with Indie Comic Creator Michael Anthony Carroll
Name: Michael Anthony Carroll
QRD How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Michael 9ish; big stack of books given to me while I was in the hospital. Cut back here & there over the years, but stuck with it.
QRD What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Michael With my own money? Cant really recall; either a single issue of The Justice League of America, or a subscription to Shazam! I was either using allowance money, or selling Grit. Seriously.
QRD How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Michael 10 when I made my own comic; 23 for first regular sized direct market book; 23 & a half for first self published book with multiple copies.
QRD What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Michael All of them.
QRD Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Michael Its a balance between not wanting to write so many words & not wanting to draw so many pictures.
QRD Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Michael I see them as both.
QRD How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
QRD How much do you think comics should cost?
Michael Whatever the market will handle that allows the creator to be compensated fairly.
QRD How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Michael From 2-6 average, in addition to my online publishing & anthology work. As many as time & my health will allow/the market can handle.
QRD Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Michael Depends on the story & the creator.
QRD How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Michael I like the rhythms of comic strips, but also enjoy longer form comic books & graphic novels. Like different dialects of the same language.
QRD How long is it from when you start a comic until its printed?
Michael Depends on the story, character, dialogue, budget, etc; I can crank out one story in an afternoon, or take years to complete another.
QRD What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Michael Draw & write. Started out drawing, then switched to writing, then started bringing them together.
QRD At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Michael Either at the beginning or near the end & sometimes in the middle.
QRD What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Michael Digital has made things like color & timeliness/productivity much more attainable for me.
QRD Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Michael They both have their merits; for me, my R.A.In.B.O.W/elemental characters in color, & the AsthmaAttack/autobiographical stuff in black & white.
QRD How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Michael Depends on the story.
QRD How do you find collaborators?
Michael I stopped looking when I couldnt keep to what I would initially offer folks in a collaboration. These days I love being able to get comics out almost as fast as I think of them; its spoiled me for the collaborative process, but Im working on that.
QRD How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Michael It comes down to how the artist interprets whats written. If clear directions are given, but not followed in the execution, what happens next?
QRD What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Michael I think the last time I was compared favorably to someone, it was a writer I wasnt reading regularly & Ive had a hard time reading his work since. In the mid 90s, someone elses work was reviewed & compared to my earlier work, which was pretty sobering.
QRD What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Michael Some family members like them, some friends like them; among them is a select group thats objective enough to point out when something of mine isnt working, & offer feedback. Theyre not regular comics readers or cartoonists.
QRD What do you think of superheroes?
Michael I love their absurdity; they often work better for me as comedy; people have complained about them since well before I started reading fan-press in the 70s. I now hear the arguments against them more than I read any arguments in favor of them. Yawn.
QRD Marvel or DC?
Michael Me. See? With DC in second place.
QRD What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Michael Pretty much every obscure/third or fourth tier DC character/team, from The Creature Commandos to The Metal Men; & maybe a full length Justice League story done entirely as stick figures.
QRD Ideally would you self-publish?
Michael I am & it is ideal.
QRD What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Michael S.P.A.C.E is about it for regular appearances; sometimes I wander up to Michigan & hang out with the gang in Hamtramck; lately Im trying to step up & appear at shows where cartooning is less prominent.
QRD What do you do to promote your books?
Michael Post links online, chat up co-workers & friends of friends who are not comic readers.
QRD Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Michael Definitely elsewhere.
QRD What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Michael Leaning toward animation & games; at least thats how Ive arranged my digital workflow.
QRD Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
QRD What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Michael Digital, print-on-demand, whatever bookstores are left standing.
QRD What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Michael More people trying it just once & more work from the people who already know how.
QRD Anything else?
Michael Find a path that brings you the
level of success that best suits you; incorporate more of yourself into
your cartooning, no matter what your genre specialty is; stop making excuses
& make comics.