This week was really awful, but not as much as your aunt's mustache. But you're here today to read Joel's interview and that's all that really matters. Plus, Reese's exists. And teddy bears. And Xanax.
-Joel, introduce yourself to the FML audience!
-I live in the capital of Canada, Ottawa Ontario. I'm originally from a small town called Cornwall Ontario and I moved here going on 12 years ago for college and never went back
-We've welcomed a few weeks ago Jean-Frederic Koné, an artist from Quebec. According to you what are the main differences between Quebec and Canada when it comes to art/webcomics ?
-There are many talented artists from Quebec! I know that Montreal is a city that's very rich in artwork. However, it's very hard to compare Quebec to the rest of Canada because they do have their own unique culture, so do people from Atlantic Canada or the prairies. I grew up in Cornwall, which is directly on the United States border, so I was very influenced by American culture growing up. I'm not so sure that American culture influences French-speaking Quebec as much as it does me, an Anglophone Canadian, because the language gap has to be crossed. So I think they definitely have their own thing going on.
-Jean-Frederic told us about his favourite webcomic, "L'ostie d'chat" (http://legolaslove.canalblog.com/) which according to him reflects pretty well life in Quebec. What would be your favourite webcomic when it comes to Canadian life ?
-I'm afraid I don't read any about Canadian life in particular but I'm always on the lookout for work by other Canadian artists. Canadian life is hard to pin down, though because Canadian is a name for so many different people living under the same "roof". The neighbourhood I live in has so many different ethnic groups living in it and our lives are all very different. The thing that makes us all the same is we share the same freedom and rights to live the way that we want. If there's any Canadian webcomic artists out there that read this, I would like them to reach out and share their work with me. I'm so amazed by the stuff that's just floating out there on the web waiting to be discovered.
-Canadian webcomic artists, you know what you have to do now! Tell us more about you Joel, how old are you, and what is your job ?
- I'm 31 years old and I'm a graphic artist for a local tabloid newspaper. I do spec work for our advertising department. I make demo advertisements for the sales people to bring out to our clients and sell the advertising space. Most of the time my work ends up in the newspaper, though the excitement of that has worn off a little. I often joke about how I see my work trampled all over the floor of the bus the next day. I still think it's satisfying when a client is blown away by my work and wants to run the ad as-is.
-Does this work on women? Like "look how big my ad is"?
-I think I would brag more about my real art work as opposed to my ad work. I've been on a mission to get myself into an ad since I've started and so far I've been successful only once. I do have an ad waiting to be sold to a bowling alley where I used a picture of myself bowling and my butt is sticking right out at the camera. I'm hoping I can say "Hey did you see my ass on page 12?" (The ad where I successfully got myself in the paper, I needed a hand clutching lightning bolts so I used my own hand for the image)
-I can't understand why you haven't sold it yet, how can showing a butt not be effective? Well, it's a crazy world we're living in... Tell us more about your funny, amazing, awesome (no need to cross out the unnecessary as they're all necessary) webcomic
-I've been making comics since I was 10 years old. In 1990 Marvel put out trading cards with pictures and information about their character all the kids were trading them on the playground. The variety of different characters made me curious about comics and that led me to buy my first comic which was Daredevil #295 wherein Daredevil fights alongside Ghost Rider. There was ninjas and fighting and it just blew me away. My whole imagination exploded and I immediately went to work making my own characters. I'm trying in my 30s to recapture a little of that childhood enthusiasm I had for superheroes but put my adult experience into it, feed it my accumulated knowledge of pop culture and grow my own Superhero Universe. I have 5 webcomic series on the go including The Pigeon King, Mer-Lad, Sly-Borg, The Badger and Madam Trigger which have storylines all taking place in the same city and just recently the storylines have started to overlap. My goal is to create my own version of the Marvel or DC Universe, but in my own style and operating by my rules.
-Do you publish it as a book or are you planning to do so?
-Originally I had planned to print an anthology book that would contain the first episodes of all five of the comics, the second volume would have all the second episodes and so on. I'm a student of print, I went to college to learn how it is done, how to operate printing presses and how to design specifically for print. I thought it would be wiser to put my comics on the internet and grow a fanbase and most importantly develop my craft further before I try and sell them. Someday I will sell them, but for now they're really just a fun way to keep growing my craft.
-Now last question! Why did you choose this story? Are you hairdresserophobic?
-I went through the list one by one and tried to imagine how I could visualize the story and making it interesting. This one in particular I immediately had a clear vision of a decapitation/blood spray. That probably makes me a sick individual but I'm okay with that.
-It was awesome Joel, thanks a lot!
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Joel's website : http://strippedcomics.com/
If you want to be the next published artist, send an email to alice [at] fmylife.com including a link to your website/blog/DA. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with me, and I'll tell you what you have to do!