Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Past, Present, and Future with...Rachel Masilamani

A cartoonist and librarian here in Pittsburgh, PA, Rachel has been creating comics since 1997. Her first collection, RPM Comics, received a grant from the Xeric Foundation and was named “Best Comic Book” by the Baltimore City Paper.  Her work has also appeared in Meathaus, Street Runoff, Graphics Classics, The Indiana Review and other anthologies.

(Photo credit Jen Greenwald/Comic Book Pitt)
Past, Present, and Future with...Rachel Masilamani

What got you into comics?

"Reading Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud.  Up until then, I read comics, but it didn't occur to me that I could make them myself.  It helped me understand how they are constructed."

What are you working on these days?

"I am working on balancing a day job, a toddler. art, and sleep!  I am also continuing to work on "Nonpartum", my series about contemporary pregnancy, birth and parenting at Mutha Magazine.  I completed an additional chapter earlier this year, and I've been making comics about America after the 2016 election."

Do you have a dream project?

"Yes!  I have been thinking about a big project for almost 20 years now.  I think of stories as very complicated puzzles that I need to solve before I start making them visible.  This one is still too difficult for me to construct, but I am getting there. For me, the work is 75% mental preparation."

What one piece of creative advice would you give?

"Try not to think about what other people will think."

Thanks Rachel!

Friday, April 7, 2017

#249 - Rant Night!

HOSTS: Dan, Jared, Scott

NEWS/TALK: PIX (Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo) this weekend, new movie trailers (Justice League, Spider-Man: Homecoming), and TV shows (Marvel's Iron Fist, The Flash, and The Walking Dead [SEASON FINALE SPOILERS])

COMICS: Iron Fist #1, Booster Gold/The Flintstones Special #1, XO Manowar #1, and more

Monday, April 3, 2017

Past, Present, and Future with...Brad Guigar

This week's Past, Present, and Future is with Brad Guigar. A webcomics pioneer, Brad has been doing a daily comic strip since February 2000. Tens of thousands read Evil Inc every day on the Web and in newspapers. He has published over a dozen printed collections of his work, and he has been nominated for an Eisner award — the top honor in the comics industry.

(Photo credit: Bob Laramie / RJLphoto.com)

Past, Present, and Future with...Brad Guigar

What got you into comics?

"My newspaper comics section. When I was a kid, I was fascinated by the ability to create a funny story in three or four panels. I remember pouring over strips like Beetle Bailey, Broom Hilda, Animal Crackers and Drabble. When I got a little older, Berke Breathed’s Bloom County bowled me over. In college, I had a subscription to the Detroit Free Press solely for the purpose of reading that strip.

My first comic strip, Greystone Inn, was heavily influenced by Breathed’s work — and I think it shows. I wanted so badly to capture that spirit."

What are you working on these days?

"HA! Talk about a 180-degree turn! These days, my most successful project is Evil Inc After Dark — a NSFW comic that takes place in the same universe as Evil Inc (which started as a newspaper-strip spin-off from Greystone, but developed into a series of graphic novels). That’s available exclusively to my Patreon backers at Patreon.com/guigar — and I’m Kickstarting the first print collection of NSFW work this month

I also do a website devoted to helping other independent cartoonists — Webcomics.com — and the original Evil Inc comic."

Do you have a dream project?

"Yeah. Making my living exclusively through my work in comics. I’ve been living that dream since 2012. As with most Dream Projects, it has its share of nightmare moments, but overall, my twelve-year-old self would be flabbergasted over what the future had in store."

What one piece of creative advice would you give? 

"It’s impossible to get worse at something you do every day.

I like that because it’s one part encouragement and one part kick-in-the-ass.

It’s encouraging because it’s a reminder that getting better at anything is all about building skills. “Talent” will only get you so far — if it truly exists at all. Real success comes from a slow process of improvement. That’s encouraging. It’s a reminder that you’re not always going to be this bad. If you practice and apply yourself you will get better.

It’s a kick-in-the-ass because it’s a reminder that you have to put the time in — every day — to get better. There’s no magic hashtag, weird SEO trick or social-media shortcut that will do it for you. You’ve got to do it every day, year after year after year, before you start to get really good at something. And that’s a real kick-in-the-ass because getting good at something happens so slowly as to be almost imperceptive."

Thanks Brad!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Past, Present, and Future with...Tim Aymar

Welcome to a new feature on Comic Book Pitt, "Past, Present, and Future with...". Every week we'll spotlight a different comic book creator, ask a few questions, and maybe get to know them and their process a little better. First up is Tim Aymar, writer/artist of his self-published book, ALIEN SCIENCE...

Past, Present, and Future with...Tim Aymar

What got you into comics? 

"A lot of things got me into comics, but I would say my earliest memories were the Adam West Batman show and the old Marvel cartoons from the 60s. They led me to seeking out the actual books. And then Star Wars led me to Al Williamson and his gorgeous science fiction art. From there, I learned there were insanely talented creators doing a lot of work for little money. There had to be some kind of pride in the comic book arts."

What are you working on these days? 

"I am currently working on a second issue of my comic, Alien Science (takes me a long time to do a book) as well as a series of comic art prints for a show I hope to have soon."

Do you have a dream project? 

"My dream project would be to actually start up my own comic book company, perhaps a Pittsburgh-centric publishing venue. I had a lot of respect for the underground comics creators and the eighties direct sale comic publishers like Eclipse, Pacific, and Dark Horse."

What one piece of creative advice would you give? 

"If I had any creative advice, it's that artists learn all the formal rules of design and composition, and storytelling, and then not be afraid to break those rules when the ideas come fast and furious. Comics are an art form as valid as painting and photography."

Thanks Tim!

Friday, March 24, 2017

#248 - Feel The Bern

HOSTS: Dan, Scott, Shawn

NEWS/TALK: Death of Bernie Wrightson, Emerald Comics Distribution, Samurai Jack is back!

COMICS: Copperhead #11, Jack Kirby Pencils and Inks Artisan Edition, Rat Queens Vol 2 #1, Rocketeer At War #1, Star Wars #29, Wonder Woman Earth 1 Vol. 1

UPCOMING EVENTS: PIX (April 9), 3 Rivers Comicon (May 20-21), Kennywood Comicon (June 18)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

#246 - 3 Rivers Comicon Preview!

Dan sits down with Jon Engel of New Dimension Comics to talk about the upcoming 3 Rivers Comicon! You can look forward to great guests, a cosplay contest, and more! 

YOU can be part of the 3RC Team. Volunteer opportunities are available!

Don't wait to buy tickets at the door! Get them early, avoid lines, and enjoy the VIP treatment!

Make sure to save the date! May 20-21, 2017