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Phoenix Comicon: Artist profile – Heather (H.L.) Martin

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Fallen Inc. by H.L. MartinHeather Martin (AKA H.L. Martin) is the talented writer/artist behind Fallen, Inc., an independently published comic about a demonic turf-war where demons pose as human “paranormal exterminators.” Heather started the Fallen, Inc. project in 2009 and has been a part of the local comic creative scene ever since. She’s often one of the only female creators you’ll find at local conventions and comic shop events.

Heather’s books are darkly humorous and the demonic universe she’s created is very well thought-out and researched. Although this creator is quiet and unassuming, she is passionate about her work and has even been known to cosplay as characters from her stories. She also participates as a member of the local artist support group, Tiny Army, where she is honing her creativity and marketing skills.

As she is busy preparing to participate in the upcoming Phoenix Comicon, Heather was kind enough to take a few minutes to answer our Comicon Nerdvana Artist Profile questions that focus on local comic book creators:

What is your secret origin?

HELL… probably… maybe… I dunno… I mean I was born in Phoenix and seem to run around in a leather trench coat in Arizona summers with no problem, so it really wouldn’t surprise me.

How do you describe your artwork?

I’m told it looks like an Anime – American Comic Book hybrid. I’m comfortable with that description so I’ve taken to just calling it that.

What is your goal/ambition with your art?

To enslave humanity! No. Umm… I’m kind of weird in that my main purpose for my art is simply to draw comics of the demented stories that play over and over again in my head. Making Fallen, Inc. is in and of itself my goal. Now of course, I would like it if it would become even the tiniest bit popular but even if that doesn’t happen I’m still pretty happy!

Fallen, Inc. Tarot CardsWhat projects are you currently working on?

Well, I just wrapped up Fallen, Inc. #3 and the Fallen, Inc. Major Arcana Tarot deck. I’m going to take a short break to promote those and then I will be on to Fallen, Inc. #4!

Who/what has influenced you most artistically? Which artist(s) do you most admire?

Stylistically, probably Tetsuya Nomura, character designer for the Final Fantasy series, although I rather disagree with him on certain design elements, his work is what first got me to try drawing more “realistically.” I take inspiration from a lot of classical art as well.

As far as people who make my brain smile I have to give a shout out to Ryukishi07, creator of Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni and Umineko No Naku Koro Ni. His stories are great, though his proportions are weird, and the facial expressions he draws are awesome. He’s one of the few people who I can actually TELL researched demonology and magic symbols before using them in his work.

Who is your favorite local artist?

That’s a tough one; it’s hard to pick just one! Everyone has such great, unique style to their work.

What is your favorite music to listen to while working on your art?

Lots of Stuff! Mostly creepy anime soundtracks. Stuff from Umineko/Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, Jigoku Shoujo, etc. I love just about anything by Yuki Kajiura, Ali Project, and ZTS. Besides that, I really enjoy classical especially Beethoven and Mozart.

Fallen, Inc. #3What is your favorite movie and how has it influenced your art?

I’m usually more inspired by anime and video games rather than movies but I do credit movies like Labyrinth for my interest in dark fantasy and, of course, Rocky Horror Picture Show for my odd/perverted sense of humor.

What are you most looking forward to at Phoenix Comicon?

Panels! I have two I’m going to be on this year. I will be doing the Women in Comics again but I will also be on the How to: Writing Fantasy Comics!

Are you offering any special exclusives for fans at Comicon?

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to develop any exclusive prints or anything of that nature but Comicon will be the premiere of Fallen, Inc. #3 and the last of the Tarot cards.

What is the craziest thing you’ve been asked to sketch?

I had a gentleman commission me to do a custom tarot card of his original character. I actually quite enjoyed it and it turned out really cool looking!

If you had a superpower, what would it be and how did you acquire it?

The ability to create and maintain alternate realities. A good long think.

Heather’s booth space at the Comicon is yet to be determined, but you should be able to find it. Heather says, “Just look for the Fallen, Inc. banner and a 5 ft. tall cut out of Cuatlaca, the blue-haired girl sporting a sword as big as she is!” You can also follow Heather’s art on FACEBOOK.

2012 Phoenix ComiconArizona catches a lot of heat in the media and from the nation as a whole, but nevertheless our crazy ‘Hellscape’ is proudly called “home” by some of the greatest pop culture artistic talent in the country. So leading up to the 2012 Phoenix Comicon (May 24 – 27), Nerdvana will showcase a series of posts profiling some of the amazing local artists that will be appearing at this year’s convention. Read ALL the Nerdvana Artist Profiles!

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.


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