INTERVIEW: Brandon De Pillis
Thank you so much for agreeing to an interview! Tell everyone about who you are and your background?
Thank you! I’m a carpenter by trade but I have a degree in art where I specialized in photography. I also studied film briefly and created several indie short films in the late 90’s, with one making it into a festival.
Tell us about your projects!
My first book is Cannonball Presents: boom. (the period is purposeful) a collection of short stories from my webcomic at Cannonballcomic.com. They’re a slice-of-life/horror mash-up about the everyday mundane family life turned upside down by the twisted and unfamiliar.
I’m also currently producing two books. The first is Episode 31, a longer form story that will be released in chapters on my website and later collected in physical copies. A neighborhood is disrupted when one of its inhabitants suddenly starts digging a large hole in his yard in the middle of the night.
The second project is a 30 page comic I’ll be Kickstarting in the fall called Cannonball : Autolyse. It’s Addam’s Family meets Alien where a covert paramilitary group must infiltrate a small home in South Minneapolis to eradicate a Second Genesis event.
Take us through your creative process from idea to finished story.
My short stories are heavily based on common everyday real life , i.e. walking the dog, getting my daughter to clean her room, getting our daughter ready in the morning; and how they can go so wrong sometimes.So I’ll write it as a story and ask myself “What’s the left turn?” I’ll throw out the first few ideas that feel generic and then run with the unexpected.
For longer form stories I’ll start with one idea, person, place or time and find an angle and start there. It’s very much the way I use to approach my photography. I was always getting on the ground or climbing trees or scurrying onto roofs, looking for reflections; all trying to find the most interesting perspective.
I have to do it with carpentry too. I’m a lead carpenter. I have to solve a lot of problems and often come up with a lot of creative solutions too. Especially in remodeling 100-125 year old houses that have been worked on through the years.
So I’m always looking for a creative perspective, an interesting approach or an innovative solution. It’s my job. It’s what I studied.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from a fellow creator?
It was technical things. I follow a lot of creators on social media and pick up a lot of great ideas but one of the best creators who shares her process randomly that I’ve learned by following was Becky Cloonan. Such simple things like rough sketching onto printer paper and using a light board to select your lines. It freed me up to be more inventive with some of my forced perspective image I’m becoming known for. It freed me from fear of messing up a whole page and losing work.
So not direct advice (I do not know her personally) but game changing for sure.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give a new creator?
Start small. Do a one page story first. Do it competently. Then move up to 2-3 pages. Learn how to tell a story visually. Then move up to 5. Then a one shot. Don’t worry about the “universe”. That will come. Start small. One character, one story at a time. It more relatable for your audience.
Who else in the indie comic industry should people be following?
Lesser Known Comics. What Marc is doing there is really interesting and the people he’s bringing together are creative and talented. I’m all in when they launch kickstarters.
Some others would be Nico Rodriguez, you can find him at nico_writes on Instagram. he does some great illustrations and has a fun webcomic called Roba the Prehistoric Wizard.
One other I’d mention is Destiny Davidson who does The Anywhere Report on Instagram. Great art with out there, fun ideas.
How and where can people support your work?
My webcomic and portfolio are at Cannonballcomic.com You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter at bdepillis.
Support the Kickstarter at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bdepillis/cannonball-presents-boom