Author: Claire Napier

Interview with Philippa Rice

Mixed media comics, cuteness, and cartoons: Claire talks to Philippa Rice about her webcomics My Cardboard Life and Soppy, and the process of self-publishing. Claire Napier Philippa Rice is a mixed media cartoonist and animator. Her webcomic My Cardboard Life can be found at MyCardboardLife.com or on Tumblr, where you’ve also probably seen her comic-turned-book Soppy. Soppy was a  2012 comic book of the month, at the prestigious Page45 in Nottingham, where her diorama work has also been seen. Mistress of mixed media, you can find her animation here or in gif form. Philippa’s comics work has appeared in many compilations including the current girlfest Bimba! For her self-published wonderlands, click here. The sweetness in your work has huge teeth; the cuteness is wielded; Jessica Lee on the Beat used the phrase “gut-wrenchingly cute”. The most adorable panels in Recyclost, for example (ex: the three-panel introduction of the intern: “since when do we employ a baby? // I’m not a baby I’m an intern”), hurt my heart, contract my diaphragm – there’s just something about your composition and story structure that prevents me from taking the character’s safety (emotional? physical? apparent childhood?) for granted; they activate impotent protective instincts maybe? Is this a conscious or innate quality? How do you cultivate such an atmosphere? I’m really into cute stuff. Especially cute baby animals! And it interests me, why is one...

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Summer Movie Roundtable

Superheroes, Secret Agents and the Summer of the Geek at the Movies This was supposed to be the summer of the comic book blockbuster, and certainly Avengers, Dark Knight Rises and Amazing Spider-Man performed as expected. But those were just the tentpole flicks. I put together a list of geek-relevant films that came out this season (May-August), and then I cut it down and cut it down again, and still it was staggering. To wit, With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, The Avengers, Death of a Superhero, The Dark Knight Rises, Battleship, Men In Black 3, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, The Amazing Spider-Man, Total Recall, The Bourne Legacy, Brave, ParaNorman, and Chicken With Plums. Whew. This was a genre-heavy season, and one that I honestly couldn’t keep up with. There was a Stan Lee bio? And what was Death of a Superhero? Chicken With Plums finally came out? Goddamn. I chatted with Claire (WWAC), Maddy (3 Chicks Review Comics), and Skalja (Fuck Yeah Spider-Wife) about the State of Geek Culture at the Cinema (This Summer). My first question is obvious: did you keep up? How many geek films did you see? Was anyone else overwhelmed by the relentless movie-marketing-machine? Claire: None. One. I’m going to see Dredd soon, hopefully. I just didn’t feel like I needed to see any of the ones...

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Interview with Jo Bevan of Bring Back Bunty

Before women write about comics, girls read them Nostalgia, motherhood, and the quality of children’s sequential entertainment Claire Napier This interviewee may need a longer introduction than most simply based on geography. British children’s comics aren’t going to mean much to a lot of you – despite how many members of whichever wave of British Invasion probably opened their eyes and cut their teeth on them! But Jo Bevan is a mum of two who wants her kids (and everybody else’s) to keep the chance to read great, appropriate comics. Weekly. She’s launched a campaign to keep the conversation – Hey Kids! Comics! – going. Speaking personally for a long time I thought that the first comic I read was some random Avengers issue I got off an auction website in my early teens. I’ve never followed the Avengers. I don’t really care about the Avengers. That was the one issue, and I thought it was my introduction to storytelling through sequential art. Later I realised that that was a bunch of trash! I remember my first Bunty, and I can’t believe I forgot her. I was born in 1987 and by the time my Dad bought me that first issue they’d already switched to photographic covers; smiling girls in ugly hats signalling the finalised change that had been coming on for years. No more illustrated covergirls. Far fewer...

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Interview with Laura Sneddon

Girls, Comics, and ComicBookGrrrls With one foot in blogland and one in professional byline journalism Laura Sneddon is blazing her way to where to action is. Claire Napier If, like me, you’ve followed her interviews with Stan Lee, Alan Moore and Grant Morrison in the Independent’s Arts & Entertainment section you might be impressed by her determination to bring comics to the general public; if you’ve been into her branch of that certain book-selling chain you may be impressed by her determination to bring comics to the general public. If you live outside our little British Island, maybe you know her from ComicBookGrrrl or her Comic Studies articles at Comic Book Resources. You might be familiar with her fuckyeahfrankquitely Tumblr. I sent her some questions, and she took the bus-riding time to Glasgow Comic Con to answer’em. Your newspaper work has mostly been interviewing the very famousest of famous comics creators; Moore, Lee, Morrison. Are there any creators with lower profiles you’re raring to get a word with? Which female creators, living or dead, would you most love to introduce to the Sunday Newspaper Review audience? Comics are still very much on the fringe as far as most mainstream press outlets are concerned and it’s quite difficult to get interviews with even the most famous comic creators out there. I’ve had to do a lot of legwork to convince...

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Jughead IS Joe Strummer: Interview with Laura Jane Faulds

A “Veronica” says Archie comics are more punk than you think (well, just Jughead really). Laura Jane Faulds is a writer, with a perfect name, who is from Canada. When I first read her words she was on No Good For Me, and if you like to read, read the NGFM archive. These days she blogs in similarly fine company at Strawberry Fields Whatever whilst writing a book and publishing short stories that will remind you that you are “being alive”. Some classic LJ topics include things done whilst smoking pot, eating disorder recovery, the special charms of scrappy boys who mean it, and the complexities of really caring when you’re also a modern badass. This isn’t Women Talk Only About Comics Ever, after all. Laura has taught me more about the meaning of John Lennon, the Kinks and Joe Strummer (etc) than twenty five years as a living, aware English person managed otherwise… and I think she’s kind of a master. Two years ago she wrote about Jughead Jones and blew my mind wide open. We talked. Basically: my finding out that, in real life, real people read real Archie comics made in the present day was like stepping into a bizarre timewarp – we don’t have ’em here [in Britain] at all as far as I know, and I only saw old issues online presented as hilarious...

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