20 Questions Tuesday: 182 - Dave Myers aka "Ballpoint"


I know that I have interviewed other people that I have met on my Internet home away from home, Ten Ton Studios.  The place is really is one of the best hives of scum and villainy I have found on the Internets.  The place is really a collection of insanely talented artists who happen to have the social skills of that annoying kid everyone knew in 7th grade.  You know the kid, the one that always made the “I’m sleeping with your mother/sister/girlfriend” jokes when you know that they cannot even get a date.  Anyway… today’s 20 Questions Tuesday is with one of the artists within the Ten Ton Studios community, Dave Myers.  Dave tends to skew angry in his posts, either on Ten Ton or (if you know him) on the Facebooks.  He enjoys drawing skulls juxtaposed with non-skull like things, but I imagine he is a fluffly little bunny on the inside.  So let’s find out.
On to the questions…
Question 1: Are you a fluffy little bunny on the inside?

 I skew angry?  I’ll have to work on that.
I have been accused on several occasions of being a teddy bear, I have also been accused of acting like a silver-back gorilla, depending on which day of the week it is.
I have never been associated with a fluffy bunny though.
I would say no, I am not a fluffy bunny on the inside, but, I have eaten rabbit before, does that count?

I don’t think eating rabbit equates to being a fluffy bunny on the inside.  I also think I probably should have said “skews cynical” instead of “skews angry.” Question 2: What comic book (as precise as you can be) was it that got you hooked on comics?  For me it was an over-sized DC Superfriends and an over-sized Justice League comic book that I would trace images out of.  

I guess that really equates to having had a formerly fluffy bunny on the inside, anywho.
The comic that got me hooked on comics, that is a 2 parter.
The 1st comic I ever read was What If #23. It was a Hulk story.
That’s when I was like “whoa, comics are rad!!” and I read comics on occasion, when my parents would pick them up for me.
I used to draw while I listened to my Spider Man “rockcomic” LOL.
It wasn’t until I got the Dark Knight Returns, that i was like “Holy SHIT THAT is the coolest Fucking thing I’ve ever seen!!” that’s when the hooks set in the deepest.

It’s crazy.  When you talk with people who enjoy drawing comic booky things, they know which issue exactly drew them in.  My comic book experience that really pulled me in and got the sequential hooks in me was Captain America 237, Captain America 245, and Captain America 250.  Captain America was my guy.  He was the super hero that really made me like comic books.  Question 3: Who was your guy?  What character is the one you first made “your hero?”

That fluctuates.
If I had to pick just one, I go Batman, he’s been the most consistent.
I started with Hulk, I was obsessed with the Hulk when I was a kid. Then I discovered Spider Man, and was really into him.
When I got bit by the Batman bug though, Norm Breyfogle had just started his Detective run, I loved his style.
I stuck to mostly Batman/Detective,but also became enamored with Frank Miller. So then it was onto Wolverine/Daredevil, etc.
Lately, though, my “guy” is Deadpool.
I would give my left arm to draw a Deadpool book.

Yeah, I went through my X-phase with the Clermont/Romita Jr days and then I read properties that I had ties to through toys like GI Joe and Transformers.  Then came the great dormancy of comic book reading which I am slowly recovering from.

I know that drawing comic book stuff is not your job (even though it is what you want to do), so I know that drawing is a large part of what you do during your down time. Question 4: What other activities do you do to eat up your limited to non-existent free time?

I have zero free time.
Between having a new girlfriend, and spending as much time as I can with her. She has 2 girls that live with us, my teenage son lives with us as well, AND we just got a new puppy.
Limited to non-existent are the key words there!!
Its all I can do to stay current with the few TV shows I actually watch.
I used to enjoy woodworking, that was fun when I had a garage, but, I never really dedicated a whole lot of time to it.
I play video games on occasion, Call of Duty mostly.
If I do have a spare minute though, its usually spent drawing, or, lately,  cleaning up dog shit.

So, in the 20 Questions Tuesday: 180 with Paul Gilmartin, I mentioned that my day job is to look at computer representations of holes in the ground.  Question 5: What is your day job?

Day job is I work for an aerospace company as an Inventory Control Manager.
To translate, I keep track of approximately 2.5 mil. dollars worth of aerospace parts in our inventory system. I do this by myself now, while the owner of my company buys $80k sports cars weeks after I have to lay off 3 of my employees.
What was that about cynical again?? … .
Oh yeah, I skew cynical, sorry. Let me re-phrase;
I am happy to have a solid career during these tough economic times !!

I just want to draw … .

I have always found that people who are paying attention tend to skew cynical. A favorite question of mine coming up… Question 6: Cake or Pie? What type of cake or pie is the favorite? (I have noticed while this question is pretty flip of a question, it is surprisingly insightful).
Oh this one is easy.

Pie, … all day long.
More specifically; Key Lime Pie,

even more specifically than that, Publix Key Lime Pie

(a supermarket down here in Fla.) Even though I can’t really eat it any more, I love that stuff!! It’s on my “Death Row Dinner List”

There were Publix’s in Birmingham before I left, although I am pretty sure they have been run out of town by now.  Question 7: Why can you no longer consume said key lime pie from Publix?

No one runs Publix out of town ! ! ! !
Publix decided Birmingham was not worth it’s time.
Publix is like the Chuck Norris of grocery stores, it does what it wants.
I can’t do any sweets anymore because I used to be REALLY fat, I was up to 426 lbs. at one point in time.
I stopped drinking anything carbonated (no beer, soda, etc.) , stopped eating any sweets, and I completely cut out red meat from my diet.
Then I started running, and working out a lot.
Don’t go thinking I’m a pinnacle of health though.
Yes,  I do maintain a fairly healthy diet now, but, that is delicately balanced with cigarettes, coffee, and bacon any time I can get my hands on it.
I have managed to maintain a steady 200 lbs. for the past 8 years.
My girlfriend, my couch, my chairs, and my wallet all appreciate it.

That is some serious will power.  I know that I could not give up red meat and I love cheesecake too much to say goodbye forever to it.  Kudos to you for dropping the insane weight.  Well done!  I have peaked at 250 lbs and since this June I have slowly dropped down to 230-ish.  I need to continue down to the 200 area, so that is a 2012 New Year’s resolution.  Seriously, good on you, mate!  The fact that you have done this for 8 years is seriously significant.  Question 8: So, when is smoking going to be in your crosshairs for elimination? It is the last health hurdle…

It’s not.

Its the only vice I have left. Maybe when I get lung cancer or something I’ll consider it.
Until then, cigarettes and coffee are the only 2 things keeping me off of the 11 o’clock news.

Besides, if I keep smoking, I won’t get Alzheimer’s!! So I have that going for me.

It is all a trade off, isn’t it?  I personally just cannot give up my Green Mistress. Mountain Dew is the sugar I just cannot quit.  Question 9: So, what is your geographic story?  Where all have you lived?

I was born here in Florida, about 15 miles from where I live now.
When I was 5, we moved out to Oregon for 7 years, then moved back.
I hate Florida, it sucks down here. I have lived here long enough to earn the right to bitch about it!!
I have toyed with the idea of moving a few times, but, unfortunately, it never panned out.
Now I fear I’m stuck here forever, my girlfriend loves it here.

So you went coast to coast without stopping in the middle for a spell.  It isn’t bad enough that you hate your job, you are such an over achiever, you hate where you live as well.  That’s dedication.

Question 10: Put these three genres in order from favorite to least favorite and justify your answer: sci-fi, fantasy, horror

1)sci-fi - Because Star Wars, that’s why.

2)fantasy - I would have put horror above this , until last week. Then i watched the 1st season of “Game of Thrones” SOO badass.
I like a lot of Fantasy, but, I don’t like it when it’s overly “glammy” or too polished. Like LOTR, I’m not a huge fan, its just too “neat” for me.
I like “grungy” fantasy. If that makes sense.

3)horror - I love some horror movies, not the shitty ones like “saw” and “hostel” those are just stupid gorefests.
I like monsters, and, a plot.

For me it goes fantasy, sci-fi, and then horror.  But to me horror seems to be a sub-genre of other genres.  Alien is Sci-Fi horror, and then the more mainstream horror is either set in the real world with something fantastic added in, which would be like modern fantasy to me. The other big reason I would put horror as 3 is because I don’t like it.  

So Question 11: Have you ever thought about self publishing a comic book through ka-blam or kickstarter?  If so, what is the book’s over arching idea?

I have thought about it several times.
I haven’t done it yet though.
My problem is that, I can’t seem to get together a good team. I’m not a one man show, nor do I want to be.

I can come up with ideas, but, I’m not a good writer, I can pencil and ink, but, I am slow and not very good at computer coloring.
If I could put together a good core team of people, that could commit to doing something, I would pursue it.

The main one I want to do is the one you colored a bit of (until my writer flaked on me and I had to scrap the story and start over). Basically its the story of a hillbilly guy the gets a hold of an enchanted Katana. I won’t reveal the title, because, its one of the best parts of the idea LOL.

Another idea I have is a story about a child that gets infused with the Higgs Boson particle after its created by the Large Hadron Collider, he receives god like powers, and is then hunted by a former over the hill super hero that wants his power so he can be relevant again.

I also have a few others, but, those are the main 2. I’m kind of working with a publisher on a book that may or may not happen some time this year. (that is VERY preliminary)

I loved the property that you had me do some colors on.  I think with how much your line work has progressed, you should re-do some of the pages without as much shading, and let me do better colors on them.  That is my 2 cents.  So what I am hearing is that you need a writer…  we can talk about doing colors later not on this blog… (ooooh cryptic)

Question 12: Since you live in Florida, and you seem to dislike it muchly, where do you prefer to take vacations?

We will have to discuss that further … .

I actually like Florida, its the people I hate.
I know that sounds terrible, but, if you lived here you’d understand.
As for vacations, you assume i have enough money to take vacation?? HA, I go nowhere.
I haven’t taken a “proper vacation” in over a year, and even then it was just to New Jersey.
I was with my ex, which, really can’t be considered a vacation. It was more like missionary work.

Yes, yes, I get it. You haven’t been able to go on vaca, but Question 13: Where would you like to go for a vacation?

Until it melted, I would have said Japan, I’m scared to go there now with all the radiation. I would say somewhere either super tropical (Fiji, the Maldives, Bora Bora etc). Somewhere I can fish for crazy stuff I’ve never seen. Although, a month alone in a log cabin somewhere does sound nice too.

Japan did go to the shitter… both geologically and nuclearly… That was quite a number being done to the Land of the Rising Sun.  But basically you like it hot and wet…. That didn’t come out right.

In college I worked at a Nordic Track as a salesman, I worked at a Barnes & Noble for a bit, spent my grad school days as a teaching assistant, then professionally as a Cartographer/Designer at an A&E firm, then a failed stint in a non-profit, and currently a geo-tech job for the State DOT, and I have done some freelance work here and there…  Question 14: What has your career path been like?

Career path? Christ, that’s a mess.
I had kids real young, so when I was in my early twenties, I had whatever job(s) I could get. I literally worked 4 jobs at one point in time. I worked in a statue factory, worked for a company that made gaudy touristy Florida seashell art, I did some telemarketing, worked construction, etc.

It wasn’t until maybe 23 that I settled down enough to have only 1 job. I worked for a customer service center for 3 years , It was then that I got into tatttooing. I did that as a 2nd job for a couple of years. I had built up a bit of a following, so, I bit the bullet and made that the full time gig. I did pretty well at it for a couple of years, then, all of the sudden out of nowhere, a bazillion tattoo shops opened up, and business got real bad.

So, I went back to a “normal” job. I started to move my focus to doing some graphic design work on the side.

I worked at a medical supply company for a few years, then got a better job offer at a mail order medical supply company. I left that job, almost 6 years ago, for the current job I have now. I have been working for an aerospace company for the past 6 years. (while doing all my “art stuff” on the side when the opportunity presents itself)

HO-Lee shit that is all over the place. So, Question 15: Most tattoo artists have tats themselves, how many do you have? and what are they?

Not as many as you might think.
I have a total of 8, a few of those are numerous tattoos in a cluster though.
lets see, … .

Right ankle - a Snook (fish)

Right Calf from knee to ankle  - hammerhead shark

Right thigh - Celtic knotwork design (done while apprenticing)

Right upper arm 1/2 sleeve - Collage of comic book villains (Joker, Venom, Dr. Doom, and Magneto)

Left upper arm 1/2 sleeve - a big skull with some old school tribal around it, capped off with Celtic knotwork (not my most well thought out tattoo)

Left forearm 1/2 sleeve - This area currently “under construction” I had a big grim reaper with tribal, to which I recently added a samurai on the other side.
I’m turning the tribal into a Japanese Cherry Blossom tree, that will split my arm in half lengthways with the samurai looking over his shoulder, on one side of the tree and the reaper, looking back, on the other.

Left calf (back) - Tattoo machine with hot rod flames around it.

Left ankle -A hodge podge of stuff, I used to test out my machine on my ankle, so there’s a few undefined patterns on ther. LOL, its a mess.

I have one tattoo on my back, that I would to get some work added onto it, make it bigger, badder, and more better bad-assery than it already is… Just hard to part with the money and time to get it done. If you were local I would demand you come out of tattoo retirement and ink something on me.  Demand, I say!  I also think you are selling yourself short on the number of tats you have since you consider a sleeve and partial sleeve to be considered one tattoo.

Question 16: So is there anything I didn’t ask you that I should have?

Hmmm. Lets see . .

I told you not to ask about my collection of midget porn, so that one is off the list.
You didn’t ask about my time in ‘nam, but, I won’t talk about that, it’s just too painful.
We also didn’t cover my extensive Ninja training in the foothills of Mt. Fuji, but, I don’t want to disclose much of that.
sooo , uh, no.

I was unaware of that you are a ninja, Nam vet , short porner.  Good to know.
Question 17: Anything you want to ask me?

Yeah, what do you hope to achieve by interviewing no name, dummies like myself and Steve Willhite?

Answer: I have stated this before in other places when I have interviewed other non-famous people… I usually choose the people that interest me and whom I think answer different questions interestingly.  So far, I have not been disappointed. Everyone I have asked 20 questions tend to have had interesting answers.  Most people in the world are not even famous in a their very particular niche, and they are still interesting.  If I can create a conversation that is interesting for anyone else, it is a great interview.

Question 18: Is there something you want all the people (there are a solid 20 people who read this) to know about you? 25 people… pressure is on…

That depends, are those people looking to hire a mediocre artist for a ton of money? If not, then no.

Hell, If I knew those people, I wouldn’t be stuck at this crap job for the State.

Question 19: Since we are still near the beginning of the year, is there anything you want to say goodbye to from 2011 and is there anything you want to say hello to in 2012?

2011 was both the absolute worst and, at the same time, the absolute best year of my life.

I’m glad that its over, and I really am looking forward to a way better time in 2012
(Until Dec. 21st anyways, when, you know, Quetzalcoatl or Cthulhu will come and end the world.)

For 2011 I am saying goodbye to complacency… I need to keep things moving by myself and not wait for others to make things move for me.  I am saying hello to the fact that one cannot have larger success without some failure.

Question 20: Is there anything that you are taking away from these 20 questions?

I’m taking lots away ! !
I have discovered what an insanely boring person I am, and I am pretty snarky about it.
I am also seeing that I need to take a vacation.

I have also discovered that you apparently have way more free time on your hands than you should.
Go draw something for gods sakes.

I should draw more, but busting out the sketch book at work is frowned upon, even when I am merely watching progress bars slowly creeping across the screen. Emailing people, is something I can do… okay everyone… Dave is available for commissions, and would love for you to buy his work/hire him  etc… check out his website and follow him on the Twitters.

A Dave Myers original

To recap:

More interviews on the way
Just had to search nearly a terabyte of data for some files from 7-2009
15% complete…. been running for 10 minutes
So’s I have some time on my hands
Yeah me
The game is afoot, Watson!
Do you have your service revolver?
Bring it.  Things might get touchy
I need a haircut, but nearly as much as Little Man needs a haircut
Gonna have something cheap for lunch today
42% complete…. 1 hour in
Have a great weekend everyone