with Jeremy Baum
Name: Jeremy Baum
Comics: Extravagant Traveler & POSTLAND
Websites: www.madbaumer37.deviantart.com, www.madbaumer37.tumblr.com, www.madbaumer37.storeenvy.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?
Jeremy – I was really into them as a kid, starting around age 8. I didn’t exactly read everything under the sun; I was just into the random weird stuff that caught my interest. Stuff like Heavy Metal Magazine, Robert Crumb, Cerebus, Bone, Ralph Snart Adventures. My interest in comics dwindled once I my interest started gravitating towards girls when I was in high school. I didn’t really get back into reading comics until about 7 years ago.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Jeremy – I’m almost certain it was either a Batman comic or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I can’t remember.
QRD – How old were you when you put out your first comic?
Jeremy – I did several ongoing strips as a kid that I deeply regret not having anymore & I did the cartoon for the school paper that was basically a Gary Larson rip-off.
My first graphic novel I published in 2006. It was called mindfields & the writing for it is embarrassingly awful. I continued doing short comics until my second graphic novel postland in 2011. That was the first comic I was marginally proud of.
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Jeremy – 1970s.
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Jeremy – I tried for years, drawing obsessively every day, to be an illustrator & to be a part of the pop-surrealism movement currently in galleries. It wasn’t until I started doing comics that my work got the most attention it ever has.
QRD – Do you see mini-comics & indie comics as paths to mainstream comics or as their own unique media?
Jeremy – I don’t know. I don’t really think along those lines too much. Drawing is a compulsive tick for me. I’m much more of a fiend chasing a fix than I am an entrepreneur.
QRD – How many copies of your comic do you print in your first run?
Jeremy – Between 100 & 200. Depends.
QRD – How much do you think comics should cost?
Jeremy – Beats me. I’m not very business-savvy. I always make my stuff as cheap as possible, so that it’s as accessible as possible, pretty much breaking even or losing money every time. Probably not wise in a fiscal sense, but for now I just want to share my work with anyone who will pay attention.
QRD – How many books do you produce a year & how many would you like to?
Jeremy – Not as much as would like to since I hold down a day job & raise a child, but that’s the goal I’m working towards, spending all of my time drawing in the hopes of some day earning more time to draw.
QRD – Do you think stories should be serialized or delivered as complete works?
Jeremy – I prefer complete works.
QRD – How are comic strips different than comic books & which medium do you prefer?
Jeremy – Comic books structurally give you more breathing room creatively.
QRD – How long is it from when you start a comic until it’s printed?
Jeremy – It takes me between 2 & 3 months due to the amount of detail I put in my drawing.
QRD – What do you do better with your comics now than when you first started?
Jeremy – Pacing. Making a comic where the imagery of the panels is sequentially cohesive.
QRD – Do you do thumbnails?
Jeremy – Never.
QRD – At what size do you draw?
Jeremy – About 200% the print size or a little more. Depends on the imagery.
QRD – What kind of pens do you use?
Jeremy – India ink Faber-Castell pens, ballpoint, & design markers.
QRD – What does your workstation look like?
Jeremy – The nesting place of a lunatic.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Jeremy – Piecing the individual panels together on one page.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Jeremy – There are several that I really enjoy. Most of them done by close friends.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Jeremy – Color.
QRD – How many different people should work on a comic & what should their jobs be?
Jeremy – As many as it takes to screw in a lightbulb.
QRD – How do you find collaborators?
Jeremy – Other artists or writers whose work speaks to me personally. They are also always exceptionally decent human beings.
QRD – How tight do you think a script should be as far as telling the artist what to draw?
Jeremy – I personally prefer plenty of creative freedom to connect the dots. Otherwise the process becomes dull & mechanical.
QRD – What comic book person would you be most flattered to be compared to?
Jeremy – Milo Manara. Especially since my work looks nothing like his beautiful artistry. Moebius & Farel Dalrymple as well.
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Jeremy – I don’t know. I think they like it. If anything, I’m sure it’s like an ongoing freakshow to them.
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Jeremy – Not really interested in them.
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Jeremy – I always preferred Marvel as a kid.
QRD – What comic characters other than your own would you like to work with?
Jeremy – Cochlea & Eustachia by Hans Rickheit. TMNT would be fun too, maybe, I think.
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Jeremy – I don’t know. I guess. I take a large amount of inspiration from Tom Neely. He self-publishes all of his stuff, following in the footsteps of his late mentor Dylan Williams. Tom Neely is fucking brilliant. Box Brown is another self-publisher that sets a decent example to follow.
QRD – What conventions do you try to attend & why?
Jeremy – I’m trying to do CAKE, SPACE, Asbury Park, & SPX in 2013. We’ll see whether or not I make the cut.
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Jeremy – I send free sample copies to other cartoonists & indie-friendly comic shops across the country. I also litter the internet with my stuff.
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Jeremy – I don’t know.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Jeremy – Animation. People have been trying to talk me into it. Also porn.
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Jeremy – I spend so much of my free time drawing I sadly don’t get very much time at all to read or collect. I consider myself a reader rather than a collector.
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Jeremy – Print will never go away when it comes to comics, as far as I’m concerned.