lilykisses asked: I was wondering if you have any advice for coming up with unique and interesting stories? A fantasy themed basketball match in a dungeon isn't really an idea that first comes to mind when making up a comic.
For me, a fantasy themed basketball comic seemed really obvious! I dunno. What do you like? Make a list of things that you like and see if anything clicks together. Are there two things that you’re obsessed with? Is there a logical way to smash those together into something interesting? I’m obsessed with basketball and dungeons and dragons. Seemed like the most natural thing in the world for me to put them together.
Don’t make the type of story that you don’t like to read. I like to read adventure stories and I like jokes and I like physical comedy, so I made a comic that had all that stuff.
I dunno. I’m no expert. Try to find a way to use the things that you like in new ways. Pick a small idea (like the phrase “fantasy basketball”) and try to pull on it from all sides until it becomes something larger. Then refine those edges. Most of Fantasy Basketball began as one-off gags that I wanted to find a context for. Figuring out the big idea is usually the hardest part for me. Making lists of stuff that I want to draw or write about or whatever is helpful, and sometimes the connective tissue appears on its own.
Nothing comes out fully formed. Just start writing.
marcocartoon asked: Do you ship Fantasy Basketball overseas ?
I ship this thing everywhere.
equalvalue asked: do you have any future landmark in mind for yr career? what, in yr mind, was the first landmark of yr time as an illustrator?
The first landmark was getting published, which was in February, 2009. I got paid half of what was agreed upon, and only because I dragged it out of them. My next landmark is not having to fold and staple my own comics.
adamtanart asked: Do you have a costume in mind for Halloween this year? Just throwing it out there but I think you'd make a great Aang from avatar the last airbender.
I’m going as both Mythbusters, split down the middle. Kali’s going as Girl Fieri.
justinoaksford asked: What got you into illustration, what's your story? Also, short and/or long-term career goals?
I don’t expect it’s much different than other illustrators’ stories. Went to art school because I liked to draw and didn’t like math. Found out what illustration was. It seemed to click. All my goals are too vague to even talk about. Make this thing, finish this other thing, talk to these people, email this person back, go to the post office, etc. Just regular person things. One thing at a time.
greylagoon asked: I'm partway through the second half of Book of the New Sun, and I'm finding it bewildering and enchanting by turns. Did you do any outside research to enhance your experience of the book, or was it satisfying as a standalone?
I read a little about it afterwards, but it just mostly requires a really close reading to catch stuff. I read Urth of the New Sun, too, which is a nice coda. It really is like a fever dream. I had a dictionary next to me for the first…couple hundred pages or so, before I just gave it up and figured I’d get the gist of what he was saying. Looking up every other word because they were super archaic or esoteric Latin became pretty tiring. Just have to sort of sink into his language. Like drowning, I guess.
equalvalue asked: preference between tezuka's buddha and otomo's akira?
I like Tezuka a whole lot, but I gave up on Buddha after two volumes. I didn’t like the storytelling or the structure of the thing. I’ve read Akira several times and it’s great. Can’t say I follow the whole thing start to finish, but I like the ride.
missingrache asked: You like Earthsea? Do tell~ Did you read/like the later books as well? It's taken them a long time for them to grow on me, personally, but now I really love them.
I actually only read the first three — I was advised to stop there, and I did. I feel like the third book really left me with an emotional impact, and I don’t really want that diminished in any way. Sort of the same thing with the Ender books.
alkarinque asked: what's your go-to feelbetter song/movie/activity?
drawitblargit asked: How do you get freelance work? Do you have an agent, do you send out mailers to art directors, do you just know people?
I don’t have an agent. I don’t really send out mailers (I used to, though). I mostly just did a bunch of work and put it up on the internet, and I talked to artists I liked and tried to get better. I went to some illustration events and introduced myself to people. Regular stuff.
rocketshipskies asked: If you were stranded on an airship with only one item in your inventory, what would it be?
Do you mean an airplane or some phony baloney steampunk thing
alyssailawler asked: Any advice for a young artist? Also what's the best pizza you ever ate?
The best pizza I ever ate is from Pica’s in Upper Darby, on the main line in Pennsylvania. Outside of Philly. My advice for a young artist is to go there and eat it.
hagothehills asked: Do you have any favourite books?
Yeah, Book of the New Sun. Wizard of Earthsea (and the third book in the cycle, The Farthest Shore). I like Joe Abercrombie’s books, too. Red Country, specifically. Bill Simmons’ Book of Basketball.