with Shana Cleveland
Name: Shana Cleveland
Comics: Famous Faces, Obscure Giants of Acoustic Guitar, Snack Shack Phunnyz
Websites: www.shanacleveland.com, laluz.bandcamp.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?
Shana – I probably got into comics when I was going to school in Chicago. I lived in Wicker Park so I was close to Quimby’s, which is just the coolest. I would get kinda nervous walking in there, because there were so many fascinating things that it was kinda overwhelming. I’d mostly creep up to the counter to buy copies of Eightball & hightail it out of there! I’m an awkward teenage boy forever.
QRD – What was the first comic book you ever bought?
Shana – Eightball by Daniel Clowes, I was obsessed with it. I wish he still did those. The most recent comic I’ve bought is Castle & Wood by Darin Shuler... it’s so good! You can subscribe to the series & he sends out new issue quarterly.
QRD – What decade do you think produced the best comics?
Shana – This one! Who knows what crazy stuff people are making out there? It’s probably SICK!
QRD – Why comics instead of just writing or drawing?
Shana – Because comics are both!
QRD – What kind of pens do you use?
Shana – I use pen & ink, & shade with brushes using black gouache
QRD – What does your workstation look like?
Shana – Lots of things cut out of books or magazines taped up to the walls & desk, like cool fonts & striking images. Stacks of books about rock ‘n’ roll, old National Geographics, out of date fashion mags. Notes upon notes upon notes to myself.
QRD – At what point in the artistic process do you work digitally?
Shana – Mostly just when it’s done & I want to post it somewhere.
QRD – What do you think of digital comics & webcomics?
Shana – I’m not sure what that is, but maybe I have one. Snack Shack Phunnyz, a series about working in fast food. It’s hand drawn, but only available to see online, does that count? If so, I think they are a good idea.
QRD – Do you prefer working in color or black & white?
Shana – Black & white.
QRD – What do your friends & family think of your comics?
Shana – They claim to like them.
QRD – What do you think of superheroes?
Shana – I’ve never been interested in them.
QRD – Marvel or DC?
Shana – Fantagraphics!
QRD – Ideally would you self-publish?
Shana – I guess ideally I would do whatever seemed like it might possibly pay my bills. I’m always trying to figure out what that would be.
QRD – What do you do to promote your books?
Shana – Internet stuff. Blog about them, announce that they exist. & send stuff to indie distributors.
QRD – Do you think your comics are well suited to comic shops or would sell better elsewhere?
Shana – I’ve never tried comic shops, but that’s a good idea! I mostly sell at rock shows or online.
QRD – What other medium would you like to see some of your comics made into (television, film, games, action figures, etc.)?
Shana – Wallpaper could be cool.
QRD – Do you consider yourself a comic collector or a comic reader or both?
Shana – Reader.
QRD – What do you see as the most viable mediums for comics distribution 10 years from now?
Shana – Mmm, the internet, right? I mean, I think people are still going to want to hold a book in their hands, but it seems like independent distributors are the way to go. With so many options, people want someone to sort through things & present them with a cohesive aesthetic. Kinda like a store like Quimby’s, where you walk in & you know that they have good taste so you could probably pick up anything on the shelf & enjoy it. But a domain name is so much cheaper that paying rent on a storefront in Chicago.
QRD – What would you like to see more people doing with comics?
Shana – I would really just like to see comics integrated into more places. It seems like they are always getting cut from papers. The Believer has one of my favorite comics pages, the comics are weird & surreal & beautiful & sometimes you can’t tell if they are trying to be funny. I would love to see comics pages that interesting turn up in more magazines or weekly papers. Also in art galleries! & in the liner notes of records! & maybe a comic that came with your garbage bill every month.