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October 21, 2009

Deep Discussions with Decapitated Dan: Jeff Balke

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Written by: DecapitatedDan
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Welcome back kiddies. I have lured Jeff Balke into the depths to pick his brain about Sketch Coloring, Badrock action figures driving cars, and even Britney Spears. So check it out.

Alright let’s start out with a short answer section and get the usual out of the way.

Name: Jeff Balke

Age: 30

Married/Single/Dating/Other:
In a relationship/engaged

Pets:
Martini (Poodle mix)

Highest Education Level:
Went to IADT in Orlando for a year then moved back to Illinois (didn’t finish)

High School Mascot: Blue Devil (what I call the pissed off Smurf)

First Job: I was a vendor at a carnival with the game called “FISHING” (hey..it was a quick job..lol)

Favorite place to bust a move:
I’d say the comic store. Why not, don’t we all 🙂

Staying with short answers let’s talk about what you do:

Comic(s) you created Before 2003:
Hmm… nadda. I actually broke in about 2005(ish). I did however create a few comics in HS with a few of my friends… of course not professionally… just something to do in Math and Science class.

2004 – Yesterday:
In 2006(ish) I colored my first comic professionally (Foxwood Falcons – After Hours Press). I was contacted on Myspace of all places to color the book. And let me tell you , looking at that work then to now… WOW! And after that book, I colored Eve: Vampire Diva and Club Vampire (both in the horror anthology called Velvet Rope – Arcana), Sire #3 (2 page spread – After Shock Press), cover to Jesus Hates Zombies (vol. 2) (Alterna), the Secret Cross and the cover to a Columbian book called Secta/Penance (Dream Tales). Currently I’m working on a mini-series for Image, Talon and a few other projects coming out in the Spring.

Today – 2065:
I’m hoping that within that time, I’m working full time in comics doing something… or something in the graphic design field. Hell, I hope I’m still alive! I’m sure it’s not easy coloring while you’re a zombie. ☺

Alright all that stuff aside, let’s get to the meat of the interview:

What do you do when not making comics?
I collect comics still. What the heck, why not? I’m still a big kid. But I also like to people watch, drink Starbucks and all the normal things.

Favorite Britney Spears song?
I actually have a couple of them..LOL! Yeah I know! LOL, but I have to say I like “Stronger.”

You join the Navy and while out at sea, you steal a submarine all to yourself. Joyriding around under the sea, you break down and are trapped for 1 week. What do you do while you wait to be saved?
Try to find the bathroom first of all, but then try and figure out if I get Wi-Fi down there.

When you were 10 and 20 what were you for Halloween?
When I was 10 I was Dracula. But when I was 20, my friends dressed me up as a Geisha… I WISH I HAD PICS OF THAT! They are still in FL! But I would be happy to share with you.

Favorite comic character when you were 11 and now and 91?
Hmmm, its changed here and there. First it was the BLOB (Marvel Comics). Don’t ask me why, maybe just because he didn’t look like the rest of the “characters.” He was HUGE! Then it became Dark Phoenix (still kind of is). She’s just a bad ass! But at the same time I was all about Venom. Just his look, the symbiote and kind of like me at the time I was introduced to him. I was kind of quiet and shy, but then out of nowhere, I’ll turn into this nasty b… well, not a nice person.. lol! Currently, I have to say it’s Green Lantern! What is there to say, I would love his powers.

If I gave you a remote controlled car and your choice of superhero action figure to drive it, who would you choose and where would you take it to play with?
I would use the Badrock action figure. That’s just an awesome looking figure (plus he’s staring me right in the face too). I would go all over with it actually. Just maybe not Michigan Ave. Too busy there.

Back to comic stuff for now. Knowing that Iceman is the greatest hero of all time, why do you think he is so underused?
Well, I’ll say that Iceman is an okay character, but not on my list. He does have a cool (no pun intended) power, but… ehh. The Green Lantern (Hal Jordan). That’s a CHARACTER!! Damn he’s been all over the place and doesn’t take it from anyone!

Alright you’re making a comic about a superhero who is scared of punching because it hurts his hand, so he can never save anyone. What’s the name of the book, and sell me on a quick pitch? Go!
Limp Wrist #1. He can talk his way out of anything… and I mean ANYTHING!

We all know how good you are with the colors, but what did you really want to be when you grew up?
An artist of some kind actually. So I’m not that far off really. Then for a time I wanted to be a producer of music (mostly dance type of stuff). I did work on a couple of groups here in Illinois and was going to help out a group in FL until they broke up.

Where is the real money at in comic creating?
That’s a good question. I would have to say you would have to be Stan Lee. Come’on, he just got $4 BILLION! He’s doing ok. But I would have to say it depends on what you want to do. Everyone makes a different amount depending on what your job is (duh..I know). But I’m happy with being a colorist as long as the projects are coming in regularly.

When you’re making comics, what’s going on around you? Music, what kind? Silence? TV on?
I’m always listening to Sirius Online Radio (BPM – Beats Per Minute). So dance. Keeps me pumped and energized.

10 years from now. Where do you see yourself?
Hopefully working in the industry full time and comfortable.

Alright, we can finish up with a quick word association game. I will say a word, you give me a quick one sentence response.

Sketch Coloring?
Black and white (sketch covers) comic book covers where they are colored with special markers right on the spot to make them ONE OF A KIND!

Werewolves?
Awesome creatures and had someone living across the street from me thinking he was one and howled every night.

Horror Comics?
Are very interesting to color!

Futurama?
Need to catch up on it!

Nancy Drew?
I just don’t think she’s in enough books.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Loved them as a kid and still like them even today (just not as much).

Cheetos?
Call me Chester Cheetah!

The number 3?
Everything always comes in 3s.

Decapitated Dan (me)?
I think he has his head on straight and seems to be a good guy.  ☺

Jeff Balke?
One of the best up and coming colorists and won’t take NO for an answer!

Thanks Jeff, awesome interview.
If you want to check out more on Jeff and his work go to http://www.jbalkesart.com/

Decapitated Dan
decapitateddan@comicattack.net

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4 Comments


  1. Kristin

    Better catch up on Futurama before there’s more to watch!


  2. eli

    Another artist who doesn’t know that Iceman is in fact the greatest character of all time!!! Sheesh… what’s this world coming too.


  3. billy

    I used to really like Zombie movies but I dont care for Zombie comics. I do love other horror comics though.(Tomb of Dracula is #1)



  4. Iceman gets “but… ehh,” and his favorite character is the Blob!? Pah!



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