Comic Book Author/Artist Wayne Vansant Answers a few Questions
Wayne Vansant has been writing, drawing, and overall creating comics since 1986. He is known for his comic books based on war. Mr Vansant got his start with Marvel Comics in Savage Tales, and later The Nam. He has since amassed an impressive resumé of titles including Katusha (seen above), All Quiet on the Western Front and so much more. You can read my review for his adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front here. Mr. Vansant was kind enough to participate in a written interview for CoolComicReviews.com. Enjoy!
Dana: I did a little bit of research and found that you are a Vietnam veteran. My father was drafted during Vietnam. Sadly he passed in 2008. As a veteran, what would you say is the best way I can honor my father’s service?
Mr. Vansant: I’m not really a Vietnam combat veteran. I was in the navy during that time (had a good time actually). The best way you can honor him and his service is just to remember him.
Dana: It’s obvious that your service has had an impact on your work. Other than your service, what would you say is the most impactful aspect of your life when it comes to your career?
Mr. Vansant: My service had a great affect on my work and my life. Although I didn’t see combat, it made a man out of me. It also gave me an understanding of many people from different places and cultures, and I think a pretty good understanding of human nature, both good and bad. Life in the military is unique: a lot of people pressed together to perform a common aim, in different states of coordination. No matter the technology, the main tool of the military is human beings.
Dana: In another dimension, you may not have become an author/artist. If that were the case, what would your dream job be?
Mr. Vansant: I would be doing the same thing no matter where I was. I’m a Christian and I believe in Heaven. I believe I will be doing the same thing, or something very much like it.
Dana: Your portfolio seems to focus mainly on history and war history. What are your opinions on superhero/supernatural topics for comics?
Mr. Vansant: I love history and the history of war, which seems to be one of mankind’s less redeemable pastimes. I have never seen, or met, or talked to a superhero, so I have little interest in them. Now, I do have a little interest in supernatural topics if the situation ever presents itself.
Dana: As a gamer, I have to ask: Are you a gamer at all? If so, what are your favorite video games? Also, do you have an opinion about video games based on war, such as the Call of Duty or Medal of Honor series’ of video games?
Mr. Vansant: I am not a gamer, because I don’t feel I have ever had time for it. I am interested in games like “World of Tanks” and “War Thunder.”
Dana: Do you think you would be able to translate your work to animation? If so, for the right price, would you ever do work for a video game?
Mr. Vansant: It would be interesting to translate my work to animation. I would be up for it.
Dana: Your adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front really struck my heart in many ways. I feel that as a veteran, you have an even closer connection to the book. How has the story personally affected you?
Mr. Vansant: Remarque tells a very emotional story, and the relationship between the characters are spot on. Near the end of the book, when Kat is wounded, Paul realizes that he no longer has any friends left. That was a major event in the book to me. I have read the book several times during my lifetime, and I think it was the elements of friendship that kept me coming back.
Dana: I haven’t gotten a chance to read the source material for All Quiet on the Western Front. Did you end up having to omit parts of the source material to make your adaptation? Also, did you re-write any of it or was it transposed word-for-word?
Mr. Vansant: I was able to include every scene and element into the adaptation. I also tried to keep the illustrations as correct as possible. Some friends of mine, who know a lot about WWI and have read the book, have disagreed with some of my conclusions. Some of the descriptions in the book are a little vague, but I believe I interpreted it correctly.
Dana: As an artist, what are your biggest challenges you face before ending up with a finished product?
Mr. Vansant: There are many. Adapting something as fine and important as Remarque’s work is something you cannot take lightly. You have to keep an eye on the details from beginning to end.
Dana: As a writer, what would your best piece of advice be for those such as myself who wish to make a living by writing?
Mr. Vansant: I think the most important thing is to convey the emotions of the characters, and I think that would be important to try for superheroes as well. If I was doing one of my non-fiction books and showing a nameless soldier that will only be in a few panels, I think that it would be important to show the fear, anger, or hopelessness in his face.
I would like to thank Mr. Vansant for his willingness to participate in CoolComicReviews.com’s very first interview. I’ll take his advice seriously. I agree that when creating professional work, details matter. I also would like to thank Dead Reckoning, publishers of both All Quiet on the Western Front and Katusha, for making this interview possible. It was a lot of fun!