Tadd Galusha is a human dynamo. His boundless energy is natural, his curiosity is insatiable, and he possesses a talent that is nothing short of brilliant. I have it on good authority that Tadd’s superhuman body only requires 13 minutes of sleep per night and that he moved to Alaska to be closer to his personal power source, the Aurora Borealis.
We met while making the pilot for “Frank Stone,” my screenplay based on what critics believe to be the worst comic book ever. Frank was directed by mutual friend and director, Brett Vail. Tadd also has a cameo in the pilot, playing an obnoxious robotic mime in a police line-up. The scene is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Good times. When another director/partner of mine needed an artist for mock movie posters based on my original stories, I suggested Tadd. He didn’t disappoint. You can see for yourself.
When Tadd needed a writer for a book of short stories based on his drawings, he asked me. I was honored. The project was eventually abandoned but the collaboration was solid and I’d work with Tadd again in a split-second. He’s that amazing.
Todd’s recent titles include, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers” “Godzilla” as well as his own web series “The Backwoods.”
Tadd was kind enough to take time away from his busy schedule promoting “Cretaceous” to answer a few questions.
Welcome, Tadd! When did you decide that you wanted to be an artist/illustrator/comic/author of graphic novels?
While I was in college at Washington State University. I was going for a BFA and for the first time in life had easy access to a kick ass comic shop. That’s when I put it together that the people illustrating comics were good at drawing everything. I wanted to be like that, so I left the university for the Kubert School and now here I am. Illustrating and writing comics.
Let’s talk about your training. Where did that happen?
Well, two and a half years in a BFA program at WSU. Then the three-year program at the Kubert School. And last but not least I did an internship at Helioscope Studios in Portland. Then it was off to the races.
How did you get started in the business?
My first real comic gig was a tiny stint on the now defunct Zuda web comics site that was produced by DC comics. That entire entity was canceled as soon as I got in. So, then I started working for Escaped From LA Films, where you and I were first introduced. From there I just freelanced on indie gigs and worked as a ghost until I was able to get something going with some of the industries publishers.
What are some of the other books have you worked on?
I’ve done a bit of work on a few books, Godzilla, Ninja Turtles, Kong of Skull Island, Dream Thief, Bubba Ho Tep. A few anthologies here and there. My first self-published book was the Backwoods, which I did and web comic a couple years back. I actually have you and the Escaped From LA crew to thank for suggesting that I do it. Currently I’m illustrating a GN, “The First Americans” from Critical Entertainment and writing and illustrating a monthly strip, “Super Puncher”, for Western Horseman Magazine. Obviously, I got a couple other irons in the fire, but I can’t spill the beans quite yet.
How do you deal with your own self-doubt and negativity?
That’s a good question. I’ve been lucky enough that I don’t care what others think of me or my work. Don’t get me wrong I would love for everyone to enjoy my presence and my work even more, but that’s not very realistic. If I had let that govern my career, I would never have had one, LOL. My biggest setback as an artist is that I never really like the final execution of any of my work, it can always be better. As much of a downer that can be, its inevitably a positive in my book. It means the ceiling has been reached yet and there is still room for growth. Anyone I’ve ever met who loves their own work usually isn’t worth writing home about and it shows in their craft. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with self-doubt, but at the end of the day I usually can rationalize that the only cure is to keep working, keep producing. To use baseball terms: whether a homerun or a bunt, it’s all about getting on base.
Let’s talk “Cretaceous.” It’s such a great idea. How did you come up with the concept?
I always enjoyed dinosaurs and there really aren’t a lot of dinosaur comics out there. So I thought I’d try and make a contribution to the limited genre. It just felt like an underexplored territory in comics.
How did you pitch it to your publisher?
Once I was able to sit down with Oni Press. I just told them what I wanted to do and why I thought it could hold a place on bookshelves. I then had to put my money were my mouth was and create some engaging art that they felt had some potential. Fortunately, everything clicked and then it was just a matter of getting it done and hoping that the readers felt the same kind of enthusiasm that we shared for the book.
How long did it take you from concept to publishing?
I was pitching for years. Then it was another couple years before getting things finalized on the contract side of things. And another 2-3 years to complete. I would say about 8 years in total. I was just never in a situation where I could sit down and just work on it. I was always in a position where I had hustle to provide an income so the passion project of Cretaceous always came after paying work if there was time. It was long and bumpy road, but the book is done and turned out real solid, if you don’t mind me saying. So hopefully people enjoy it and I can make those passion projects my fulltime gig.
What sets “Cretaceous” apart from other books?
That’s a tough question. I think, like any story, it will elicit different emotions from different readers. The book is wordless, so I’m not narrating or feeding the viewers a steady stream of explanative thought. Instead readers can view the animals and the actions within the story and given the ability to form their own conclusions and underlying details based on their individual perspectives. So on the surface everyone is watching the same story play out upon the pages, but the finer details have been customized according to the views individual preference.
Where can I buy “Cretaceous? “
You can get yourself a copy of Cretaceous at all the usual suspects: comic shops, bookstores, and online shops like Amazon.
Thanks again, Tadd. Readers, you should buy this graphic novel. It is unlike any graphic novel you have ever read/seen.
And now a word from our sponsor:
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Don’t forget to enter the contest for an autographed copy of “Son of Ravage.” Just click on contact above the slideshow and leave your name and email. A Winner will be announced at the end of April.
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Until next time, America!
In 1981, J.P. Linde co-wrote and appeared in a one-man comedy show titled “Casually Insane.” Shortly after, he joined the ranks of stand-up comedy and performed in clubs and colleges throughout the United States and Canada. In 1989, he made his national television debut on “Showtime’s Comedy Club Network.” He wrote the libretto for the musical comedy “Wild Space A Go Go” and co-wrote and co-produced the feature motion picture, “Axe to Grind.” “Son of Ravage” is his second novel.