Category Archives: comics

Jamie S. Rich Interviews Matt Wagner

Jamie S. Rich is a writer/editor who I have respected and interviewed over the years. Now, it appears he’s trying to put me out of a job as he has started a new interview project, From The Gutters. I joke about him trying to put me out of work, the more folks out there interviewing creators–the best off we all are as an industry.

Considering how well he does in this first interview, with writer/artist Matt Wagner, we are all better off for Rich having started these interviews.

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Sara Ryan on Empress of the World

Empress of the World

Back in 2001, librarian and novelist Sara Ryan captured folks’ attention with her young adult novel, Empress of the World. The book (described as “about friendship, love, and the sometimes blurry lines between the two”) is an Oregon Book Award winner, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Recently the book was re-released in an expanded edition. Ryan and I conducted an email interview about it, as well as delving into her upcoming comics work, which includes Bad Houses, a collaboration with Carla Speed McNeil. This interview goes in some pleasant directions and I was lucky to get to interview Ryan.

Tim O’Shea: In researching our interview, I searched for your Tumblr page but accidentally discovered the number of people that quote your work (and hashtag it “Sara Ryan”). I think it safe to assume that any writer wonders how much their work resonates with people. How affirming is it when you see people quoting your work

Sara Ryan: Here’s where I expose my ignorance of the finer points of Tumblr. Until you pointed it out, it hadn’t occurred to me to check if anyone had tagged posts about me/my work. Now that I know said posts exist, I’m certainly pleased!

Speaking of Tumblr, visiting your Tumblr page it becomes obvious (at least to me) that you love the power of photography.

I do. Photography actually connects very much to comics writing for me; I can’t draw, but I can compose images with my camera. I try to use that same visual sensibility when I write panel descriptions — while leaving enough room for the artist to bring their own interpretation, of course.

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Ryan Dunlavey on Action Philosophers Play Adaptation

Article first published as Ryan Dunlavey on Action Philosophers Play Adaptation on Technorati.

Action Philosophers

Action Philosophers, the comic book series by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, has been adapted for the theater by award-winning playwright Crystal Skillman (who happens to also be Van Lente’s spouse). The play has been acclaimed for capturing the flavor of the comics series’ comedic exploration of several world philosophers. Action Philosophers is currently in a limited run through October 16 (Thursday & Friday at 8 pm, Saturday & Sunday at 7 pm) at the Brick Theater (in cooperation with Impetuous Theater Group). Dunlavey recently took the time to share his thoughts with me via email on the comic series’ successful transition to the theater.

When you and Fred first developed Action Philosophers, did you ever envision it being adapted for theater?

Never. I arrogantly believed that it was completely unadaptable to other mediums and it would exclusively live and die on the comic book page, but Crystal Skillman, director John Hurley and the actors have done a fantastic job of proving me wrong!

Interestingly enough (maybe only to me) Action Philosophers originally came about when I asked Crystal to collaborate on a comic with me, but then Fred got to me first!

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Novelist Kevin Wilson on The Family Fang

The Family Fang

So last week, I ran across an NPR review of Kevin Wilson‘s debut novel, The Family Fang. The premise of the book (adult children returning to the scene of an absurd childhood where they were unwilling stars in their performance artist parents’ pieces) fascinated me. So I contacted Wilson to see if he was game for an email interview, fortunately he was. As longtime readers know, I really enjoy interviewing novelists–to get a better understanding of their craft. In this instance, when I started researching Wilson, there was an added bonus fun factor. I discovered Wilson’s wife is respected poet, Leigh Anne Couch. Couch and I went to high school together–and in fact she was one of the kind classmates who supported me in our senior year, when my father died. In fact, a few years back, Couch and I almost did an interview about her work for this blog, but family commitments (aka the birth of their child) delayed the interview. Hopefully one of these days, we’ll get back to that interview. In the meantime, I am pleased as hell to discuss The Family Fang with Wilson–I get the feeling this is the first of many creative successes for Wilson.

Tim O’Shea: Frequently I talk to authors that speak highly of the cover design for their book, but you are the first author I know to get the cover tattooed on your arm. When did you realize you wanted to commit the piece to flesh?

Kevin Wilson: I knew pretty much the minute that I saw Julie Morstad’s artwork for the cover that I wanted to get the tattoo. I thought it would be cool to get a tattoo that was connected to the novel. Before Allison Saltzman, Ecco’s book designer, showed me the cover design, I thought I might get four sets of fangs on my forearm, but when I saw Annie and Buster, I knew I wanted that on my arm.

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Chris Miskiewicz on Everywhere

Everywhere Logo (by Andrew Wendel)

The latest installment in my ongoing effort to cover the creators of ACT-I-VATE continues this week with my interview of writer Chris Miskiewicz regarding Everywhere. Everywhere is an anthology series with a unique foundation that is discussed in our opening question. My thanks to Miskiewicz for the interview.

Tim O’Shea: In a few words, could you tell our readers the premise of The Everywhere Anthology?

Chris Miskiewicz: You wake up to find that millions of a single species have appeared EVERYWHERE around the world at the same time. It’s basically The Twilight Zone meets an Animal Disaster B-Movie Feature where each episode features a different animal disaster drawn by a different artist.

O’Shea: What motivated you to initially develop Everywhere, and how did it land at ACT-I-VATE?

Miskiewicz: The Everywhere Anthology came from a drunken conversation with artist Andrew Wendel who co-created the concept with me.

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Discovered Gems: Kliph Nesteroff

As you can see from these two Robot 6 posts, I had a great time at this past weekend’s HeroesCon. Part of why I have loved HeroesCon the past two years is the presence of Evan Dorkin.

This year, at a panel discussing comedy, Dorkin mentioned Kliph Nesteroff, a show business historian with a few websites (including Classic Television Showbiz) . When Dorkin mentioned that Nesteroff posts obscure videos that would have me staying on the website way too long, I doubted him.

Then I ran across this 1958 conversation between Hy Gardner and Steve Allen, which includes a link to a Allen op-ed Village Voice piece . Yes, Dorkin is right,  I will be spending a lot of time reading up