Interview with Andrew Jackson Obol

Andrew is a comic book creator and illustrator based in Halifax, NS

His works include: The Rock and Roll Rolex (Distinguished Favourite – Picture Book, Independent Press Awards 2020), Longger Jo takes on the Bully, Good Question, Learning to Teach Young Children. 

You can find him at:
Facebook: /AndrewJacksonObol

All images used with permission from the artist.

When did you first become interested in creating comics?
I first became interested in comics as a child at about 8-years-old. I loved to draw the cartoons that I watched daily, for example Samurai X, a Japanese manga-type action animation, was big among my peers. But I must say, editorial comics were my favourite, that is way back when I still lived in Uganda. I could depend on local newspapers and magazines like The New Vision and Daily Monitor to give me my fill of editorial cartoons and comic strips.

Which comic book creators inspired and inspire you? 
My number one inspiration is Juanjo Guanido, comic book artist for BlackSad. His artistic style, humour, and fine depiction of human character through animals hit home for me, and I found that his organic style of drawing and the traditional watercolour application was similar to mine, thus I learnt much from him. I still visit his works once in a while to inspire my works. The second inspiration for me till this day is Dan Barongo, a Ugandan editorial artist who happened to go to the same University I went to. His organic style and fine human anatomy cartoons in The New Vision inspired my style, even as a child, and made reading newspapers fun as I would look forward to seeing his work on a daily basis.

What were your favourite comics when you were a young person?
I loved a soccer comic book series called Super Strikers that came once a week in the newspaper. And Kingo (by James Gayo), a daily comic strip that featured in the newspapers. Phantom and Spiderman also featured as short strips in the newspaper which I followed quite a bit.

What are your favourite comics now?
Now my favourites comics are BlackSad and Black Panther.

How did you learn to create comics? 
I learnt early as a child through my friends as we would draw together. They were really good and I made sure to observe and practice. As I got older, I learnt from Youtube tutorials on how to draw comics.

How many hours per week do you draw/write?
I am not sure but at least every day I draw something for 2 or more hours, depending on deadlines. Mostly children’s books as I work for Friesen Press, a publishing company.

What genre/type of comic is your favourite to draw/write?   
I like drama and adventure comics, drawing from reality. I haven’t written much but if I did, I would write an investigative plot. 

What’s one thing you didn’t know you would have to do as a comic book creator?
I didn’t know that it would be competitive and that I would have to up my game and marketing skills to thrive. The good thing is once you get those two down, you stand out in the industry.

What advice would you give anyone wanting to get into comic book creation?
Keep your mind half full so that there is room for learning. If you love telling stories, consider it a gift which can help you enjoy making comics. Practice drawing daily while remembering to nurture your own style.

4 thoughts on “Interview with Andrew Jackson Obol

  1. Nice Work Andrew! I still watch Super Strikas till today. I’m guessing your favorite character was Cool Joe ( hope I got the name right) he always had a comb in his hair.

    1. Thanks Momo, yes indeed cool Joe the dude with a comb in his afro was my favourite. Thanks for tuning in.

  2. That’s very encouraging bro. I know in the future we have to talk about forming an art school for children in northern Uganda where we come from. So that we breed more talent on this

    1. Yes Dan, building a school back home would be wonderful and an opportunity to breed more artists and comic book creators. We shall talk.

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