Dean Haspiel is a great writer and artist. I have thought that for years. But the foundation of this great storytelling partially lies his mother and father, as revealed back in January via interviews and articles recently posted at Trip City.
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.
It’s quite likely that you’ve seen the work of Seth Kushner, even if you don’t read CulturePOP, his series for ACT-I-VATE with Photocomix Profiles of Real-Life Characters. As noted in his ACT-I-VATE bio: “Seth Kushner’s photography work has appeared in such magazines as The New York Times Magazine, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, Time, L’Uomo Vogue, and in galleries around the world. His book, The Brooklynites, (powerHouse Books, 2007) was considered ‘a terrific coffee table photo/interview book’ by The New York Times. Aside from living out his dream of writing a graphic novel based on his Schmucky past, he is working on Leaping Tall Buildings, a book profiling NYC cartoonists. Seth also co-created and co-edits the comics journalism website, GRAPHIC NYC and directs videos, including the “promo-mentary” film, (co-directed by Carlos Molina) The ACT-I-VATE Experience. Seth was born, bred and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife Terra, his son, Jackson, and way too many comics.” I love the range of topics/people that Kushner covers in CulturePOP–and I’m glad we got a chance to discuss the project.
Tim O’Shea: How do you go about selecting your subjects for CulturePOP?
Coming up November 6 and 7 (plus special events the evenings of November 4 & 5), the Brooklyn Lyceum (located at 227 4th Ave at President) will host the KingCon II, an independent comic, animation and illustration convention. The cost will be $7 day/$10 weekend (kids: $3 day/$5 weekend). To get the scoop on the con, I recently email interviewed the con’s co-director Regan Jay Fishman. Also the Lyceum’s program director Eric Richmond was kind enough to chime in with in-depth details about the special panels on Thursday (November 4). My thanks to Fishman and Richmond for their time.
Tim O’Shea: This is the second year of King Con, expanded from two to four days. As noted in the comments section of the Beat’s coverage of the announcement, the venue will be warmer this year. What other improvements or changes (adding an Artist Alley, for example) have you made based on feedback from last year’s attendees?
Regan Jaye Fishman: We have added an Artist Alley! We have also removed some risers to make for more room downstairs, Made the panels fifty minutes instead of a full hour to allow for changeover time, signings will be in the mezzanine instead of upstairs and the con has been extended by 30 minutes each day so that panels aren’t STARTING the SECOND people walk in the door.
Also, I will not be sporting a constant expression of abject terror.
Writer/artist/storyteller of many mediums Dean Haspiel is easily the busiest creator I know. I relish any chance I get to interview him. As always, we had multiple projects to discuss, some of which are allowing him to flex his writing muscles increasingly more (with work like his first prose novel, Post-Disaster Adventure Chronicles), much to his delight. Haspiel is welcome to share his great level of candor any time he can spare a moment, as he always is an easy (and enjoyable) interview subject for me. Just to create a level of suspense, I chose not to ask who the nude centerfold is the upcoming DEAN HASPIEL: The Early Years.
Tim O’Shea: Would you agree that to a certain extent, in addition to being a collaborator with long-time family friend and CUBA: MY Revolution author Inverna Lockpez, that you were almost a pseudo-therapist for her. What I mean is, this is clearly a painful story for her to tell and by sharing it with you and getting in on paper/published, there’s some level of catharsis.
Dean Haspiel: Besides the possibility of providing entertainment value, art is therapy with the hope that the brave act of artistic expression yields emotional catharsis. I think CUBA: MY REVOLUTION was a major purge for Inverna Lockpez; a way for her to scrutinize and understand what happened to her years ago. And, in fictionalizing and sharing her story, I think it can allow for her to let go of some of her real pain. Whenever I artistically scrutinize the horrors and beauty of the truth, my goal is to entertain yet disperse the results upon others so that the many can share the burden of the one. Some things are just too difficult to handle on your own.