Tag Archives: indy comics

Interview with Bob Corby

Thanks for doing the interview Bob. We first met, briefly, at S.P.A.C.E., which is a small press comic show you run in Columbus, OH and you’re a cartoonist as well. I was impressed and surprised when I received your trades to the co-op. What started your interest in comics?

BobcorbySPACE 12 sI first got interested in comics when I was about 5 or 6 and my cousin showed me a Superman comic and told me it was drawn by a person. I just thought that was amazing and I’ve been hooked ever since.

How long have you been self publishing?

Back Porch Comics (and its initial incarnation of Corby Visual Productions) will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year at SPACE, if I get around to making the poster. I was actively trying to get some work published for about 3 or 4 years before I decided to self publish. The first minicomic I published was the Wizard of Comics #1 which was a minicomic I did for the Columbus comic shop of that name to give out at a small convention they sponsored. Wizard of Comics #2 was the first minicomic I actively traded in the Small Press Network in 1986.

What made you decide to start self publishing yourself?
ATE400I started sending out work right before the B&W glut and did get some things published. Fire Fang had a 5 issue run in Just Imagine Comics and Stories before the glut hit and just Imagine bite the dust. Also my daughter was born that year so I wasn’t looking for anything that tied me to a schedule.

Who has influenced your style?

The three big ones are Charles Schultz, Jack Kirby and Jim Starlin.

What tools do you use to make your comics?
Most of my work is still hand drawn in pencil and ink. I use a Zebra M:301 0.5 mechanical pencil because I’m too lazy to sharpen a real pencil. I’ve been through a lot of different pencils but they eventually seem to start making them cheaper and I snap lead because I very heavy handed. For inking I use a Pentel Brush Pen. It’s neater then using a dip brush. I do most of my drawing in the family room just sitting in front of the TV with my wife, Kathy, so it would be very dangerous to have an open ink bottle. I use a
Sakura 0.8 Micron for fine lines and stipple. They take a lot of abuse which I dole out when I’m stippling. I have played around with linoleum cut printing for a few comics and covers. I’ve used the real battle board linoleum and Ready Cut by Blicks. (Never, never use E-Z cut. I don’t know why they still sell it.) I also have done some acrylic painted comics.

What made you decide to start S.P.A.C.E.?

OC23-600I was exhibiting at the old Mid Ohio Con for years and every year there was more and more non-comics stuff going on. So there were less and less people even looking at comics especially small press stuff. We had one of the first Spirits of Independents show in Columbus which went pretty well but it disappeared right after that. So I decided to do my own after nobody brought back the Spirits show.

What do you get out of making comics?

Mostly therapy. It gives me a chance to be somebody else every so often. I really enjoy making stuff up.

You can find out more about Bob and S.P.A.C.E. by visiting his websites:

http://backporchcomics.com/back_porch_comics.htm

http://www.backporchcomics.com/space.htm

S.P.A.C.E. 2016 is April 9-10 at the Northland Performing Arts Center in Columbus, OH.

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Interview with Charles Brubaker

Self Portrait LOWThanks for doing the interview Chuck. Do you mind if I call you Chuck? I’ve always wanted to call someone Chuck for obvious reasons. You have sent more books then any other artists and you sent them in a relatively short amount of time. Do you sleep?

Sure, you can call me Chuck! Yeah, when it comes to drawing comics, I tend to be a workaholic. I have these spurts where, for a certain amount of time, I would draw tons and tons of comics, only for me to slow down. My “slow” period tends to be short-lived, though, as I would usually go back to drawing again. Even during my slow periods, I would have enough backlog that can last several months, so I can still put content out even if I haven’t drawn anything in a while.

As for sleep, there was a period where I did most of my drawing work on midnight, although these days I do most of my comics work during daytime. I usually write stories or sketch pages at a coffee shop I go to almost every afternoon, then I would go home and ink them during evenings.

What started your interest in comics?

I was from Japan originally, so early on I was into manga and anime, long before they became big in America. I did have exposure to American cartoons at the same time, though. “Peanuts” is popular in Japan, and my family used to subscribe to English-language newspapers that Japan has, which usually runs American comic strips. I recall that “Calvin and Hobbes” and “Piranha Club” were staples in those papers.

How long have you been self publishing?

Since 2012. I self-published a comic book collecting a webcomic I was doing at the time called “A Witch Named Katrina”, which was a rough version of the “Koko” webcomic I’m doing right now. I only made 50 copies, so they’re very rare. Not that there’s much demand for it. I finally sold my last copies at a convention early last year.

LOW Star Ship

What made you decide to start self publishing yourself?

I saw that a lot of cartoonists nowadays self-publish stuff, especially with a variety of professional printing options for relatively low-cost, so I decided to give it a shot. I figured they would help me get gigs with larger publishers. In a way, it did.

Who has influenced your style?

Japanese cartooning-wise, I was a fan of the work of Fujiko Fujio (joint psuedonym of Hiroshi Fujimoto and Motoo Abiko), Shigeru Mizuki, and Fujio Akatsuka. The latter in particular pioneered in gag cartooning in the country; while there were always humurous comics in Japan, it was Akatsuka who really excelled in it. He was basically a Japanese-equivalent of Milt Gross and Tex Avery.

American cartooning wise, I grew up reading Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson, Brant Parker and Johnny Hart, Bud Grace, and eventually MAD Magazine.

What tools do you use to make your comics?

Nowadays I draw on smooth Canson Bristol, 11×14 (with actual drawing being approx. 8.5” x 13”) with Noodlers Fountain Pen filled with Koh-I-Noor Ultradraw ink. Any white out corrections are done with Presto Correction Pens, which I like because they don’t flake out like BIC Correction pens. After that, I scan them in and take them to Photoshop, where I clean-up unwanted artifacts like dirts and scratches, add lettering (from a font of my handwriting), and coloring.

catYou’ve had your work printed in a few things, Mad Magazine, Sponge Bob, and you have a strip on Universal Uclick. What suggestions would you make to other artists that would like to get in to those books or get their strip on Uclick?

I’m still trying to figure that out, believe it or not! But what worked for me is that I made myself known to other creators, letting them know that I exist and that I do cartoon work. Going to conventions and meet-ups are some of the best ways to network with people involved in comics. Posting your work online also helps immensely, too.

In the case of “Ask a Cat” on Uclick, I happened to draw enough strips that I could show them around, and so I submitted them through their submission form. Few months later, they wrote back saying they’re interested in running it.

What do you get out of making comics?

It’s very therapeutic for me. I always enjoy drawing characters doing stuff, writing out their worlds, and I’ve managed to make some people laugh, which is amazing for me. I’m excited to see where I would go as time goes by. Right now, I’m working on introducing a new comic called “The Fuzzy Princess”, which I’m hoping to debut sometime early this year. We’ll see how that goes.

despairFor more information about Chuck and his comics, please visit these sites:

Patreon – www.patreon.com/smallbug
Ask a Cat – www.gocomics.com/ask-a-cat
A Witch Named Koko – www.witchkoko.com
Tumblr – bakertoons.tumblr.com

And for Chuck’s newest collection of his comics please go to:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/charles-brubaker/the-smell-of-despair-and-pepperoni/paperback/product-22192132.html

Interview with Brian Payne

11817050_10153387731476839_6711708435495617192_nThanks for doing the interview Brian. I think I first saw your stuff through my contribution through the Co-Op. I was surprised when I took it over how many books you had contributed contributed to the Co-Op. Some of them I wanted to keep just for myself. What started your interest in comics?

The Mini Comix Co-Op was and remains a great idea and one that I continue to support whole heartedly, albeit to be honest I believe that initially I merely misinterpreted “5-10 copies” to mean 5 copies of 10 comics or some such which would perhaps explain why they still have so much of my stuff in stock. Like most kids I watched Saturday morning animated cartoons on television and read the Sunday funny papers but other than a few “Mad” magazines I never really read many comic books. It wasn’t until I began studying sign painting after high school and I was asked to letter one of the things that I really became “interested in comics.” The book’s artist gave me a few comics to read so I could see just how comic book lettering was done and I immediately recognized the art forms limitless potential. Yet, it was not until a few years later that I actually began to draw my own comics. In the early 90s I lived in the same Chicago neighborhood as both Dan Clowes and Chris Ware and they would occasionally come into the copy shop in which I worked. Seeing their original pages made me finally want to sit down and try my hand at it myself.

 

How long have you been self publishing?

 

It’s been 25 years since I began drawing comics and started self-publishing them. In 1991 I put out a series of xeroxed micro/mini-comics and eventually self-published two full-sized comic books a couple of years later. I’ve continued to self-publish in fits and starts ever since usually using the 16 page digest-sized format. I’m hoping to publish a few new comic books sometime in 2016 by way of celebrating Zinc Comics 25th anniversary as well.

 

What made you decide to start self publishing yourself?

 

Zinc Comics #1 – Brian Payne

Zinc Comics #1 – Brian Payne

In a word, necessity! My very first “Zinc” strips got published in a free paper in Chicago therefore I thought rather foolishly that I could just as easily sell my next strip to a professional newspaper syndicate. However, I soon had an ever growing pile of rejection letters that proved otherwise. Unlike a lot of cartoonists I didn’t start drawing comics at an early age but soon realized the only way to get good at it was to draw a lot of bad comics first. Yet, since I worked in several copy shops, I was afforded the opportunity to continue to print nearly each and every one of my childlike efforts. Like many cartoonists of a certain age “Cerebus” and Dave Sim was also a huge influence on my decision to self-publish. Although I must admit that I’ve always been poor enough that I would sell out in a New York minute given half the chance and would be more than willing to work for a company that publishes creator owned books and wouldn’t expect me to sign a work for hire contract.

 

Who has influenced your style? It’s very clean.

 

I’ve been influenced by nearly every cartoonist out there from Henning “Mik” Mikkelsen to Bill Griffith and from Fletcher Hanks to Josh Bayer. However, I willingly admit that Gary Spencer Millidge’s “Strangehaven” and Glen Brewer’s “Askari Hodari” had a profound effect on both me and my work. That being said, P. Craig Russell is still “my ideal,” as Li’l Abner would say. Even though I do in fact admire some cartoonists specifically for their passionate and blobby brush stroke I definitely aspire to more of a “lingo claire” style and attempt to keep my own work as “clean” as Paul’s grandfather ever was.*

*Brian is apparently making an archaic reference to the Beatle’s film “A Hard Day’s Night” here.

What tools do you use to make your comics?

I’d always ask this question of every cartoonist I’d meet myself as I secretly wished that if I used the same tools as they did my comics would look as good. I soon realized however that they could draw their comic with a crayon and it would still look pretty amazing and probably better than mine too. I started out penciling all my comics with a lead pencil but became increasingly frustrated by the fact that when I’d try to erase those pencil lines that the ink would sometimes erase too thus I soon began drawing with non-photo blue pencils. I’m currently issuing a Prismacolor Verithin Blue Inactinique 761 1/2. Originally I inked my comics with a #102 Hunt crow quill pen and Higgins Black Magic waterproof India ink and would still prefer to but neither ink nor paper quality is what it once was. I’ve found it necessary to start using Micron and/or brush pens like so many other comic artists have of late. I use a combination of both Sakura Pigma Micron and brush pens augmented by my trusty Pentel Arts pocket brush now. Yet, I occasionally still pull out the crow quill on rare occasions and sometimes even draw with just a Prismacolor/Premier Black Noir PC935 pencil sans ink entirely when I want to live dangerously.

I know you live in Alaska, has it influenced you artistically?

COSMIC HAMLET-03I once imagined that I was most creative at night but where I live in Alaska during the winter months there is 18 hours of darkness and since I don’t use that entire time creatively I’ve had to abandon this notion. In the summer there are 18 hours of daylight as well so I had to learn to tap into my creativity energy by the light of day to get my art work done. Additionally, I’ve found every place I live informs my comics in varying degrees. “Warlock Hotel” was very much a Denver story whereas ‘Jake Wilde” was influenced by the time I lived near the Mexican border. Upon moving to Homer I immediately began work on “Cosmic Hamlet” and this new story is most definitely of this particular place. These strips have been serialized appropriately enough in the Alaskan comic anthology “Sowsear.” Homer has a thriving arts community and I have found myself creating a few new comics with the gallery wall in mind rather than the printed page too.

What do you get out of making comics?

Although every artist should expect to be paid for any work that they do and certainly can’t afford to work for free as the old joke goes “there is hundreds of dollars in this business” so I’m definitely not expecting any huge monetary reward nonetheless. I don’t exactly create art for art’s sakes either though but rather instead because I am strangely compelled to. Once I get an idea in my head I find that it tends to consume my every waking thought. I’m hardly prolific and these ideas can gestate for a quite some time but eventually I must at least try to get it down on paper if I ever expect to purge myself of it. I do not consider myself an especially skilled craftsman or even a “cartoonist” per se and yet I do believe that the language of comics i.e., words and pictures, is the best way for me to try to express myself or at least attempt to communicate with people. This interview has proven difficult at times in fact due to the fact that I couldn’t simply add a few images to it when words failed me.

For more of Brian Bayne’s art & comics check him out at:

http://zinccomics.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ZiNC-COMICS-332958361838

This just in!

We have new books. The first three issues of Scrambled Circuits from my pal Cameron Callahan. Scrambled Circuits are autobio with his characters drawn as monsters and robots and plants. It’s like American Splendor drawn by a DND player.

 

Then I also got 10 issues of my LCS owner’s book that he made a while back. He’s a collector of small press books himself so he loved the idea of trading some of his old comix he made for some new ones to add to his collection.

His book is called Honest Abe and G-Dub. It’s a humorist book about George Washington and Abe Lincoln.