From the Jamie S. Rich CollectionNatalie 'Tally' Nourigat is a sequential artist living in Portland, Oregon. She was an intern at Periscope studios. She is currently updating an artblog and webcomic Between Gears. Her story Julie Christie!, written by Jamie S. Rich, was published in Images' This Is A Souvenir. She has done several other mini comics and webcomics like Out of place and Over the Surface.
Check out her homepage for all the great work she is doing.
Doug Dorr: What projects are you working on currently?
Natalie Nourigat: I am illustrating a YA graphic novel, working on several personal projects like Between Gears and Over the Surface, and creating a children’s book with my dad.
DD: What is your writing Process?
I kind of disappear for several days at a time when I write; I retreat very far inside of my own head and work through the big-picture stuff like overarching plot, what messages the story will send, and what the mood and scope of the work will be. Writing is more difficult for me than art; I need total focus and I shut down all other operations for a few days to do it.
DD: What Comic/ Trade would you recommend?
My all-time favorites are Death Note, Nausicaa, Scott Pilgrim, Confidential Confessions, and The War at Ellsmere. Some titles from the last year that I’m really big on are Shadoweyes, Foiled, Polly and the Pirates, Pluto, Underground, and Mysterius the Unfathomable.
DD: What Comic/ Trade would you recommend to someone new to comics?
I just recommended 12 Reasons Why I Love Her to a friend. I have also recommended Persepolis, Scott Pilgrim, The War at Ellsmere, Hark! A Vagrant, DAR, Emitown, Ellerbisms, Demo, Death Note, Asterios Polyp…it totally depends on who you are talking to and what they like. Sometimes I just recommend that they go to Floating World Comics and talk to Jason to figure it out!
DD: When are story illustrator, how involved are you in the writing?
I speak when spoken to. Several writers I have worked with will ask for my opinion on plot stuff and I am happy to give it and be involved that way, but I will draw as directed when handed a final script. I’ll only speak up at that point if I think something is confusing or I can make the story easier to understand with a small alteration.
DD: What skill would you like to learn?
I would love to be better at coloring digitally and at watercoloring. I stick to pretty basic techniques, but there is so much cool stuff that other artists are doing! I would also love to do more life drawing.
DD: Do you have a collection? If so, what is one of the items you're most proud of?
What I think of as my collection probably isn’t of much value to others; the trades that I pick up from creators face-to-face at conventions, or are signed or sketched in, retain that memory and are elevated in my mind from my other comics. I have You Have Killed Me from Comic-Con 2009, where I was actually staying with Jamie and Joelle and got to hear a lot of stories from them about the making of the comic. The book has nice notes from them inside, and I read it while camping out overnight for a Miyazaki panel, so that is a special comic to me.
DD: What is your favorite genre of Comics?
I really like when a comic will combine two unlikely genres or feign that it is one and then pull some big surprises on readers. I like superhero stuff when it shows the traditionally unseen side of things, like Gotham Central, Astro City, and Batgirl: Year One. I like comedy, adventure, action, romance, slice-of-life…I like it all! It just has to be done well and not be something that I’ve seen a hundred times before.
DD: Do you have an Ipad? If so what do use it for the most.
No -- I am stuck in 2009! I am really trying to keep my life simple right now, and my flip-phone and Dell laptop are the cornerstones of that philosophy.
DD: What is your favorite TV show/ movie?
Parks and Recreation, HANDS DOWN. So, so funny. It’s my favorite thing on television; I wish that it was required viewing for everyone so that I could talk about it in every conversation I had.
DD: How does the Portland comics culture shapes your work
It’s funny: I grew up here, but I didn’t realize that Portland was a comic city until I was 19 and stumbled onto Periscope Studio and Floating World Comics. Since then, the comic community has helped me to no end in developing my artwork, learning to network and market myself, and meeting the awesome people that I call my friends. When you know even 10 or 20 local professionals that you can meet for coffee and ask, honestly, your tough questions about working in comics, the whole world becomes a lot easier and you feel like you have a network of support and encouragement. It’s immeasurably helpful. I owe a lot to the people who have taken the time to help me find my way in comics. I hope that I can be that professional who helps out new creators someday!
DD: What was your first comic convention?
I went to Stumptown in 2007. It was really exciting and I was a total dork. I was going to school in Eugene, but I took the bus to Portland, went to the show alone, and walked around in this business casual outfit trying to show my portfolio to people. Thank goodness Portlanders are kind. I had a great time and left with a ton of comics.
DD: What is your favorite part of comic conventions?
Meeting the people behind titles I enjoy. They’re even more enjoyable to read when you know what the creators are like.
DD: If you weren’t doing comics what would you do?
I like teaching and performing; I might have pursued a language teaching position, piano, or theater.
DD: Do you have a favorite restaurant that you would recommend?
My favorite Japanese restaurant is Sambi’s in Beaverton. It was a frequent meeting place for my high school Japanese club friends and me. The food is fresh and authentic, the service is great, the price is good, and it’s very low-key.
DD: How long have you lived in Portland, what made you choose Portland?
I was born and raised in the suburbs of southwest Portland. I love the city and was very excited to move back here after school.
DD: What is your favorite part of Portland?
I love the hiking in Forest Park, the Japanese Gardens, and the Oregon Zoo. I spent half of my childhood between those three places, so that entire area is very nostalgic and beautiful to me.
DD: Where in Portland/ Oregon would you most like to visit?
I really want to go back to Tamolitch Pool, which my friends and I hiked to a few years ago on a McKenzie River area camping trip. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. The entire hike is gorgeous; you see fresh green saplings sprouting from massive fallen trees, mossy bridges, waterfalls, calm sections of river where you can walk on the rocks and picnic in the middle, shady groves, and dusty rock paths all within a couple of miles.
DD: Would you like to write for another media? or conversely, how would you feel about writing a comic of a character from a different media, for example, Dr. Who, James Bond? What would you explore?
I love the Joss Whedon comic adaptations, like Buffy, Dr. Horrible, Serenity, and Dollhouse. I think that his shows transfer really well to comics, and I’d love to work on an adaptation like that. Each of those worlds feels very rich, like there are a thousand directions you could take any one episode that the show just didn't have time to fully explore. I also really, really want to do (or at least read) a faithful comic adaptation of His Dark Materials. It’s my favorite book series; I read it between the ages of 12 and 14 and it influenced my writing a lot. It’s so visual and exciting, too—I think it would make a great comic.