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.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Joe Corallo”

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.

Continue reading “10 thoughts on interviewing cartoonists”

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.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Monica Gallagher”

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.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Fred van Lente”

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.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Rebeckah Murray and Jill Hackett”

Smash Pages Q&A: Evan Dorkin

The writer and co-creator of ‘Beasts of Burden’ discusses his long career in comics, his collaborations, ‘Blackwood’ and much more.

Evan Dorkin seems to have many careers. For many comics readers, he’s the writer and artist behind Dork, Milk and Cheese and The Elitingville Club. He wrote and drew Bill and Ted’s Excellent Comic Book series for Marvel back in 1991-92, which has since been reprinted. He’s contributed to MAD Magazine and other outlets. In television, he’s worked extensively with his wife, the noted creator Sarah Dyer, on shows like Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Superman: The Animated Series and others.

He is also the writer and co-creator of the award winning comic series Beasts of Burden. Dorkin’s approach to horror and suspense and his skill at writing animal protagonists — combined with the painted artwork of initially Jill Thompson and later Benjamin Dewey — have made the books a favorite among readers and critics. Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch was just released by Dark Horse, which collects a lot of the one-shots and other stories featuring the supernatural-battling pets, including a crossover with Hellboy co-written by Mike Mignola.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Evan Dorkin”

Smash Pages Q&A: Alex Segura

The author and co-president of Archie Comics talks about his latest project, ‘The Black Ghost’ from comiXology.

Alex Segura has had a busy year. During the day he’s busy as the co-president of Archie Comics, where he’s editing books, including the company’s flagship title, Archie. This year he also published a new novel, Miami Midnight, which he claims will be the last book in his Pete Fernandez series for the time being.

This week comiXology starts to serialize The Black Ghost, a creator-owned miniseries that Segura co-wrote with Monica Gallagher. The comic tells the story of Lara Dominguez, a reporter trying to uncover a masked vigilante in the city, and plays with the intersections of crime fiction, pulp fiction and superheroes in interesting ways.

The first issue is out this week, and I asked Segura a few questions about the comic, crime fiction and collaboration.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Alex Segura”

Smash Pages Q&A: Jorge J. Santos, Jr.

The writer and assistant professor discusses his book ‘Graphic Memories of the Civil Rights Movement.’

Jorge J. Santos, Jr. is the author of the new book Graphic Memories of the Civil Rights Movement: Reframing History in Comics, which was recently published by the University of Texas Press. The Assistant Professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts has been a longtime comics reader, but never made comics the subject of his scholarship in college and graduate school and only recently has been examining comics.

His book, which is an important and thoughtful work which has far-reaching impacts beyond the world of comics studies, is about rethinking the legacy and meaning of the Civil Rights movement. Santos looks at five graphic novels and considers the X-Men series in an effort to look at how collective memory is constructed and the ways that comics can be particularly useful in retelling and re-contextualizing history.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Jorge J. Santos, Jr.”

Smash Pages Q&A: Ezra Claytan Daniels

The creator of ‘Upgrade Soul’ discusses ‘BTTM FDRS,’ his collaboration with Ben Passmore.

Ezra Claytan Daniels is a writer, illustrator and designer who made a huge splash in comics when Upgrade Soul first came out. It may have made a huge impact on a lot of readers and critics, winning the Dwayne McDuffie Award in 2017 and being nominated for several awards over the past few weeks, but it was a hard sell to publishers and started out as an app.

Fantagraphics just published his second book, a collaboration with Ben Passmore. BTTM FDRS is a horror story in a very best tradition of the genre. The story of gentrification in a Chicago neighborhood tackles race and class, and involves a monster that is linked to an old building. It’s thoughtful and funny, disturbing and shocking, and Daniels was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book and his process.

Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Ezra Claytan Daniels”