IPI #11 – Jonny Hinkle
|Welcome to Indigenous Peeps in the Industry or ‘IPI‘ – an quick interview series that spotlights Indigenous artists, writers, and other creatives working in the comic book and/or video game industry. In this edition, I talk to fellow-Oklahoman writer/artist, Jonny Hinkle.
Jonny Hinkle is an artist, writer, and creator out of the Tulsa, OK area. He started his professional career as an illustrator when he graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Since his graduation he has worked on various projects, including Tribal Force the all Native American comic book. Some of Jonny’s self-published works include Uprooted, a story about an “ancient tree spirit” bent on revenge against the humanity that destroys his sacred land, using a chainsaw to do so and Plague, a story about a time travelling super-hero who fails in his attempt to stop a world dominating alien menace. He was also recently published with Topcow as a runner-up for writing in their publication “Artifacts: Lost Tales #1“.
Michael Sheyahshe (MS): Background info: what is your tribal affiliation and where are you from?
Jonny Hinkle (JH): Being adopted in Oklahoma I have no “official” tribal affiliation. Though from the time I could remember my parents were informed that the mother was Native American. After researching and finding my biological parents, I have come to know that I have both Cherokee and Apache blood and am doing my best to get my Cherokee membership.
|Pencils: Jonny Hinkle|
MS: Did you have a lot of cultural interaction growing up? (Family gatherings, dances, ceremonies, etc.?)
JH: I did not. As a child adopted by a white family, the only knowledge I had of my heritage was that I was Native American. Aside from that I took it upon myself to begin to learn about it, even taking college courses focused on Native American culture and History.
MS: When did you first get into comics?
JH: I have always been interested in comics, ever since I was a child. It wasn’t until I finished college in 2010 that I began to focus working for them professionally.
MS: What is your favorite comic book of all time…something that turns FRI-SUN into a ‘lost weekend’?
JH: That is a hard question to answer, as over time my tastes have changed. When I was younger I couldn’t stop reading about Peter Parker’s Spider-Man, or Rocket Raccoon. Though, as an adult I am more inclined to read stories like ThunderBolts, Suicide Squad, Superior Spider-Man, The Darkness, or other super power related books focusing more on the villains.
MS: What is your specialty in the biz?
JH: I specialize in Writing and Pencilling. While I wish I could color my own work, I leave that to the guys that really know how to make me look good.
MS: Did you get special training and/or education for this?
JH: I did. I have a degree in Sequential Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
MS: What other comics/projects have you worked on?
JH: I have worked with small start-up companies as a penciller and writer, and that never worked out due mostly to the failings of the company.
|“DUEL” – Jonny Hinkle & Raciel Avila Silva|
MS: Have you done any comic books with Native American characters in them?
JH: I worked as a penciller on the book, Tribal Force, for a company called Rising Sun. The property is owned by an amazing creator named John Proudstar. The pieces that I myself worked on were never fully put into publication, but look for John’s book in the future!
I also self published multiple projects in school depicting Native American characters.
MS: Do you have an opinion about Indigenous characters in comics, video games, and/or pop culture?
JH: Yes. They can be awesome if done correctly, and terrible when done incorrectly. I also feel that in the Superhero Genre, historically Native Americans have been cast aside and killed off far too often.
MS: Do you know of any other Natives in the “biz” (comics/gaming industry)?
JH: I know a few illustrators who are currently working in the industry. Jeffrey Veregge is an Amazing Native illustrator who is working for some of the big companies right now.
MS: Any words of wisdom for others (Native or non) looking to do what you do?
|Pencils/Ink: Jonny Hinkle|
JH: Well…if you want to write…then write. Write, Write, Write.
If you want to draw…then draw. Draw, Draw, Draw.
The key to improving at anything is time and practice. I’ve been creating for 33 years now.
MS: Final thoughts/shameless plugs? 🙂
JH: I certainly hope that my career as a comics creator will take flight, and anyone out there who has that same dream, keep pursuing it.
If you would like to see some samples of my work visit: