more into music. I took guitar lessons and played on my high school drum line, and when I graduated I dove head first into music. About 5 years ago my last serious band broke up and I had time to kill so I grabbed a sketchbook and some pencils.

In the meantime I’d also gotten really into collecting comics and loved the art. I was so frustrated trying to play music with other people that drawing and making my own comics seemed like a much more independent discipline. Out of that I developed my original comic, “Kit and Kat Got Bats for Brains.” I sometimes miss playing in a band, but I love the flexibility of doing art on my own. I also paint.

tension painting kevin sheely interview oneshi press
“Tension,” a painting by Kevin Sheely.

Who are your comics heroes? Writers, artists, or others who inspire you?

When I first started collecting comics I was really into dark and gritty stuff so I was all about James O’Barr, Frank Miller, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, Todd MacFarlane. Since then I’ve diversified though. Now my influences are a little all over the place. I really love Dave Stevens, Wally wood, Walter Simonson, Mike Mignola, and my newest obsession is Jonny Craig who was an EC artist but also did some inking for Marvel in the 60s. He’s criminally underrated.

I also really love humorists and newspaper artists, the obvious name being Bill Watterson. I guess the main thread through that is writer-artists. I’ve enjoyed collaborating with writers when I’ve had the opportunity but I really consider it as one job. I think that’s the distinction you find more in alt and underground comics. Also in Japan and Europe most cartoonists write and own their work.

What kind of music do you listen to while you’re illustrating?

My taste in music is pretty all over the place too, but when I’m doing art I tend to listen to music that puts me in the vibe of the piece. For instance if I’m working on a painting of James Dean I put on Bill Haley and the Comets or the Johnny Brunette Trio. When I work on “Kit and Kat” I tend to jostle back and forth between bands like the Misfits and bands like the Cure. Or maybe even Danny Elfman soundtrack music. If I was doing a sword and sorcery comic I’d be crankin’ Manowar all day long! You get the idea.

kit and kat kevin sheely interview oneshi press
A panel from “Kit and Kat Got Bats for Brains” by Kevin Sheely.

Who’s your favorite comic book hero? Villain? Morally ambiguous anti-hero?

Honestly that depends on the story. I love Captain America because he represents the ideals of America (if not always the reality) and he’s nearly unwavering in his moral character and always does the right thing even when it’s hard. But at the same time I can read Watchmen and totally understand where Rorschach is coming from even if I don’t always condone his actions.

I don’t have much of a preference as long as the story makes me buy it. I do tend to like heroes who take the occasional ass kicking though. I like heroes than can be hurt, like Indiana Jones. Oh and Batman. Always Batman.

Tell us about your process working on “Trouble with a Capital T,” which we published in our third anthology, from concept to finished product.

Well Michael [Norwitz] posted a note on Facebook looking for an artist so I hit him up. Once I was approved I got the script and read through it a few times. We spend a week or two going back and forth nailing down character designs and then we were off and running. It was a big project for me because I normally do black-and-white comics but I liked the challenge posed by color. I decided to integrate my painting and did it in watercolor. I turned on some Benny Goodman, penciled it, and then painted, then inked over that.

What’s important to you in a comic book, as a reader? As a writer?

Just a good story, I would say. I’m not super concerned about continuity and I try to avoid getting too fanboyish about that kind of stuff.  Just tell me a good story with effective art.

kevin sheely interview painting oneshi press
A recent painting by Kevin Sheely.

Any other projects of yours we can read now? Anything else in the works?

Well I’m currently working on a 2nd full issue of “Kit and Kat Got Bats for Brains,” which will be centered on my love of Ed Wood and zombies.  I’ll let you wonder about the context of that. I will also have a short story of Kit and Kat in Oneshi Press Anthology #05, if you don’t mind a little early promotion! Other than that, just painting and building up my fantasy art chops for a future comic or possibly children’s storybook project.

Where can readers find you online?

I’m on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kreepykevsart and on Instagram at @kreepykevsart.  Thanks again for having me!

While you’re here, grab a copy of Oneshi Press Anthology #03, featuring “Trouble with a Captial T” by Michael Norwitz, Kevin Sheely, and Cardinal Rae!

Want to know more about the story? Check out our interview with writer Michael Norwitz!

Dig creator interviews? Read our chats with other Oneshi Press–published creators!

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