Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Art by Guests, Film and Sequential Art, Guests 2009, Minterviews, Thought Bubble 2009, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Lizz Lunney, Sequential Art, Small Press, UK Conventions, Webcomics, YouTube
Hey gang! We’re back, as you can probably see from these strange symbols in front of you. A short break was embarked upon whilst I recovered from a mild case of The Andromeda Strain, or possibly a cold – we’ll never know. Anyways, back to business! We have a brand new minterview for you hot off the presses! Today we’re talking to the super-talented Lizz Lunney, creator of the delicious Online Comic Sushi, and seller of quality wares. We’ve previously featured Ms Lunney as one of our Friends of Thought Bubble, and I can confirm that her site is really worth your time and attention. Really. So, pull up a chair, stoke the fire, swirl your brandy round in its glass, and read on…
Hi Lizz, thanks for talking to us, to start off do you think you could give us an idea of how you first got into sequential art?
Hello there, thanks for inviting me! I’d say there was never an exact turning point when I could say I “got into sequential art” – I’ve always drawn comic strips since I was able to hold a pen so it just seems a natural thing for me to do. I studied animation at University, got into storyboarding and drew comics for fun, and then it just developed into making comics for real. For real!
So, did you grow-up reading comics?
Yes! I loved The Beano. My granddad used to buy me The Dandy each week, and I also read Wizzer and Chips, Buster, Twinkle, Disney comics, Garfield, and probably loads of others too. I liked the Bumpkin Billionaires, The Bash St. Kids and Roger the Dodger.
My Favourite was always Baby Face Finlayson. Your Online Comic Sushi is a very surreal affair, were you attracted to self-publishing because of the creative freedom that it allows?
Um, not really, I sort of just started self-publishing because I didn’t know how to get my work known. I did a comic course that ended in self-publishing a comic at the end and then I just continued to make them. I’ve never really thought about the creative freedom aspect, in fact, I don’t think I take advantage of it enough! Some stuff I draw I think might seem a bit weird or unsuitable for the comics so I kind of self-censor the work I get printed or put online, and maybe I should just put the lot in and not worry so much about it… I usually test ideas out on my bro – if he reads a comic strip and his reaction is “huh, that doesn’t even make sense”, then I burn it in a sacrificial ceremony in the garden at night and cry.
Kind of like Luke Skywalker, burning Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi – no plans for a “director’s cut” of your comics then?
I’d like to do a Depressed Cat collection one day when I have enough to collect together which could include “out-takes”, etc, but at the moment it makes more sense to print new stuff!
As well as comics you also produce a wide selection of gift items – are these simply a way of creating revenue, or is your arts/craft output more an extension of your illustrative endeavours?
I think it’s more of a personal interest, I like merchandise! I always try to make things that I would buy myself if I was looking round a shop or convention. I sometimes feel a bit sad that the badges, stickers and other spin-off items sell better than the actual comics, and people will buy them who have never read my comics so they don’t know the characters or anything, but on the other hand it’s nice to sell things that will appeal to people who like “stuff” and perhaps don’t want to buy comics in book form.
Do you think this misconception is stunting the growth of the comics scene – that sequential art can only ever be in the form of a graphic novel?
Yes, perhaps. If you go to comic shops in France they are full of other items based on the comics even for lesser known characters and comics. I think if you have an idea or a story it shouldn’t be limited to a book. I want to make some animations of my comics eventually. And lunch boxes. Lunch boxes are the dream.
The small press community seems to be growing at an exponential rate at the moment thanks to the digital revolution, how easy was it to establish yourself on the scene?
I just bribed and stalked people wherever possible. Haw, no, not really… I don’t know, I just go to a lot of conventions and spend far too many hours on social networking sites talking to other small press people.
The small press community does seem to be more in tune with the latest social trends than ‘mainstream’ comics – do you think this is why the scene’s grown so much over the last few years?
I guess the small press community is just more in tune with the people who actually buy things just from speaking to people, and by actually running the stalls, rather than the work going through a distributor. I don’t really buy mainstream comics and have a very limited knowledge of anything superhero or manga based, so I couldn’t say if this is true or not, to be honest! Personally, I just write about things I like! If other people like them too and buy the comics because of them, hurrah!
You’re appearing at this year’s Thought Bubble, what will you be bringing to the convention?
Lots of awesome treats in time for Christmas – I’m currently working on a bigger project (which I’m going to try and keep secret for now!), so for Thought Bubble I plan to have lots of cool smaller stuff. New things will hopefully include Hairy Midget toys, tattoos, Christmas cards and new badges! I might bring some cake. I will definitely bring some sushi and crisps and chocolate, maybe a flask of tea.
Do you enjoy attending events like Thought Bubble?
Yes! Very much so. Although I find it tiring work talking to so many different people for an entire day (or two depending on the con), and can’t speak to anyone for weeks afterwards to make up for it.
Finally – thought bubbles or caption boxes?
Um, I use caption boxes mostly, but, so not to upset the convention name, I’ll pick thought bubbles!
And there you have it – another fine minterview with one of our wonderful Friends. Thanks to Lizz for taking the time to talk to us, and who gets major bonus points (+520pts) for (eventually) choosing thought bubbles over caption boxes. So should we all.
We’ll be back on Thursday with another minterview, if you’d like some more TB goodness in the meantime then feel free to check out our youtube channel to see our awesome new trailer! It’s like Michael Bay and Ridley Scott having a fight, in 3D!
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