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Interview with Jim Zubkavich

Here at Geeklore some of us clutch onto a very dark secret.  It’s one of those secrets that can change your social standing with people, I think the best thing to do is just come out with it. WE ARE ROLEPLAYERS… and one of our favourite games is getting made into a comic, what is this game I hear you cry?  Pathfinder. Here, at Geeklore we were lucky enough to get a few words from the writer himself; Jim Zubkavich.  Here’s what he had to say:

Geeklore: Was writing comics something you always wanted to do?

Jim Zubkavich: I’ve wanted to create comics since I was quite young. I grew up a voracious superhero reader and eventually branched out into more independent comics and manga in high school. Writing comics professionally wasn’t something I thought could really happen and it wasn’t what I planned for. I went to college for animation training and actually worked in animation production for a couple years before moving over to comics and related industry work.

Geeklore:  What do you think makes a good comic?

Jim Zubkavich: Compelling characters and an entertaining story are paramount. Great art is obviously crucial as well, but once the initial excitement of the art wears off, you need to keep people engaged with story and characters. The way the art and story work together makes a big difference between a “good” and a “great” comic. Making sure the art style and pacing matches the text is a big part of making a memorable comic.

Geeklore: Is it good writing for a company that has such a plethora of History?

Jim Zubkavich: It definitely gives me a really solid base to work from. The incredibly well thought out setting makes it easy to imagine characters interacting and build a really solid sense of purpose to everything in the story.

Geeklore: Is the pressure high to get the characters and setting right in such a well know Game?

Jim Zubkavich: There’s definitely pressure, especially since Pathfinder fans are so dedicated to the game and setting, but it pushes me to make the work stronger. I’m enjoying the challenge.

Geeklore: Do you have a writing routine that you stick to?

Jim Zubkavich: I wish I did but, unfortunately, I’m juggling quite a few projects so it’s hard to set a routine. I end up scripting at all hours of the day or night depending on my schedule. It’s especially crazy during the summer when I’m travelling to conventions to promote comic projects and meet people.

Geeklore: what sort of story lines should we expect from this run?

Jim Zubkavich: The first story arc jumps right into the action and introduces our core cast. I wanted to make sure new readers could easily get on board without prior knowledge of the game or fiction line. Everything you need to start is in the first issue. As it moves along we’ll reveal more back story for our heroes and widen their understanding of Golarion, the world of Pathfinder, but for now it’s straight-up adventure and fun character moments.

Geeklore: How much planning do you do for each comic?

Jim Zubkavich: I always start with a general outline and build the main story “beats”, major plot points that need to be covered. Then break I things down by issue and, after that, by page before I start scripting. I’m quite methodical about it so I have a solid plan in place before I script individual scenes or dialogue.

Geeklore: Have you ever Roleplayed yourself?

Jim Zubkavich: Absolutely! I started playing D&D when I was 8 with my brother and our cousins. I played a slew of different tabletop RPGs all through high school and college. I don’t get many chances to play anymore but I still have a ton of nostalgia and good feelings wrapped up in RPGs. It’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about working on the Pathfinder comic.

Geeklore: Is there going to be any more Pathfinder Comics after this run?

Jim Zubkavich: It’s slated as an ongoing series, so my fingers are crossed that we’ll get a really good run with it. Everyone at Paizo and Dynamite are excited to see it roll out.

Geeklore: Thank you very much for taking time out to do this interview.

Jim Zubkavich: My pleasure! If your readers want to keep up with my work, they can check out my blog at or find me on Twitter via @jimzub

Here is some artwork from the Pathfinder comics



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