with Indie Comic Creator Sloane Leong
City: Ashland, OR
Comics: Sugar Ninjas Spicy Vol. 2 F*X*T Issue 1 Fat Chunk Test Everything Zine Issue 1 & 2 Pulpo Press Anthology 4 Faesthetic #12 Gothology Vol. 1 Fine Literature Issue 2, VIS, Crooked Root, Maschinell
QRD – How old were you when you first got into comics & did you always stick with them or did you come back to them?
Sloane – I think I was around 12 maybe & I’d go with my mom to work at a salon & wait next door at Borders for hours until she was done. I’ve always been a big reader & artist so I was addicted as soon as I read them. I’m a speed reader so I would pretty much go through libraries & bookstores rapidly, leaving literary corpses in my wake.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Sloane – When I was 14 my dad worked for the airlines in Hawaii, so I would fly back & forth weekly between islands & so every few days I would pick up a new Marvel or DC comic that was at the snack stand. It was usually an array of Batman comics or X-Men, those were my favorites.
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Sloane – When I was 16 I printed a run of a mini-comic about a rabbit, a fat woman & a little cute cyclops that went over famously.
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Sloane – That’s a really difficult question, maybe the 80s-90s? That’s only because that’s when Akira, L’incal, Le Garage Hermetique, Battle Angel Alita, & Blame were drawn; but really every decade has great comics, I can’t choose.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Sloane – Because the combination of both is just completely powerful & draws the best out of both mediums. If there’s something you can’t write you can illustrate it, if there’s something you can’t draw, like a feeling, you can describe it creatively. It’s beautiful.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Sloane – I think they’re just different genres, but a comic is a comic & I’ve seen alternative comic artists take up mainstream subjects & vice versa.
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Sloane – I usually print about 50 since I’m usually just peddling them online & giving them to comic stories.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Sloane – It really depends on the artist & publisher, but something reasonable obviously.
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Sloane – I don’t produce many books. I do a lot of anthologies & like to put my comics online. I’ve been in a few magazines the past year & that’s been great. I’d like to put out a book a year regularly.
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Sloane – This is tough, I think there’s definite advantages to both. Some read better as “episodes” serialized over time, but others read well as just a full-length feature.
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Sloane – Comic strips I always liken to silly cute things in newspapers whereas comic books cover a broader spectrum or style & story, so I prefer comic books.
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Sloane – Usually it takes awhile, I’m not too keen on printing yet just because I’m pregnant with ideas & I like to let them gestate for a looong time.
QRD – What do you better with your comics now than when you first started?
Sloane – Uh, everything except lettering because my handwriting will forever be atrocious.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Sloane – I prefer to have my color or tones applied digitally so I don’t jack up my inks & sometimes if I have a lot of black I’ll do it digitally.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Sloane – LOVE THEM, absolutely the future of comics, it’s just the perfect marketing strategy where you can create, advertise, & sell - all simultaneously.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Sloane – I love color, but I favor working in black & white because I love inking lines & hatching & all that good stuff.
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Sloane – I think writer/artist combos can be interesting if they have the right chemistry. Right now I’m collaborating on a graphic novel, Maschinell, with Nen & we both do concept art, writing, & the comics together & it’s working really well.
QRD – How do you find collaborators?
Sloane – I ask people that I see or associate with online & talk about it from there.
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Sloane – I think being heavily detailed in the script but not needing to hold fast to it is helpful or being incredibly vague & relying on the artist to get the tone of what you want across is useful also.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Sloane – Um, maybe Moebius or Yukito Kishiro? Like that will ever happen ha...
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Sloane – Usually they get really confused because they think they’re “psychedelic” & that I’m on drugs & then they’re afraid of them & then after they read more they’re impressed but still creeped out.
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Sloane – They’re fun, like the candy/junk food of the comics world.
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Sloane – Impossible to answer. I am in neutral between Bats & X-Men.
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Sloane – I actually have a hard time working with other people’s characters even if it’s fan art; it feels like I’m molesting them. I would maybe do some sort of X-Men thing just because I love the mutant concepts, but it’d be a far cry from anything close to what their readers would like.
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Sloane – Yes! I love self-publishing but I’m not opposed to being published either.
QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Sloane – Usually I go to SDCC since it’s my hometown & it’s free & large & obnoxiously entertaining. I try to hit Stumptown so I can cruise Portland, also.
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Sloane – Put them in comic stores, advertise online in forums & art communities, e-mail people that would review it & take interviews. (Heh.)
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Sloane – I think they’d be suited for the back alleys of a gritty city suburb, probably next to the entrails of a dead cat where a bum could sell them to other bums in exchange for licking soup from each others beards.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Sloane – I love film! Animation is something I attempted to pursue but was rebuffed by the money it took to pursue. I’d love to work in a studio some day though, a company’s or my own.
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Sloane – Probably just a comic reader, I’m really picky with what I buy because I am poor & whenever I go to buy something I think “don’t buy comics, MAKE THEM.”
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Sloane – Wow, um I guess online/digitally might get more popular, but I still think printed formats will be a staple.
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Sloane – Sharpening up their storytelling! Thinking outside the box, even if they’re into capes. Getting out of cliché trend comic styles.
QRD – Anything else?
Sloane – You should probably go draw or
read some comics to make up for the time you wasted reading this.