So Stuart... All-New Cap. I am very much excite. What was the process like moving from X-Men to this? Did you leave/get pulled off it to make room for Cap or did you have a break in between to figure out what you wanted to do next? How many issues will you be on for? A lot of questions I know. Just any All-New Cap behind the scenes info would be sweet.
I finished my last issue of ANXM in early June and began my first issue of ANCA in late July. In between, I worked on Russian Olive to Red King.
There is no set number of issues regarding my commitment to Captain America.
Thanks for your enthusiasm; I’m pleased with the work so far.
What prep work do you do when starting a new comic? You seem to do a lot of teams/ensemble casts at least in your mainstream comics work. How do you keep all that together and keep each character distinctive?
I’m not sure what you mean by prep work. I wake up and start drawing; the task at hand is always changing (scene by scene, page by page, issue by issue, covers, interiors) and I’m usually juggling a few projects at once, so each day is different from the previous one regardless of the assignment.
As to my ability to draw distinctive characters, many thanks, but I feel it falls short much of the time.
Is this the ask box? That’s not my question. This is my question —> What’s a Thing that once annoyed you about your partner that you maybe kind of adore now? And/or vice versa, if you’re willing to go there. =)
Yow. I’ll go first. Stuart is doing part of the corporate taxes at the moment, so you should probably take that into account when he answers.
We’ve been together a long time and I’d say that we’re both worse in some ways that don’t matter and better in a lot of ways that do. I don’t think there’s anything that I’ve ever found adorable about Stuart. He’s not really an adorable sort of person. He’s kind of spikey. It sometimes drives me nuts how stubborn and unwilling to ask for help he is but both of these things are foundational strengths of his character, not faults. Having said that, though, we’re both aware of how you can let small inconsequentials build up. So if something is irritating enough that the other person feels compelled to mention it, then we both try not to do that thing. I almost always remember to clean my hair out of the shower drain (he cleans the bathrooms), he almost always remembers to not leave repulsive sweaty work clothes turned inside out (I do the laundry). Does it ultimately matter? no. Does it make it easier to live together? yes.
Too serious? whatever. Stuart?
The better Buddhist in each of us accepts instead of resisting and everyone is happier. Except when we don’t and we’re not.
And except for these bloody taxes. But that’s why we have an accountant.
How jealous would Stuart be if Kathryn was told by Marvel to write a new NEXTWAVE series?... Sorry, I wanted to ask something relating more to art and process and workflow and inspiration, but those seem to have been covered at one point or another... Neither of you really have to answer this if you don't want to... Keep up the great work, huge fan =)
OK, since I didn’t write NEXTWAVE, I wouldn’t be jealous in the least. If she has been asked (not told, see previous) to draw NEXTWAVE, that would also be fine… but very unusual. If she had been asked to work on NEXTWAVE and I wasn’t, well, I have a job.
Anyway, I sent this to editor Nick Lowe last week and he liked it, so holy synchronicity.
Stuart, It seems like you and Wade are pretty tight. It's been ages since I've seen either of you credited without the other. Tbh, I'm not 100% sure he's not your pen name for when you ink yourself, like Soderbergh and "Peter Andrews". How does this affect how you choose projects? Is it like a married couple deciding whether to take a job in a new city, ie you can't say yes without checking with him? If he'd wanted to stay on X-men, would he have been able to, and you get a new inker for Cap?
Yeah, we’ve been around the block a few times together.
So far, decisions made regarding which long-term projects to take on have been left to me, from INFERNO on up to ALL-NEW CAP, though we have both taken on other jobs without the other during the last twenty-some years. Most recently, I told him I was leaving ANXM for new horizons and asked if he was interested in coming along and he said yes, thank goodness. I’ve tried working with other inkers and it’s never as good. Of course, if Wade had preferred to stay on board, that’s his prerogative (despite popular opinion, freelancers do not own other freelancers or have any say in their work choices— ie: Writer X does not “steal” Artist Y nor does Artist Y “belong to” Writer X but I digress) and we would have found other collaborators.
As artists, there's always a time where one feel discouraged about drawing. Do you ever feel like this? personally, I absolutely love your work. I really like how you draw lips and noses
I feel this way all the time. Every day. Several times a day. But other people are depending on my completing the job of drawing so I do my best to sweep those negative feelings aside; if I can turn depression into anger and turn anger into getting over myself, then that’s a good day. I wrote more about this previously.
Thanks for making great work together. I pick up most projects you each work on with other creators, and I never miss out on your collaborations. Looking forward to Russian Olive.
We seriously can’t thank you enough for your support. We both are aware that we don’t stump as hard for this work (or any of it really) in the way that many others do so it’s enormously gratifying when we hear these kinds of things. We’re getting fairly close on Russian Olive although it has no publisher, we don’t necessarily expect that anyone’s going to be interested and you may just have to come over and we’ll show you a stack of photocopies.
Your line work on your figures reminds me of John Held Jr. and Russell Patterson. Do they influence your work directly or indirectly?
i don’t believe anyone’s made that connection previously, but I take it as a compliment of the highest order. I don’t think it shows up particularly in my mainstream superhero work, but both gentlemen (and others) inform some of the considerations in our more personal stuff. I would strongly consider giving up a few vestigial limbs if I could employ a fraction of Patterson’s talent.
"A feeble rubious hint of morning light bled sideways into the sky, each puddling bit of brightness making the place look uglier with sharpened detail of its decrepitude, and the shouting made it worse. What am I doing here?"
— Paul Theroux, The Last Train to Zona Verde
"What a deplorable existence I lead in this absurd climate and under what frightful conditions! How boring! How stupid life is! What am I doing here?"
NOTE! AN IMPORTANT UPDATE TO THE 2014 KEVIN CHURCH BIRTHDAY FUNDRAISER TO HELP KIDS TO READ GOOD IS INCLUDED IN THIS REBLOG. kevinchurch: Next Monday is my birthday and, as I’ve done in previous…
The current outstanding total for Kevin’s chosen projects on www.donorschoose.org is $4136. We know that seems like a big number. It is. But we can make is smaller… quickly and easily. Maybe before you go to lunch, consider clicking over and donating five dollars. Donors Choose makes contributing very easy. It will make you feel good. Promise.
“Boy, if there’s some girl out there who’s had worse luck with men, I’d sure like to meet her. Here, Patsy! Marry Buzz, your childhood sweetheart! Why, that’s a great idea! Whoops! He’s crazy and a super-villain! And you’d think those two things were related, wouldn’t you? Once burnt, twice shy? Not me, sister! I go and marry the Son of Satan. But not actually Satan. Just some guy named Satan. Larry Satan. And what do I get for it? Dead!”—
Patsy Walker: Hellcat, written by Kathryn Immonen. (via love-and-radiation
When I close my eyes, me and David Lafuente are sitting in our treehouse, eating oreos and making Patsy comics on the back of tractor feed paper that we found in the dumpster behind your dad’s office.
Advice to the mid-career cartoonist who has failed to build an audience
I’ve been publishing comics for coming on twenty years now. It’s hard to pinpoint a start-date, as like many cartoonists I’ve just been drawing my whole life, but sometime around ‘95 would be when I began putting out ‘zines…
Hey Stuart! I actually have a question… I love the centrifolia sketch book releases. Wondering if there is any plans of releasing a third volume in the near future? Maybe feature some behind the scenes works while you were in X-Men or any runs on other comics you’ve done to justify a new edition? Your sketches are always fascinating and insightful into your creative process.
I’ve taken the liberty of copying your ask to a public post, but will gladly remove it on request.
Thanks for your comments regarding the Centifolia books and my process posts here. I’d be happy to compile a third volume at some point, but frankly, we are still sitting on quite a few copies of one and two, and I’d prefer to have those go away first. I wish I could say that sales were huge, but it’s actually been a pretty modest endeavour.
As to the possible inclusion of Marvel (or similar)-related work, despite being a possible sales hook, it’s a flat no-go as far as I’m concerned. Not only am I not legally permitted to publish that stuff, I’m not in the least interested in doing so. I think it’s a bad idea. It frustrates me to see members of the comic arts community take advantage of the publishers’ lax rights-enforcement stance by printing their homegrown Silver Surver t-shirts, their Ant-Man digital prints, their Wonder Woman sketch portfolios. They bite the hand that feeds and by example, open the door to imitators hoping to make a fast buck at conventions. Sketching an original for a fan is one thing, but profiting by printing multiples of someone else’s copyrighted material is wrong. Just because Marvel and DC are “big” is no excuse; if there is to be respect for smaller enterprises, personal works, creator-owned books, then the same rules need to apply across the board. You can’t yell about Redbubble or whomever stealing and printing your personal work and then turn around and print and sell a sketchbook filled with characters you don’t own.
I know a lot of people don’t agree with this and I expect there will be a lot of folks looking for anomalies in my own behaviour. I’m trying.
Again, thanks for your question. There may yet be a CENTI III— if and when it happens, you’ll be first to know.
Stuart, first of all thanks for all the work you do, it's a constant inspiration. I have a few questions, no need to answer them all: Have you, in your professional career, tired to quit but felt drawn back to comics for whatever reason? What is something that pops up often in scripts that you don't like drawing? What areas of your work do you feel you want to improve in? Is there some advice, moto or story that inspires you to keep working when you don't think you can?
Hello and thanks for the kind words.
1) I’ve never considered quitting per se, but I have periodically gotten very very tired, sometimes mentally, sometimes physically. I try to take more weekends off now, to get regular exercise and have recently cut way, way back on personal appearances.
About eight or ten years ago, K and I redoubled our commitment to create (or finish) the stories we’ve always talked about doing, and I have found that. despite the added workload of webcomics (Never As Bad As You Think) or OGNs (Moving Pictures, Russian Olive to Red King), the effort is worth it on its own merits as well as having a rejuvenating effect on work to which I am already committed. A change is as good as a rest, you know.
2) Oh, every page has some frustration, but I expect that’s due to my own limits, perceived or real. I find sci-fi environs in general very challenging and feel my efforts often come up short. Hair is hard. Explosions. Trees. Babies. Hats.
3) See above. Every new day, every new page is an opportunity to improve. Knowing there are people waiting for work to get turned in means sometimes letting less-than-perfect drawings go out the door. Tomorrow there will be better drawings. And free beer.
4) I could make something up, or you could take your pick of inspirational aphorisms by which to live, but I honestly don’t give the subject too much thought. My job is telling stories with pictures. That’s what I’ve committed to do, so I don’t waste a lot of time brooding about whether or not the muse is with me on a given day. I wake up and get to work. It was good enough for Kirby.
Dearest Immonens, Thank you for making earnest, thoughtful work in both independent and monthly comics. So few writers and artists choose to play both sides of that fence, and the community often feels terribly fractured along rather superficial lines between commercial and independent comics. Why do you think this is? What led the two of you to ignore that nonsense and do such great work in both arenas? Thank you for your time, thank you for your comics. -Jake
Hello and thanks to you.
Most days I think we both feel like we don’t really belong in either camp, actually.
Our interests as far as consumption goes straddle the (arbitrary) divide, so I suppose it makes sense that we would find stories worth telling regardless of genre. I was in the video store (yes, they still exist) this week and the clerk asked what kind of movies I liked. I don’t think she believed me when I said I would watch anything, even when I came away with The American, Thirst and Kieslowski’s Three Colors. Stories are stories; why limit yourself?
Do you have a particular genre or collection of songs you listen to while you work?
Not really. Because we share the same work space, whomever needs to concentrate more gets to choose what helps them do that best. For a long time the default was just the ipod on shuffle but Stuart’s got a little too much Woody Guthrie in there and we both got tired of diving for the skip button. Our taste is pretty diverse but it basically stops around 1990.
Mostly now, we let the Shaw satellite tv radio play in the next room and there’s a French nostalgia station that is like the soundtrack for the French version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. And that’s basically perfect. As is the 70s station on the days when it decides to be mainly Roberta Flack and Marvin Gaye.
Stuart, I just reread Nextwave again for the first time in a while and it remains my single favorite comic of all time. Would you be interested in getting the band back together, if not for an ongoing series, then at least for an OGN/one-shot/miniseries?
If Warren wrote it, Nick Lowe edited it, Marvel scheduled it, and I was asked to draw it, I would be all over it but I suspect that ship sailed a long time ago.
Kathryn - as a lover of your unjustly short journey into mystery run I'd love to know: what was your personal highlight of the series?
First, as one not-so-secret JiM lover to another, thank you. It was a tremendously good time. And second, at the risk of sounding obvious, the highlight was 100% making a book with Valerio Schiti. He was a delightful companion and a hilarious collaborator right from the get go. And I think we both, inexplicably, ‘got’ Sif in the same way… fierce and elegant, dorky and awkwardly literal… all in equal measure. Totally incapable of telling a knock knock joke, she was our enormously gifted, sometimes misguided and mistaken, Asgardian giraffe. I hope that some of what we were able to do with that character sticks going forward.