"There are so many things that recommend making comix. Starting with the low-budget aspect of creating worlds with a full pen and a blank piece of paper. No permissions. No apologies.
Making comix can be extremely lonely. Sometimes hard to motivate. Almost impossible to be seen by strangers. Some people are okay with the process. Just making the comic is good enough. And, I applaud that exercise. But MY comic isn’t finished until YOU have read it.
I wish someone could have told 11-year old Dean that comic books would start to cost A LOT more than 35-cents and most newsstands and comic book shops would dissolve, only to be replaced by the realizations of Dick Tracy’s wristwatch radio and Star Trek’s communicator.
I wish someone had told me that working in the comics industry was the most unprofessional profession, and would basically become free digital content where most fans of the form will never read your stuff or know it even exists. That the coolest medium of all time would be forced to compete with cinematic sisters and blockbuster brothers. Don’t get me wrong, I love movies and TV but Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane said it best when Christopher Reeve’s Superman caught her falling in mid-air and he said, “I’ve got you.” And she said, “You’ve got me? Who’s got you!?”
Remember when “what happened?” was something you were interested in finding out on your own terms? Nowadays, narrative “content” is usurped by spoilers and click-bait aggregators fanning the infinity flames of social media outrage and “breaking news.”
Sure, reading teaches us that it’s one of the main characters who did it in a whodunit, but it’s the journey of getting there, as crafted by the sensibility of a unique author and/or creative team, that makes me a loyal fan.
So, if you so choose to dedicate your life to this, only YOU (and/or your team) can make YOUR comix. Meanwhile, live and learn, seek good advice, but don’t let anyone try to take that away from you. And, if you’re ever granted the privilege to be a custodian of an established property, please be respectful to its legacy. Don’t start drawing funny mustaches on all the characters just because you can."
I had the distinct pleasure of talking to Katia Kelly about my Brooklyn-inspired comix for my favorite neighborhood blog, PARDON ME FOR ASKING.
"One of the things that spawned The Red Hook was me being in a studio with other artists carving out our little spot, to be able to make stuff," Haspiel explained to me. "A few years go by and the artist warehouse is being sold to become something much more expensive. We keep on getting ousted and pushed away farther and farther."
According to Haspiel, in order to be able to afford studio rent, artists find spots where no one wants to go. But when they create cool art, they attract attention to the places they occupy. "Outliers make an unlikely place attractive, and then developers come and say 'Well, now that they have done the hard stuff, let's build new structures here.' And they literally just kick out the artists who are just trying to make it. That seems to be the domino effect."
You can read the whole article/interview HERE and see some comix!
Brooklyn artist/international stuntman and sincere friend, Kenny Wong, made a cool little iPhone movie called "Art Studio Vibin’" featuring me, N. Steven Harris, and Damian Henriques.
At the end of 2020, Multiversity Comics asked creators five questions including:
I’d like to see the print anthology return in a more robust way. A weekly tabloid of serialized comix akin to Britain’s “Eagle,” or Mark Chiarello's “Wednesday Comics” (published by DC Comics years ago). I’d like to see more alternative-driven “Bizarro Comics” and “Strange Tales.” And, an American version of “2000AD.”
You can read the rest of my answers in these query links:
Nightwork presents Holiday Squares 2020, featured me, Whitney, Sara Benincasa, Bonnie Burton, Emily Flake, Judah Friedlander, Keith Knight, and MC Serch. Hosted by Matt Champagne. Watch us break slate.
Podcaster Gil Roth turned 50 and asked past guests for his Virtual Memories Show to answer "What do you wish you had done BEFORE the pandemic?" Whitney and I mulled over Gil's question between bites of a McRib sandwich, our first pandemic dinner of 2021 (5-days before the attempted insurrection of the United States of America): You can listen to Gil's version or watch us discuss the query (plus extras) via "What do you wish..."
We also debate hot showers versus cold showers and the temperatures of anxiety in "Shower Therapy."