19 September 2009

Data Sheet: Marc Sobel

NAME: Marc Sobel

BIRTHPLACE: St. Louis, MO

AMBITIONS: Create honest, informed, well-written criticism without taking comics too seriously. Continue to improve my writing, both fiction and non. Finish Shelf Life.

TURN-ONS: Women who get baseball. Waitresses.

TURNOFFS: People who can’t have a rational discussion about politics.

GREAT COMICS: Love & Rockets, Watchmen, Maus, Acme Novelty, Persepolis, Miracleman, Little Nemo, Hate, Sandman Mystery Theatre, Two-Fisted Tales, Criminal, Concrete, etc.

FAMILY LIFE: I’ve been married seven years and have a two-year-old son.

FAVORITE FOOD: Sri Lankan (I married into it). Homemade Chex mix.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT COMICS: Old anthologies and fanzines, thoughtful, challenging stories, artists with distinct visual styles, the blogosphere, eBay, MoCCA, the people (for the most part).

WHAT I DISLIKE ABOUT COMICS: The influence of Hollywood, the weekly deluge of mediocrity, speculators, variant covers, art comics snobbery, excessive digital coloring, spoilers.

FAVORITE COMICS CREATORS: Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Alan Moore, Marshall Rogers.

FAVORITE NON-COMICS CREATORS: Steven Millhauser, J.D. Salinger, Michael Chabon, Kurt Vonnegut, Paul Auster.

FAVORITE MUSICIANS: Tom Waits, Jeff Buckley, Ani Difranco, Patty Griffin, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, Johnny Cash, White Stripes, Todd Snider, The Beatles, Tesla, Janis Joplin, Eric Bibb, Ben Harper, Massive Attack, Lucinda Williams, Bruce Springsteen.

FAVORITE MOVIES: The Big Lebowski, Dark Knight, Before Sunrise, Alien, Goodfellas, Awakenings, Top Secret, Into the Void, Grizzly Man.

FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Twin Peaks, Buffy/Angel, Arrested Development, Reno 911, BSG.

IDEAL EVENING: Well, my wedding night was pretty hard to top.

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12 September 2009

Data Sheet: Matt Springer


NAME: Matt Springer

BIRTHPLACE: East Chicago, IN

AMBITIONS: To be Batman.

TURN-ONS: Solid gags, bleeding heart liberalism, chocolate.

TURNOFFS: Lack of self-awareness, the east coast conservative media, broccoli.

GREAT COMICS: Jack Kirby's Fourth World, The Dark Knight Returns, Giffen/DeMatteis JLI, Box Office Poison, Goodbye Chunky Rice, Scott Pilgrim, Brubaker's Cap, Busiek/Perez Avengers, Grant/Breyfogle Batman, many others (of course).

FAMILY LIFE: Married and living in Orlando, FL with a toddler, one on the way, and a dog who just DROPPED ASS TWO FEET AWAY FROM ME. Fucking DOG.

FAVORITE FOOD: I don't eat.

WHAT I LIKE IN COMICS: Trippy concepts, character-based humor, sharp writing, clever twists, and Batman.

WHAT I DISLIKE IN COMICS: X-treme violence in superhero nostalgia delivery systems.

FAVORITE CREATORS: Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Fred Van Lente, Alan Moore, Jeff Parker, Mark Waid, Kurt Busiek, probably others I'm forgetting.

FAVORITE MUSIC: Elvis Costello, the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Ben Folds (Five), Art Brut, Wilco, Matthew Sweet, Elton John, Rufus Wainwright, Pulp & Jarvis Cocker, Robbie Fulks, Weezer, the Beach Boys, the Killers, R.E.M., Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Jenny Lewis, Warren Zevon, Ben Kweller, Steely Dan, Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Fountains of Wayne, JEEBUS this list is long.

SHOWS I WATCH: Big Brother (oh stop), Lost, 30 Rock, The Office, Mad Men.

FAVORITE MOVIES (incomplete): Rushmore, Godfather II, Empire Strikes Back (oh STOP), Jackie Brown, Casablanca.

IDEAL EVENING: Tucking in the kid, a good episode of a great TV show (or a good movie) with my wife, reading time, dreaming of Batman.

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Data Sheet: Johnny Bacardi

NAME: David Allen Jones, actually, if you must know

BIRTHPLACE: Glasgow, Kentucky, United States of America.

AMBITIONS: To drink cup after cup of this here grog. To string sentences together in an intelligent fashion. To draw something I don't hate when I'm done. To retire and drink, play golf and paint all day. Perhaps even at the same time.

TURN-ONS: Comics, music, movies, sports, TV, books, good booze, good cigars, a loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.

TURNOFFS: Narrow-mindedness. Excessively religious people, you know the kind, the ones that ooze it and get it all over you if you're not careful. Stress. Poison gas. I really hate that.

GREAT COMICS: The Spirit by Will Eisner and Various Assistants, specifically the period from the mid to late 1940's and early 50's. Lee & Ditko's Spider-Man, Lee & Kirby's Fantastic Four, Love & Rockets, WE3, Starstruck, Andy Helfer & Kyle Baker's Shadow, The Archie Goodwin-edited Warren magazines. Name your favorite EC comic here. Calvin & Hobbes, Times Squared, Flex Mentallo...and the list goes on and on and on. Perhaps I'll even write about some of them someday.

FAMILY LIFE: Wonderful wife, two grown kids (boy and girl), two grandchildren (yep), two dogs, one cat. Lots of birds that mooch off me in my back yard via four (!) feeders.

FAVORITE FOOD: Chinese, Mexican, Italian. Hard to be more specific- I like to eat.

WHAT I LIKE IN COMICS: Things which challenge and inspire the mind and the eye, and a sense that the creator is at least half as engaged with his or her creation as he or she would like for me to be.

WHAT I DISLIKE IN COMICS: Cynicism, especially that of the unearned variety; Uninspired, cookie-cutter artists trained only to draw like someone who is perceived as "successful"; silverfish. I really hate seeing silverfish in my comics.

FAVORITE CREATORS: Mike Kaluta, Mike Mignola, Howard Chaykin, Jaime Hernandez, Alex Toth, Richard Sala, Don McGregor, Archie Goodwin (god rest his soul), Sean Phillips, Doug Mahnke, P. Craig Russell, Jill Thompson, Bill Everett, Jerry Grandenetti, et cetera, et cetera...

FAVORITE MUSICIANS: Beatles together and solo, Nilsson, T.Rex, the Beach Boys, Mott the Hoople, Ian Hunter, Bowie, Nick Drake, Zappa, Monkees, Mike Nesmith, ELO, The Move, Roy Wood, the Stones, Kinks, Lloyd Cole, Bob Dylan, Kate Bush, Neil Young, Jellyfish, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Eels, Cibo Matto, R.E.M., the Replacements, Paul Westerberg, Masters of Reality, Prince, Flaming Lips, Parliament/Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, XTC, Tim Buckley, Todd Rundgren, Faces, pre 1976 Rod Stewart, pre 1977 Elton John, Mick Ronson, King Crimson, Strawbs, Roger McGuinn, John Prine, Roxy Music, Jethro Tull, Sandy Denny, Maria Muldaur, Wendy Waldman, 10cc, Godley+Creme, Sparklehorse, Steve Earle, Wilco, the Jayhawks, Ron Sexsmith, et cetera, et cetera...well, you asked!

IDEAL EVENING: Two hot babes, a bottle of rum, fine cigars, and a hot tub. In reality, I'm fine with a cold drink, something good on the TV, my laptop next to me to Twitter if it tickles my fancy, and a stack of comics to perhaps peruse if the mood strikes. And two hot babes to read them to me.

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Data Sheet: Alex Ness

NAME: Alex Ness
BIRTHPLACE: Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, Methodist Hospital

AMBITIONS: To be a great poet, great writer, and a great father

TURN-ONS:
Beauty

TURNOFFS: Ugliness

GREAT COMICS: Doom Patrol by Grant Morrison, Animal Man by Jamie Delano, Scout by Timothy Truman,

FAMILY LIFE: Beautiful wife, incredible son, two cats.

FAVORITE FOOD: Sushi, Irish Whiskey

WHAT I LIKE IN COMICS: Beautiful art, brilliant writing

WHAT I DISLIKE IN COMICS: Collectors who do not read, pin up minded art, writing for the lowest common denominator, Publishers who value regurgitation over new

FAVORITE CREATORS: Jack Kirby, Moebius, Timothy Truman, Grant Morrison, Mike Grell

FAVORITE MUSICIANS: Billy Corgan, Marvin Gaye, Joe Strummer

IDEAL EVENING: Sushi dinner, adult time with wife, and cuddles with kid and cats

FAVORITE MOVIES: Seven Samurai, Amadeus, Excalibur, Last Man Standing

FAVORITE WRITERS: Ernest Hemingway, Lord Dunsany, William Carlos Williams, Robert E. Howard, Yukio Mishima

FAVORITE GRAPHIC NOVELS: MAUS, FROM HELL, WILDERNESS, KINGS IN DISGUISE

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Data Sheet: d.

NAME: d. emerson eddy
BIRTHPLACE: Hamilton, Ontario
AMBITIONS: makes you look pretty ugly.  So does aggression.  You bring out the base nature of your animal and wind up looking like some puffed up monkey.  I much prefer perseverence, dedication and devotion.  ...and in response to those; to do great work.
GREAT COMICS:  Sandman, Promethea, Y - The Last Man, All Star Superman, off the top of my head.  Maus, From Hell, Stray Toasters, Cages.
FAMILY LIFE: um...yeah.
FAVORITE FOOD:  Depends on the day.  Right now, it's a peppercorn steak marinated in a red wine sauce with sauteed mushrooms and onions, with a side of asparagus and a creamy pepperjack mash.  Topped off with a glass of Cecchi's chianti.  Yesterday, it was a bag of Smartfood and Hot Rods.  The day before, it was avacadoes, homous and pita.
WHAT I LIKE IN COMICS:  Honesty.  Good old-fashioned storytelling.  Pretty pictures that adhere to some sort of layout that show that the artist was actually thinking and not just throwing images at the page.
WHAT I DISLIKE IN COMICS:  Cookie-cutter comics with nothing to say.  Hyperbole.
FAVORITE CREATORS:  Neil Gaiman.  Alan Moore.  Mike Mignola.  Bill Sienkiewicz.  Walt Simonson.  Dave McKean.  Cameron Stewart.  Eddie Campbell.  Seth.  Grant Morrison.  P. Craig Russell.  Jill Thompson.  JH Williams III.  Garth Ennis.  Steve Dillon.  Dave Gibbons.  Mike Carey.  Eduardo Risso.  Gabriel Ba.  Fabio Moon.  I could probably keep going, so I'll just leave it at that.
FAVORITE MUSICIANS: David Bowie.  NIN.  Peter Gabriel.  The Cure.  Tool.  Radiohead.  Tori Amos.  Muse.  The Host.  REM.  Isis.  Amorphis.  Opeth.  Ulver.  Nick Cave.  Anything Mike Patton touches.  My Chemical Romance.  Arcturus.  Synaesthesia.  Ryan Adams.  Alexisonfire.
FAVORITE MOVIES: The Last Temptation of Christ.  The Fountain.  Sunshine.  Mirrormask.  Radioland Murders.  The Third Man.  M. 
FAVORITE WRITERS: Neil Gaiman.  Salman Rushdie.  HP Lovecraft.  William S. Burroughs.  Aleister Crowley.  Philip K. Dick.  Thomas Pynchon.  Patrick McGrath.  Stephen King.
IDEAL EVENING: Curled up next to the fireplace, reading.

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Data Sheet: Mick Martin

NAME: Mick Martin
BIRTHPLACE: Albany, NY
AMBITIONS: To write for a living, to write for fun, to write more, to write better.
GREAT COMICS: Lone Wolf and Cub, Watchmen, Sleeper, Astro City, Moore's Swamp Thing, too many to name or remember in a reasonable amount of time.
FAMILY LIFE: A wonderful girlfriend and three cats who never fail to make life more interesting.
FAVORITE FOOD: Homemade Mac & Cheese.
WHAT I LIKE IN COMICS: Great writing, great art, and the Hulk.
WHAT I DISLIKE IN COMICS: Bad writing, bad art, and Gambit.
FAVORITE CREATORS: Alan Moore, Matt Wagner, Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Herb Trimpe, Sal Buscema, Steve Gerber, Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Kurt Busiek
IDEAL EVENING: An evening filled with a satisfying amount of laziness, but preceded by enough hard work that I don't feel guilty about it.

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Data Sheet: David Wynne

NAME: David Wynne.
BIRTHPLACE: South East London (King's College Hospital, specifically).
AMBITIONS: To get paid to sit around at home drawing science fiction comics. As opposed to now where I get paid to sit around at work drawing science fiction comics. Well, technically that's not what they pay me for...
TURN-ONS: Comics, politics, whisky and guitars.
TURNOFFS: Glenn Beck.
GREAT COMICS: I love things like Tom Strong, The Spirit, Nemesis The Warlock and Black Summer- work that doesn't claim to be anything more than escapist entertainment, but the ability and passion of the creators is such that their ideas and personality are carried in the work anyway, and they end up saying something important without even really trying. Such works are often brash and unsubtle, and if the creators are particularly politicised (see the latter two of my examples), the may even be accused of "preachy"-ness. But you know, I'm a Rage Against The Machine fan. I like that sort of thing.
FAMILY LIFE: I live with the most intelligent, courageous and beautiful woman ever to walk this earth. You're damn right to be jealous.
FAVORITE FOOD: I want to say something impressively obscure or adventurous- but the real answer is probably "caaaaake".
WHAT I LIKE IN COMICS: Absolutely bloody everything about the form itself. The mechanics of it make my brain bubble in glorious ways. You draw a picture, and then another one, and then another one, and if you need to explain something that you can't put in the picture, well then you just write it in there... and pretty soon you have a thing, a work of art, that communicates directly with people in a more involving way than any other method I know. I love comics.
WHAT I DISLIKE IN COMICS: On a day to day basis, I find the way that a large section of the people who are apparently devoted to the medium simply cannot recognise and respect that the people who make these things are real live human beings, and not their personal comics making servants.
But on a broader level, what really gets my goat is the way the anglophone comics industry seems almost hard-wired to try and destroy itself. Ever since we moved out of newspapers it's been one long march toward a shrinking, isolated market and pop culture obscurity.
Which is why I make webcomics.
FAVORITE CREATORS: Will Eisner, Alan Moore, Mike Mignola, Warren Ellis, Barry Windsor Smith, Moebius, Paul Grist, Alan Grant, Greg Rucka, Jason Aaron, Sean Phillips, Henry Flint, Brian Bolland, Carlos Ezquerra, John Wagner, Pat Mills, Frank Miller, Robert Crumb... I could do this all day.
IDEAL EVENING: Good company, good food, a little whisky and no work the next day.

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10 September 2009

Data Sheet: ADD

NAME: Alan David Doane
BIRTHPLACE: Cambridge, NY
AMBITIONS: Stayin' Alive
TURN-ONS: Honesty, comics, "what's new and what's next."
TURNOFFS: Secret agendas, venality, toxic cretinism, the writing of Geoff Johns.
GREAT COMICS: Spider-Man by Lee and Ditko, Eightball by Clowes, Acme by Ware
FAMILY LIFE: Wife, two kids, two cats.
FAVORITE FOOD: Probably pizza, also love good Asian food.
WHAT I LIKE IN COMICS: Truth, passion, learning new things.
WHAT I DISLIKE IN COMICS: Treading water, playing with action figures instead of telling good stories, having nothing to say in a medium that will let you say anything.
FAVORITE CREATORS: Dan Clowes, Steve Ditko, Barry Windsor-Smith, James Kochalka
FAVORITE MUSICIANS: The Beatles, Peter Gabriel, Lindsey Buckingham, David Gilmour, James Kochalka, Moby
IDEAL EVENING: Quiet, cool, and no work the next day.
FAVORITE MOVIES: Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, Donnie Darko, Ghost World.
FAVORITE WRITERS: Roger Ebert, James Howard Kunstler, Alan Moore, Christopher Allen, Christopher Butcher.
FAVORITE GRAPHIC NOVELS: From Hell, Ghost World, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Ticking, Batman: Year One.

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