Arvid Nelson worked on a couple of films after college, ranging from Woody Allen’s Small Time Crooks to Troma Productions’ The Toxic Avenger Part IV. As much as he enjoyed fetching coffee and sleeping in rat-infested warehouses, he decided to drop out and write comics, and he hasn’t looked back.
Ten years later, he finally delivered the coup de grâce to Rex Mundi, his first published work, as well as Zero Killer, another comic he’s been working on for a Really Long Time. He’s written for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Dynamite Entertainment.
Arvid lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with a loving wife, a son, and a large television. He enjoys lifting weights and writing about himself in the third person. His next project is a young adult fantasy novel based on his love of Scandinavian and Celtic mythology, and heavy metal music. You can get in touch with him at arvidland.com.
1) What is your ethnicity?
2) What is your mediums(s) of choice?
Comics! And I’m clawing my way into novels.
3) What scale/ dimensions do you usually work in?
Epic. I love long form stories. It’s easier for me to come up with a series of novels than a short story.
4) How old were you when you began creating?
Been daydreaming ever since I was capable of daydreaming.
5) What were some of your earliest inspirations?
The usual cocktail of Western and Japanese pop culture, but my father also introduced me to Greek mythology at a young age.
6) Who are some of your favorite visual artists?
I love illustrators from right before World War I screwed everything up – John Bauer, Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, Franklin Booth, to name just a few.
7) What are some of the consistent themes in your work and please describe them?
Religion and belief are endlessly fascinating to me, and I think art and storytelling should advance values that further civilization. Racial and gender equality, and economic justice – that’s what I believe in, and those are the values I try to promote.
8) Are there any other art forms such as music, dance, acting, culinary arts, or other creative domains you occupy that we should know about?
My first love has always been singing, but for some reason obstacles have always diverted me towards writing. I was in a band – Reggae, Latin, Hardcore Punk fusion. We were pretty good, if I do say so myself, I and really wanted to make a go of it, but the rest of the band kicked me out. It was pretty devastating. That’s when I turned to writing.
9) Name 3 of your biggest accomplishment in your artistic career?
Finishing Rex Mundi, my best known work. There were a few – many – times I felt like giving up, but somehow I always found the will to carry on.
10) What purpose does your art serve for the viewer?
First and foremost, to entertain. Without that, there’s nothing. But I also try to communicate my values stealthily, in a way that could change the mind of someone who disagrees with me.
11) Do you think it is important for (a) the viewer to have a subjective experience with your work or (b) to know and take the artist’s point of view into account to appreciate your work?
I think viewers always have a subjective story experience, regardless of what an author might intend. And I hope that my own point of view always comes across very strongly.
12) would you consider yourself a relativist when it comes to art appreciation?
I think relativism is poisonous. I mean, yes – there’s a wide latitude for interpretation, but there are limits.
13) Is there any art you don’t like?
I think most modern art is pure con artistry, Picasso being the perfect example. But there’s nothing worse than art that glorifies bad values, like the sculpture of Arno Breker.
like the sculpture of Arno Breker.
14) please expand on your voice as an artist and explain why it is necessary to share?
It’s a mystery, something I grapple with every time I create a new character. What does this character care about? Why do they care? Why do I care? There’s something in my soul, and I need to bring it forward, because I hope it’s in the souls of other people, too.
15) would you consider yourself a socially conscious artist or art activist? Explain.
like the sculpture of Arno Breker.
Yes, but, for me, art is at its best when it transmits a message so subtly the viewer or reader isn’t even aware. If someone shoves a sign in your face with a political slogan, you’ll either reject or accept it based on your
pre-existing beliefs. But if an artist can subtly worm their way into your head... that’s how you change minds.
16) Please name 3 tangible goals you seek to accomplish in your artistic career.
1. Total 2. World 3. Domination. I want my stories to find the widest readership possible.
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