Comic Creator Interview with Joseph Morris
Name: Joseph Morris
QRD – How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Joseph – I got into comics when I was 9 years old & I never looked back.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Joseph – The Silver Surfer (vol. 3) 16
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Joseph – 21 years old.
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Joseph – Kirby’s best stuff was in the 60s, but his craziest stuff was in the 70s. And, yes, I gauge the best decade by what Kirby was up to.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Joseph – I love the marriage of words & pictures. It’s a beautiful discipline all its own.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Joseph – I see them as their own unique medium that’s just as good (if not usually better) than the mainstream.
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Joseph – 25.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Joseph – Enough to pay off the printing cost, but still make some scratch to pay for the next print run.
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Joseph – I’ve produced as few as 3 in a year, & last year I set a new personal record at 18. My goal for this year is 24 comics.
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Joseph – Either one works.
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Joseph – Mostly it’s a question of space. Comics have a full page to work with, while strips are very small & limited in space. I prefer comic books because I’ve got more room to maneuver.
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Joseph – About 2 months. One month to produce the book & one month to get it printed.
QRD – What do you better with your comics now than when you first started?
Joseph – Absolutely everything.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Joseph – At the very end before I send it to the printer. I do all my blacks & greys in Photoshop.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Joseph – They’re okay. I prefer print comics.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Joseph – I’m more used to Black & White, but I’m starting to experiment with Color.
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Joseph – Depends on the project. I work mostly on my own, but I’ve worked with others every now & then.
QRD – How do you find collaborators?
Joseph – They’re okay.
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Joseph – Very tight. Otherwise who knows what you’ll get.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Joseph – Jack Kirby. (Falls to the floor, shouting, “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!”)
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Joseph – They’re okay with them.
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Joseph – They’re okay, if a bit overdone. There’s superhero type elements in my own work, so I’ve got no room to complain.
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Joseph – Marvel as a Kid/Teenager. DC as a Young Adult. Neither in my 30s.
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Joseph – I only like working with my own characters.
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Joseph – Ideally people would shower me with money so that I could self-publish even more than I currently am.
QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Joseph – I Love SPACE & STAPLE because they are Pure, Indy Cons. No dealers, no celebrities, no nonsense. Love it. I go to Wizard World Chicago because it’s the only show in my state that’s worthwhile (and, yes, I know, there’s C2E2, but it’s the same week as SPACE, so screw those guys). There’s a show in Nashville, TN that I go to cause I’ve got family there. I’ve tried Mid-Ohio Con for a couple of years, but it never really works out. I went to Heroes Con once, but that was a really long drive.
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Joseph – I’ve got a website, for what that’s worth. Mostly I go to Comicons & work my butt off.
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Joseph – My stuff would be ignored in a comic shop. My stuff is at its best when I’m talking to people & selling up close & personal.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Joseph – I intentionally make comics that are designed to be comics. Having said that, yes, a movie of my stuff would be neat.
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Joseph – Both.
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Joseph – If I knew that I’d be doing it.
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Joseph – Reading & talking about them.
QRD – Anything else?
Joseph – I love comics. I love ‘em
more than Movies & TV & Video Games & Music & Pro Wrestling
combined. I don’t know why everyone’s not reading comics all the
time. There’s so much great stuff out there, from all the different
corners of this crazy industry/art form. Even when I start to get
disillusioned, I always find some crazy new book that gets me excited all
over again. I love making comics. I love seeing my odd ideas
on the page. I love playing with the art form. I love creating
strange new characters. I love it all. It’s my Zen.