Interview: Dave Beaty at VV Comic Expo – Tales of the Con

Our current intern and Point Man for Verde Valley Comic Expo was the lovely (and talented) PB who spent all of the day working the show floor for us while we coordinated with guests and arranged interviews for him. Today he’s bringing you an interview with Dave Beaty. Beaty has been in the comic book industry since 1994. Mostly known for his work with DC, you’ll find his handiwork in comics such as Batman Inc, Grifter, and more. He’s currently working on the self produced Bushi Tales and is one of the organizers of Verde Valley Comic Expo. 

PB: I was reading Bushi Tales, the comic you handed me at the first panel, and it said on the inside of the front page that your nickname was “Dave (is it done yet?) Beaty” could you explain how exactly you got that nickname?

Dave Beaty: “Well my friend Len and his workman who loves a lot of the old Marvel Comics nicknames like Jazzy John Romita so he put that out to be humorous, but at the same point we’re trying to get the deadline and I kept bugging him like “Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet!?” so he kind of put that in the credits to razz me a little bit.
PB: That’s awesome. So, I was sort of wondering, is there anything you learned from indie comics that you didn’t learn from working for a company like DC?

DB: Actually most of what I was able to accomplish at DC I learned DOING indie comics. Matter of fact, it was because of my work on Bushi Tales that my friend Scott who I assisted in the past with Alpha Flight as a ghost (an uncredited artist) at first. He really didn’t take me seriously about wanting to do comics for some reason even though I worked with him on Alpha Flight  for a year, but when he saw me self publishing Bushi Tales and getting out there he was like “Ok, you’re really serious about doing this.” So he kinda saw me in a different light, and that’s what led me to working on Justice League and everything after that.

PB: So since we’re know as “Tales of The Con” I was wondering if you could give us one more crazy story of a Con you went to, or maybe bring up that story about Dragon Con that you couldn’t talk about in your panel earlier.

DB: Well I’m just gonna say that Dragon Con is a pretty crazy party con, but that’s really for another time. What I can do is re-tell the story from the panel.

PB: Thad’t be perfect.

DB: Alright, I was at “Anime Con” in Memphis TN and I went to one of my favourite restaurants in the area, I was very excited about that, but I had gotten food poisoning from it and I was very, very sick. So about afternoon of the convention I couldn’t stay on the floor and sketch for people anymore so I went up to my hotel room. I was passed out, my wife actually went out because I have family in Memphis so my wife went out with my family members to keep them entertained and visit and whatever. So I was literally in the hotel room sick, passed out, I wasn’t going anywhere.  At some point (I don’t know how long it’d been) I just woke up and the TV had been left on and it was a disaster movie of course. I heard these weird sounds and I thought “OK, it’s just this weird disaster movie.” And that’s when I noticed the flickering lights in the room, and I was like “great, someone’s pulled the fire alarm.” Because normally it’s never actually a fire, someone’s PULLED the alarm. So anyhow I got up, sick as a dog, went out and of course you can’t use the elevator so you gotta use the stairs.

PB: What floor were you on?

DB: I don’t remember exactly, but I know we were at least above the twentieth.

PB: Oh god.

DB: Yeah I remember it was a hell of a walk down, and so, I get in the stairwell, there’s all of these other people  you know, stumbling down the stairs we’re all going down. There was this one old lady, I swear she was gonna have a heart attack and she was never gonna make it to the bottom! We get all the way down to the bottom, we’re all standing around in the parking lot and it’s summer in Memphis. It’s humid, it’s hot, and everyone’s miserable. Some people looked like they were gonna throw up in the bushes. I’m just looking for some place to die, and in CLASSIC ANIME FASHION, one of the kids has a guitar, and starts walking up and down singing “We didn’t start the fire.”

PB: That’s great, thank you for sharing that!

DB: No problem.

PB: Now I have to say, I’ve been walking around here and I’m seeing all the people and all the kids having so much fun in a town that really doesn’t have that much stuff going on for youths. I really have to say thanks for helping orchestrate this. I really think everyone around here really appreciates this.

DB: Cool! I really hope everyone around here had a really great time. I know I want to do it again next year, kudos to my friend Jan (thejanimal.com) who also is a really important part to this convention, and helped me to organize this so hopefully we’ll be able to continue this again.

PB: Well thank you so much for your time!

You can find some of Dave’s work at http://www.bushitales.com/ and http://www.redskirtsonline.com/

-TOTC