This week we sit down and talk to the awesome guy responsible for Auroraman. If you like comics, and we’re sure you do, you’ll want to take a peek at what Jeff Burton is up to. After you’re done, be sure to check out his work here.
What was your reason for getting into comics? That is, how did you end up involved in comics?
I have been a comics fan for most of my life, I absolutely love the medium. As my interest in what was happening in the mainstream superhero comics was starting to fade I really started digging into more independent comics, mainly Canadian made ones, along with the history of Canadian comic books. Through this, I met tons of people creating awesome books, most notably Andrew Lorenz and his book Canadian Corps. A short time later I was presented with what would be the very early concept of Auroraman by a Facebook friend named Ted Green, who lives in Macon, Georgia. He and I talked about the character back and forth and then I took the concept to Andrew. He really liked the main points of Auroraman and helped smooth out the pieces that needed some work. Then he flipped the script on me and suggested that I write the character myself instead of it just being a secondary character in his books. After some consideration, I jumped in with both feet and am thrilled to be here now!
Who would you say is your comic book inspiration as a writer?
Well obviously first and foremost would be Andrew, I really like how his stories flow. This is one of those questions where we are supposed to wax poetically about the big names, legends in the industry and so forthright? Well I can agree that they all played a part in how I view, read and somewhat, write Auroraman but if I really must name influences outside of Andrew it’ll be other indie based creators – Jason Loo from Pitiful Human Lizard, Donovan Yaciuk from Spacepig Hamadeus, James Zintel on Shump, Gary Boyarski from Jack Grimm, Davis Dewsbury from Auric of the Great White North…this list could really go on and on. Two of the big guns from mainstream works that stand out in my mind in my ability to reread their stories a lot is Peter David’s Multiple Man/X-Factor book and my all time fave, Jame’s Robinson’s Starman.
Before comics, what did you do? If you’re still doing it, what are you doing?
I am a teacher by trade, and I will always teach…I love it too much not to keep doing it!
What was your first work in comics like?
Well, the zero issue of Auroraman was mainly written by Andrew, even if it says co-written, he did the heavy lifting there honestly. But I did learn a lot in the process and while that issue was in production I started writing the comic strips/ one-page comics that go along with the Auroraman.
How many years have you been working in comics?
It has been two years now.
Tell me a little bit about your work. Where does it draw inspiration from? Where do you come up with your ideas?
Oooo another heavy hitter question! With Auroraman I like to draw ideas from all around me, especially in making sure to keep some local flair to the stories. There is a lot of rich history in Saskatchewan that its easy to pull ideas from that. I also like to keep the work fun and enjoyable, so no dark and heavy themes. Comics as a medium to me are entertainment and an escape from the more seriousness and darkness of modern society as a whole.
Who have you worked alongside in the industry?
I have been very fortunate to work with some extremely talented people, so many that a list could invariably leave someone out and I would hate to do that!
Growing up, who is your favorite character or team? Who is it now?
Growing up it was Spider-Man and Batman. As I got older Wolverine took top spot and then as a teenager/young adult it shifted again to Starman and Green Arrow. Thanks to Peter David I also fell in love with Multiple Man, and when people ask that’s the superpower I would like to have – more of myself so I could get more work done while spending more time with my family!
Do you have any advice for a new writer who is just getting into the business?
Look and read as much as you can, find the work that sticks in your head and then let your own imagination run rampant!
Where do you see your work taking you?
I hope to see this path continuing right along with how it is, growing a fan base of people that see the same enjoyment in my work that I do!
What are you up to next?
Currently, I am putting together an issue for release in January that contains 2 stories, the main one being set as part of an event that is hosted by Humboldt’s own junior hockey team to recognize the real-life everyday heroes (RCMP, EMS, firefighters etc).
Where do you see the direction of the comic industry heading in 20 years?
Well, it’s riding a bit of a high right now, and there is more and more growth in the independent scene, which is good but I hope that the creators can survive it as it becomes a bit tougher to get people to take a chance on new indie titles. I have a plan that will hopefully work to help my work reach out to new buyers and make new fans.
How can people get ahold of you?
The easiest way to get to me is through the Auroraman Facebook page.
Where can we buy and/or see your work?
Again the Auroraman Facebook page is the best way to see the work, and to order it directly from me!
Any last words for the industry?
Let’s get back to making more fun comics!
A Little Background…
Creator and writer Jeff Burton is a father of five and teacher from Humboldt, Saskatchewan.
As a long time comic book fan, Jeff found he was being drawn more and more to the independent comics, especially the Canadian independent scene and all the great fun stories being created there! Given the inspiration for Auroraman from a dear friend Jeff mentored under Andrew Lorenz (S17 Productions – Legacy, New Guard, Canadian Corps, The Sentries) and together they fleshed out the concept and co-scripted the #0 issue of Auroraman.
A real plus to the industry
Jeff takes his lead from the fond memories of reading fun comic books as a child and loves to see that reaction in his own kids and his students when he introduces them to comics, be it Auroraman or many of the other great Canadian independent comic books out there! Working with a selection of talented artists such as Justin Shauf, Colin Work, James Zintel, Elaine Will, Andrew Thomas, Chris Yao and so much more, Jeff weaves the tales of Auroraman’s adventures while introducing new allies as well as enemies for his characters’ universe. Add to that the fact that Jeff has spearheaded the creation of a network of Canadian Indie creators – The Canadian Comic Book Alliance (www.theccba.ca), Jeff is a busy guy. Oh, and if you were wondering, The CCBA is a network where creators can help spread the word about each others work all-the-while opening the doors to collaborations and team-ups.
After all who doesn’t love a good team up story now and again?!
Jeff can be found on any of these media outlets: