Potbelly Mammoth : Who are you Nate Howard ?
9 mins read

Potbelly Mammoth : Who are you Nate Howard ?

4.7/5 - (4 votes)

We had a real crush for Potbelly Mammoth, the “high concept” webcomic by Nate Howard.

The guy is a creator of his time, with a strong vision as a producer has : Potbelly Mammoth is ready made for a bright upgrowth.  We preditct a great future to the series, 2d cut out animated feature, fan merch, supplies… Potbelly Mammoth has everything to become a great trademark.

Interview with clever Nate.

Hello Nate, welcome on Art Of Webcomics !

– Where do you come from ? 
I live in Springfield MO with my wife Chanoa, 3 dogs and 2 cats.
– How old are you ? ( tell it or not !) 
I am 34 years old, getting more immature every day.
– Influences ? 
Most kids probably learned to draw from comic books, but I copied characters in my Gamepro magazines and Nintendo Power. My parents were always creative types too, and my earliest memories drawing cartoons are with my Mom showing me how to draw Beetle Bailey characters from the newspaper strips. She painted cute woodland creatures when I was tiny, and I have them still. It’s kinda funny how life can come back around 30 years later.
– Art school or not ? 
No official art school. I’ve ducked in and out of a local community college, taking classes in graphic design here and there to supplement my self-training. I was the dude that worked full-time factory jobs all day, and up all night refining my skills in hopes to one day do art full-time.
– Favorite digital art software ? 
I’m an Adobe kid. I cut my teeth on Photoshop in 2003, and I did get promoted to a full time graphics gig using Illustrator for a while. I’m self-employed now, and I still use Photoshop and Illustrator the most, but I’ve dabbled a bit more in the other programs the CCS has, like character animator and Premier Pro. The handful of artists I pal around with locally are big into the cheaper / free programs like Procreate, so I may switch it up eventually.
– Your working method ? 

For Potbelly Mammoth, each panel is drawn and assembled at 11 x 8.5 at 300dpi. Any line work and dialog is done in Illustrator then ported over to Photoshop for colors and effects. Each panel is then reduced in size and dropped into my strip template. After 5 years, I have a bit of an archive of my characters and backgrounds that I can usually pull from and assemble without redrawing every little thing. My deciding art style for Potbelly Mammoth was chosen because I dream for it to be made into a tv series, and I wanted the art to look consistent, plus its handy for puppeteering for animation- “Work smarter, not harder” kind of thing.
– What your webcomic is about, in a symbolic way, the hidden sense ? 
Potbelly Mammoth is about two best friends that have an apartment next door to a sketchy science facility, operated by a lonely abandoned intern, responsible for the creation of Nate and Swadley’s unique and ethically questionable pets- Mammy, the Potbelly Mammoth and Rexi, the Teacup T-Rex. Potbelly Mammoth is actually a snapshot of myself and important people in my life in our 20s, but told through a lens looking back in my 30s. Nearly all the characters are real people and much of the conversations and events are based on real life, but fictionally skewed of course to keep it interesting. It’s like “Mission Hill” meets “Regular Show.”
– Tell us more about your main character, the hero ! 
It’s expected of me to say that Nate is the hero, but the fact is, it’s everyone else around Nate that makes him special.

I’ve had the honor of sharing my life with some great people that have always supported me and taught me so much, that I wanted to celebrate THEM.

My wife Chanoa and my best friend Swadley, although different in some ways in the comic, are accurate to how I see and appreciate them in my mind, and I wanted to share that. I, however, tend to write myself as more of an idiot man-child, which isn’t how I present myself in real life so much, but I think that speaks in volumes about my self-image. They inspired me. They inspired Potbelly Mammoth- directly and indirectly. They are the heroes of my story.

– How do you see your future ? 

That’s a good question, I really don’t know… but for the first time, I’m kinda ok with it. I spent most of my life being miserable to make ends meet, because that was what was expected of me, but my work on the side eventually paid off when I got a big break doing art full time. I was pumped. I made it. It lasted a few years, and then it was gone. In that short time, I learned a lot, and I developed confidence and even an identity as an artist, so when I was faced with a big decision of what to do next, it was Chanoa that stepped up and said “You do YOU now.” That’s my future- doing me. Drawing PM till the end, using my powers for the greater good, and continue meeting new people to connect with and maybe inspire. I have a lot of irons in the fire.

– Your next goal ? 
For Potbelly Mammoth, after releasing the Volume 1 book last year, I naturally want to release Volume two. In fact, there are probably 3 or 4 volumes to the entire series. My main goal is to see PM on tv somehow- maybe cartoon network or a Netflix series. Besides that, Mammoth Press LLC, my actual design and illustration company I started, may shape up to a full-time graphic design and print studio. Both avenues sound pretty good, whichever gains traction first I suppose.
– Advices for beginners ? 
Surround yourself with like-minded people. Find others in your area that do the things you want to be a part of, and seek them out. Visit them at conventions, ask them questions, go to local events and drink and draws, and just let them know you dig what they do and you want to learn too. Make a family with these people. It’s easy to assume everyone in the world (especially online) are out to hurt you, and MAYBE some do, but I promise you there are more people out there that want to help. It doesn’t matter how bad you think you are, whats important is that you try. One day when you look back, you may laugh at your old work and cringe a little, but that’s part of it! Meanwhile others will be looking to you for advice and direction, just like we all were when we started. Artists tend to think they’re their own islands, but you don’t have to be all the time. Just do the work, and do it on a regular basis and don’t hesitate to ask for help.
– Your technical secret trick ? 

I’m not sure about technical trick, but I’ve learned that just being nice to people does wonders.

Art for me is about outreach, and yeah, there are many artists out there that put me to shame in technique, but it’s kinda surprising how many of them like my work because they actually just like me as a person. I think that’s a neat trick.
– Favorite quote ? 
Oof… Ok I have a couple: “Everyone you meet always asks if you have a career, are married, or own a house as if life was some kind of grocery list. But no one ever asks you if you are happy” – Heath Ledger “You’d be surprised what you can get if you just ask for it.” -Nate Howard
– Your social links and website ? 
Potbelly Mammoth is at: www.potbellymammoth.com Mammoth Press LLC at: www.mammothpressllc.com You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and twitter as well !

Bunch of thanks to Nate Howard !

Potbelly Mammoth

2-28-2019 Well, Batman has a contingency plan for Wonder Woman also, but it’s nothing personal. Getting geared up for Branson Con next weekend- March 8-10! I’ll be set up and rocking Volume 1: Behold the Mammoth, some shirts and prints, and of course I’ll be taking commissions as usual.