Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Art by Guests, Film and Sequential Art, Guests 2009, Minterviews, News, Thought Bubble 2009, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Adam Cadwell, Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art, Small Press, The Everyday, UK Conventions, Webcomics
Greetings Bubble-fans! We’re now less than a month away from this year’s Thought Bubble Festival, in fact come this time next month we’ll all be sat around reminiscing about how spectacularly it went, even though that pack of Gremlins got loose and engaged in their own particular brand of hi-jinks. Fun times. However, as Yoda once chastised Luke “All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was”, so, with that in mind, we shall stay firmly in the present, with the final entry in our series of small-press minterviews for this year. Today’s minterviewee is the excellent Adam Cadwell, a previous Friend of Thought Bubble, whose diary comic The Everyday is a joy to behold. We had a lovely chat, so read on and be sure to check out some little bits and pieces of TB news after the jump.
Hi Adam, 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?
The Ghost World movie – I’d read that this underground comic was being made into a film in a magazine, right about the time I was just starting Uni. I’d had some ideas for comics but was aware that I hadn’t read many since I was a kid, so I looked into what was out there and started with Ghost World. I was amazed by it and immediately admired what [Daniel] Clowes was doing and discovered all these other artists creating comics like Mike Allred, and Jaime Hernandez. It was clear that this was medium I wanted to work in, I focused on comics and illustration for the rest of my time at Uni and started my webcomic after that.
However, I recently found some comics I’d made as a kid, about 9 or 10 years old. They’re comics of my family holidays, with each panel or two documenting what we did each day. I’d drawn the whole two weeks but only coloured half. I was amused that some of my earliest comics were pretty much autobiographical too.
You regularly produce a diary comic The Everyday – do you ever find it hard displaying aspects of your personal life in such a public forum?
No, not especially. My comic is more about what happens around me, observations that I make that hopefully most people have thought or experienced at one time or another. Earlier on I included more personal thoughts, mostly about girls, but I’ve left that alone now, I was always aware it can come across as self-indulgent. The readers do pick up on things about my life the longer they read it. It’s odd when someone references something that happened to me and I’d forgotten I’d put that in a comic. It’s odder still when they read between the lines and tell me the things they think I’ve been up to, debauched things mostly, and they’d mostly be wrong. So it can be odd sometimes, but not difficult because of the viewpoint I’m taking with the comic.
You’ve also contributed work to a number of anthologies and are currently working as colourist on Zombie Death Squad – do you actively seek variety between your comics projects to keep boredom at bay?
I’ve always had bad luck with anthologies, the first one I submitted to in 2006 still hasn’t come out yet and I was almost in Comic Book Tattoo at the last minute but it didn’t work out. I have assisted Marc Ellerby with the colouring on his Popgun submission though – it’s the first Chloe Noonan mini in full, dazzling colour. And yes, I was offered the job of colourist on ZDS but that’s its own series rather than an anthology piece.
As for seeking variety, it’s something that just seems to happen. I wish I had more time to focus on my one big personal project but I am getting more comfortable hopping between projects and roles.
By day you’re a mild-mannered commercial illustrator, do you see your small press creations as a hobby/past-time, or is working in the comics industry a career path you’d like to take?
The latter, definitely – I do enjoy the commercial work, storyboards and such, but comics are easily the most fulfilling. Telling a story in one of the most accessible, expressive mediums is a joy, especially if it’s your own creation. At the moment, commercial work pays the bills and comics get me a little money from online sales and rare paid work but I’d love to be able to turn that around.
The whole point of Thought Bubble is that we want to help promote sequential art as being, as you said, one of the most expressive storytelling mediums – why do you think it is that comics are still looked down upon by so many as a cultural art form?
Superheroes. They’re to blame really. Don’t get me wrong, I’d wee myself if I got offered a job drawing Spider-man but since the early popularity of the modern comic format the genre of superhero stories has dominated, and they’ve been dismissed as something for kids or, later, maladjusted adults. Comics and men in tights are intrinsically linked in the popular consciousness. Until most people can separate the two, the medium will always be mistaken for the genre.
The view of comics has been getting better in the last 10 years or so though, I think the term Graphic Novel has helped that a lot.
You’re a staunch advocate of the digital revolution, has the internet been good for the small press scene, or do you think it’s flooded the market somewhat?
Am I? Is it a revolution anymore? I think we all take the internet for granted now don’t we? Webcomics are certainly an alternative to print comics but I don’t think they’ll ever replace them. They’re not quite equal yet, but that’s only a matter of time as technology becomes even more integrated into our lives.
I think the internet is invaluable to the small press scene in way too many ways to mention here. I don’t think it’s flooded the market though; the small press scene is full of exciting work with new creators getting involved every year. As for webcomics, yes, there are thousands of terrible comics online but on the other hand it’s actually harder to find the bad comics than it is the really good ones.
Well, you have a twitter account, that’s semi-advocating, and sure, I take the interweb for granted – until it stops working. Do you think that if/when webcomics become an equal to print comics, in the sense of a market share, that that will signal the end of comics appearing purely in print form?
It’s starting to happen already I think. With sales of monthly comics dropping lower and lower, and the rise of technology like the iPhone, people are really considering how to make money from reading comics on these new devices. But I think until there’s a standard reader, an iTunes for comics basically, then print will continue to dominate.
You’re appearing at this year’s Thought Bubble, what will you be bringing to the convention?
Thanks for the chance to plug my stuff, Clark. I’ll be bringing the three collections of The Everyday, a comic about Glastonbury in the form of a postcard book, new badges (everyone loves badges), and a postcard set of my Childhood Villains illustrations.
Oh, and “it”. I will be “bringing “it”. People will say “Hey, look at Cadwell, he’s really brought it”. Consider it brung, Thought Bubble.
Always happy to help a comics brother/sister out. Do you enjoy attending these kinds of events?
I wouldn’t come otherwise. Especially the shows with a focus on self published work like TB. The audience is a lot more responsive to my work than at the bigger shows, with those darned superheroes books! I’ve been both years so far and loved it both times. So, don’t let me down, Clark, I’m looking forward to this show the most! Where else can I sell loads of copies of my comic just for sitting down behind a table? I’d do it every day if I could. I’d be a withering wreck of a man, but I’d be very satisfied.
Finally – thought bubbles or caption boxes?
Thought bubbles for thought, obviously. Captions are for narration. Stupid Bendis.
And there you have it, the final minterview for this year. Oh, and for the record we don’t think Mr Bendis is stupid for his (mis)use of captions, nope, no sirree, and I’m not just saying that because he’ll sic his Dark Avengers on us. Run Adam, run!
That’s not all from Thought Bubble’s interview bank though, we have some super-special interviews coming up over the next few weeks which will astound and delight you, watch this space!
In Festival news, we now have the full list of exhibitors for this year’s convention up on the main site, that’s over 180 tables of some of the finest artists and traders you’ll ever lay eyes on. Magnifique! We’re also pleased to say that the brochure for this year’s festival has just come off the presses and is looking damn fine, keep an eye out for it at a retailer near you soon!
Thanks for reading and we’ll see you again, probably sooner than you think…
1 Comment so far
Leave a comment