How many Parr-secs in a Kessel Spice Run? (An interview with Artist Terry Parr)

Terry Parr and the fuzzy Gritskrieg

Fuzzy Gritskrieg and Terry Parr

At the Dallas Comic Con back in January, we had the opportunity to sit down with Terry Parr and get an interview out of him. We held off on posting it until we were closer to attending Staple! in Austin, Texas where Terry will be kind enough to share a table with us. Terry’s a talented individual with a sharp wit, a formidable artistic skill, and a Gamette for a girlfriend.

BG Gritskrieg: The first question we have to ask is how do you keep it so classy?
Terry Parr: How do I keep it classy? I don’t. I’m all about the trash. Actually, classy trashy.

BGG: What was the first comic that you ever read?
Terry Parr: First real comic that I really read and enjoyed or first comic…?

BGG: First one you really enjoyed.
Terry Parr: Well, the first comic that really got me was The Swamp Thing. I’ve forgot how old I was but when I read that, it was very dark, the writing was awesome and the artwork was just as awesome. When I first saw that, I was like, that’s what I want to do.

BGG: Was that comic the reason you decided to start drawing or what was the reason you started drawing?
Terry Parr: Well, I’ve always drawn, probably since the second grade. I used to draw stuff like Snoopy and all that. But when Dragon’s Lair came around and I saw that, that was what I constantly drew all the time. And then around that time was when I started getting into Swamp Thing, like middle school, and then I kind of dropped out. I still drew but I didn’t really have a focus. I mostly drew Iron Maiden stuff. I drew Eddie all the time. I probably drew him for like two years straight. I was always the Iron Maiden guy. Even in my high school photos, I was wearing an Iron Maiden t-shirt. But I started getting back into comics, right when conventions started up, and I was a huge Jim Lee fan. If you look at my old stuff, way back when, I drew just like Jim Lee. It was kind of sad. Right now, I’ve moved on.

Boba Fett as drawn by Terry Parr

Boba Fett as drawn by Terry Parr

BGG:It seems like you have a pretty free flowing style. You can go from some of your dark, gothic work right into the pin up styles. Is that something you’ve always been able to do or is that something that’s recent?
Terry Parr: I would like to say that I’ve done that all the time but I think it’s been the last couple of years. I try not to be classified by one style. I feel an artist has to grow. But I’m still improving on that and it’s pretty tiring.

BGG: What’s your favorite thing to draw?
Terry Parr: My favorite thing to draw has to be women. But again, that’s what I’ve been known to draw so just to be an asshole, I’m started drawing male characters. It feels weird when kids look at my portfolio and it’s a lot of women and I think it shocks them. I’m branching out more.

BGG: When you sit down to draw do you know what style you’re going to use or does it just flow as you go?
Terry Parr: It can happen both ways. Sometimes I’ll have an idea in my head on how I want to approach it but then again, once I approach it, I’ll just bug and won’t do that, I’ll do something else. It just depends on the need. Most of it comes out the way I want, others I end up altering and changing. 

BGG: You have a web comic called “Gemini Force”. What would you say inspired you to do that comic?
Terry Parr: I’ve had several influences. I’m a huge Flash Gordon fan and I want to do that kind of old school Sci-Fi. I wanted the two lead characters to be female. Originally, there were supposed to be three girls but I got a little lazy. I love the “Dirty Pair”, the old anime cartoon, and that was part of the inspiration. As time progressed, I took more of the influences from stuff I loved when I was younger, like “Battle Planet”. So I wanted to go for that spin instead of just something that was a Flash Gordon rip off.

Homage to Adam Hughes by Terry Parr

Homage to Adam Hughes by Terry Parr

BGG: Do you think the style you use when drawing “Gemini Force”, which is pretty different from your other work, is more your basic style or is that just the way you like drawing that comic?
Terry Parr: I think that’s me being more relaxed, putting my ideas into the actual comic. I guess it’s more true to how I illustrate.

BGG: What was the first comic that you drew that was entirely your work?
Terry Parr: For a couple of years, I did a comic called “Halloween Man”. It was a horror comic and when I drew it, it was more raw, more gross. It was a zombie super hero so it was a lot of fun. I think that channels my creativity more than what I work on today. I try to be as “crisp” as possible but when I drew that comic, it was much more raw.

BGG: I know personally that you’re a big gamer. Do you ever draw inspiration from video games?
Terry Parr: Probably more from games like “Street Fighter” or “Dark Stalker”. I love those characters so when I end up drawing something game related, it ends up being those characters. I can’t really draw Niko Bellic so…

BGG: What’s your favorite type of game?
Terry Parr: For a while it was First Person Shooters but I even go back to games like “Secret of Monkey Island”. I love those type of games, I think those are my favorites. But most of my favorite games right now are games like “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic”, the original one, and GTA IV. I play that one constantly, all the time.

BGG: So we talked briefly about the new Star Wars MMO coming out from Bioware. Seeing that it is supposedly going to be based in the “Knight of the Old Republic” time frame, do you think you’ll be playing that?
Terry Parr: It’s really, really tempting but unfortunately, I do have deadlines so as much as I would like to play it, I don’t think I’m at a point in my life where I can play it and still be productive.

BGG: What advice would you give someone who was just getting into drawing?
Terry Parr: Make sure you have talent first. *laughing* And one thing to do is make connections in the comic book business. Unfortunately, you can have a lot of talent but if you don’t know the right people, then you’re not going to be able to do much.

BGG: What do you think about the news in regards to Wizard World not coming back to Texas this year?
Terry Parr: Based on the last couple of years I went, it really didn’t surprise me that it’s not going to be here. Because maybe one of the three days it might be busy and the rest of the time it would be dead. I was just waiting for the day when they said, “Hey, we’re not going to do it anymore”.

Predator by Terry Parr

Predator by Terry Parr

BGG: Do you prefer the smaller cons like Dallas Comic Con or do you prefer the larger ones like Wizard World?
Terry Parr: I actually prefer the smaller shows. It’s always a good amount of people that come to the smaller ones who actually like to browse around and buy commissions… And spend money, which is always a good thing. *laughing*

BGG: You mentioned Eddie was your favorite character to draw when you were growing up. Is he still your favorite character to draw or…?
Terry Parr: Unfortunately, I’ve reached a point in my life where I really don’t want to draw him any more. But every now and then, I’ll do something just for kicks.

BGG: Who is your favorite character to draw right now?
Terry Parr: *thinking and then using Amber Alert’s suggestion of his favorite character to draw* Power Girl and her big boobs. *laughing*

BGG: That brings up the fact that you’re dating a BG Gamette, Amber Alert. Well, she was your girlfriend before she was a Gamette but do you think you ever get any odd looks in regards to that?
Terry Parr: No, I think I actually get a lot more business because a lot more people come around. They try to talk to me but I know they want to talk to her. So they approach me and then they start talking to her.

BGG: So what’s one thing you’d like people who follow your work to know about you?
Terry Parr: That I’m not really evil. I do have crazy hair but that doesn’t make me crazy.

BGG: That’s brings up a good question. How long does it take you to do your hair each day?
Terry Parr: It actually doesn’t take that long. It takes me probably less than five minutes.

BGG: What’s one thing your fans might not know about you?
Terry Parr: Damn good question. Hmm, that I go to art school? That I’m supposed to be an artist and I go to art school.

BGG: How long ago did you start going to art school?
Terry Parr: It’s been two years now.

BGG: And how close do you feel like you’re going to graduate?
Terry Parr: I do graduate in March but I’m at the point where I don’t want to let go. I’ve been institutionalized so I’m scared shitless of when I do graduate. When they kick me out, I’ll be ready to leave.

BGG: What can we look for in the future from Gemini Force, your web comic?
Terry Parr: Right now, I’m still working on new stories and since I’m not that much of a great writer, it takes me a bit longer to actually come up with the plots. What I’m going to do in the future is just do short stories, probably three to five pages maximum, so that way I can actually put them out in a reasonable amount of time.

Moltov Cocktease by Terry Parr

Moltov Cocktease by Terry Parr

BGG: Last question. With all of the movies recently based on comics, what has been your favorite comic book movie to come out or the one movie you’re looking forward to coming out?
Terry Parr: Well, I’m really looking forward to the Watchmen and the Dark Knight was awesome, not to be cliche, but that’s one of the few and far between movies that actually ended up being a good adaptation. With Hollywood cranking them out, hopefully they’ll do a good job. There’s not that many good ones coming up.

BGG: Well, what would you want to see come out?
Terry Parr: Gemini Force the Movie, of course.

As mentioned above, Terry will be attending Staple! in Austin, Texas and will be at the table labled on the event map (#004 in case you’re too lazy to read a map). Rumor also has it that Terry is working on a Busy Gamer original print, something the Reckon Crew is very excited about. So swing by if you’re in town and tell Terry how awesome he is and make fun of Timothy Danger while you’re at it.

Posted By Gritskrieg

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