Interview with Chris Rosa, Assistant Editor at BOOM! Studios

Chris Rosa at Fashion Week 08

Usually we focus on creators for interviews, but today we’re going to the back of the house to talk to a member of the editorial staff at BOOM! Studios.

Chris Rosa at Fashion Week 08Alright so first, Introduce yourself to our readers.

My name’s Chris Rosa, and I am an assistant editor at BOOM! Studios.

What does and Assistant Editor at BOOM! Studios do?

Excellent question! My primary duties are the day-to-day management of the titles I work on: making sure everyone’s hitting their deadlines and crushing their roles, getting every member of the team the materials they need to work (e.g. getting inks to the colorist in a timely fashion), teaming with our licensing partners, and then checking in on big picture stuff with senior editorial staff, and our managing editor and editor-in-chief.

Sounds like a lot to do! Which titles do you work on?

Oh yeah, our days tend to fly by — you end up hitting the ground running (although, the demands of monthly publishing mean you’re always checking in on the progress of your projects), and the next thing you know, you look up and it’s the afternoon!

Currently, I work on Hellraiser, Next Testament, Curse, Garfield, Loki: Ragnarok and Roll, The Returning, and Dead Letters.

Sounds like a great job! And I’m hearing very good things about Loki: Ragnarok and Roll. What brought you to comics?

Every day — well, every hour, really — is something new at the gig, so it always keeps you on your toes. And Loki: R&R #1 comes out this Wednesday, February 19 — it’s a wild ride, and we hope people give it a try!

I’ve been reading comics for, literally, my entire life! My dad used to get them for me from his job — he was a corrections officer at Riker’s Island, and the jail used to get weekly shipments of every comic that came out, just like the newsstands. Once my parents knew I was on the way, my dad started bringing home full sets of comics, which became my first reading material. I’ve never read most traditional children’s lit — I went from reading comics straight to detective novels, and voila, here I am

That’s awesome! Which comics were your “firsts loves”?

The first comic I became attached to was the Batman vs. The Hulk crossover. It was oversized, and I carried it everywhere I went for at least a year. Also, the art was incredible — I was mesmerized by the wild layouts (of course, when I was little, I had no idea what “layouts” meant!) and crazy splash pages. The story was essentially an episode of the Hulk TV show with Batman and the Joker thrown in, which didn’t hurt either. Besides that one, I loved Spider-Man (Amazing, Web, and Spectacular) and Archie — for my second grade birthday, I got the Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four Marvel Masterworks hardcovers, which opened my eyes to old comics and the Silver Age. The FF collection introduced me to the awesomeness that is Namor, the Sub-Mariner, whose sense of style influences me to this day.

Wow. That’s bone-deep nerd stuff right there.

Once I pop, I can’t stop.

With your work at BOOM! is it hard to switch gears between Garfield and Hellraiser?

No, because one thing I learned early on at BOOM! was the importance of giving each project your total focus, while also never taking your eye off the ball. When you’ve got a lot (of lasagna) on your plate, I find it best to set small goals throughout the day, so once I finish one task, the next has my full attention. And personally, I have a lot of varied interests, so it’s fun that my work can mirror that. And who knows, maybe one day Garfield can come across a lasagna served in the shape of a box…

This is where I implore the internet to create a Pooky-as-Cenobite. Or Nermal. PLEASE.

Tumblr, you heard the woman … lemme change that to “Tumblr, you heard Lela!”

Ha! Comics has a reputation for being exclusionary … but BOOM! is a super diverse company. What’s it like to work in that kind of environment?

Amazingly supportive and empowering. Just yesterday was the L.A. Zine Fest here in lala land — I went out to support some of my co-workers who had a table, and most of the office came through at some point, both to show love and to pick up some cool new zines. It feels like being part of a really cool explorers club: we’re all from different parts of the country, with very different backgrounds, but everyone’s legitimately interested in what each other brings to the table, and into trying new things. If you’ve got a cool idea, everyone’s all ears. And when you’re putting long hours in together, we bond over our differences as we’re sending books to print.

That sounds like an awesome place to work.

Oh, our Rock Band sessions are legendary. On a more serious note, everyone’s got their work/play meters calibrated just right: we all grind, but everyone’s focused and able to keep things cool while pushing though.

Okay looking at the future–what are you excited for? What do you want to do personally and what do you hope the comics community gets done?

I’m excited about this infusion of the new! New artists, new writers, people excited to tell their stories. I’m incredibly optimistic for the future of comics — I challenge anyone to walk around the floor of, say, Emerald City Comicon, and see all those young faces who are so happy to be reading comics, to feel otherwise. As for me, I just want to keep helping people tell their stories. This is want I want to spend my life doing; I’m looking to be the Gregg Popovich of the industry.

SPORTSBALL REFERENCE! You’re gonna scuff your shiny nerdcred!

Hey, I contain multitudes.

It’s been great talking to you, Chris. Anything else you want to share?

It’s been my pleasure, Lela! I’d just want to wrap with how proud I am of BOOM!s 2014 lineup: yeah, yeah, I work there, I know, but between Dead Letters, Lumberjanes, The Woods, Bee and Puppycat, and a bunch of other titles I can’t mention yet, I truly think we’ve got something awesome for everybody. Thanks to all y’all for your support!

Lela Gwenn

Lela Gwenn

Staff Writer Lela Gwenn is the girl next door in a very bad neighborhood. She eats vegtables, reads comics, writes all the things and tweets like it's her job. Owner of two dogs and one resting bitch face. Is probably not planning to kill you.