Liana Kangas has been busy. The fan-favorite artist has been steadily rising in the comic industry, with their work appearing on covers and interiors for companies such as Vault Comics, 2000AD, Archie Comics, IDW, Boom, and many, many more. 

The Beat caught up with Kangas at this year’s NYCC at their table in Artist Alley to get the scoop on what’s been going on and where their art will take us next.

Liana Kangas
Liana Kangas at NYCC ’23 Artist Alley

Deanna Destito: How’s it been down in Artist Alley?

Liana Kangas: Dude, I was just telling you a second ago that this is my first time tabling officially. I always usually do signings and panels and press interviews, but I’ve never done tabling, and I’m tabling with Cadence [Comic Art] this year. It’s been phenomenal. It’s been extremely busy. It does seem like the busiest con I’ve ever been to. And I’ve been to many New York Comic Cons, but, oh, boy, it’s been great. Everyone seems very excited, and I’m having a good time.

Liana Kangas

Destito: Is there anything you’re promoting specifically?

Kangas: So a couple of hours ago, we just had a Know Your Station signing with Jenny Frison and Tula Lotay. They did variant covers for the books. The trade paperback just came out. I have a couple of originals for sale. And we also had Trve Kvlt come out since we last saw each other. The trade is out through IDW Originals. We’re celebrating that as well. We have a ton of really cool merch to accompany that as well as a couple of originals as well. And Scott [Bryan Wilson] is also at the show, so that’s really nice. I had a lot of Archie stuff and Star Trek come out, so it’s really nice to meet these new Archie and Star Trek fans. They’ve been really nice and really supportive.

Liana Kangas

Destito: Have you been able to see any of the show?

Kangas: I saw some of the floor yesterday. That was a little daunting. I had a signing. It was very fun, though, because I got to see Mad Cave [Studios]. I got to see Vault. I always love seeing those interactive booths, like the Viz booth and all that crazy stuff that they put up. 

Destito: This is the most packed I’ve seen the show this year. Do you feel like you’re seeing a change in attendance since Covid?

Kangas: So things are healing a little bit. And I think comics are becoming way more popular than we thought. 

Liana Kangas

Destito: Do you see a difference without the Hollywood stuff because of the SAG/AFTRA strike?

Kangas: No, I think because with the Javits being laid out how we are, I think if we were next to exhibitors, not separated by the entire basement floor walk-up, I think I would notice. But I’ve still seen a couple voice actors and actors doing the photographs and stuff.

So I’m glad they can still work without doing the scabbing situations, you know, hoping for the best for them in terms of the negotiations. You know, it seems like that didn’t affect attendance on our end.

Destito: Is there anything upcoming that you want to promote or start to tease a little bit if you can’t say anything officially?

Kangas: I think my Defiant cover just got announced, the Star Trek IDW variant cover just got announced. I’m really excited about that one. It’s one of my favorite covers I’ve done in a while.

I just had two books come out this Wednesday. One is Mariko Between Worlds through Mad Cave. It’s a graphic novel written by Matthew Erman, colors by Rebecca Nalty, who did colors on Know Your Station, and letters by Micah Myers.

And then I also had my first one-shot with Archie come out this week called Welcome to Riverdale. It’s written by Amy Chase, colored by Ellie Wright, letters by Jack Morelli. Just a really fun, one shot that anyone can pick up, and you don’t have to have anything previous that you’d need to know about the Archie universe.

I have Beyond Real, I did an exclusive variant for issue #1 that you could get signed at New York Comic Con, but I am also doing interiors for issue #5, so if anyone wants to pick up the whole series, you have issues one through five to pre-order or the trade. And I’m really excited to be a part of that one. There are seven artists in it. Zack Kaplan’s writing it. 

Destito: To finish up, anything else you want to add?

Kangas: It’s great to see you again. I know we haven’t seen each other in so long. I think it was the last Comic Con.

If anyone wants to support my work, I have a Patreon that I like sending out monthly mail. It’s really fun. We have a little community on Discord where we check in with each other and send memes. It’s great. They’re all wonderful. And you get cool stuff in your mailbox too, so you could always join that. And if anyone wants to get on my commission list with Cadence, they just have to contact Cadence Comic Art.