A journey in to the mind of Paul Maniaci

Long-Form Interviews

Comics with Chris Hastings

Chris Hastings

Web Cartoonist
New York, New York



Chris Hastings fell in love with comics as a child reading Disney’s Uncle Scrooge at the supermarket. His passion for comics would take him to the School of Visual Arts in New York City where he would learn storytelling structure, perfect his drawings of muscley superheroes, and launch his popular webcomic Dr. McNinja. The Career Cookbook was fortunate to sit down with Chris who happily shared his advice for entering the challenging field of cartooning, his thoughts on creating comics, and what he has in store for Dr. McNinja in the future. 

CCB: When did you first become interested in comics and how did this translate into making your own? 

CH: Well, I've been reading comics since I could read like the Disney Uncle Scrooge comics at the supermarket and also Casper the Friendly Ghost. It's a shame the way comics are going but back then comic books were on the shelf at the checkout at the supermarket. You would see these characters that you recognize from cartoons on TV and you would want them. It was like a dollar so mom would get me comics at the supermarket. I didn't have too many of them, would reread them all the time. Then getting to superhero comics started with the JC Penney's catalog. They had a pack of miscellaneous Spider-Man comics as a Christmas present. I really liked the Spider-Man cartoon and I saw that and I wanted some Spider-Man comics. And that's how I started getting into the superhero stuff.

I've always been drawing. It seems like all children draw but at some point in their lives they decide they can’t and they stop. I never decided to stop. I am just really terrible at everything else, just terrible. (Laughs) In school comic making, drawing, was what I was good at. I liked to draw superheroes and I liked to read comics. It seemed like it was the best thing for me to do and it wasn't until I was in college I realized that I really appreciate the art-form and the sort of work that has to go into it. I was really lucky actually going from liking to draw muscley guys to then actually later on finding out the story is something that I'm really into.

CCB: Do you remember the first time that you actually wrote a comic? 

CH: It's really shameful that I actually did not draw a lot of comics as a kid. I would draw illustrations. I would make comic book characters. I would draw them but I would never draw a comic. So, I would have all these stories in my head and maybe I would draw scenes from them but never like an actual comic. I really didn't start drawing comics until I was in college. Just shameful. Shameful. (Nods his head in disbelief)

CCB: How did you learn about comics? Was that at SVA (School of Visual Arts in NYC)?

CH: I learned how to make comics at SVA. I really thought that going to SVA, the Cartooning Program, it would be like going to a Painting Program and you learn how to paint. I thought you are in a Comics Program you would learn how to draw in a comic book style better. But I was so wrong. Thankfully. It's all about how to tell a story with pictures.

CCB: Now we have a fan question from Kagi K. Ferguson in Omaha, Nebraska. She says, “I read online that you went to The School of Visual Arts in New York. How did your education there help you grow as a comics creator?”  

CH: It is what made me a comic creator. I owe very much to my SVA education. I was about to say everything, but then what if my parents see this. At SVA to be taught by top comic legends who themselves worked on stuff such as Batman and Daredevil…to get to learn from these guys and of course you're going to pick up something. I remember thinking every day I was learning something new that was absolutely fascinating to me. My goodness you can use composition as symbolism and that will affect the way your story reads. I see comics must first be legible, second entertaining, and nothing else. That makes a lot of sense. You have to be able to read them and that's where you have to make pictures that one look good so that you can tell what you're looking at and then two look even better so that people want to look at them. I remember being amazed thinking how did anyone pick this stuff up without this school? I think that was just because I didn't know anything. 

From the bottom up I learned how to make comics at SVA. Then making Dr. McNinja was me taking all of my tastes in everything else and trying to put that into a comic. One of the great things about comics is that it's just total freedom. You can tell whatever type of story that you want. It's a great do-it-yourself kind of thing. You don't have to be a great prose writer to make comics or you don't need a movie budget to tell anything you want. So I was able to take what I learned doing comics and then do whatever I wanted.

CCB: What is your definition of a comic book and how is that different from a graphic novel? 

CH: Oh no! (Laughs) I just think that a graphic novel is somebody trying to make comics sound more high brow. I think it's silly. I think they should all just be called funny books. I guess the way it goes is that graphic novels are the thicker ones that you can put on your bookshelves and then comic books are the thin ones that you put into a plastic sleeve and then into a file box. Comic books are cheaper and graphic novels are more likely to get a movie deal from an independent film house. I’m kind of against the whole calling comics graphic novel thing. The way you label it does not affect the content. It's a comic book.

CCB: I found out that you interned at Marvel comics.

CH: At Marvel graphic novels.

CCB: Can you talk a little bit about getting real-life experience and how that could be beneficial to learning about comics?

CH: It definitely is. An internship at Marvel, it was a very fun job. I did learn a lot. What's funny is that I did not work in the editorial department. I forget the name of the department but I think its something like Creative Services. Basically I dealt with the licensing and the merchandise. I learned some really great technical skills there and I still got to meet with editors and chat with people. It's kind of silly because it's such a technical thing but the best thing I learned at Marvel was how to use a wacom tablet. Which is a tablet that you actually use a pen to draw on the screen with. It's very awkward when compared to a mouse. That and the pen tool in Photoshop which is the way to draw in a perfectly vectorized line. That means that you're basically drawing out a calculation that can infinitely zoom out and can be as big as you want. But if I didn't know that stuff I wouldn't have been able to make the T-shirts that I did at first. I would not have known how to work properly with screen printers. I learned a lot of technical things and I learned a few things about making comics but that was mostly during lunch meetings. 

I think that internships are very useful. It really comes down to you need to seek out the people who have already been successful. And get them to teach you. There are actually webcomic internships. Some people who run a studio that could use an intern. I think those people have been very happy with their experiences. 

CCB: How did Dr. McNinja come to life? I read that it started out as an avatar that you used for the Something Awful forum? 

CH: I used to do a lot of Photoshop collage work, to make fake photographs of weird things. You use Photoshop to make it look like it's a real photo and it is a lot of fun. I still enjoy to do it when I have the chance. For example, a certain image that looked like Sonic the Hedgehog but realistic. I took this winding dirt road through a green meadow and then I found the hedgehog and I found a fox. Then I altered it up so I made the hedgehog blue and he had a dust cloud behind him as he was blurring down the road. The fox had two tails and these golden rings on the road. I tried to combine these all together so that they looked realistic. All the elements were in the place they should be. That was a long tangent. Anyway, I would like to do this type of work so I wanted to have a cool name assigned to it. I came up with Dr. McNinja combining words and seeing what sounded funny. I liked the sound of the name. 

After that I thought what would a Dr. McNinja look like? I came up with that and then there was this thing on the forum which was kind of like improv comic making. Where somebody would draw something and then the next person would work off of that and then drawn the next panel. Everyone would use their own characters which were based off of their avatars or their name. That was the gimmick. I drew Dr. McNinja with these other forum characters and people really liked Dr. McNinja. I thought maybe I should go ahead and give him some stories. 

CCB: And it just grew from that?

CH: Yeah. I knew I had a summer class coming up where I had to make the comic and I could do the Dr. McNinja comic. I spent some time thinking what sort of world would support a doctor who was also a ninja? What's his background? I say McNinja which is a family name so he must be from a family of ninjas. How does that work? My ideas built off of each other.

CCB: Is there a typical day on the job as a web cartoonist?

CH: Well, for me as a web cartoonist there's a lot of entrepreneurship. There is a lot of work that you have to do with running your own business. I spend about half the day drawing or writing the comic depending on the day. Usually I spend one day a week which I spend for writing a week's worth of comics. The rest of the week I will draw the pages. I can do that in about half of a day working on the comic and the other half of the day I just have a bunch of miscellaneous projects that I'm working on. I might be answering e-mails that I've fallen behind on or if I'm getting close to the end of the story I have to start working on the next story. I have to design merchandise or maybe hunt down some old contract I'm not sure about. It's all types of random stuff that takes up the other half of the day when it comes to running a business out of your house.

CCB: That one day that you spend writing do you just put down the text and then try and figure out the images at a later point?

CH: Yeah, exactly. I write in a kind of classic script way. It's the way that Denny O'Neil, a Batman writer, laid out in a book of his that I read. It's sort of become the standard. It's not like with movie scripts where people do use Final Draft and there’s one way to do it. People can write comics just about any way they want. Basically I lay out a page, one panel, and now describe the art that happens in that panel. Then I will write Dr. McNinja and what he has to say and maybe a sound effect. Then I will write panel two and what I'm going to be drawing in it. It helps me organize the thoughts. I can't just sit down and do a page and draw the comic because I won't know what I'm supposed to do. That's what I do on Mondays usually. (Laughs) 

CCB: How did you get your start in comics professionally? Was this through the creation of your website, drmcninja.com

CH: Yes, it was. I wanted to make Dr. McNinja and I wanted to go through a small publisher. I had a comic book mindset through most of my education. I didn't think of webcomics until I was close to graduating. I thought I'm going to try and publish Dr. McNinja. I'm going to make up the pitch package and send it out to publishers and one of them is going to take it because it is brilliant. I'll publish it through them. Then I'm going to get all sorts of press and attention and be a millionaire. But nobody would take it, nobody wanted it. (Laughs) I was actually told by one publisher that it was not ridiculous enough. Sure showed them. So after being rejected by these publishers if I wanted to get it done I had to self publish it or have to keep working on it and keep submitting it which would take forever. There would be no gratification in that and so I knew that I would have to self publish it if I want to get it out to people. When it comes to self-publishing you have the option of the Web or you can save up your money from the day job and then take them to conventions and try to sell this unknown comic book with hundreds of tables of other people doing the same thing and mostly it's garbage. It's hard to convince people to lay down money on something they've never heard of or seen before. It just seems like a lot of work for not a lot of readers or money. So, I thought with the Web I already have people who've read my comics because I put them up on the Something Awful forum. Then when I was done with the comic that I did for school I put that up on Something Awful so I will have an instant audience if I put this up on the Web.

I started to see that other people were making money from webcomics by selling T-shirts and advertising and I thought maybe I should look into that method. I figured out how to adapt my comic from a long comic to serialization and figured out how that would affect the storytelling. I needed to figure out what type of update schedule I had to keep to keep people engaged. What size the comic page should be so it still works in a book when I am all done with it. Yeah, I put it on the website and seven months later I came out with my second T-shirt design. I work with a screen printer and I take pre-orders so people will pay for the shirt two weeks before I actually get them printed. They don't seem to actually mind the wait. And with that money I will print up a whole lot of them at the wholesale price and that will help me finance further prints. I made a T-shirt that said, “What Would Batman Do?” and crazily it made more money than I was making in my day job. I was quite done with my day job at that point so I quit and I kept making T-shirts and making comics. As the comic grew in popularity I sold more shirts and have been able to make a sustainable living off of it. I also have two guys that work with me on the comic and I am able to pay them a pretty good part-time wage. 

CCB: Once you launched your own website how immediate was the response?

CH: After I had the website ready to go I posted again on Something Awful. “Hey guys, remember that comic I did a year ago? I re-launched it and here it is.” I had a couple of thousand people reading the comic immediately and they would come back the next day. But what really kicked it off was I had the Something Awful people and I also had a cameo of another webcomic, the T. Rex from Dinosaur Comics by Ryan North. I originally had asked Ryan if this was OK. I was originally trying to get this book published. Can I have this cameo? He said, “Yeah, sure and I really like your comic.” When I didn't get published I put it on the Web. So I told him it's on the Web now you can read it. If you want to tell your readers about it you can and he did. And instantly I had a readership of 5000 people every day. And that's insane. I never expected that. 

CCB: What is your readership around now?

CH: It stays about 100,000 people a day.

CCB: Holy smokes!

CH: I know. That's a lot of people. (Laughs) I think it peaked out a few months ago with about 160,000 people a day and then it dropped. I think it's now about 140,000 or 120,000 people a day.

CCB: What comics influenced you apart from the Disney stuff?

CH: (Laughs) I am really influenced by the classic Marvel and DC comics. I like to read the current stuff a lot. It's really entertaining but I don't get a lot of inspiration from it. As far as inspiration, I read the stuff from the 60s because it's just crazy.

CCB: What was the stuff from the 60’s? 

CH: Spider-Man mostly. Stan Lee’s stuff. It's just crazy stuff that they would come up with. They had it on such a fast timeline and it was just disposable art for them. They would just put it out there, ten cents, you throw it away and then you're already working on the next book. I really just like the artistic sensibilities that they have. Other influences are mainly 80’s action films, particularly Arnold Schwarzenegger films. I just think they're hilarious and I love the blatant spectacle of them. It's all explosions and muscles and who cares about anything else. I think that's a lot of fun. Also, I mixed that with this kind of surreal sense of humor I've come to appreciate. I do not know if I have it so much but I love to see weird artwork and I brought that into the comic as well. Sort of a combination of all that stuff and a healthy dose of Ninja Turtles. 

CCB: This is another fan question for you from Brendon in Kingwood, Texas. He asks, “Whose art style do you feel you emulate most with the Dr.McNinja series?

CH: I mentioned the ‘60s Marvel stuff. I honestly never really fell so in love with one comic book artist that I set out to emulate them. I may take a thing or two from one artist that I like or another artist that I like. It's really influenced by anything I see that I think might work with my style but mostly it started out with clumsily trying to adapt what the real-world looks like. You know with line art. And that's kind of just merged with me now and my inker he's got his own artistic sensibilities that he takes over and then the colorist comes in with his and altogether it comes together. It is something that's not entirely how I draw but it's sort of been something like it.

CCB: Are there any advantages of having your comic primarily on the Web?

CH: Yes, there's a lot. The biggest thing is the audience. The biggest thing with comic books today is it’s truly hard to find them if you're not really, really interested in comic books. They aren't in the supermarkets anymore and they aren’t really made for children anymore. There are a few really great comic book shops that are fun to go into and shop but a lot of them are just kind of creepy and dark and you don't really have many helpful employees there. It seems like guys set it up as a place for them and their buddies to hang out and make some money from it. It's unfortunate that an entire industry’s’ business model has been based off of that. 

With webcomics it’s comics for free where you keep your computer at and that attracts a lot of people who don't read a lot of comics. Most of my readers certainly do not read comic books just because it's hard to get into comic books now. But with mine its for free and that's enticing. I imagine if Batman were free and online he’d have a much larger readership than me. As it stands right now more people read me than read Batman comics. And I think that's insane. It just goes to show you, you get a huge audience and then you get that many people going to your website and you can sell a few of them some stuff. And that's what I do.

CCB: How do you decide how much text will be in each frame versus which ones will be predominately drawing? How much text is too much text for a comic?

CH: Actually there is a specific number. You should have no more than 35 words in a word balloon.

CCB: That’s just the standard?

CH: It's sort of just developed as the standard. Anything over 35 is too many. Now when you get into the question of how many 35 word balloons you put into a page that’s a tricky matter of taste. Reading a comic book should be very easy. You shouldn't even realize that you're reading the words. The pictures and the words need to work together to create a language of its own and if you have too many words that really ruins that and it sort of becomes a book. It's kind of funny people who would sit down and read a 500 page novel will blank out if there are too many words in a comic. It's something to do with your expectations. It just so happens that lately there have been many pages where there aren't many words as Dr. McNinja has been alone so he has nobody to talk to and he’ just doing stuff. It kind of surprised me and I thought I didn’t write any dialogue for this page.

CCB: How do you draw characters in different action positions? Do you study live models or manipulate figurines to match the position you were thinking about?

CH: All of the above. You try anything you can to draw a decent looking person in an interesting pose. I have taken pictures of myself, I've stood in front of the mirror. I have looked for images of people doing back flips. I rented Jurassic Park. Anything you can do to try and draw better you do. You reference everything. It's as simple as how often do you see a Coke bottle? But you probably can't draw it perfectly from memory.

CCB: Do you have different templates for comic pages (with different sized boxes) pre-made, or do you change the size of the box depending on your drawing? In other words, what comes first the box or the drawing?

CH: The box comes first. It's actually kind of funny, that was one of the things that used to intimidate me about drawing comics before I was in college. I was like, God, do they actually rule out all those boxes? That must be really time consuming. I go by a couple of different guidelines for the boxes. Mostly it has to do with what is the most important moment in that page and that gets the biggest size panel and there is sort of a hierarchy in that. But also the panels in the space between are comics’ way of handling time. Time doesn't actually exist on the comics’ page. Time is happening all at once. But people have learned that this panel is one moment then the next moment time has advanced. 

You can manipulate that sense of time, like say you have five panels and they are all around the same size. The reader will think that this is a sequence of action that all takes the same amount of time to happen. But, if you change it up time gets a little funny again and you're not exactly sure. That has a lot to do with determining the amount of time. For example, if I need a complex action where I want to show somebody pulling back his fist and punching a guy I’ll have like two panels about the same size on one side and I’ll have a big one next to it where we see the guy go flying. So you see the punch in its two actions and then you have the big shot of the reaction which is more exciting. Then you might have a page where all the action is pretty much equal and then you might have a grid. I like working with grids because if you have the same panel size for each one that challenges me more to make an interesting design within the drawing of the panel. I also think its fun to mess around with the panels and see what I can do. 

CCB: We have another fan question from Chris "I AM the Drama King" Jones. He asks,” How much of your influence for writing is driven by your fans and/or current events?”

CH: Not a lot. It hardly comes into it at all. I think I had Dr. McNinja make a joke about not being able to get a bank loan. (Laughs) Not even. He was talking to a guy who'd gone to the mob because he makes bad decisions and Dr. McNinja said, “You can go to a bank for that.” Then I said, “Not anymore.” I think that was the closest I got to current events and then the one issue referenced horrible sensationalist evening news. And as far as the fans I don't want them to be able to claim content or ideas in the comic. It has to be a singular voice not just for legal reasons but because it’s my comic. It's not a collaborative art piece although those are nice in their place. 

CCB: Brenna Proczko in St. Paul, Minnesota asks, “Do you collaborate with your inker and colorist on plot points or is that crazy storyline all you?”

CH: It's pretty much all me. Kent requested that we do a zombie story. He just wanted to draw some zombies. So I said, “Okay, I will come up with a zombie story.” Anthony, the colorist, contributes a little bit. He's really good about contributing to the mood with the scene and his effects can kind of really do a great job of altering things. 

CCB: How you do collaborate with the inker and the colorist as far as putting together the comic?

CH: Kent (his inker) and I have developed a really great rapport and relationship as far as working together because we've been working together since college. We did a couple of thing in college for class projects where I penciled and he inked. When we lived together in the same dorm it was great because he just lived one floor above me and I'd be like I have some pages and I would come and I would have my pencils and we would chat. Here you should put some texture in the ground or do some reflection in the water. I drew his face in the water here but I want you to make it wavy. That's the sort of thing that an inker will handle. Then there came a point where I had an understanding of what he would do and he understood what I needed him to do. So I'll just send him a page and my pages look kind of sketchy sometimes. I don't work out all the details because we have a trust where I know I don't need to draw every leaf on the tree. He knows how to do that. I don't have to worry about the shadows, he knows where they go. That's how our relationship works out. Now that I don't live with him anymore, I FedEx him the pages once a week. When he does them he scans them and e-mails them to me. 

Then with the colorist I do a little bit of photoshopping, tidying up, and I send it to the colorist. And then we just recently started working together so I give a lot of notes. This is what this temple looks like. Put some clouds in the sky here. But it's really interesting where you tie things in here and I got some panels coming in from the ceiling. I have a really sort of bluish moonlight kind of thing coming in, reflected light coming through the building. I mention that it's happening so he knows he will turn this into a color scheme. He works with dramatic lighting and it adds so much to the scene. Here's how this looks and I'll say you need to put some texture on the rocks here. I like the laser effect, the laser looks good but you need to have some more intensity. Get some intensity to the lasers! That is an actual conversation. Anthony (his colorist) seems to know what I'm talking about. He's very good at taking an idea and elevating it to something I couldn't even imagine. Then when he's done with the file he sends it to me and I convert it to a small Web browser size image and it goes online.   

CCB: Do you draw everything first by hand and then scan it into the computer?

CH: I start by drawing the comic in pencil on a “10 x 15” paper. Good quality stuff. And that's what gets mailed to Kent and he goes over it with like a brush or a pen and then Anthony does the coloring. 

CCB: What's the difference between what the inker does and the colorist?

CH: The inker just works in black-and-white and just with my line art. He is technically tracing my drawings with ink.

CCB: It’s very Chasing Amy.

CH: That’s where this is headed and that will haunt this discussion until when Kent and I die. What happens is line art is great with pencils but it gets smudgy and sketchy. You are building it up and it does not look nice and finished. So what the inker does is he makes it suitable for print, he makes the final version of this. It's a completely different skill set because working with ink takes a very different sort of hand than working with a pencil. You find that you are finally working with real shadows and textures. I'll have the skinny line that he will turn into something that manages to evoke shade and texture and the actual form of something a little bit better. It's just the way the comics have been made for a long time. And then the colorist takes that line art and adds color. He’ll add more texture and shade. It's a weird relationship between all three of us but it combines to make something really nice looking.

CCB: What do you need to succeed as a web cartoonist?

CH: The biggest thing is once you have your talent, which is genetic on some level, is you have to love to practice and work at it without any sort of payback for it except for the satisfaction of just making the comics and drawing and the satisfaction of improving as you do so. You have to love it enough that you’ll go out and seek out your own opportunities because unfortunately there isn't really a good set way to make this a career. It's not like if you are managing a McDonalds and you start with the fries and work your way up. Then corporate takes notice and you work in an office there. It's not so set. Every single working cartoonist has an individual success story, even in print comics and newspapers. Everyone made it for themselves. It's just a weird luck thing you have to figure out. You figure out your own way of doing it. To do that, you have to really love making comics. Even people who love comics who I went to school with, I guess they didn't have enough drive to make it for themselves. Some of them are still keeping at it and that's what it takes. I've succeeded way too quick, that never happens. It's going to go away. It's a fluke. (Laughs) You have to work at it. You have to work at meeting other artists that are great, seeking out the information to get better

CCB: Can you talk about how you have been able to sustain yourself as someone who is self-employed?

CH: Yeah, you just have to keep at it. Personally my way of making money is I pretty much just sell T-shirts. It turns out I'm pretty good at designing T-shirts. Not all cartoonists do that, but that's what worked for me. I sort of adjusted my business model towards selling T-shirts. That started out with just putting Dr. McNinja on a T-shirt because I knew some people wanted that. I then realized I couldn't just sell Dr. McNinja T-shirts. People want to wear something that other people will recognize, and it has to tell something about who you are. I learned that I had an audience that had certain sensibilities because they like the comic and so I thought what sort of T-shirt would a person who reads my comic want to wear? I started pretty basic by taking funny concepts from my comics and re-conceptualizing them for a T-shirt. I drive traffic to my T-shirt store through my webcomic knowing that I have an audience that will like that. I also now sell T-shirts to people who don't read the comic. I get a lot of money from selling T-shirts on its own site. I also go to comic conventions and there are people who don't read the comic but they see a T-shirt and like it and that's 20 bucks. I also have books. I sell a good amount of books. 

CCB: This is another fan question, from Eric Sandberg. “What characteristics do you share with Dr. McNinja?”

CH: Well, I named his mother, father, and brother after mine. That's about it.

CCB: What is the most difficult part of your job? Is it staying motivated?

CH: Time management is the biggest challenge. It's the same case with everybody that I talk to. Everyone who is self-employed wastes time. When you work for someone else you're counting down the hours until you have to leave and when you work for yourself you never have enough time. Every day you go to bed feeling as if you have failed. (Laughs) Recently I have started a schedule and that seems to help.

CCB: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

CH: Well, I hate every other job that is out there and I'm really happy that I don't have to do those. (Laughs) I really, really like to make comics and its something I'm good at. And I'm not good at a lot of things. It’s terrific that I have found a way that I can live the way that I feel like and that's just the greatest dream of all. I say this with the negative of ego; Dr. McNinja is bigger than me. He means something to other people that I don't necessarily see myself. That is not a testament to me being a great artist or something like that because that's just the nature of story and art itself, that everybody pours their own interpretation into it. I think it's cool that I've managed to make something like that. Somebody else can take over Dr. McNinja. He will outlive me. I think that's neat.

CCB: What are your career aspirations?

CH: I want Dr. McNinja to grow media-wise. I would love to make a Dr. McNinja movie, TV show. That would be awesome. Cartoon, would be terrific. I'd like to take the money and reputation of making this comic and use it to do whatever I want.

CCB: Where do you see Dr. McNinja going? Do you feel like there'll be a point when he is done with his journey?

CH: I feel that Dr. McNinja is one of those characters, is a franchise character. He is very much a Capt. Kirk or a Spiderman. They can go on and do whatever they want forever.  It's a character that can be plugged into anywhere but there is probably a limitation of how many stories I can come up with for him before they begin to get stale. I have resolved that there will be a point where I stop making it but I will probably pass it on to someone else. I imagine at that point I want to do something else. For now every story that I come up with fits for Dr. McNinja and that's fine.

CCB: Is there anything else that you really want to accomplish with your career?

CH: There's a Batman story that I want to do. (Laughs) I kind of have my own opinions and ideas about Batman and I would like to express them officially with DC. That’d be fun. That's sort of a lark. It's not the end-all be-all of my career. I like making stories and I like getting them to people. I like making enough money that I don't have to do anything else. As long as I can keep doing that, that's a happy life. 

*See what types of adventures Chris and Dr. McNinja are up to at drmcninja.com*