Real Interviews – Joe Hunter

I interviewed Joe Hunter, the writer and artist of Ghost Bucket, and Punchclock Hero, as well as the artist of Changeling.

N: So, for those unfortunate individuals who aren’t aware of your talent, can you say who you are, and name some projects that you’re working on?

JH: I’m Joe Hunter and I make stuff. Currently, I write and draw Ghostbucket which is usually sort of a lightly fictionalized autobio comic but sometimes I’ll do these short and completely fictional comics. I also draw Changeling written by Luke Herr and throw color onto (and pray to the almighty that I’m not ruining) strips for THE RACK by Kevin Church and Benjamin Birdie.

(Talent…?)

N: What is it like working for Luke Herr? Is it true that his scripts involve dark rituals no longer known to man?

Hahahaa. “Work for”. Like he pays me. One time I watched him devour the still-warm entrails of a goat while chanting “MAMA SE MAMA SA MA MAKU SA” over and over… and THEN he kicked a puppy.

You tell me what it’s like.

N: What are some of your artistic influences? In the same vein, your strips are frequently hilarious; do you have some humorous influences you can share as well?

JH: This is probably going to sound dumb as hell, but I think my biggest influences would most likely have to be my friendy-type people. Just looking at stuff they’ve done and either figuring out or asking how they did something I liked? If that makes sense? I don’t know. My friends are some of my favorite cartoonists and it’s sort weird seeing that typed out in front of me. Crap.

Humour-wise? Man, I’ve really never considered myself as being that funny. I’ve always had this weird, sort of dark, dry sense of humor where I can see the humor in things that are sort of awkward and aren’t exactly funny when taken at face value, but I’ve been told that a lot of comedy comes from not being funny, so maybe that’s it?. I don’t know. Louie or Parks and Recreation are probably two of the best written comedies on TV right now. I love Gravity Falls and I freaking love pretty much anything created by Bryan Fuller… no matter how quickly it ends up getting cancelled.

That all said, I still enjoy a well-written dick and/or fart joke.

N: What’s the last movie you watched that didn’t involve Batman?

Summer Wars.

N: Do you listen to music while you draw? What kind?

JH: SURE DO! I’m kind of all over the place music-wise and what I listen to depends on mood, blah blah blah, you know. Let’s see… according to Spotify, my most listened artists right now are The Go! Team, Metric, Trampled By Turtles, Jenny Owen Youngs, and Superchunk?

Okay, not quite so all over the place right now, but that’ll probably change.

N: On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you think this interview went?

JH:Which number constitutes wild, panicked flailing? (Editor’s note: It’s 3)

N: Do you have anything else you’d like to plug?

JH: I just finished a short, three page comic for an anthology that probably won’t end up happening, so look for that never! Or whenever I end up posting it somewhere.

Real Interviews: Mark Andrew Smith

Mark Andrew Smith has been all up in the comics scene for a while so when he announced a new project he’d big Kickstarting with James Stokoe of Orc Stain and Won Ton Soup fame, Nerdcenaries tossed Luke into the interview realm.

Your upcoming project with James Stokoe is called Sullivan’s Sluggers – what is the comic about?

Sullivan’s Sluggers is the story of a baseball team who get an invitation to play a game in a small town. Unknown to them, the town has a curse on it, and after the 7th inning streatch the townsfolk turn into flesh eating monsters. The Sluggers have to utilize all of their baseball skills to survive until morning.

You’ve done a few shorter stories in anthologies like Popgun along with continuing series such Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors and The New Brighton Archelogical Society – how is Sluggers going to be released?

Sullivan’s Sluggers will be a 200 page hardcover book.

A lot of your other work that I’ve read or heard about has been all ages – is there any age range for Sullivan because knowing Stokoe’s work he can do scary really well.

I think Sullivan’s is PG 13. It’s a jump going from all ages to Sullivan’s but I don’t think anyone will confuse Sullivan’s with an all ages book.

How did you end up coming up with the project – what was some of your inspirations as far as movies, comics, tv and all of that?

I’ve always been a baseball fan and a horror fan. In particular I’m a huge fan of ‘Evil Dead’ and ‘Dead Alive’ and just splatter horror as a genre.

You are going to be raising money for the project via Kickstarter – are there any specific reasons for starting the project this way?

I want to connect directly with readers, and set the foundation to do more books like that in the future. I see Kickstarter also as being a direct distribution chanel.

Are there any real cool incentives to look out for?

I always adhere to K.IS.S. or Keep it Simple Smitty. So we’re starting easy and to the point, but it would be great as the Kickstarter progresses to offer up other items.

Are there any artists who are currently out there that you would like to work with?

I would love to work with John Romita Jr.

What comics are you currently enjoying – either old or new?

I’ve read so much in the past year, that now I’m taking suggestions for new books to read 🙂

We’ll definitely be linking to the Kickstarter once it begins and readers, feel free to suggest books below! Personally I recommend the Rocketeer Adventures Vol 2 series.

You can follow Mark Andrew Smith on Tumblr and Twitter!
Edited to add Kickstarter!

Real Interviews: King Oblivion, PhD

Greetings Dr. King Oblivion of the International Society of Supervillains and the recently released Supervillain Handbook!
Salutations, whelp.
Now what do you have a Ph.D. in? Or your doctorate in?
Nefarious sciences. My thesis was on turning people into gelatin. I could demonstrate on you if you want. Or don’t.
Do you mean like horse gelatin or edible stuff?
It’s made of people, so people gelatin. You could eat it if you want, I guess. I never have. I’m not one of those Venom types.
Are you one of those Lecter types who would trick people into eating themselves or family members?
Cannibalism is not in my oeuvre. I just test and jellify. What happens after that is none of my business.
Now you came out with the second edition of the Supervillain Handbook – what is that about?
It’s the ultimate expert guide to professional super-evil. You could not find a better instructor for world domination than me. But be warned: Do not step on my toes. I will make you a statue.
But don’t you need to also deal with Tumblrs now? I mean there are a few out there on being villains – for free!
If you want to take advice for your villainy career from someone who’s giving it away for free on Tumblr, that is your call. But you can be pretty well assured you will be crushed.
Now are you a pro-snake-hybrid-henchmen or against them?
Snake hybrid henchmen are a reasonable selection, as long as they fit your gimmick. Are you yourself reptilian, or have geckos for feet, or a name like The Turtle (because you encase people in shells)? Then go for it.
But why go with the gimmick – it makes you easier to catch! If you are the Snake Lord and the rare anaconda goes missing, you are going to be the main suspect!
Supervillains have gimmicks. That is the way it is. Dare you question my authority, you little zit?
But what about Evil Superman, not Bizzaro, but one from some alternate world where he is evil! Where do you get a gimmick from that?
Ultraman, you mean? He’s an evil Superman. Where do you not see the gimmick in that?
But in his own reality – there is no Superman. How can your theme be entirely based on being the evil version of someone who is nonexistant? I mean you can’t have Good …Stalin unless there is an evil Stalin that is the norm.
But he is the norm, in the universe where things happen, the one we’re in. Who told you you could think of alternate universes as anything but places where gimmicks come from? You are running headlong into thinking that will get you tied up in a sawmill, peon.
Okay. I am reaching a touchy spot apparently.
There is an order. Some may have the power to upset it (what’s up, Beyonder) but you do not.
But what about an alternate version of me that is more powerful than you that is aware of this situation right now?
Mwahahahahahahahaha! How naive.
But the very idea of a multiverse points that reality has no standard order so in infinite numbers of universes, both you and I are meeting our doom!
Let me clue you in to something, fool: There isn’t an infinite number of universes. There are only the universes we need to enact our plans. We bend them to our whims, and forget about them when they don’t apply to us. You’re not thinking like a fictional character at all.
But… how does that make you feel?
I only have one emotion: Pain. Inflicting it. On you.
Well, thank you for taking the time to not crush me like the meaningless insect that I am. Is there anything else that you would like to promote?
You can follow me on Twitter, if you wish to be warned of your impending demise, @KingOblivionPhd.
Thank you very much Dr. King and have a wonderful evening!
Bad day to you, Paul. It’s Paul, right? It’s Paul.

Real Interviews: Samantha Leriche-Gionet

Greetings Samantha Leriche-Gionet of Boumerie!
Hi there!
For those who are unfamiliar, what is Boumerie about?
Boumeries is a journal comic I’ve been doing for more than a year now! It’s a record of silly anecdotes in comic strip form. I draw three strips a week.
It reminds me more of Kid With Experience than a lot of other journal comics – it is like a slice of life thing as opposed to a daily list of events.
Oh, I love Jess Fink’s work! That’s flattering. Well to tell the truth, I started these on Hourly Comic Day in 2011, and since Hourly Comic Day is about making a comic an hour about what happened during the hour prior, I was wondering how to make the whole thing more interesting than just “Here’s what I did. Mostly, comics.”
Haha. That makes sense.
Then people told me I’d started something good and that I should keep doing it. So the webcomic was born.
Now do you read a lot of other journal webcomics?
I try to keep myself updated, yes! Lately I’ve been reading Caffeinated Toothpaste, Boredom Pays, Looks Like Rain, American Elf, Christopher… I also love Emily Partridge’s journal comics, but she does them more sporadically. But there’s a lot more out there I’m probably forgetting about right now.
There are. A lot of stories and a lot of perspectives. Now are you also a fan of print comics?
Oh yes, I’m running out of space on my bookshelf (it doesn’t help that my partner is also a big comics fan). I try to read more local stuff now (I’m from Quebec, Canada), but I can’t resist buying good comics in print form, even if they exist on the web. My latest book crushes are Mike Holmes, Ross Campbell, Faith Erin Hicks, Vera Brosgol, Jen Wang… the list goes on.
Now outside of comics, do you do any art or drawing?
Well, I’m an animator by trade and animating is what I do for a living right now, so if you consider that drawing, then that’s what I do all day! But lately I’ve been flooded by comic projects and opportunities which leave me little time for personal illustrations. I still try to find some time and work on something different every once in a while.
Are you able to share any of those comic projects that you are working on?
I’m preparing the second Boumeries book that should be out in July, but I’m also working on my first professional comic book, a graphic novel titled “La petite révolution” (The Little Revolution), published by Montreal-based Front Froid this fall. It’ll be in French, but I’ll do whatever it takes to release an English version one day. I’ve just finished the thumbnailing stage and should start pencils this week. (I did a related illustration today to celebrate the milestone). I’m also planning to start a webcomic with a good friend of mine, Cab, once we have enough time to sit down and talk more seriously about it. We’d alternate drawing pages. A collab comic of some kind.
Cab is your friend who is in the comics about FF7 on the computer right?
Exactly! We’ve been hanging out for too long now, haha.
I had that game too and mine bugged out on the first disc after that big materia speech.
On the Playstation? Or the PC version? Cab’s computer was the least compatible thing for a game of this magnitude. (Also it was in French, and the translation was terrible.)
The PC version.
That sucks.
Yeah. It was also 5 years after people stopped supporting it. What is “La petite révolution” going to be about?
It’s set in a fictional world that still somehow connects to ours (kind of an alternate timeline or something like that). The main character, a little orphaned girl named Florence, wants to be part of a revolution that is being plotted to overthrow the current dictatorship. It’s pretty different from my Boumeries… I don’t know what people’ll think of it, haha.
Is there anything else that you’d like to promote?
Well, I’m going to be at TCAF with my book (and a little zine), so if anyone’s going, drop by and say hi! I’m really hoping to attend conventions in the US as soon as possible. Right now I got my fingers crossed for NYCC, but I’m looking into SPX and MoCCA for next year. That would be fantastic.
SPX is a pretty fantastic show.
It’s not too far away from where I am, either. The one that’s absolutely hopeless for me right now is Stumptown — with no direct flights from Montreal to Portland (and also approximately a 10-12 hour flight), there’s no way I could afford the trip. Sadly…
Yeah. I’d love to do Stumptown but coming down and across from Canada can be difficult. Thank you for doing the interview with me Samantha.
No problem! Thank YOU!

Real Interviews – Gearbox

Greetings Mark and Deborah of Gearbox Comic. How are you doing this evening?

We are currently fine. And animating.

You’ve recently started Gearbox. Could you give me a brief rundown of what Gearbox is?

Gearbox is a trans-media mash up of comics, animation, music and live-action video. The story follows Xiao, a novice warrior who travels to parallel realities in an effort to derail the advance of the Monocline – a brutal female society that has plagued the universes for years and are holding Xiao’s mentor captive. That’s the basic log-line. It’s a story that’s been gestating inside my (Mark’s) head for about ten years and it seemed like the right time to finally realize it.

What inspired you to try and mash up different types of media for the project?

Gearbox first and foremost, is a comic book but given that we had such diverse interests and experiences in so many different kinds of media, we decided to put them all together and see what worked. The technological possibilities of the internet and mobile devices right now are growing so fast that it seemed like the right time to tap into that. A lot of on-line comics are cool but they’re not using the media for its strengths.

Did you examine or take inspiration from any projects in particular that seemed to at least partially go in the right direction?
There are a few motion comics that we really like but Gearbox is more of a wild west project than anything else. Trans-media — the idea of what it is and what it could become — is so new that there isn’t really much out there yet. We also want Gearbox to develop into a project that involves other artists taking story threads and developing them in whatever direction they like — an exquisite corpse.

So how is Gearbox going to be published or released?

Right now it exists solely on-line, and can be viewed on most mobile devices and computers. We have a very un-scheduled schedule of updates we call fragments, which are new parts of the story that we drop into the site as fast as we’re able to create them. Which isn’t so fast unfortunately. The mixed media reality is that it takes a realllllllllly long time to create. We hope to build the site out and ultimately have a printed version – a comic book version!

Were there any comics that really inspired your work on the project?

I (Mark) am inspired by artists like Barron Storey, Moebius, Grant Morrison, writers like Phillip K. Dick and William Gibson, as well as a lot of animators and filmmakers.

Before we wrap up is there anything that you’d like to plug besides Gearbox?

Deborah’s bandmate, Jamie Jackson, composed all the music for Gearbox. Their band, Hot As Sun, are currently working on their first full-length album. Hotassun.com and you can find all of our collaborations at: Waverlystock.com. Thanks!
No problem!