Where are you with the SIP novel?
With still a lot of work to do on the novel, I’ve had to put it aside to make sure a couple of other books come out this summer, the SiP Treasury and the SiP Omnibus Softcover. I plan to resume work on the novel after this years convention season.
When will you release a softcover Strangers In Paradise Omnibus?
Finally, we have it on the schedule for this summer. The softcover SiP Omnibus will contain the entire SiP series plus all the spin-off stories. To do this, it will be two 1200-page books (yes, 2400 pages), at the full comic book size of roughly 6 X 10, and the twin books will come together in one package for one price. The price has not yet been settled, but we are trying to keep it around $100. There will be no limited numbers or trickery to availability—we want everybody who wants one to get one. Watch this spot for more news.
Warning: the hardcover edition weighed 12 pounds, so the softcover twins may arrive at about 10 pounds. Start working out now if you want to carry one of these babies home from a convention.
What is the Strangers in Paradise Treasury you’ve mentioned releasing this year?
It’s a large format, full color commentary on the series with behind-the-scenes info on the story, the characters, the research, every cover and every book and every spin-off, where the ideas came from, how I worked and changed things, what was left on the cutting room floor… just all that extra stuff I could show and tell if you sat with me in the studio as we went through the series page by page and I pointed out how I did it and what I was thinking. I actually released a treasury years ago, but it only covered the first half of the series, so this year I am completing the book to cover the entire series. Also, the first treasury was published through Harper Collins, who printed the book and then didn’t tell anybody. It was a very expensive secret. If you have one, it is very rare and probably priceless. Donate it to the Smithsonian. They can put it on Lincoln’s desk.
The original SiP Treasury
Why isn’t the New York Comic-Con on your schedule?
After posting my convention schedule for 2013, I’ve had a lot of requests to add the New York con to my calendar. Unfortunately, I wasn’t invited. I only go where I’m invited, which I’ve found to be a good policy in life and comics.
What is in Julie’s box?
Everybody who reads Echo asks me this. The only answer you’ll get out me for now is, something so private and personal that she doesn’t want anybody to see it. Something that caused trouble in her marriage. Something that made tough girl (and slightly kinky) Ivy smile when she opened the box and saw it. …And that’s all the story tells us. Don’t overlook that while Julie’s husband rejected what was in the box, and Julie’s association with it, Ivy assured Julie that Dillon would not. He had proven his undying loyalty over the course of the adventure. The box is a litmus test that asks the question: Can I trust you with this? Will you accept me? Everybody has something different in their box. What’s in yours?
A similar looking box has surfaced in Rachel Rising. Maybe somebody will open it.
Are you a lesbian?
No. Why, what have you heard?
So, why do your stories feature female characters?
For a lot of reasons, but here are two easy ones to remember. There are plenty of stories about men and what they do, nobody needs me to write another one. But what women do and why remains a mystery to most of humanity, so we need more of those stories.
Second, I’d rather draw women than men. When I started, I thought about having to draw the same character the rest of my life, and I didn’t want to have to draw some guy’s butt every day for the rest of my life. But I will happily draw Katchoo’s butt every day for the rest of my life. I can safely say, years later, I’ve never regretted my decision.
What do women want?
I have no idea, but life is better when they get it.
Will you (1) look at my unpublished story (2) draw my story (3) publish me?
I’m sorry, the answer to all 3 questions is always no. Here’s why. (1)I won’t look at any unpublished stories for obvious legal reasons. (2)I don’t want to draw somebody else’s story, I don’t even have time to draw all the stories I’ve written. (3)Publishing is for business people. I self-publish out of necessity, so I can creative for a living. If you want to be published, do it yourself.
What do you recommend to somebody looking to get into comics today?
These days the biggest road into comics seems to be webcomics. Because there are no business pressures on the newcomer, posting your work regularly on a website is a great way to test market your work and see what the world thinks. If you have something cool, people tend to spread the word which pushes you along until you can print a collection, sell merchandise and go to shows to meet your fans. If you are one of the lucky few who become an internet hit, publishers will approach you, offering a broader print exposure for a cut of your money. From there, it depends on how smart you are as to whether you make all the right choices and become the next pop idol, or you plunge into oblivion leaving an inky trail. Good luck!
How long will Rachel Rising be?
I’m aiming for 24 issues. That will tell the story of Lilith’s revenge on the little town of Manson in 4 TPBs containing 6 issues each. So, look for this series to continue for another year, coming to an end in the spring of 2014. Rachel fans, don’t despair, because I see more Rachel stories in the future if there is a demand for them.
What do you have planned after Rachel Rising?
I’ve completely outlined a new series and it’s ready to go. It’s a slightly different genre than anything I’ve done before, and it will be an all-ages story suitable for young adults. That’s all I’ll say until its time comes around.
Do you take commissions?
Once, sometimes twice, a year I put out a call on this blog and twitter that I will take a short list of commissions for 11 X 17 finished pen & inks at $1,000 each. At comic conventions I often accept a sketch list where I draw pencil portraits of my characters on 9 X 12 paper for $150. If you bought a SiP Omnibus Hardcover box set, I’ve given a lifetime guarantee to all owners for a free sketch in book one. Once in awhile I post, on this blog, studio sketches in pen or pencil for $100-300. So, between all that hopefully there is an opportunity to pick up a drawing at a price range you’re happy with. I’m sorry I can’t take commissions year round, but I’d never get the comic books drawn if I did! If you’d like to see a broad sample of my sketch art, go to my tumblr and browse the archives.
Can you be bribed?
Yes, of course. My vices are plentiful and well documented. Knock yourself out.