What do today’s cartoonists think about when they sit down to draw or plan out a graphic novel? We’re always fascinated to learn what makes an artist tick, and not surprisingly, many of them have massively different creative agendas…



It was really my first character-driven book, so I was thinking about that and how to use scenes and character designs. I figured more people would like it, since people tend to like character-driven stories. If you have characters, you can get away with a lot. But, honestly, I don’t feel particularly attached to making character-driven comics.

Dash Shaw, on his acclaimed book BOTTOMLESS BELLY BUTTON, from an interview with USA Today.


I interviewed quite a few of the old scenesters over beers or coffee, plumbing them for details, trying to nail the vibe of the place. It’s not historically accurate, but I wanted to get it right, because very little survives from the Akron scene, outside of the records. CBGBs was in the media capital of the world, so there were dozens of photogs and filmmakers documenting what was going on there. That’s not how it was in Akron. Most of the surviving photos look like they were taken with a cheap Kodak Insta-matic. There’s only a few minutes of film. A few scratchy tapes of live shows. I wanted to create the definitive portrait of what it was like.

Derf, talking to Newsarama about his new graphic novel PUNK ROCK AND TRAILER PARKS, set in Akron, Ohio, considered “new Liverpool” in the late ’70s.


I’m trying to make him more than just a big strong guy. I want to give him a bit more personality in his face, so he looks more ethnic. And in this story he’s dealing with a broken heart and trying to get over it so I’m trying to capture his personality by what he’s going through in the story. But at the same time he is Colossus. He turns into a massive metallic guy, which is really fun to draw. I’m messing around with ways of conveying the metal in his form. Any time you deal with conveying different metals in a two dimensional medium like this, it’s a lot of fun to figure out what really works and makes things look cool.

Terry Dodson discusses his work drawing UNCANNY X-MEN for Marvel Comics with CBR.


  1. Eek, sorry about the slip-up, Chris! It’s a really excellent interview, and basically sold me on buying Derf’s book ASAP, so I hope everyone gets a chance to read it.