20 questions: the lost Tom Cherry interview


While this isn’t exactly a lost interview, it kind of feels like one. Tom answered my questions quite a while ago, but for one reason or another (none of them good enough!), I didn’t get it formatted and published until now … but I think it’s still worth the wait! Tom Cherry is a creative powerhouse that has been making wonderful comics and actively working in theatre, radio, and television for years. The last few months have seen him be particularly active as a cartoonist– with lots of new “Oh! Those Savages” strips this summer– so, on the verge of “Draw Crabby Day” (more on that below), this seems like the perfect time to turn the “20 questions” spotlight on Tom Cherry…

1. Revisiting the TFI episodes (thanks, YouTube!) I was struck by how leisurely they were paced in comparison to the strips. (On the other hand, maybe I’m just reading the comics too fast!) Is your approach to writing for the comic different than writing for the show? How?

Yes, writing for the strip is vastly different than writing a script for television. Of course, as much as I like to believe my strip’s humor is character driven, it follows the classic gag strip format with a set-up that ends with a punch line. With three or four panels, there’s not enough space to explore the same story structure I can play around with in a longer format. With my comic strip, it’s designed (for the most part!) to be simple, funny, and to the point. With a script for television or radio, I have more time to tell a complete story with greater character interaction. Continue reading “20 questions: the lost Tom Cherry interview”

20 questions for Mike Sullivan

“There’s Something Happening in Crawford, Kansas creator Mike Sullivan– who provided the above image to accompany this interview– is a mainstay in the Kansas City creator community and a regular at Drawing Frenzy, the weekly meet-up of KC cartoonists. He’ll have artwork on display in the Drawing Frenzy show at KC’s Crossroads Coffeehouse during the month of October (with a kickoff event this Friday), and will be appearing at Iowa’s Comic Book I-Con on Nov. 10. I met Mike years ago and, over long road trips to I-Cons, found that we had similar favorite comics as readers as well as similar interests in the kind of comics we like to create. After filling too many long boxes with other people’s comics, Mike started making his own in 2004, and hasn’t looked back!

1. Your first published comic, the full-color Virtual Infinity Comics Presents #1, was an ambitious project, so different from my own simple minicomic roots. How did that come about?
Just a few years prior to my first self-published work, I’d been gathering some history about the Marvel Universe that I wanted to put together and propose as a series to Marvel Comics. It was huge and epic and dealt with the entire history of the groups of characters, created by Jack Kirby, like The Inhumans and The Eternals and how they fit into Marvel Universe continuity (which has since been blown apart by multiple reformatting storylines). I had even sketched a two panel drawing featuring Sersi, an Eternal, looking into a mirror and saying “Mirror, Mirror on the wall – -“ with the second panel of her turning to the reader saying, “what?”

I wanted to present it as a continuation series under the title of Marvel Tales with the heading “Where Have You Been for the Last Million Years?” I still have some of those pencil panels somewhere.

Anyway, I’d just been to a convention here in Kansas City in 2003. At a previous convention, I’d met a guy from Oklahoma that was showing his portfolio. I ran into the same guy a few months later and he now had published his own comic and had a table. It dawned on me that I could do that. I needed to do that.

A comic with my own characters, who had been rattling around in my brain since high school, became my priority for the next nine months. If I was going to do this, I needed to do it all. Writing, art, lettering, AND color would be necessary to prove to myself that I not only could do it, but needed to do it.

On the way home from the convention, I plotted out what I was going to create. I started drawing almost immediately when I got home.

Continue reading “20 questions for Mike Sullivan”

20 questions for Brien Wayne Powell

Brien Wayne Powell recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Magnet Man character (debuting in Magnet Man Minicomics #1, Jan. 2002); Magnet Man’s adventures have continued through 57 issues of Magnet Man Minicomics, 130 episodes of the online “Magnet Mansion”, and currently appear online in the twice-weekly “Boogieland or Bust!” strip, where he’s teamed with Brien’s real-life idol, wrestling legend Jimmy Valiant. As if that wouldn’t keep Brien busy enough, in the past few years he’s also produced 6 issues of the Human Patriot minicomic, the year-long daily strip “One-Horned Unicorn”, a series of Magnet Man movies, and (no doubt) even more! I met Brien through APA-5, where I first interviewed him for our “20 questions”-themed issue (APA-5 #355, July 2004). He’s done a lot of new and different things since that time, so I figured he’d be a good subject to kick off my “20 questions” series of cartoonist interviews…

1. What’s the secret to your amazing productivity? Macrobiotic diet? Cartooning in a luchador mask?
Creating comics is my main artistic passion and has been for some time. Once I’ve finished a comic, I can’t wait to get it mailed out or uploaded in hopes that others will get some enjoyment out of it. Also, if I’ve written several issues ahead and there’s a joke near the end of a storyline that I really like then I’ll work extra hard to get the issues out quicker just to get to that one joke. But probably the true ‘secret’ of my productivity would have to be the patience and understanding of my beautiful and loving wife Gala who has always been selfless in giving me the time I need to work on my comics. Continue reading “20 questions for Brien Wayne Powell”