Sunday, February 28, 2016
Q: Without editorial constraints, how important is peer, friend and fan feedback?
Q: Going through some of your other interviews I notice you get the sex questions a lot. You make a living making people laugh and telling stories, how does it feel have fans reach out and tell you that your work helped them accept something as deeply personal about themselves as a their sexuality? Do you see that as a goal, a byproduct of internet communities, an accomplishment, a happy accident, an indictment on how sexuality is handled in pop culture?
Q: Was there ever a Mimi/Bonnie N. Colide cross over?
Danielle: There was! Monica's strip is about roller derby, so it was a natural fit for her to borrow Mimi from my strip for a little while. She already had a Mimi in her strip, which I think created a brief riff between Mimis at first. I'll have to go back and re-read those strips so I can get the story straight!
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Ontario-based cartoonist Emily Carroll draws upon myth, fairy tales, and fantasy to spin tales that range from bittersweet to downright terrifying. She's perhaps best known for her Eisner and Ignatz award-winning graphic novel, Through the Woods, an anthology of macabre fairy tales. The visual style within might resemble a lavish, children's picture book at first glance, but readers will find the bold colors offset by swaths of darkness, pitiless landscapes, and haunted characters. Here's a lovely write-up from NPR.
And now, on with the interview, and many thanks to Emily Carroll for taking time to chat with us.
When I begin a new story, I usually focus on some stripped down, basic fear, something like helplessness, isolation, personal worthlessness, etc, something basically everyone has had experience with, and the primary function of all the details that come after are to serve/heighten that core fear. I try to focus more on building dread, often using a lot of emotional cues along the way, rather than relying on things like gore and "shock" panels (though I like to use those too, they can be fun, and I've certainly enjoyed them in other works). I also don't tend to write a catharsis into my comics, and the characters almost invariably lose (or at least don't win), so ideally that might give readers a lingering sensation of the creeps.
It has definitely made me more confident, if only to combat the increase of anxiety and imposter dread that has been creeping more and more into my bones the past few years. In my experience success never feels as real as the imminent fear of failure does.
What are the artistic influences that led to your singular style?
When I first started comics, I was really into Joann Sfar (I think I straight just leaned into copying him for awhile), but since then I've added bits and pieces of other artists to various stories, depending on the comic. There's one that is based explicitly on the work of H.J. Ford, and for another I used 1930s fashion catalogues as inspiration for character design. I'd say two constants are Junji Ito and Charles Keeping, though.
You’ve enjoyed both video games and tabletop RPGs. Have they played any role in your creative process? What are some of the notables for you?
Oh, for sure. My first mini-comic was directly inspired by the roleplaying I'd done, designed as a series of seven random minicomics that could be read in any order, so that ideally the reader would feel ownership (or at least a strong connection) to one particular character over the other. Other comics, like Margot's Room, were set up in a similar game-inspired way, where the reader had to click on certain items onscreen in order to 'unlock' comics.
Online comics and illustrations built your initial readership and you continue to produce them alongside print comics - how do you strike a balance between those worlds?
These days it actually breaks down pretty simply: Web comics are what I do on my own, to experiment and (more often than not) to relieve stress while I am working on larger print projects, and print projects are where I tend to collaborate with other people (and where I actually make any money). In a way I suppose that my web comics promote my work, so that hopefully people will want to support anything that comes out in print.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Right now I'm working on the graphic novel of "Speak", the book by Laurie Halse Anderson, and though that will be my major project for the foreseeable future, I'm still probably going to put out a few small personal things here and there too!
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Annie Bulloch is co-owner of 8th Dimension Comics & Games in Houston, Texas, and a contributor to Women Write About Comics. "She's also totally awesome!", declares Uncle Staple.
Monday, February 8, 2016
MH: Has anyone ever cosplayed as one of your characters?
Thanks, Dave, for answering my questions! Looking forward to seeing Dave at Staple! in Austin, March 2016. He will have his new successfully Kickstarted book The Cure for the Human Condition and more!
Thursday, October 1, 2015
While not making comics, Dungeons & Dragons also had taken over my life which sparked the interest in the fantasy genre. Then during another phase I was reading a lot of world history and The Bible. I think all of this finally coalesced into Land of the Rats which is about a race of hybrid rat-humans in an otherworldly fantasy setting.
Your anthology, Doom Ranch 5,000, brought together a lot of talented Texas artist in a really interesting way. How did it come about, and have you ever considered a sequel?
Sunday, March 1, 2015
The Flight of the Valkyries
|Peter Nicolai Arbo - Valkyrie, 1865|
by Uncle Staple
Synergies - they're awesome. We have some great synergies working this year on the STAPLE! guest list. Most of these talented ladies already know each and are friends, some have collaborated together as well. For example, Kate Leth did all the scout badge designs for Lumberjanes, the comic by our other guests Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen and Shannon Watters.
Kate also started The Valkyries, an affiliation of women who work in comic shops, and some of those Valkyries helped us get Janelle Asselin to STAPLE! I shall explain.
Around the time of Denver Comic Con I saw that Janelle was doing a panel there called Hire This Woman, based on her Comics Alliance column of the same name, which included, among others, my friend Jamie Kinosian (who has also been featured in the column). I thought, especially since we are focusing on women in comics this year, that it would be awesome to get Janelle here to do the same panel with some Texas-based female creators. I asked Jamie to put me in touch with Janelle, which she kindly did.
Happily, Janelle was available that weekend and interested in the idea, we just had to find a way to cover her travel. STAPLE!'s usual sponsors (local comics shops Austin Books, Rogue's Gallery and Dragon's Lair) were already committed to bringing in our other guests, so I couldn't ask them for more help. I talked to a couple shops in Houston, and they weren't able to do it either, at least not in full.
So, I was chatting with my friend Meredith Nudo about this conundrum and she came up with the brilliant idea of reaching out to the Valkyries to ask for assistance. Meredith, among her many other credits, is a Valk herself, and knew that they would be excited about having Janelle at the show, and likely willing to chip in to help make it happen. As it turned out, she was right.
I asked her to take the lead and she diligently went about securing enough donations to completely pay for the cost of Janelle's flight, thereby making Janelle's appearance, and our own Hire This Woman panel possible.
These are the Valkyries (and a couple non-Valks) who contributed to the fund:
Meredith Nudo - Pop & Schlock Podcast
Annie Bulloch - 8thDimension Comics & Games
Alva Coto & Jessi Jordan - Third PlanetSci-Fi Superstore
Sarah Simes - @allaloam
Leia Calderon - SubCultured
Jesus Garza - SpaceCity Nerd
Danni Danger - WeirdGirls!
Bedrock City ComicCompany
I am deeply indebted to them and humbled by their willingness to help, and very touched by the sense of community and coming together to make this happen, which is part and parcel of what STAPLE! is all about. Connections, synergies, cooperation, community.
We reached out to that community and asked some of our guests, panelists, and friends to tell us what they felt was good about STAPLE!'s focus on women and diversity this year, and this is what they had to say:
C.M. was also recently interviewed by Janelle: http://comicsalliance.com/making-the-reader-root-for-the-villain-an-interview-with-writer-c-m-bratton-hire-this-woman/