INTERVIEW: Austin Allen Hamblin
Read The Dispatch’s recent review of The Adventures of Punk and Rock.
INDIE COMIX DISPATCH: Austin, welcome! Tell us about yourself, what’s your background?
AUSTINE ALLEN HAMBLIN: I’m from a tiny town in Iowa. I work as a meat cutter in a grocery store. And oh yeah I write comics. I’ve interned for 1First Comics/Devil’s Due and I recently had a short story published by Top Cow/Image.
ICD: Have you always been a fan of comics?
AAH: Oh yeah the more I read the deeper I got. I started reading manga, underground comics, self-published, anything I could get my hands on.
ICD: Do you remember your first comic book? How old were you? What was it?
AAH: When I was about 7 I started to read Bongo comics because I was a huge fan of The Simpsons, but what really hooked me in happened at age 10. My uncle got me a gift card to Barnes and Noble and at the time I wasn’t really a big reader, but I used the gift card to buy Marvel Masterworks Fantastic Four Vol. 1 and I was hooked.
ICD: What led to the creation of your own comics?
AAH: I used to always have these massive long battles and stories with my toys when I was a kid. I would keep certain toys together in different parts of the room representing the world and eventually, I thought to myself I should write this as a comic. I used to have a few friends who would read my new scripts when I brought them to school. I really enjoyed it and it led to me writing more.
ICD: I have to say, for an indie creator, you have a ton of comics! How long have you been creating?
AAH: I got my first book of self-published work out in 2012 when I was a senior in high school. By the time I was 11 I knew I wanted to make a living writing comics. I currently work a day job but am always working towards my goal. I really wanted to make comics and I think it shows. I was lucky to meet a bunch of other comic creators when I first started. They helped me out together with my passion and with their help I’ve managed to make it this far, Shout out to my comic book dad Phil Hester and my future self John Ira Thomas. Thanks for all the help. I seriously appreciate it.
ICD: I want to focus on The Adventures or Punk and Rock. I loved these books! You have 6 in the series, tell us about the series, and about Punk and Rock.
AAH: The Adventures of Punk and Rock is a comic I do with artist and friend Scott Twells. It follows two screw up bounty hunters in space who will do anything for money. The third main character is the narrator who not only narrates the comic, but interacts with Punk, Rock, and the reader. He only narrates the comic because he needs to pay alimony to his ex wife with whom he has 27 children.
ICD: I love the narrator, what was your inspiration for that character?
AAH: In the movie George of the Jungle the narrator does this he talks to the characters and I love it. It’s not done very often. It is hard to pull off but can add a lot to a story. I think you can really only do this in wacky off the walls comedy stories or it wouldn’t work.
ICD: Will we see more from Punk and Rock soon?
AAH: I hope so. Scott is always down to draw more so it falls on me. We recently did two short comics we released for free online, a Covid-19 PSA, and an ask Punk and Rock. I’ve got a few things in the pipeline, but I definitely want to write more of Punk and Rock. They are knuckleheads who I couldn’t live without.
ICD: Tell us about some of your other books.
AAH: I’ve been a part of a ton of different anthologies with themes like horror, professional wrestling, role-playing games, Gengis Khan, sci-fi, etc. A personal favorite of mine which we will see more of is called The Headless Hitman which follows Craig (brother of the Headless Horsemen) and his sidekick El Kickasso a cigar-smoking lucha libre baby. As they take out hits and Craig tries to connect with his stepson whose father just so happens to be Bigfoot.
ICD: What’s next for Hamblin Comics?
AAH: In November I am going to participate in National Novel Writing Month. I will be writing a 50k word novel throughout the month. The main thing is what it is usually: writing, pitching, and promoting. No cons for the foreseeable future, but I was lucky enough to be at one of the few cons of 2020 (C2E2 at the end of Feb.).
ICD: Any other indie titles that you’re following right now that you think everyone should be following?
AAH: Saga hands down one of the best comics I have ever read. I’ve been really digging The Adventures of God on webtoons. Anything Jeff Lemire and Mark Millar work on.
ICD: If you could do a crossover between any of your characters and any other indie title what would it be?
AAH: I would really love to do a crazy crossover with Punk and Rock going to Prison Pit. Only five people will know what I’m talking about, but that’s ok haha.
ICD: What advice would you give others wanting to go into the industry?
AAH: Just do it. Always remember just because you aren’t at the top of the mountain doesn’t mean you haven’t climbed up a good portion. Most people don’t make it off the ground.
ICD: Austin, tell everyone where people can find your books and how they can support you?
AAH: You can find me at www.hamblincomics.com and I am very active on my author page on Facebook www.facebook.com/AustinAllenHamblin If you are reading this hit me up on any form of social media telling me you read this interview and I will email you 50 pages of pdf comics for free!