Beloved comics figures Jen Vaughn is leaving her marketing position at Fantagraphics, and Tom Spurgeon has her exit inerview:
VAUGHN: The plan was to stay in comics. Period. I’ve worked with comics and graphics novels at almost every level: handselling Y: the Last Man and Jeffrey Brown at a bookstore (Bookstop in Austin), comic book library, teaching comics to people from age seven to seventy, teaching teachers how to integrate comics in their curriculum, interned a company (Top Shelf), gone to comic book school, drawn — and printed — my own comics, wrote for a comics news site (The Beat), had a webcomic for a year and half, organized a small comic con, hosted indie comics — ye old Nerdlingers — worked at a comics non-profit, worked at a comics publisher. Basically, the only things left for me are to work at a printer in Asia and be a full-time freelancer. And maybe become a font…
Vaughn is a popular industry figure for all the above as well as her very funny and charming comics—which she hasn’t had as much time to work on as she’d like, hence the going freelance. Future projects include:
VAUGHN: Probably working in the aforementioned studio with Gaudiano, Moritat, and Thies. I’m inking two mainstream books and that news will be out soon. They are rad as hell and I’m working with great creative teams, I adore the pencillers especially. Anyone who follows me on Twitter (@thejenya) can hazard a guess. Meanwhile, Ryan K. Lindsay is writing a one-shot comic for me about power struggles, teens and more; can’t wait to sink my teeth in his script. Kevin Church promised me a space epic. My own ideas have been bubbling up for a bit so I may throw a thing or two out in the world.
Oh oh oh… also, I have the pleasure of working on a menstruation comic with the Menstrupedia people, who helped raise awareness and break the taboo about speaking about menstruation in India. Rajat Mittal hired me and I got to pick my creative team so Fanta editor Kristy Valenti is helping with rewrites and Fanta designer Keeli McCarthy is helping with some coloring/lettering and design. I’m all about getting paid and passing on some work to other people. And some my first mini-comics were menstruation-related. It is basically the perfect convergence of projects to start out with. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if someone is dying to have me do something. My dance card is a bit full now but I have a list of people I want to collaborate with.
Vaughn was a huge addition to Fantagraphics, especially teamed with her publicity partner Jacq Cohen, overseeing Fanta’s successful kickstarter campaign and helping in innumerable other ways to negotiate the very changed world of comics retail and marketing. It’s a big loss for them, but Vaughn has trained her replacement interns in her mystical way of the stick. Although we’re saddened not to be working with her in that business capacity, the sorrow is mitigated by having more Jen Vaughn comics in the world! YAY!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.