The return of a beloved Beat tradition!
§ The AV Club interviews Daniel Clowes, mostly about THE DEATH RAY:
DC: [Laughs.] The original idea for this comic was something I came up with when I was about Andy’s age, about 16 years old. I was obsessed with the Steve Ditko Spider-Man comics, and I was so moved by them that I tried to create… Well, I didn’t think of it at the time as my own version of that, I thought of it as something totally unique, but it really involved the same emotions. It was about a kid who lived with his grandfather, and his grandfather was killed, and the kid was bent on vengeance. The kid had these superpowers, and I didn’t bother to figure out how he got them, but he also had this ray-gun. I think I’ve had the fantasy of a ray-gun that could erase the world from the time I was a very little kid. Actually, there’s a dream in the comic, where Andy dreams that there’s this tree with these little berries that make everyone disappear. I used to have that dream all the time. So it felt like something absolutely essential to my conception of superheroes, and the way I felt about the world when cornered and frustrated. It came out of something really profound in me that I didn’t really understand, so I felt like I needed to go forward with both of those things.
§ The AV CLub also interviewed Kate Beaton recently:
KB: No, not at all. The things that I put up on Twitter are kind of a different animal, but they all come from the same place, which is that I just want to put things down on paper, and I tell stories best if I draw them. And they’re crude, but they’re meant to be crude. I don’t want to make a graphic novel about my family, but I do want to share these moments that are very lifelike and funny and endearing and very human, I suppose. A bit more down-to-earth than the things I normally do.
§ Today’s LOCAL PAPER PROFILE looks at Archaia’s Mark Smylie with a story that could stand in for any number of people who set out to become comics publishers:
It’s a formula that’s worked since 2002, when Smylie founded Archaia as a means to publish his graphic novel, “Artesia.” He took some money he inherited when his mom passed away and set out to chase his dream of making it big in comics. He quickly learned self-publishing comes with great self-sacrifice. No matter how hard he tried to peddle his work, no matter how many conventions he schlepped to with books in tow, Smylie couldn’t stay in reader’s minds and hearts for long in an industry where new comics hit the shelves every Wednesday.
The story also includes the origin of MOUSE GUARD at Archaia via a pretty hilarious anecdote from David Petersen:
“He listed a number of publishers I could contact with his recommendations on which ones would be best for my work,” Petersen recalls. “After an hour or so, I found I forgot most of the names Mark told me, so I went back and he gave more of his time as I wrote down the info I had been so careless with before.”
§ Always innovative Alex deCampi is at it again — this time she’s offering media rights to a new project as part of the Kickstarter campaign. The project in question is ASHES, a collaboration with Jimmy Broxton.
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.