We had the opportunity to sit down and talk to the awesome people responsible for Xenogenda Comix. If you like comics, and we’re sure you do, you’ll want to take a peek at what Phillip Lamont Lockhart and Chris Gilbert are up to. After you’re done, be sure to check out their work here.
What was your reason for getting into comics? That is, how did you end up involved in comics?
CHRIS: We got into comics out of inspiration from reading them when we were kids. We’ve always been big fans of marvel, dc, and manga and we always wanted to make comics of our own.
PHIL: It first started for me when I saw my uncle’s comic book he made when he was a teenager. Seeing that made me want to do the same and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Who would you say is your comic book inspiration as a writer?
PHIL: How they worked with each other back then, before their split up, reminds us so much how we are today. With how we bounce ideas off each other and how we’re able to create the content with only the two of us.
Before comics, what did you do? If you’re still doing it, what are you doing?
PHIL: As a kid in elementary school, I would just trace ninja turtles and power rangers before I eventually made comic strips of my own cartoon characters on writing paper during class. Rarely focusing on anything going on in the classroom. I did that all the way up to high school.
What was your first work in comics like?
CHRIS: Very exciting and fun! we were finally putting together all of our ideas down on paper and seeing it develop along the way.
PHIL: Chris and I first met in Saint Louis Community College. That’s the first time I actually met anyone who was into making comics as much as I was back then. How we were 14 years ago is exactly how it is now. Sharing similar tastes in writing, creativity, draw styles and everything.
How many years have you been working in comics?
CHRIS: 18 years.
PHIL: Been studying the craft since we were kids and learning as much as we could from the big names in the industry.
Tell me a little bit about your work. Where does it draw inspiration from? Where do you come up with your ideas?
CHRIS: Our inspiration comes from many different styles. We are inspired by anime/manga and American style comics. Also video games.
PHIL: We love Kazushige Nojima, Frank Miller, Akira Toriyama, George Lucas and Todd McFarlane’s work. Just to name a few, that’s what inspired us and our work to the point it is at now.
Who have you worked alongside in the industry?
CHRIS: No one as of yet, but we hope to work with very talented artist soon. We are an up and coming duo.
PHIL: We’re independent comic book artists with our own brand creating our own universe of comic storyline, attempting to break barriers as far as introducing a brand new way of telling stories in the sequential sense. Our networking consists of other indie artists in the independent realm of comics. We hope to meet and/or collaborate with more in the future.
Growing up, who is your favorite character or team? Who is it now?
CHRIS: We’ve always been fans of Batman, Captain America, and the X-Men just to name a few since there are so many.
PHIL: Spiderman was always my favorite superhero as a kid. Now I’m starting to like a lot of Ghost Rider/Johnny Blaze
Do you have any advice for a new writer who is just getting into the business?
CHRIS: Just make sure to stick with whatever works for you and always aim to be creative. It is very tough to be original but with your inspiration and ideas can make your work original. Always aim to make your story writing stand out. Readers will definitely see it in your work.
PHIL: As a writer, never write yourself in a box. Creativity has no bounds. For example, if you’re a guy who grew up in urban Chicago and have a lot of urban Chicago experiences, Don’t let that be all of your content. Learn about other cultures and walks of life, there’s so much out there. If you want a following of fans and readers, then be versatile and universal in you’re work.
Where do you see your work taking you?
CHRIS: We see our work being the new wave of characters such as superheroes and villains. The next generation if you will. We can see our work being very successful because of our hard work and our originality of our characters and storylines.
PHIL: We hope ours takes us around the world some point in our lifetime. Especially Japan, A good portion of our inspiration comes from there.
What are you up too next?
PHIL: We’re doing something that we’d never thought we would do, especially when we formed Xenogenda Comix. We’re in the first stages of starting a superhero-themed plot in our universe. We use to think that the superhero genre was a dying cliché in the comic/graphic novel/manga world. But it’s becoming more popular. We had so much fun writing and drawing original superhero concepts, we’ve decided to make this our main project. We’ve gotten so much positive feed back on these concepts and ideas, that we’re confident this will get us through many doors in the future.
Where do you see the direction of the comic industry heading in 20 years?
PHIL: Personally I feel that technology will be the biggest influence on this field. Publishing isn’t just paperbacks, bookshelves, or any type of bookstores. In between Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, anybody who wishes to share their work to the world can just post their work online and get known that way. In fact, the internet is constantly evolving and changing. Because of the instant accessibility, anyone can become an overnight success or what not. A lot can happen in one year let alone 20. I actually look forward to the next ten years, because I personally believe that our success will come from this.
How can people get a hold of you?
PHIL: You can email us at [email protected] and find us on most of the social networks by looking up Xenogenda Comix
Where can we buy and/or see your work?
CHRIS: By searching “Xenogenda Comix” in Amazon.com, there you will find our latest paperback publications. You can also search “Xenogenda Comix” any social media. We’re on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc for our latest artwork. We also have a website http://www.xenogendacomix.com/
PHIL: Like everybody in any industry, networking is essential to your name and brand. In the independent realm of comic artists, I find it can be lonely for most. Stop being a loner and network, network, network.
A Little Background…
Our story began when I met Chris Gilbert and Jason Lewis, the three of us were college students in Saint Louis pursuing a degree in general arts. When we met we learned that we were also armature comic book artists in the making and decided to make art together. Regrettably, the three of never actually finished a book let alone publishing one due to creative differences. After a few years went by, Chris and I decided to try again with just the two of us this time, which resulted in the creation of Xenogenda Comix. The name came from the combination of two words, “Xeno” meaning strange or different and “genda” from the word “agenda”. We always had separate characters and storylines from each other but our collaboration combined both worlds creating an elaborate fictional universe. Chris and I are constantly drawing, creating and writing so much, that we spend most of our time putting the work we did years ago together for publication. As independent comic artists, we learned from others before us that it’s important to take your time when publishing your independent work because comic books, in general, are more appreciated as time goes on.