Andy Smith Versus Andy Smith
A Charlotte journalist meets a Charlotte comic artist
ANDY SMITH: So, why did you become a comic book artist?
ANDY SMITH: I always drew as a kid in elementary school, and at the time it was mostly cars, which I still have a love for. But around when I was 10 or so, I saw an episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, costarring the X-Men, and it got me hooked on comics and superheroes. From that point on, I started drawing superheroes and collecting comics, and that’s what I wanted to do for a living.
AS: Finding out about you (as a kid) forced me to come up with a pen name—A. David Smith—since I thought I was destined to write and draw comics. You ever think about a pen name?
AS: I did in the beginning, just because it’s so generic. Andy Smith is just such a generic name.
AS: Yes, all of our IDs look fake, like a template.
AS: Yeah, you always get that at the airport. I played with using my middle name, which is Chris. Smith is still Smith, but at the same time, I had more of an issue with the name Andy than Smith. I couldn’t get rid of Smith—it was my dad’s name and my grandfather’s name. Growing up in the ’80s, Andy wasn’t the big popular name. It wasn’t a name you attributed to toughness. Which cracks me up, because I don’t know if you know this, but Andrew means manly. Going by Andrew always seemed pompous.
AS: So what brought you to Charlotte in the first place?
AS: We were looking for a place that actually had a climate. My wife does stuff in finances, and the big financial districts are in Charlotte and New York. New York was out. I knew people in Charlotte because of HeroesCon. So we came up here, looked at it, and we just liked it.
AS: You’re on the list of customers who reserve new comics weekly at the local comic shop, Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find. Will I have to change my name if I want to join that list?
AS: No. I don’t think so.
AS: Well, I’ll have them put a “Too” beside my name, just in case.