Real Interview- Dylan Todd

This week Ziah sat down with graphic designer and noted D-Man fan, Dylan Todd. Check it out after the jump.

N: For anyone who hasn’t heard of you, as unfortunate as that may be, could you talk about who you are and what kind of stuff you do?

DT: I’m Dylan Todd. I’m a full-time graphic designer and part-time writer for ComicsAlliance. You can see some of my comics and pop culture design here. I’ve worked on Sam Humphries’ Sacrifice, Monkeybrain Comics, Let’s Be Friends Again, Adam Warrock, and a bunch of other people.

N: What’s your process for laying out the design of something? If you need a specific project, how about the Monkeybrain comics layout? How did you go about it from outlining to finished product?

DT: For the Monkeybrain comics logo, I had a phone call with Chris and Allison where we talked about their new venture, laid out their goals and sensibilities and set up the end uses for the mark. For example, they had this illustration of a monkey with an exposed brain that they’d used for their book publishing that they wanted to carry over to this publisher, so I knew that had to be included in one way or another. I also knew it had to work on the credits pages, on buttons and banners, etc. as well as a square image on Comixology, so that informed a lot of my decisions as well. From there, I started sketching and laying out some options, and we just went back and forth until we zeroed in on a design we could all agree on.

N: How does it feel to be a television star? Do you walk into restaurants, tip the Garcon a buck, and get a fancy table near the deputy mayor and Dolph Lundgren?
DT: My star turn (all 2.5 seconds of it) on AMC’s reality show The Pitch was pretty much the highlight of my life, right after that one time that pigeon crapped right on my head.
N: What are some of your favorite things you’ve done?
DT: I am proud of all of my children. But the one I most recently got really excited about was a thing that will appear in the fourth issue of Sam Humphries’ Higher Earth.

N: Would you say that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?

DT: Breakfast is a scam concocted and perpetuated by the evil grain industry. Lunch forever.
N: You do a bit of commenting on comic logos on your tumblr, occasionally. Does noticing the (sometimes) shoddy design work influence your comic (and other media) purchases?
DT: I’d like to believe I’m not that big of a snob, but I know I’ve not purchased some things because they’re just straight-up ugly.
N: What is the best big robot?
The one from RobotJox.
N: What are some of the most common mistakes people make in design? Besides using Comic Sans and all that?
DT: Design fails when it does not achieve its main function, which is to communicate. When a piece is too fussy, or too stylized, or not appropriate to its core message, it fails. So yeah, if you’re decorating and not communicating, you’re doing it wrong.
N: Can you explain who D-Man is and why he is the best?
D-Man — aka Demolition Man, aka Dennis Dunphy — was a former pro wrestler who took some crazy magic steroids, got super powers, became an Avenger whose costume consisted of cast-offs of other heroes’ costumes, went a little crazy, got blown up, lived among the eskimos, joined  Wonder Man’s (ugh) Revengers, recently became the Scourge of the Underworld and (spoilers) got killed by Captain America.
He is the best because, uh, you read that last paragraph, right?

N: If Marvel gave you a D-Man ongoing, what would the story be, and who would you have on art?

Well, Rusty Shacklesand I were kicking around the idea of a street-level-and-maybe-even-below-that team of D-list Avengers who travel the country in a Quinjet-like Winnebago (The Quinnebago?), taking out the threats the Avengers are too busy to handle. You can read our pitch here. And you can read a short strip starring the D-Vengers by Robot Mountain artist Kyle Starks here.

N: Was D-Man really king of the Hobos once?

DT: Yep. He sure was.

N: Awesome. Is there anything you’d like to plug that you’re working on?

My new goal to collect a full run of West Coast Avengers comics. My line of salad dressings and colognes. My abs. My D-Man fan art blog, Let’s Draw D-Man.
Thanks to Dylan for the interview; you can find links to his design work at bigredrobot, read his opinions at his tumblr, or talk to him on twitter

Ziah Grace

Ziah works at a comic shop and has seen Space Jam. You can contact Ziah at zbg333 [at] gmail [dot] com