Making Comics Gutter Talk Episode 7 – Jason Brubaker

Sometimes a conversation takes on a life of its own, and unexpected tangents are guaranteed. In that respect, this podcast did not disappoint! What began as a thumbnail discussion with Jason Brubaker (creator of reMIND and Sithrah) quickly morphed into a fantastic conversation about his unique comic-creation process. Oh darn. Take a listen and enjoy for yourself!

One of the biggest benefits of being Making Comics (dotCom)’s “Inner-Circle Noob” is that I get to go backstage and learn from experienced artists — not only how to create comics but all of the various ways that I can hone my craft. The intention was to sit down with Jason Brubaker, the (unnatural) talent behind reMIND and Sithrah, and discuss his thumbnail process — a crucial early stage of comic creation. By looking at few pages worth of thumbnail sketches from reMIND, it’s clear that the objective is to simply get the idea out. After that, the art happens.

But conversations sometimes have the tendency to stray. The discussion focused more broadly on Jason’s unique process and philosophy, which was an unexpected and welcome development. Perhaps the biggest lesson I took away from all of this was “…[you] have to love your craft or you’ll never survive the valleys.”

We solicited questions during the live Google Hangout but were unable to get to them during the recording. The following day, I reached out to Jason for answers to three of them:

Q: How do you maintain your high level of creative output?

JB: I just don’t like releasing stuff that is really rushed. I think in the digital age we live in, it’s really easy to generate art really quickly and post it really quickly. I try to slow down and only release stuff that I feel is my best work. Plus, I have the advantage of not being under the pressure to deliver something before I feel like it’s finished. It’s another advantage of not having a release schedule and being self-published.

Q: Does having kids affect the kinds of stories you tell? Especially with Sithrah?

JB: Not so much. I’ve always preferred all-age stories better than anything. I wrote Sithrah before having kids but I will say that having kids really makes me think harder about what I’m trying to say because I can see first hand how kids absorb things they like.

Q: Do you find it difficult to adjust to dialogue balloon placement since you do so much storyboarding?

JB: I don’t really do much storyboarding anymore. But when I did try to convert something from storyboards to comics, it did cause some problems when trying to add in words. I think of word balloons now as part of the composition. If I know I have lots of words then I build the scenes with lots of open space.

reMIND thumbnail sketches:

reMIND_thumbnails01 reMIND_thumbnails02


Jason Brubaker: YouTube – BrubakerMotion / Twitter – @Jason_Brubaker / Website – Coffee Table Comics

Jason’s work: reMIND and Sithrah

Jason’s colorist for Sithrah: Josh Ulrich

Patrick Yurick’s “Get A Grasp!” MOOC

Tweets from the live event:


Intro & Outro Song:

“RetroFuture Clean” Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Outro Song Behind Vocals:

“Backed Vibes (clean)” Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


InceptionBrassHitMedium.wav: Herbert Boland /

Old Fashion Radio Jingle 2.wav: club sound /
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3 Responses to “Making Comics Gutter Talk Episode 7 – Jason Brubaker”

  1. Michael Freely

    Grand. I just loved listening to this, the conversation was natural and went to some really interesting places. As a person who struggles with the recommended path to story completion, with a full script and such, It was great to hear how someone else creates when they have a similar approach. I just sat at my desk at work, let the “tape” roll, and drew without reservation for more than an hour, being inspired and soaking it in. I had a dozen great thoughts that I wanted to comment on but they have all left me, swallowed up into the Zen space I was in. Maybe I should have tweeted while I listened! Thanks for the stellar content you guys.

  2. Viktor Svoboda

    Great episode.
    Worth listening although it is longer one. I’ve heard it before, but this time I won’t forget it, about the ways how to approach writing the story. I am now at point when I want to write the whole story before I start drawing. (Just to try it this way and see if it works for me.) And I think I was kinda limited by the structure. (I am student of animation and although we are supposed to direct our films we are not thought how to do that, so I did my research also for purpose storytelling in general.)
    So maybe the Gaiman-King no structure approach is the right one right now.
    Thanks to all of you.


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