Smash Pages Q&A: Whit Taylor on ‘Ghost Stories’

The award-winning cartoonist discusses her new book, her work at ‘The Nib’ and more.

Whit Taylor has been making a number of award-winning and nominated comics and mini-comics for years including Watermelon, Boxes and Ghost. She’s written for The Comics Journal and Publishers Weekly, and has contributed to The Nib where she’s written about race, Chris Christie, pandemics, health care and hair.

Ghost Stories, which was just published by Rosarium, is her first book. It collects three stories, each made in a different style and approach, that deal with questions of memory in different, interesting ways. I read Ghost when it was first published and like a lot of people thought it was her best work to date, and while none of the stories are ghost stories in that way, each involves hauntings in interesting ways. Taylor was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book and her work.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Alejandra Gutiérrez on ‘Twisted Romance’

The comics creator and designer discusses her work with Alex de Campi on the Image Comics anthology, how she came into comics and more.

Alejandra Gutiérrez has been posting comics and illustrations online for a while now on Twitter and Instagram in addition to her published art and covers. She’s shown a sense of design and fashion, a willingness to play with layout. Some of that may come from her background in design, but she’s clearly interested in multimedia, in playing with how people read the page and finding ways to tweak that.

Gutiérrez may wear her influences on her sleeve, but she’s also moved past simply imitating them and is clearly coming into her own. She’s drawing “Twinkle and Star” in Twisted Romance #2 written by Alex de Campi and so I asked her about how she came to comics and why she signed on to draw romance.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Katie Skelly brings ‘grotesquerie’ and spectacle to ‘Twisted Romance’

The creator of ‘My Pretty Vampire’ and ‘Nurse Nurse’ discusses the story she drew for Alex de Campi’s romance anthology, the romance genre, what it’s like working with another comics writer and more.

2017 saw the publication of My Pretty Vampire, which may be Katie Skelly‘s most acclaimed book to date. The writer-artist best known for books like Night Nurse and Operation Margarine has always worked on her own projects, so it was a surprise to some of us when it was announced that she would be collaborating with writer Alex de Campi on Twisted Romance, the new anthology series out this month from Image Comics.

Their story “Old Flames” opens the first issue of the series, which is out this week and I asked Skelly a few questions about the project, genre and how it fits in with her body of work.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Alex de Campi aims for the heart with ‘Twisted Romance’

The versatile writer discusses the weekly anthology series, which breaks hearts this month from Image Comics.

Alex de Campi has established a reputation as a versatile writer who seems to move effortless from one genre and one approach to another. Her work has ranged from Smoke and its sequel Ashes to the mobile comic Valentine, from Grindhouse to My Little Pony, and Archie vs. Predator, which is hard to classify for a number of reasons. More recently she’s written books including Mayday, No Mercy, Bankshot, Semiautomagic and Astonisher for a number of companies and worked with a broad range of artists working in a broad range of styles.

To continue her habit of working with many artists in many styles, de Campi’s new big project tackles one genre she hasn’t written – romance. Twisted Romance is a four-issue weekly series coming out this month from Image Comics. Each issue is self-contained with two comics stories and a prose story. I reached out to Alex to find out more about the project.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sophia Foster-Dimino on ‘Sex Fantasy’

The creator of the minicomic-turned graphic novel discusses the new collection from Koyama Press, process and much more.

Sophia Foster-Dimino has been making comics for years. A designer who worked at Google for years, she crafted a number of the famous google doodles, in addition to other projects. She’s drawn the webcomic Swim Thru Fire, which was written by Annie Mok, and a number of short comics, but Foster-Dimino is best known for her minicomic series Sex Fantasy. The series manages to both live up to and not fulfill all the expectations that the name implies in different ways. Each issue of the comic was different but there were thematic links that tied the issues together in different ways.

Last year Koyama Press published a collection of Sex Fantasy. The collection is a small brick of a book, containing the eight issues that had been published in addition to two comics exclusive to the book. I reached out to Foster-Dimino to talk about the book, how the stories are connected and the ways she thought about the 10-issue structure.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Hilary Price and Rina Piccolo

Hilary Price launched the comic strip Rhymes with Orange in 1995 and it’s remained an award-winning staple of the comics page since then, winning multiple awards from the National Cartoonists Society. Rina Piccolo got her start in gag cartoons but in recent years has been making the daily strip Tina’s Groove, and she was one of the contributors of Six Chix. Last year Rina wrapped up both those gigs, and the two are now collaborating full time on Rhymes with Orange. I spoke with both of them to ask how this collaboration came about and how they adjusted to a new work routine.

Rina will be doing an “Ask Me Anything” ( on the topic of comics on Friday, January 12, starting at 11 am EST.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Leslie Stein is ‘Present’

Over the course of five books, Leslie Stein has established herself as one of the great cartoonists of her generation. One reason is the way that her work defies characterization, avoids cliches and tropes, and instead forges its own idiosyncratic path. Some of her work can seem simplistic, but it’s quickly apparent that the choices Stein has made are complicated and thought out, and that the simple choices she’s made are effective and precise. She is a skilled artist, an inventive letterer and possesses an eye for color and composition that are like very few people in comics. Stein is also quite simply one of the funniest and most philosophical cartoonists working right now.

She’s an artist who is always experimenting, and her new book is no exception. Present, which came out from Drawn and Quarterly earlier this year, is her best work to date. The book collects many of the short comics that have been serialized in recent years on, and she was kind enough to answer a few questions.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Annie Koyama looks back and ahead after 10 years

‘In some ways it does feel like 10 years when I look back on the over 100 titles published. In other ways, the years have passed quickly, perhaps due to the large learning curve I faced since I had to learn my job from scratch.’

It’s been a decade since Annie Koyama launched Koyama Press. By now her story has become something of comics legend. After a successful career, Koyama was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, and after risky surgery and playing the stock market, Koyama made some changes in her life and began working with artists. She’s published comics and books and more, mostly with younger artists who aren’t quite as established. There’s no aesthetic that links all the work she publishes. The best known artists she’s published – and one who has established his reputation because of that work – is Michael DeForge. Koyama has also published Jessica Campbell, Eleanor Davis, Julie Delporte, Dustin Harbin, Aidan Koch, Jane Mai, Keiler Roberts, Maurice Vellekoop, Julia Wertz, Eric Kostiuk Williams and many more.

Koyama is always looking ahead, working with new talent, interested in different voices and has been key in this past decade in helping to build a comics community that encourages these individuals and build a new industry. Annie and I are friends on Facebook, have interacted online and know many people in common, but we’ve never done an interview, and I asked if she would be willing to answer a few questions about what she does. Talking with someone who’s always looking ahead seemed a good way to mark the end of the year.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Cynthia von Buhler gets magical with Harry Houdini

The comics artist, author, playwright and designer discusses ‘Minky Woodcock: The Girl who Handcuffed Houdini,’ her latest comic series from Hard Case Comics.

Over the course of her career, Cynthia von Buhler has been a comics artist, illustrator, children’s book author, playwright and designer. Von Buhler has shown an affinity for and fascination with the early 20th Century, exploring the period and many real life stories in her various projects over the years. Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini is a new comic series out from Hard Case Comics that she’s writing and drawing. In it, von Buhler introduces a fictional young woman who works for her detective father, still haunted by the death of her mother. She winds up working as Harry Houdini’s assistant. Houdini’s wife wants to keep an eye on him and have an assistant that she can trust. Spiritualists loathe Houdini and how he’s been debunking them. Could there be more to Houdini’s unusual death?

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