Written by Neil Greenaway
At Denver Comic Con 2016 I had the chance to sit down and talk with Ben Mikkelsen of Six Eleven Comics about his take on publishing indie comics. This interview originally ran on Bleeding Cool on 6/19/2016, and you can read their version of it here.
Neil Greenaway: We are sitting here at Denver Comic Con 2016 with Ben Mikkelsen talking about his comic Stuffed. So, I understand issue 2 just came out. For the un-initiated, what is Stuffed about?
Ben Mikkelsen: Stuffed is about an inner city kid named Sam. He comes from a broken home, is tormented by bullies, but his biggest issue is that he is haunted by demons. He eventually finds a stuffed teddy bear in an alleyway and when he touches it, it becomes a giant guardian bear.
NG: That’s awesome. What are the plans for this series at this point?
BM: I’ve got the next 2 issues, so out to 4 issues, ready to go written. I’m working on them as I go. I am hoping to collect all 4 issues as a trade and then do a compilation anthology book. I’m hoping to do as many as I can get out quite frankly.
NG: All right. And are you both the author and the artist on this?
BM: Yup. Author, penciler, inker. I do the text, I do everything.
NG: You also have another series, the Ghosts of Starfall, that you are doing.
BM: I do.
NG: Can you tell us a little about that book?
BM: That book is a sci-fi military space opera about two ex-black-ops guys who get torn out of time during a mission. And it’s basically them trying to figure out who attempted to kill them and why. And since they have been removed from time, everybody thinks they are dead so they are kind of clean slated in that sense. We are hoping to get another issue of that pretty soon. My writer has been working on it for a while, but you know - life happens.
NG: So you are just the art on that one?
BM: I just do the art for that one, yeah.
NG: Who’s the writer on that series?
BM: It is Adam Boyle, I believe you can find him through the Facebook page.
NG: Aside from those two books, are there any other projects that you’re working on?
BM: I’ve got a project that I’m working with a writer on, not quite ready to talk about it yet, but it’s another sci-fi story based around kids though, so it’s a little less adult material.
NG: All-ages sci-fi is always in fashion. I assume that that would be released under Six-Eleven Comics. Just briefly, could you tell us about Six-Eleven Comics?
BM: Honestly, I came to Denver Comic Con the first year and I saw the people that were here and I thought, I could do this. So my wife talked me into getting a table and the next year I came up with Six-Eleven Comics. And it’s just been chugging along ever since.
NG: I wanted to jump back to Stuffed just for a moment, I had talked to you a little bit about this at Colorado Horror Con, and you had said that he was already living a pretty horrible life by the time he realizes that he is also dealing with demons. What were your influences for telling that story?
BM: I had a very good upbringing. I didn’t have an abusive childhood. But being the person I am, I am 7 feet tall effectively and I weigh 350lbs. I have been huge my whole life and I have always been a sort of surrogate guardian for the people I’ve known. I’ve had friends that have had a lot of trauma in their lives. It’s sad, and I didn’t know how to deal with it, because I’m a big guy but I’m not a violent person. I’m not a fighter. It’s just one of those things, I became a surrogate for a couple of people and this is one way to tell that story because it happens a lot.
NG: So in this story you identify with the bear more than with the boy?
BM: Actually, I do yeah.
NG: That is really cool. And when I had spoken to you last you had said that you really couldn’t talk about what was happening with the bear, how he was this guardian. Is there anything more you can say about that?
BM: So, in the 2nd issue the bear takes the boy to the other realm where he’s from and it’s a safe place basically. It’s another world that he can remove to evade the demons or whatever problems he’s got.
NG: I can’t wait to see how this story unfolds. What other projects are you currently working on?
BM: At some point in the future I’ll be working on The Giant, which is another book that is based on modern day Norse mythology that I’ll be doing.
NG: And that will be all you again?
BM: That one is going to be all me again.
NG: I’m a big fan of mythology, so that sounds pretty cool. One last question; if people wanted to see more of you online where would they go?