There was a lot that former Hawkeye and Minnesota Viking Christian Ballard had to say along with pictures that didn’t fit into the longer piece in today’s edition of The Daily Iowan.
Photos of Ballard, along with some of his work and quotes can be found below.
(Photo creds: Caley Jacobsen)
On his graphic novels Special Forces and Azrael’s Fall:
The goal is to make a four-chapter graphic novel for each and drop it by the end of next year. We’re going to start off by dropping the first chapter in January of 2016. Hopefully we can get enough interest and enough people to view it that we can continue to make the second, third, and fourth. I have plans to make a thousand, but I can’t really do that until I establish myself with these first ones.
My Azrael’s Fall comic is such a… not a repeated comic, but such a subconsciously known comic. You know it already. You’re going to read it and know it. Whether you see Anubis in there, or you see Azrael — who is the German folklord, the archangel of death, or you see Hades — all these people are going to be in my comic. You see it all the time in movies today, there’s Clash of the Titans or whether it’s Percy Jackson, you see it. But, you don’t ever see them together, you don’t see them in the same realm.
On his plans for the future:
Hopefully this all leads up to something bigger which is like a big collaboration of artists and amateur artists and being able to display their work. That’s what I want to build my company off of. I love the idea that I can make art for the rest of my life, but I think it’s a much better idea to promote other artists and get their stuff out there. Let them get a taste of what the industry is like and let them do what they want off of their own talents, that’s what I’m kind of shooting for right now I guess.
It’s really hard to get in the industry. Being an artist is harder than being a football player, honestly. Or being a basketball player — there’s less comic book artist and writers in the world than there are starters in the NBA. That should tell you how hard it is to get in there. All lot of people see the competition and hear how hard it is and quit. But I think if we have our own company, our own group who can produce things rapidly and at a constant rate, that’s one of those things that keep people around.
A lot of these kids start off with no money and then they push something out and it makes them no money, so their just a statistic because they’re not going to be willing to sacrifice and make that next copy or that third or fourth one that can tie everything together. It’s kind of sad, but with the monopoly of this world and just how Marvel and DC and Darkhorse, how they just kind of dominate the industry, it is hard for some of these kids to get in there.
On his time at Iowa:
At Iowa it was so crazy because, you know, it was really football. Iowa and Iowa’s fans, I love it because everything about it was just football. The fans were awesome, we didn’t have the greatest seasons, but, you know, they were still there supporting you. We didn’t have the greatest players with the best character sometimes, but they still supported them, they still loved them.
On the NFL:
If you’re a fourth-round, fifth-round draft pick, but you have a voice against police brutality, you are not going to be perceived well in that organization, because that’s not their voice. Their voice is to make money, respectively, pay their coaches, pay their players and continue to sell-out crowds. Some people in those crowds might not really care about police brutality, they don’t care that some of these things are happening in the world and for me, all that stuff fueled me to want to do art. I actively went against that so I could keep making money.
If you’re just [playing] to prove people wrong, or to say that you did it — then you’re already putting yourself in a bad position. I think that’s how a lot of people don’t make it. They aren’t up for that their entire football career. You have to give up a lot of your thinking and your morals to become what they want you to be. That wasn’t in my nature.
On what he feels his purpose in life is:
I’m just trying to be this person that enlightens people to the true reality. Not the one that is given to you on a screen, not one that is broadcast to you through corporations or ads or politicians, but the real reality. That you were born, you are here — everyone’s here for a reason. Everyone has a purpose, a mission. Whether it’s helping this homeless person out or giving refuge to someone, or whatever. You have a purpose here and everyone has to accept that purpose. But it doesn’t come through what these worldly notions come from. It comes from accepting that there is something higher than yourself — my mom has been that person that pushed that on me. She says this comic book is going be the thing that emphasizes that and that is why I’m doing what I’m doing now.
More of Christian’s work can be found here on his website.