Arvid Nelson lives in Western Massachusetts with his loving wife, an angelic son, and a large television. He’s written for all the major publishers, he believes in the Oxford Comma, and his biggest claim to fame is Rex Mundi. Follow him at arvidland.com.
What made you decide to work in the medium of comics?
I worked on a couple of movies after college, and I quickly discovered film wasn’t for me. Movies involve a lot of logistics and fund-raising. The artistic process inevitably gets garbled. Comics seemed like a great “shortcut”, a great way to tell a big-budget story for practically no money. So I guess it was a cynical, calculated decision in some ways – I mean, I can’t say I have a burning passion for comics – but at the same time, it was in pursuit of telling the best stories I could, without making compromises.
What part of the process is the most challenging or frustrating to you?
Depending on other people! For instance, a key team member on one of my stories fell ill and stopped producing for a year. A year, Palle! He’s okay now, and that’s by far the most important thing, but it really hurt our momentum. Imagine waiting for a year in between episodes of The Wire or whatever. It breaks your heart.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring comics creator, what would that be?
Well, two things, and they’re related – persistence and forgiveness. By “forgiveness” I mean “forgive yourself for failure”. The more you forgive yourself, the more you’ll improve. And that leads to the other thing – persistence. You will pour your heart into a comic and then let it loose on the world with hope bubbling in your soul… only to be completely ignored. That’s okay. It happens to everyone, or, at least, I hope so, or I’m a total jerk. But if at first you don’t succeed, fail, fail again. Failure never gets any easier, but if you keep at it for a few years and then look back at where you started… you’ll say to yourself “Wow, I have really come a long way”.