The Official SPACE blog

Sunday, March 8, 2009

10 Questions: Michael Neno

This week, the world famous Michael Neno tackles the infamous 10 Questions:

1) Tell us a little about yourself.
Publisher, cartoonist, writer, lover of art, especially the first half of the 20th century. Artists and historians will be trying for centuries to comprehend how work of that time period was created.

2) Tell us about your comics.
I've been publishing mini-comics and doing freelance comic book work for over 25 years, most notably freelancing for Cracked Magazine, Silver Comics, and lettering done for Paul Pope's Horse Press and Dark Horse.
In recent years, I've been concentrating on work taking place in my Signifiers Universe. My Xeric Grant-funded Reactionary Tales #1 takes place in that world, as does my upcoming The Signifiers #1.
I also have two ongoing online comic strips:
Freak Cave:
and The Mesh:
The Mesh is a serialized graphic novel which will be published in book form when finished. Sixty panels have been posted so far.

3) How long have you been self-publishing?
Since around 1985. The Moderns #1 and Pictures of Benevolence #1 were the first minis I published.

4) Why did you decide to start self-publishing your comics?
I was inspired by the quality, integrity, and range of subject matter in Rick Brooks' self-published Comics Digest, and the world of publishing I discovered through Tim Corrigan's Small Press Comics Explosion.

5) Who are your main artistic influences--both in and out of comics?
Jack Kirby. Frank Robbins. David Mamet (his plays and his movies). Hitchcock. David Lynch. Henry James. Bix Beiderbecke. Benny Goodman's small group recordings. Music shows conducted by John McGlinn. Edward Hopper. Alex Toth. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Sparks. Stanley Kubrick. The Thrills. The Beatles. Ayn Rand. Madeleine L'Engle. Brian Wilson. Pre-code movies. Preston Sturges. Anything that's unique, beautiful, subtle, complex and true, visionary, transcendent.

6) What comics do you read?
Too many to list here. Any comics written by Geoff Johns, Joe Casey, Ed Brubaker, Brian Michael Bendis. The late Steve Gerber. Anything by Tom Scioli, Frank Espinoza, Chris Ware, Darwyn Cooke, Kim Deitch, Peter Bagge, Seth, Jerry Smith, Don Rosa. As far as old comics go, Kirby, Kirby, Kirby, Frank Robbins, Caniff, Archie comics by Samm Schwartz, Herge, Ditko, Mort Meskin, romance comics, Joe Maneely, Charles Biro, Baby Huey, Sad Sack, Peanuts, Carl Barks, Floyd Gottfredson, Little Lulu, C.C. Beck, Severin, you name it.

7) Do you have anything new for SPACE? Or are you working on anything new?
I'm working every spare moment to get The Signifiers #1 published by SPACE. Barring that, I do have a new line of Signifiers coffee mugs and buttons for sale, and will have new Mesh and Freak Cave coffee mugs as well. I'm also hoping to have copies of Silver Comics #8 on hand; I wrote and drew the cover and lead story.

8) What do you like most about SPACE? What keeps you coming back?
The cameraderie, networking, trading stories, info and books with other self-publishers. I always wish there were more customers, but Bob and Co. do a great job getting the word out about the show, and those who do come to the show are enthusiastic about purchasing unique work.

9) How would you compare SPACE to other shows you've done?
The breadth and caliber of the talent showcased at SPACE is giving other similar cons who feature talent a run for their money.

10) Which "Gilligan's Island" castaway are you most like?
Thurston Howell III, down on his luck.

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