Interview with Chris Reynolds

What's next, now that you have "The New World," a collection of some of your earliest work, published by New York Review Comics?
It's back to the drawing board. I've just finished a new strip called "The Hoops and The Rings" which is a return to black & white work, also using a mechanical dots screen. It's a story with Roman, the Future Mercenary Soldier where he considers a mistake he may have made in the past. Next there's "The Bus is Coming," about life's expectations and deliveries. These will be coming to Smashwords one day, and then will probably appear in my next collection "Favourite Comics," the fourth book after "The New World," "Torus," and "The Storm Train."
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Having the ideas come up. Not just the ideas for the story, but the ideas about how to handle something or make something better while the story is actually being written.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing in 1974 with a novel called "Time Off". The main character in this was called Edward Newton, but it contained the first ever appearances of Monitor and Robert Rebor. "Time Off" never actually got completed and is now abandoned but it served as a developmental template for the characters and themes of what later became Mauretania Comics. A kind of primeval swamp from which some of my characters emerged. There have been other "primeval swamps" but this was the first that I realised was one.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was a Sherlock Holmes story I wrote in primary school on Thursday afternoons. Illustrated. I still have it. Watson is very subservient, calling Sherlock "Sir" all the time.
What is your writing process?
This is comics, remember. I used to do black and white pages of nine panels per page. But I don't do that anymore. Now I have a stock of pre-drawn artwork for my characters and my panel backgrounds which I add to when I need to. I assemble my stories in Gimp from those. The first stage of using this method was to draw more stories of about 45 panels (my usual story length). I've now done that and I'm comfortable with it. It's a lot quicker than doing my stories in the old way. So the next thing is to move on to doing entirely longer stories using this technique - stories so long that I wouldn't have been able to tackle them just by straight drawing. "Cinema Detectives: The Highway of Fear" was first of these longer ones. (More about this technique in my interview with Nathanial W. Cook, the Comic Book Evangelist - it's online at http://comicbookevangelist.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/my-top-cartoonists-1-chris-reynolds-and_4315.html.)
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I ever read for myself was "The Valley of Adventure" by Enid Blyton. And it's a strange book in a way because it contains a distinct strand of mystery and melancholy that I have always liked.
How do you approach cover design?
We're talking about comics, so there is always artwork available. Generally I enhance a panel from within the story to make a cover. I do enjoy doing the covers because it's a step away from the stylistically-repetitive job of creating the visuals for the story. (The content art of the story will always be of a style, of course.) On a cover I can try out new things.
Describe your desk
I don't have a desk, I work anywhere. I draw new bits that I need with a biro - as and when - and then I scan them and edit. I can log-in from where I am and do work as I need to.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Looking forward to stuff. A new panel of a comic first - then - on to real life and what it brings in!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I do a lot of other things. I like to meet people and find out what's going on amongst my friends.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
As far as ebooks go, I'm mainly interested in my own ones. Others... recommendations from friends, that sort of thing. I'll at least give them a try.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
All five of the best of my own, obviously. I wrote them because no-one else had.
What do you read for pleasure?
All sorts. Children's, success books, history of English drama, atlases.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Laptop.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Probably free books on Smashwords and its distributees. But I'm experimenting with Kindle's free limited-time offers too, using their "Prime" service. Interesting with them just doing "free" for a couple of days at a time and publicising it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Wales and a lot of my readers say the Welsh landscapes of Snowdonia appear regularly in my stories, although I'm not sure I agree.
Who are your favorite authors?
I like JK Rowling Harry Potter, Dick Francis detective novels, Nevil Shute - getting forgotten despite his wit. Some Hammond Innes. I like Fredric Brown, Cordwainer Smith too.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I've just had a lot of fun fitting my comics into the system. The big "Dashboard" page with all its feedback is great too.
Published 2018-06-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Small Works
Series: Mauretania Comics. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 150. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Literary, Fiction » Visionary & metaphysical
A memory of spies at the Naval Headquarters. A new Mauretania Comics story for your delectation. Includes bonus story "A Hide in Arran."
Assembly of the Dream Box and Other Stories
Series: Mauretania Comics. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 270. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Science fiction, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
Five new stories from Mauretania Comics. 1. What's that thing about looking down from above? 2. How do you actually Know the bus is coming? 3. Who is it that really ends the conversation? 4. A temptation or a trap? 5. How many residents? Four b/w strips plus one in colour.
Comics di Mattina di Sabato
Series: Nuovo Fumetti Italiano. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 130. Language: Italian. Published: January 9, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Superheroes, Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Superheroes
Dopo che lei è licenziata da da squadra di superhero sua, una donna è aiutata per cominciare una vita nuova. ma i guardiani hanno cosa l'attesa per lei?
Die Rückkehr zu Seinem Erbhaus
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 510. Language: German. Published: December 24, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Fantasy, Fiction » Horror » Ghost
Ein geheimnis über geister, die in vertraute plätze einfallen. Ein wenig mitfühlender mann findet, dass seine kindheit nach hause unter Drohung ist.
Cinema Detectives and Non-Existent: Horrible House
Series: The Cinema Detectives - Comic Strip Detectives. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 160. Language: English. Published: October 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Crime & mystery, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
The Band “Non-Existent” must spend the night in a haunted house in order to gain £10 million - otherwise they'll be deported to Antarctica! How can Ken and Rosa, the Cinema Detectives, ensure they survive the night? And who is the mysterious Bob Bobonio? Includes bonus story “Gut Romance.”
Scendere
Series: Nuovo Fumetti Italiano. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 110. Language: Italian. Published: July 13, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Superheroes, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Moon Queen e The Bee cercano "La Diva". "Se noi andiamo in giù, poi noi ambo vanno insieme in giù..."
El Serpento
Series: Nuovo Fumetti Italiano. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 130. Language: Italian. Published: June 29, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Crime & mystery
El Serpento! Ispettore Rockwell e l'Halloween Mano deve salvare il Principe!
La Diva
Series: Nuovo Fumetti Italiano. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 110. Language: Italian. Published: June 27, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Superheroes, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Europee Ragazze Superhero - Moon Queen and The Bee. Avventure a Fumetti - Storie di Supereroi Stupefacenti!
Cinema Detectives "Non-Existent" Compendium
Series: The Cinema Detectives - Comic Strip Detectives. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 390. Language: English. Published: July 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Crime & mystery, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Three stories in one! Combined volume of three comic-strips featuring the band Non-Existent and the Cinema Detectives. "Non-Existent," "Keysafe," and "The Salon of Infinite Possibilities"
House of the Moon Queen
Series: European Superhero Girls Moon Queen and The Bee. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 260. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Science fiction, Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Superheroes
Comic Strip Sci-Fi Superhero story. Moon Queen and the Bee. Moon Queen inherits a strange old house. She and her friend The Bee go there to investigate. What secrets will they discover from the old world of the Superheroes? Add to Cart now!
Cinema Detectives: Lady, Don't Scream!
Series: Box sets and Compilations · The Cinema Detectives - Comic Strip Detectives. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 290. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Crime & mystery, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Comic Strip Detectives. The Cinema Detectives of Birmingham in England's West Midlands region. Read a box-set edition containing three Stories; 1. Cinema Detectives: The Dominus Club, about an evil threat; 2. Cinema Detectives: I'm On My Way To Your House, about a troubled dream; and 3. Cinema Detectives: The ABC Fugitive ... which is totally strange. Add to Cart now!
Cinema Detectives Omnibus
Series: Box sets and Compilations · The Cinema Detectives - Comic Strip Detectives. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 250. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Crime & mystery, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
(4.00 from 1 review)
This “Cinema Detectives Omnibus” contains Four Original Cinema Detectives Adventures; “Beware The Egg,” “Crossroads,” “The Whispering Estate Agent,” and “The Dark Lady.” More beautifully-illustrated comic book mysteries from the Cinema Detectives.
Mars Bunnies: A “Moon Queen and The Bee” Adventure
Series: European Superhero Girls Moon Queen and The Bee · Jenny in Stringtown. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 150. Language: English. Published: September 22, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Superheroes, Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Science fiction
What REALLY happened to the N.A.S.A. MARS BASES of the 1970's ? And can you really turn a tennis ball inside-out using your bare hands, or was that just something Moon Queen and The Bee saw once on a trashy TV channel? Who is Kev Karoom? Why did he repeatedly travel in time between the 1980's and the 1990's? Why is he here today? Includes "Jenny and The Bullies," a sequel to "Jenny in Stringtown."
Golden Tables Of The World
Series: European Superhero Girls Moon Queen and The Bee. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 150. Language: English. Published: August 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Superheroes, Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Science fiction
(4.00 from 1 review)
Superheroes Moon Queen and her friend The Bee meet with Chief hero T-Man and they are told of a recently rediscovered lost island. Then another friend sends Moon Queen a copy of a famous novel. But in this copy of the novel there are a lot of extra pages, some inlaid with gold! What is the connection? Another wonderfully-illustrated Moon Queen adventure.
Jenny in Stringtown
Series: Jenny in Stringtown. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 280. Language: British English. Published: June 13, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Graphic Novel, Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Comics
Jenny's unhappy life. Jen feels trapped by her awful life in Stringtown. If only she could get away... Then she gets a new job ... and a new boyfriend ... but see what bossy Aunt Alice has in store! First published by JamBooks. Add to Cart Now!
Potatoes! Potatoes! Potatoes!
Series: European Superhero Girls Moon Queen and The Bee. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 710. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Superheroes, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
Superheroes Moon Queen and The Bee are arrested by the authorities following the Chinese takeover of Britain... Do they fight? Do they collect a Hero team to reassert British independence? ... Or what? See the British Superhero Response to the new Chinese Takeover in this beautifully-illustrated story!