Interview with Shaun Sunday – Aussie Comics Creator and Game Developing
Earlier this week I caught up with fellow Australian, Comics Creator and Game Development guy, Shaun Sunday, to find out what makes Shaun tick. We talked about a whole range of areas that Shaun’s passionate about. From Game Development to helping out Neurodivergent folks, to Comics and his favourite Less Than Jake album.
Ever the avid supporter of Pop Culture creation, let’s dive deep into the world of Shaun Sunday.
Hi Shaun, how are you going right now? How is this chaotic world treating you?
Shaun Sunday: I’m going well! I just released a new story, and I’m relaxing in the office right now while i’m having a coffee! The world is chaos, but here in the studio, all is calm.
Where in the world are you from?
Shaun Sunday: I’m currently in Brisbane, Australia – but we’re working on getting down to Melbourne soon!
Moving to Melbourne?
Shaun Sunday: Yep. Brisbane is a bit of a desert for comics and visual arts related stuff outside the Fine Arts community, so we wanted to move somewhere with a lot more support and resources for the arts, plus my day job is already down there! Its a big shift, and a slow process, but we’re hoping to be down there early next year.
What projects are you currently working on?
Shaun Sunday: Oh boy, I’ve got so many in the pipeline, but actively? I’m working on a Pathfinder 2E version of my Player Screen to help folks remember the rules during the game, especially Neurodivergent folks.
I’m also working on some general art pinups (including one of the monster from that comic i mentioned!) and working on a few scripts for upcoming books, like Project Big Hype Vol 3! Further down the pipeline I have my card game Duelin’ Dungeons, I want to try to finish it this year to release it as a Print on Demand product.
How did you first get started?
Shaun Sunday: I watched Cheez TV at a formative age, and picked up a pencil later that day. But seriously, all the content I watched on Cheez TV, plus the first Green Lantern comic my older sister got me, and I knew I wanted to make stuff like this one day.
I started designing characters back in my most amateurish stage in high school, where I wrote my first 10 page short comic and illustrated it for my Yr 12 art project, and kept on doodling for years following that, until I got a bit sidetracked by cosplay and propmaking for a few years, until my partner urged me to pick up the pencil again – they could tell I wasnt really happy with the prop-making stuff, and really wanted to get back to my artistic stuff.
Shortly after that I started designing custom minis for Heroquest, then started working on D&D content, and got introduced to Ryan K Lindsay who eventually shot me one of his short scripts to noodle with for my sequential folio, followed closely by working with Frankee White on Project: Starless Daydream.
The rest is history!
What’s your favourite era of creative work by other artists?
Shaun Sunday: Oh boy, that’s a good question!! Honestly I think it’s a mix of the 90s and the 2010s/2020s. The 90s had some really classic stuff like the Kyle Rayner green lantern comics, and there’s just so much amazing indie stuff from the last 15 years. Crowded, The Autumnal, Lonely Receiver and Resonant being a few of my favourites.
Who’s your favourite Green Lantern? And don’t tell me it’s Hal Jordan.
Shaun Sunday: Kyle Rayner all the way, followed closely by Jo Mullein. I’ve always loved the way Kyle uses his ring, his constructs always fascinated and delighted me as a kid and Sojourner is such a strong new voice in the lantern corps, she’s great, she also uses her ring in really creative ways.
Crowded is a fantastic look at consumption and the decline of western civilisation. How did you view that book?
Shaun Sunday: Oh boy I absolutely love it. It’s such a strong criticism of all the worst aspects of society right now, but it’s wrapped up in a such a charming story filled with characters that you just want to keep seeing more of. It lampoons pretty much every topic I could think of that I have an issue with, often in really subtle yet poignant ways.
A lot of the background gags Ro and Ted put into the art really add to that commentary, a lot of them also are just plain funny in a way that really tickles me.
Are you more of a horror or sci-fi nerd? What are your go to films to check out?
Shaun Sunday: Oooh, I would have to say equally both, but for horror I’m more into supernatural horror, especially cosmic horror in comics! Film wise – Dog Soldiers, Love and Monsters, the Robocop series, section 8, Akira, and that’s the main ones I can remember right now that I really love!
Who are your main creative influences and what aspects of your creative work can we find them in?
Shaun Sunday: Oh heck, being someone with ADHD I dunno if I can really nail it down, I have so so many. But I’m really inspired by Art Nouveaux style, and artists with really bold line work like Chris Panda, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt and Liana Kangas. You can see the nouveaux influence in the cover to The Man Who Found The Future and some of my other pinup art.
Who are your go to musical jams to put on while you’re working?
Shaun Sunday: Ska and Sea Shanties, all the way. The Holophonics, The Interrupters, Less than Jake, Save Ferris just to name a few Ska favourites.
Favourite Less than Jake album and justification?
Shaun Sunday: Oh boy, that’s a good question. I mostly got introduced to them through compilation CDs given to me by friends in high school, and have mostly listened to them on Spotify and stuff for a long time so… I’d probably say Anthem out of just their normal albums cause it has the highest amount of my favourite songs.
But honestly, This Is Less Than Jake is my quintessential Less Than Jake experience. Bonus points goes to the self title The Inevitables album that accompanied the comic that Vinnie Fiorello put out in 2021!
What strengths in previous jobs have helped strengthen your creativity?
Shaun Sunday: Having worked in hospitality most of my life, I don’t think I can really say much, other than my exposure to so many different places and types of people giving me a lot to draw from when writing comics.
What weaknesses have you identified in your current project that you’re going to work on in the future?
Shaun Sunday: Learning more about inking, and rendering light and shadow in black inks, for sure! I got a copy of Dynamic Light and Shadow I need to sit down and read to help with that.
Let’s talk about some memories that you had when you first started getting creative? How has this changed from childhood to adolescence to creating as an adult?
Shaun Sunday: Aw jeez, let’s see. Honestly I have trouble remembering that far back with my adhd, but I have some really strong memories from high school of being discouraged by both my art teacher and English teacher from pursuing the mediums and genres I was interested in (one because it wasn’t Fine Art the other because it wasn’t “real literature”) but as I’ve grown older and found my way back on the path, I’ve started achieving my creative dreams and I refuse to listen to anyone who says “don’t” or that I “shouldn’t or cant” do something.
I’m fully open to feedback and criticism, but the best feedback I feel you can give someone is “I see what you’re going for here, and here’s how you can improve it” rather than “you’re doing it wrong”.
What’s the worst nightmare you’ve ever had?
Shaun Sunday: Oh man, I can’t remember for the life of me. I struggle to remember dreams for more than a few minutes after I wake up, as anything more than vague feelings.
Do you have a favourite soft drink?
Vanilla coke or ginger ale!
Who’s your favourite telepath or gifted character in pop culture?
Shaun Sunday: I’m gonna go with Martian Manhunter for cape comics, but my all time favourite is Tony Chu from the CHEW series!
Which creative work would you most like to be remembered for?
Shaun Sunday: The 5E Player Screen – I created it to help people, and I’m proud of how much it seems to be doing that. Out of future work in the pipelines? Probably Snuffles the Indomitable – It’s a story I’ve been percolating since I came back to pursuing my art when Robin urged me to follow what I love, and I’ve just been waiting until I had more practice writing comics to really get to work on it!
Where can my readers find you online?
Shaun Sunday: Well, you can start at https://www.shaunsunday.com for sure to check out some of my free comics, and get links to all my other work! I’m also under some variation of Brainbeast Studios on all social media!
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