Profiled: Chuck Ayers’s work on Crankshaft

The Independent (Massilon, OH) talks with cartoonist Chuck Ayers who draws the comic strip Crankshaft (written by Tom Batuik).

Q. Is this a labor of love for you?

A. “Sometimes it’s relatively easy. It depends on just what Tom has written and how much drawing it takes to convey that. There are times when, because of the nature of the storyline, you might have two characters talking through all the two or three panels of a daily strip. It might be kind of essential that there’s really nothing happening. Just the two people talking. Maybe there’s no background that’s really important to it. Some of those I can blow through pretty quickly. Then there’s other times there are particular actions occurring. There may be a crowd shot in all three panels of a daily strip. I might draw five, six or 10 characters in every panel. That obviously takes a lot longer. … We have to be on the same page. I have to understand exactly what he’s trying to get across to the readers. I have to draw something that conveys that. I’m averaging about 50 hours a week.

“I tell people it beats working for a living. I come in here, I sit in this beautiful room… in the morning, if the sun is just right, I have rainbows all over my drawing board. It’s a beautiful space. I sit here and draw cartoons all day. But there are days it’s more of a job than other days. Much to my wife’s chagrin, I’m often here.”