Archive for the ‘Interviews’


November 10, 2011 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Interviews

Roger Langridge
has been a part of HeroesCon for several years now, and has become one of the anchors of Indie Island.  Roger is a cartoonist who manages to garner respect and enthusiasm from a wide gamut of readers.  Kids love his comics, other cartoonists study his line work, and comics retailers appreciate the accessibility of his books.  He’s also a creator who manages to be as adept at crafting entertaining comics for properties that he didn’t create (The Muppet Show), as he is with characters he did (Fred the Clown).  Above all, if you’re lucky enough to talk to Roger, aside from the fact that he’s a genuinely nice person, you immediately understand that this is a guy who is passionate about comics.  He loves this medium, its history, and the possibility of turning new readers onto the joy of comics.  It is that combination of skill, respect, and enthusiasm that makes Roger such an interesting creator, and I’m happy to share a recent interview I conducted with him on the Heroes Blog.

Seth Peagler: First off, Roger, thanks for talking with me. Since issue #2 of Snarked! recently hit stands, I’d like to start there.  Your previous work on Fred the Clown shows that you have a real affinity for wordplay, but it seems like Snarked! is really giving you a chance to stretch out as a writer alongside your artwork. When it came time to do a new original series, was the idea of bringing Lewis Carroll into comics something that you’ve long considered?

Roger Langridge: Well, I’ve played in the Lewis Carroll sandbox a few times before – I did a Frankenstein meets Shirley Temple minicomic on the subject of Carroll, I’ve done some Carroll-inspired Fred the Clown strips, I did a Gonzo Mad Hatter Tea Party in The Muppet Show Comic, and Scott Gray and I did a Doctor Who story, The Autonomy Bug, which featured robot counterparts to a lot of Carroll characters. I’ve read the Alice books many, many times since I was a kid. So I was very familiar with that world before I started. When I was coming up with Snarked!, I had this idea that it would be a much easier sell if it featured some characters who were already familiar to a general audience, even if those characters had been filtered through my own sensibilities to a large extent. And I love writing comedy double acts. So I sort of started with the Walrus and the Carpenter as the central characters and built outwards from there.
SP: Was the idea of incorporating stylistic elements of his writing something you consciously saw as a means of challenging and entertaining yourself as a writer?
RL: I enjoy throwing rhyme into my comics as an added textual (and textural!) element, I’ve done it extensively in both Fred the Clown and The Muppet Show Comic Book, so I thought, if I’m pillaging the works of Lewis Carroll, I might as well pillage his verse while I’m about it. It was a way of trying not to alienate too many of my existing readers as much as anything! I’ve kind of made myself known as “That Guy Who Puts Rhymes Into His Comics.”
SP: I do think rhyming has become one aspect of your writing that readers respond to, but in many ways I think Snarked! represents how you have continued to diversify your work as a writer. Aside from your continued work as a cartoonist, I’ve noticed how you’ve started writing more for projects that you don’t illustrate.
RL: Yes, that’s been a lot more fun than I expected. Writing for other artists is something I never set out to do – I always wrote just so I would have something to draw – but I’ve found myself becoming a writer almost by accident and – much to my surprise – I really, really like it. It’s helped that my collaborators have been great – it’s always nice when an artist comes back with something better than what you’d imagined, and that happens gratifyingly often.
SP: In addition to an acclaimed run on Marvel’s Thor the Mighty Avenger, you’re now working on the adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter: A Princess of Mars. Was Burroughs, like Carroll, a writer who you’ve long respected? (more…)


August 25, 2011 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Interviews

If you’re a regular visitor to Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, HeroesCon, or the Charlotte MiniCon, you’re probably familiar with the work of local creator Jason Latour.  In recent years he has worked on high profile books for Marvel and DC, and most recently, saw his co-created book Loose Ends see print from 12 Gauge Comics.  His work as both a writer and artist has received acclaim from comics fans, retailers, critics, and professionals alike.  This week I got a chance to talk with this longtime friend of Heroes about the development of his comics career, and how he worked to add writing to his extensive resume.

Seth Peagler: Jason, you have thus far in your career been primarily known as an artist, but Loose Ends marks your first major comics effort as a writer.  What is it about this concept that made you want it to be your first venture as a writer?  Was this an idea that you developed over a long period of time and planned on producing as a comic, or did it start out in another medium?

Jason Latour: Maybe it’s a muddy analogy but you’re a musician so you may relate—  I always knew that if I’d drawn Loose Ends myself I’d have forced it to be a quiet, solo acoustic album despite knowing full well that it needed a different scale. It needed a wall of sound to come alive and Chris (Brunner) and Rico (Renzi) were the only team I knew of who could provide that. Knowing they were involved pushed me to consider things about the story and about crime fiction that I might not have otherwise. I opened myself up to other point’s of view and I honestly feel like my contribution to the book has  gotten better for it.

As for why it’s the first one– It just became the project I’m most invested in. So much so that it seemed necessary to hit the brakes on any other potential writing projects and put  all my eggs into this basket. It was a hard choice to make just because logistically–given what I knew first-hand about the difficulties of doing creator owned comics– I wasn’t sure how we’d get it done. But I knew it was worth it to do the book I wanted to do with the team I wanted to work with. It seems like not long after that decision was made things picked up for me as an artist and I became able to afford a greater peace of mind that maybe a lot of writers working on their first project don’t have.

SP: I can tell by reading the first issue of Loose Ends that this project was a real labor of love for you, Chris, and Rico.  Since you all live so close to Heroes, I’ve gotten to see how hard and how long you worked on the book together.  As far as the story of Loose Ends is concerned, knowing that you were working with the Kickstand Kids from early on, did you shape the story specifically for them, or did it stay pretty similar to your initial thoughts about it? What are some aspects of their specific styles that informed how you approached the scripts?




July 28, 2011 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, HeroesCon, Interviews

Flashback with us to June 3-5 and HeroesCon 2011. John Carter and Carolina Camera take a stroll through opening day of our convention with head honcho, Shelton Drum. You’re sure to see some familiar faces! Our segment starts at the 8 minute mark but the opener is a doozy, featuring Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers. Enjoy!



June 27, 2011 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, HeroesCon, Interviews

Our friends over at The Dollar Bin not only provided us with great sound and technical support on all of our panels at HeroesCon 2011, they have started posting recordings of some of that coverage on their website. Head on over to The Dollar Bin to check them out or follow the direct links below. Thanks guys!




June 09, 2011 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, HeroesCon, HeroesCon News, Interviews, Photos

Thanks again everyone for making HeroesCon 2011 so great! Here are some links to what others saw and did at the show. More memories and photos from HeroesCon 2011 to come! Next year is our 30th anniversary show, don’t miss it!

AdHouse Books Blog » Random HeroesCon 2011 Thoughts
Paige Hogan’s Photos from Heroes Con 2011 | CLT Blog
The Beat’s HeroesCon Coverage
Big Dog’s Studio: Heroes Con 2011 – Con Report
Comic News Insider’s Coverage
The Comics Reporter: Collective Memory: Heroes Con 2011
crayons and cupcakes: HEROESCON 2011
Doug Dabbs
Dollar Bin
Exile on Plain Street: HeroesCon 2011: Heather’s Wrap Up Report
Heroes Con 2011 – Day 1 » Ben Towle: Cartoonist, Educator, Hobo
Heroes Con 2011 – Day 2 » Ben Towle: Cartoonist, Educator, Hobo
Heroes Con 2011 – Day 3 » Ben Towle: Cartoonist, Educator, Hobo
Wook Jin Clark: Heroes Con 2011 Wrapup!
Joe Simon – My Life in Comics – Golden Age of Comic Books
Jackie Lewis: Heroes Con 2011
Jamie Cosley: Heroes Con = Best Con Ever!!!
McGeeks | HeroesCon 2011: The Thor Panel With Matt Fraction, Roger Langridge, and Jonathan Hickman
Andrew Robinson: Next Exit Comics: King Conan painting 5.0
Rich Barrett’s HeroesCon 2011 Report
HeroesCon Recap: Photo Essay/Day 3 | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
HeroesCon Recap: Photo Essay | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
SABRECAT – Heroes Con 2011
Team Cul de Sac: Heroescon update!
Eric Canete [ e ]: HEROESCON 2011_commissions
Kill Shakespeare
That F’ing Monkey: Heroes Con 2011: Interviews Part 1
That F’ing Monkey: Heroes Convention 2011: Nat Jones and ’68
The Adventurers Club: Heroes Con 2011 – Day 1 – Artists
The Panelists | Heroes Con 2011: Not All About Longboxes
Cartoonist draws peace from imagination |
Josh Latta: Who Let The Nerds Out? Heroes Con 2011 In Review

Twitter @heroesonline & #HeroesCon

HeroesCon » MTV Geek
HeroesCon 2011: Evan Dorkin, Roger Langridge and Richard Thompson Talk Humor in Comics
Artist Skottie Young Talks About Drawing Chickens and Digital Downloads
HeroesCon 2011: Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting On Remaking The FF
HeroesCon 2011: Project Rooftop Panel Highlights Redesigning The Superhero Costume
HeroesCon 2011: Artist Peter Krause Talks To Us About Leaving Irredeemable

YouTube – 2011 Heroes Convention Charlotte, NC
Brian Stelfreeze Alice
YouTube – Skottie Young sketches a flying monkey at Heroes Con 2011
YouTube – Brandon Peterson sketches Captain America at Heroes Con 2011
YouTube – ALFG Visits HEROES CON: 20111
YouTube – Heroes Con 2011 Slideshow
YouTube – Heroes Con Day #2
YouTube – HEROESCON 2011 DAY #3



May 10, 2011 By: Seth Peagler Category: Comics Industry, DISCUSS, Guest List, HeroesCon, Interviews, NEWS

HeroesCon 2011 is less than a month away!  As part of our continuing series spotlighting some of our guests at this year’s show, today we’re proud to feature an interview with Chris Pitzer of AdHouse Books.  Pitzer is by no means a stranger to HeroesCon, and has been a staple of Indie Island for years.  With AdHouse continuing to gain respect and attention within the industry, we thought it would be fun to talk with Pitzer about his acclaimed publishing house, and to see what you might find at the AdHouse booth this HeroesCon.

Seth Peagler (SP): Chris, thanks for being a part of this interview. AdHouse has really done some great things in recent years, but to start out I’d like to ask you about what led you to start your own homegrown publishing house in the first place?

Chris Pitzer (CP): Sure thing Seth! Well, I love book design. I also love comics. So, after having done a stint at Eclipse back in the day, I started to freelance a little bit here and there within the comic field. Eventually I was made aware of a creator (Joel Priddy) and his book (Pulpatoon Pilgrimage) and we both happened to be living in Richmond, VA at the time. So, we met, and I told Joel that I’d be more than happy to help him get his work published. Knowing a few of the indy publishers at the time, I sent them his proposal and waited on a response. When a response never came, I decided to take the “knowledge” I had gained by that point, and start AdHouse. That was nine years ago!!!

SP: I would imagine that you have lots of creators who want to publish their work at AdHouse. How exactly do you decide what books and creators you want to work with and publish?

CP: I know I sound like a broken record with this answer, but I have to love it. Jeff (Alternative Comics) Mason told me that once, and it has really stuck with me. Besides loving it, I like to see an attention to detail. I like a creator who can get out there and help sell their work. I like something new, something borrowed, something blue… So, really, it’s just a matter of hitting me with the right project at the right time. This being our ninth year celebration, we’ve beenproducing work full tilt!

SP: Can you talk a bit about AdDistro? I recently bought some fantastic books from you that were published by Nobrow. Is AdDistro just another way for AdHouse to turn readers on to comics and creators they might not typically encounter?

CP: Exactly. I initially found Nobrow via the Drawn.CA website. I was curious, so I ordered a few of their publications. The only problem is that they were based in the UK. So, it wasn’t really a “problem” but I thought it might be a hurdle for some customers. So, after getting their wonderful work, I came up with the idea to help bring it to the states. Around the same time, I stumbled upon Koyama Press out of Canada. And then a retailer friend made me aware of Malachi Ward’s self-published work. So, those three were my initial offering of AdDistro. I can’t say this will be around forever, but it is fun to bring to shows and see people get excited about it. I know I still do.

SP: You’ve recently had great success with both Afrodisiac and Duncan the Wonder Dog, the latter of which just won the LA Festival of the Book Graphic Novel prize. What books or projects are you excited about AdHouse being involved with in the coming year?

CP: All of them! But to bring you and your readers up to speed, here’s what we have planned… Even the Giants by Jesse Jacobs will be appearing in stores in around two weeks. We also decided to help bring Stuart Immonen’s Centifolia V2 to life. It, and the first volume, will be available by the end of May via AdHouse and finer comic shops. June is Welcome to Oddville! by Jay Stephens which I was very excited to help publish. July is Forming by Jesse Moynihan which I am VERY excited to read. You see, I’m just helping Nobrow bring it to stores in the US, so I haven’t actually read the whole thing. Just a bit on his site. I don’t want to spoil the experience for myself. August is Blue Collar / White Collar by Sterling Hundley. This is in the vein of the James Jean or Paul Pope books. More of an art book with some essays. Very nice stuff. September is the Do It Yourself Doodler by David Jablow. It’s a weird little art book that has been quite the internet sensation. And September is Pope Hats #2! Whew!

SP: You’ve been an anchor of Indie Island throughout the years and every year you’ve always got some interesting books and people with you at your booth. What are some things fans can expect to find at the AdHouse booth this HeroesCon?

CP: We’re bringing Lamar Abrams (REMAKE SPECIAL)

back down South with us this year. We both enjoy the food! Jim Rugg (AFRODISIAC) will be making an appearance. And, I just got an email from Fred Chao (JOHNNY HIRO) that he’ll be roaming the show. So expect those great people and books as well as all our other publications! And be sure to check out the fine AdDistro items! It’s all for the love of comics!



April 21, 2011 By: Seth Peagler Category: Comics Industry, Guest List, HeroesCon, HeroesCon News, Interviews, NEWS

With HeroesCon ’11 just around the corner we’re happy to continue to shine a spotlight on several of the creators who will be appearing.  Today we’re featuring an interview with John Arcudi, a veteran writer who has worked on everything from Superman (in Wednesday Comics) and Doom Patrol, to Gen13 and the cult favorite Major Bummer.  He’s also been a mainstay at Dark Horse Comics for years working on titles like The MaskAliensPredatorRoboCop, and for the past several years as the co-writer of the popular Hellboy spinoffs B.P.R.D. and Witchfinder. Make sure to stop by and say hello to John and welcome him to his first ever HeroesCon appearance!

Seth Peagler (SP):  John, we’ve been fortunate to have several of your Dark Horse cohorts appear at HeroesCon over the years, so it’s nice to have you be in Charlotte with us this year.  Many of our attendees probably know you best from your work on B.P.R.D., but you’ve written everything from mainstream superhero titles to original graphic novels like A God Somewhere.  I’m curious how your writing approach differs between superhero books and titles of other genres.  Is there a difference at all, or do you structure your writing the same way regardless of the genre?

John Arcudi (JA): Thanks for having me, and I sure hope many attendees know me.  We’ll see.  As for my writingapproach, that’s an interesting question.  I’m always trying to tell the best stories I can, but there’s no getting around that I look at different work in different lights.  The way I write superheroes, for the most part, is pretty badly.  Never really got the feel for them, hence the creation of Major Bummer, my and Doug Mahnke’s super-satire.  It was more personal so I felt I could pour a lot more stuff into it.  Same thing for A god Somewhere.  In both cases, there’s no existing continuity to adhere to.  They’re my characters and my stories, and I’m more confident that I actually know what I’m doing.

(SP): Particularly with writers I’m always curious about their educational background.  Did you study English and screenwriting?  Was comics writing something you naturally found yourself working toward?

(JA): English major, but was never working towards writing comics.  Never.  It was a kind of accident, actually, but as soon as I started it turned out I worked well in the medium, so it’s lucky I ended up doing this instead of being a mechanic.

(SP): OnB.P.R.D. you’re working with one of our industry’s giants Mike Mignola to develop and flesh out his universe, but you’re still able to bring your own ideas and elements to it.  What’s the creative process like between you and Mignola?  Are plots collaboratively developed with you handling the scripting duties?

(JA): B.P.R.D. is a strange animal.  Mike and I do sometimes collaborate on plots, and sometimes we don’t.  It just depends on what the mini-series is about — but as for the large, over-arcing plot — which is to say, where the series is heading, yes, we did and do collaborate on that.   I’m also very fortunate that for being as big a name as Mike is, he still lets me do what I do, lets me run with an idea, and takes my ideas seriously.  He seems to trust me, which is another reason the B.P.R.D. books work so well, or at least why I’m happy working on them, which one would hope translates to good reading.

(SP): Earlier this year longtime B.P.R.D. artist (and HeroesCon regular) Guy Davis announced he was departing the book.  After working on this title for so long with Guy, I’d imagine the two of you and Mike had developed a kind of instinctive working relationship with each other.  How have you and Mignola handled the transition over to new artist Tyler Crook?  Are you finding elements in his style that are informing your storytelling or that might influence future storylines?

(JA): Sure, it’s been weird, and I do already miss Guy.  He’s so talented, but he’s also a sweetheart, and you’re right; we all got into a groove with him.  That said, Tyler is really an incredible artist.  There’s going to be an adjustment period, obviously, but once we all get used to each other, Tyler’s going to do a great job.  He’s already finished one issue and it’s beautiful.  If he can handle all of our idiosyncrasies, then he’ll kick ass.  And I expect that I will play to his strengths, so sure, my stories — or how I tell them —  will turn out to be a little different.

(SP): Having been a mainstay at Dark Horse for years, I’m curious as to whether or not you’ll be bringing some of your popular characters like The Mask back in the new Dark Horse Presents title?

(JA): Right now we’re negotiating to get an old character back in DHP, but I can’t say much more about it than that.

(SP): I mentioned your original graphic novel A god Somewhere, are there any other creator owned books that you’re developing at the moment?

(JA): I’m working on a Graphic novel involving that self-same character that I can’t talk about (regrettably).  I also have a large OGN I’m developing and am just looking for a publisher.  It’ll be more along the lines of A god Somewhere.  Got a lot of hopes for that one.  Also, while it’s not a new book, Major Bummer is creator owned in every sense of the word and Dark Horse will be publishing the complete collection of that series in October of this year with some extras from both me and Doug Mahnke tossed in.

(SP): Thanks to John Arcudi for taking the time to talk with me.  Make sure to stop by and welcome him to HeroesCon this summer.  Stay tuned to the Heroes blog for HeroesCon news and guest spotlights, and remember, we still have tickets available, so pick them up while you can!



March 10, 2011 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Guest List, HeroesCon, Interviews

Throughout the year, as part of our buildup to HeroesCon ’11 we’ve been shining a spotlight on several artists who will be guests at our show.

This week we’re proud to feature an interview with Chrissie Zullo, an artist who burst into the industry in recent years with several high profile gigs, most notably as the cover artist for two Fables spinoff Cinderella miniseries’.  Zullo has also branched beyond covers to provide interior art for books like Madame Xanadu #26 and Fables #100.  Zullo is also one of Charlotte’s many talented local creators, which adds a lot of hometown pride for all of us at Heroes.

Seth Peagler (SP): Chrissie, thank you for taking time to talk with me.  I’d like to first ask you about your background in art.  What kind of training have you had both academically and in your own private studies?  Who are some of the painters and illustrators both in and out of the comics industry that you’ve been particularly affected by? (more…)



March 01, 2011 By: Rico Renzi Category: DISCUSS, Guest List, HeroesCon, Interviews

Stephanie Buscema’s art takes me back to a time when I couldn’t be trusted to handle a book with paper pages. It’s easy to imagine her art right there on those board book pages held together with gold spines. I see the influence of Charley Harper, Mary Blair, Miroslav Sasek, and other greats of the 50’s and 60’s. Stephanie’s art has been appearing on comic shelves lately and it’s been a blast to see her take on some of Marvel Comics’ classic characters. From learning the tools of the trade with her legendary grandfather to editing books for DC Comics to a very promising freelance career, Stephanie has covered a lot of ground, and it looks like she’s just getting started!

Rico Renzi: Were you getting tons of freelance work while you were editing at DC?

Stephanie Buscema: At first, no. I started working up at DC editorial a month after graduating from college. Knowing going completely freelance and being able to pay rent would be near impossible at the beginning, I took a job at DC during the day and took on freelance work at night. About a year in things started moving, more freelance work was coming in. I basically worked both jobs until it became too overwhelming, then I took the leap and finally went freelance after a little under 2 years of working at DC.

RR: I would imagine your art style is a hard sell to most comic editors. Is painting comics for Marvel and DC something you have pursued or has your work in other fields led to these editors seeking you out?

SB: A hard sell? Is it really that bad?? I kid 😉

I think it depends on the editor, their art tastes as well as the project they’d be considering me for. Painted comics is something I’ve always wanted to do. I grew up around/reading comics and from a young age always wanted to work in comics more then anything, in my teens I started learning a lot from my Grandfather, who had been working in comics for years. I knew my work wasn’t like his, and that was ok-I knew this was something I wanted to pursue. I really enjoy the characters, costuming and colors of the traditional superheroes-to be able to paint them by hand is just so much fun.

RR: Is all your comic stuff traditionally painted? How do you deal with editorial corrections? (more…)



February 14, 2011 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Interviews

If you’ve been a comic reader at any time in the past decade, you’ve undoubtedly come across the art of Ryan Benjamin at one point or another.  With work ranging from DC and Wildstorm to Marvel and advertising illustration, Benjamin is a fine example of an artist who has persevered and progressed through his work.  Recently we’ve been spotlighting HeroesCon guests on our blog, but today we’re happy to feature a talented artist whose work deserves some added attention.
Seth Peagler: Ryan, thanks for taking time out of your schedule to talk with me.  You’ve been in the industry for over a decade now and have worked on high profile titles for Wildstorm, Marvel, and DC.  How have you personally managed to sustain yourself in this industry and still continually develop and challenge yourself and your craft?

Ryan Benjamin: I stay busy, busy ,busy… (more…)