Smash Pages Q&A: James Romberger

James Romberger has had a long career as a comics artist, writer and fine artist. His books like 7 Miles a Second and The Late Child have been published by Fantagraphics and Vertigo, his comics have appeared in the anthologies World War 3 Illustrated and MOME, his paintings are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Brooklyn Museum. Last year he wrote the book Steranko: The Self-Created Man, the definitive book about the cartoonist and his work, which he published through Ground Zero Books.

Romberger has two new comics on the stands. Now #7, the newest volume of the Fantagraphics anthology, features a four page comic written and drawn by Romberger. In addition, Uncivilized has just published For Real #1 by Romberger, which consists of “The Oven,” a 20 page comic, and “The Real Thing,” a 10 page essay. Both are about the life and work of Jack Kirby, his time as a soldier in World War II, his cancer diagnosis and treatment later in life, the ways he thoughts about and depicted violence. It’s some of Romberger’s very best work and he was kind enough to answer a few questions about his many projects.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Matt Huynh

The artist, painter and animator discusses ‘Cabramatta,’ his latest contribution to The Believer magazine.

Matt Huynh has been one of the creators making comics without working in the comics industry. Huynh has been making comics, illustrations, animations and paintings for years. His work has been exhibited at MoMA, The Smithsonian and elsewhere. He is known for his collaborations with the writers Nam Le (The Boat) and Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Ark and On True War Stories) and the comic Magpie Magpie.

In 2017-2018, The New York Historical Society opened The Vietnam War, 1945-1975, featuring two 24’ by 6’ murals drawn by Huynh depicting the homefront and the warfront. The exhibition was on display in Pittsburgh until recently and will be on display at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City starting on Veterans Day.

In the current issue of The Believer (The Borders Issue: October/November) Huynh wrote and drew Cabramatta, an eight-page comic about the neighborhood where he grew up as a refugee in Sydney, the way that his relationship to the place has changed, and how the neighborhood and its relationship to the majority white community has changed over time. The Believer also debuted an interactive version of the comic on the website that Huynh helped to make.

Huynh just returned from Australia, and we had a chance to speak about the project.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Luke Molver

The South African creator discusses his newest projects about King Shaka, his influences, the South African comics scene and more.

Luke Molver is a comics creator and illustrator from Durban, South Africa. He’s best known for his science fiction and supernatural comics like Nero and Sunday’s Slave. More recently, Molver has been writing and drawing two books for StoryPress Africa as part of the African Graphic Novel series.

After Shaka Rising, Molver’s new book King Shaka concludes the story of the leader of the Zulu nation, and tries to parse the historical facts from the myths that has arisen around him. We spoke recently about the book, his work and the comics scene in South Africa.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Elsa Charretier

The artist of ‘November’ and ‘Star Wars’ discusses her Kickstarter campaign for her new artbook.

Elsa Charretier seemed to come out nowhere a few years ago when the miniseries The Infinite Loop was released. Since then, she’s drawn Superfreaks, Bitch Planet, Bombshells, Star Wars, Starfire, Harley Quinn and the Unstoppable Wasp, along with co-writing a number of comics, and drawing covers for everything from Archie to Black Panther, Nancy Drew to Domino, Ms. Marvel to Sex Criminals.

Charretier has shown that she has a versatile style and sensibility that shows her equally at home whether telling all-ages adventure tales, adult stories, comedy or action.

Next month Image is publishing November, which she drew and co-created with writer Matt Fraction, but today Charretier has launched a Kickstarter for an artbook that collects a lot of her covers and commissions, and also details her process and provides some insight into the production of November. Just a few hours after launch, the project has already reached its funding goal.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Joe Corallo

The comics writer and editor discusses his latest anthology ‘Dead Beats,’ the miniseries ‘She Said Destroy’ and more.

Joe Corallo is a comics writer and editor, who some might know for his journalism on the website ComicMix.com. He co-edited the award-winning anthology Mine! and this year saw the release of She Said Destroy, an ambitious miniseries made with artist Liana Kangas that comes out in trade next month.

This week, Dead Beats, the anthology he co-edited with Eric Palicki, arrives in stores from A Wave Blue World. A horror anthology centered around music, the book has an incredible lineup of talent including Vita Ayala, Eva Cabrera, Cameron DeOrdio, Jen Hickman, Kwanza Osajyefo and Nadia Shammas. It also features a story written by Rachel Pollack, drawn by Richard Case and lettered by John Workman, reuniting years after their acclaimed run on Doom Patrol.

To mark a year with an anthology and a series that feature the best work he’s done so far in his career, I wanted to ask Corallo about the two projects, building teams and what he’s thinking about next.

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10 thoughts on interviewing cartoonists

Alex Dueben reflects on recent comments from writer Kieron Gillen and others about interviewing and comics journalism.

Last Wednesday, Kieron Gillen made a few statements on Twitter, going after people conducting email interviews.

While I agree with what he said in general and responded that there is a place for such questions, I also hesitate to avoid making such broad statements. Just like with “rules” about writing comics, they don’t NEED to be followed, but one should have a good reason when they are not following them. I am aware that Gillen would likely agree with me on that point.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Monica Gallagher

The writer and artist discusses her webcomic ‘Assassin Roommate,’ collaborating on ‘The Black Ghost’ and much more.

Monica Gallagher has been writing and drawing print and web comics for years. People might know her for work like Gods and Undergrads, Bonnie N. Collide, Lipstick & Malice, Part-Time Princesses, Glitter Kissor many other projects. The past year thought has been a particularly busy and productive one for Gallagher, who has been writing and drawing multiple projects.

She’s been making the weekly webcomic Assassin Roommate; drew the weekly webcomic Boo! It’s Sex, which was written by Danielle Corsetto (Girls with Slingshots); co-wrote the podcast Lethal Lit; and has co-written the new comics miniseries The Black Ghost with Alex Segura, which is being released by comiXology Originals. The first issue is out now and the second issue comes out Oct. 16.

Additionally Gallagher is running a Kickstarter campaign to collect the first year’s work of Assassin Roommate. We spoke recently about her many projects.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Fred van Lente

The veteran comics creator talks about his latest novel, “The Con Artist,” his current comics projects and more.

Fred van Lente is the comics writer best known to some of us for the series Action Philosophers!, Action Presidents and the Comic Book History of Comics. He’s also spent years writing a wide variety of books for Valiant, Marvel and Dark Horse including Archer and Armstrong, Brain Boy, Conan, Marvel Zombies, Super-Villain Team-Up: MODOK’s 11 and his current project, the Valiant series Psi-Lords.

Van Lente also has a busy career outside of comics. He’s a playwright, perhaps best known to comics fans for King Kirby, which he wrote with his wife the writer Crystal Skillman. He’s also a novelist with two crime novels under his belt, Ten Dead Comedians and The Con Artist.

The Con Artist came out last year and features a comics creator at the San Diego Comic Con who gets drawn into an elaborate web of murder and corruption in the comics industry. It manages to be both laugh out loud funny and incredibly inventive, making a book that is very much about comics and industry, but also telling a story that is firmly in the noir tradition of corruption, betrayal and violence that leads back to original sins.

Convention season is mostly over, but I asked Van Lente if he would be up for a few questions about the book and his work.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Rebeckah Murray and Jill Hackett

The creators of ‘Magical Boy Basil’ discuss their creative process, going from a webcomic to print and much more.

Rebeckah Murray and Jill Hackett are longtime friends and the creative team behind the comic Magical Boy Basil. A weekly queer webcomic about undercover teenage magicians who fight monsters, it represents the duo playing with the magical girl genre, making it about a boy and playing with a lot of the tropes and ideas found in work like Cardcaptor Sakura.

In addition to coming out weekly online, they’ve been publishing each chapter in print editions. The fourth chapter came out this summer, and I spoke with the two about how they met, the way they make the comic and how life can get in the way.

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