After years of trying to break into the comic book business, artist Ben Roman’s big break came not by networking at a convention or through endless submissions, but by meeting the right person at Kinko’s. Now Roman’s work can be seen in Tokyopop’s I Luv Halloween, written by comics veteran Keith Giffen, and in The Cryptics, written by Steve Niles.
And this week you can see him in San Diego. I spoke with him to find out how he got started in the business, what he has planned for this week and why he had decided to give away some of his original artwork from I Luv Halloween.
JK: Give us a little background on your career — how you got started in comics, what you’ve done in the past and what you’ve been working on recently.
Ben Roman: I moved to L.A and started working at a Kinko’s in Hollywood. I met someone who worked at Tokyopop and gave him some rejected proposals. I didn’t think much of it since Tokyopop publishes Manga, I never read a Manga or knew who Tokyopop was besides seeing the big bags at San Diego every year. Anyhow, a couple months passed and I get a call from Mark Paniccia, before moving on to Marvel. He dug the art and called me into a meeting. He hooked me up with Keith Giffen, and the ball was off and rolling. I tried getting into comics for many years with no luck, but all I had to do was move to L.A. and get a job at Kinko’s.
I spent the last 3-4 years working on three volumes of I Luv Halloween for Tokyopop. I co-created the Cryptics with Steve Niles, which we are gearing up to do another one-shot for in December. I also did a number of shorts for BOOM! Studios and Ape Entertainment. Besides comic work, I’ve been working as a concept artist for Gentle Giant Studios in their 2-D dept for the last five months.