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QRD #48 - Indie/Mini Comic Creator Interview Series
about this issue
Indie/Mini Comic Creators:
Jeremy Johnson - Marked
PB Kain - Mumblypeg
Joe Badon - Behind Yesterday
Andrew White - Sexbuzz
R. J. Paré - Buddha Monkey
Shawn Harbin - The Dungeon
Colin Upton - Big Thing
Kevin LaPorte - Clown Town
Sara Lindo - Carl Finds Love
Joseph Morris - TORC Press
Stephen Hines - Crackerstacker
Steve Seck - Life is Good
Derek R Croston - Method Comix
M. L. Walker - Hero Corp.
Daniel Gracey - G2 Comics
Matthew D. Smith - Liberty City
Brian John Mitchell - Just A Man
Brandon Graham - King City
Gordon McAlpin - Multiplex
Ross Campbell - Hack/Slash
Alex Robinson - BoxOfficePoison
Nik Havert - Pickle Press
Kurt Dinse - One Year in Indiana
Nick Marino - Super Haters
Bob Corby - Oh, Comics! & Vugz
Eric Shonborne - Razorbaby
Melissa Spence Gardner - XO
Dave Sim - Cerebus
Mason Johnson - Zoir
Jason Young - VeggieDog Saturn
QRD - Thanks for your interest & support
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Indie/Mini Comic Creator Interview with Joseph Morris
February 2011

Name: Joseph Morris
City: Clay City, IL
Comics: SDF, The Hot Fudge Sundae Adventure Club, Gulatta!, Monster King, Cosmic Love
Websites: www.torcpress.com

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.