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QRD #51 - Indie Comics Interview Series
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Indie Comic Creators Interviews:
Kimberlee Traub
Liz Suburbia
Michael Anthony Carroll
Mike Kitchen
Sloane Leong
Troy Little
Wayne Wise
Blair Kitchen
David Lawrence
Dawn Best
Gary Scott Beatty
Jack Knifley
Jason Strutz
William Schaff
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Interview with Indie Comic Creator 'Lil
June 2011
Name: ‘Lil
City: Unknown
Comics: Tiny Tommy Comics
Websites: tinytommycomics.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?

‘Lil – I used to read/play around with newspaper comics as a little kid.  Then when I was a bit older I made my own comics, but never read any until I got into some Vertigo/Dark Horse stuff through a boyfriend late in high school.

QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought? 

‘Lil – A trade paperback of Transmetropolitan.

QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?

‘Lil – About 12. 

QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics? 

‘Lil – This past decade.

QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing? 

‘Lil – I do those things too, but I like that in comics you can create complex stories within a visual world. It doesn’t have to be as perfect as writing does, to me. The medium is more free/shorthand. 

QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?

‘Lil – More so the second one from my experience. 

QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?

‘Lil – Usually 12-20.

QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?

‘Lil – If it’s a xerox, not very much unfortunately. Special covers or whatever would justify slightly higher costs. 

QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?

‘Lil – I make maybe half a dozen, with 1-20 copies of each. I’d like to make hundreds....

QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?

‘Lil – Whatever works! 

QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?

‘Lil – Both are great! I think you can do a lot, or not very much, within either medium.

QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?

‘Lil – Maybe a few months, maybe years. I don’t make comics with print in mind.

QRD – What do you better with your comics now than when you first started?

‘Lil – Perspective & shading – working from different angles, having form, environment & light that’s more real.

QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?

‘Lil – After I draw, I scan the comics in & tweak out any little mistakes with Photoshop. Sometimes I draw out of order too, so I’m putting the frames in order digitally.

QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?

‘Lil – I think they’re awesome, but it’s hard for me to read long comics online, like full comic book sized stories are hard to read.

QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?

‘Lil – Black & white.

QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?

‘Lil – One, haha. But really, whatever works for the artists involved. I know some illustrators who really shouldn’t be writing their own scripts, & vice versa... yet it brings something special when they do end up doing everything for their comics – they’re awkwardly trying to work with what they’ve got, & I like that.

QRD – How do you find collaborators?

‘Lil – I’ve never done a comic with anyone, but I’ve made art with my comic characters with other artists, mostly street artists/art, who I meet wherever.

QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?

‘Lil – I’m sure there’s no real answer to that. The scripts I make for myself are super tight down to intense details, but I don’t know if I’m making those details as more of a writer or an illustrator when I’m in the planning stage & I don’t know how I’d work best in a team. I’m sure it’s different in every partnership.

QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?

‘Lil – Early Charles Shultz.

QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?

‘Lil – Some of them really seem to enjoy them.

QRD – What do you think of superheroes?

‘Lil – I think they’re interesting in concept, but often not my thing in practice.

QRD – Marvel or DC?

‘Lil – DC, haha.

QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?

‘Lil – The characters from the new series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The pony characters are pretty rad & the design is super tight. Also Peanuts characters since I rip off their basic design a lot in my own comics. I like round design. & I think I’d have fun merging my world with either of those.

QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?

‘Lil – Hell no.

QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?

‘Lil – I go to zine fairs because they’re affordable & it’s what people I know are doing. I’ve never been to a legit comic convention, but I’d like to try it sometime. I’m sure 95% of the people there would be like, what are you doing... 

QRD – What do you do to promote your books?

‘Lil – Post them online, sell them at zine fairs & art galleries.

QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?

‘Lil – I think my comics could be if they were ever professionally bound, but they’d be in that section where serials of newspaper comics & indie graphic novels are kept. Right now my handmade releases are pretty destined for zine racks.

QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?

‘Lil – Because my comics are about rag dolls, I’d like to see little dolls of them for fun. I love the idea of my comics being animated, for TV or internet or whatever. That’s kind of a dream.

QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?

‘Lil – I really just read books on philosophy, my comic reading is super limited. I read a few comics online though, so I’m a web comic reader... & I love good, thoughtful comics, I just never make it out to find any I want to read. 

QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?

‘Lil – Virtual reality comic experiences via phone implants, or graffiti on the relics of post apocalyptic civilization; whatever comes first.

QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?

‘Lil – Working through complex inner dialog or making things I relate to, like comics about unemployment & being hungry all the time, or kids spray painting.  I want to find someone making comics about worshipping the devil & smoking meth in small town America.

QRD – Anything else?

‘Lil – Everything is a comic. Also thanks for doing this.