Shia LaBeouf is a douchebag. He thinks his performance art/trolling is edgy, but it's really just a lame attempt to copy the antics of actual geniuses like Andy Kaufman. It's clear he's not going to stop as long as it keeps getting him attention. As a result, we've decided not to give him any more of that. Instead, we're going to use his antics to pull in unique hits with the headlines, and then redirect that attention to indie creators who deserve it.
With that in mind, meet James Moore. Along with artists Joel Jackson and Katie Valeska Wright, James makes comics under the 2 Headed Monster banner. The Indy Hunter interviews James (our apologies for that) and his cohorts every year during the SPACE convention, so if you want to go in depth, we recommend you check those out. He frequently adds witty comments to Outhouse articles on Facebook, which we appreciate immensely. With Joel Jackson, he also produced this awesome article for us, which still cracks me up, and was pretty popular as far as Outhouse articles go too. He's agreed to be the first subject of this experiment to turn Shia LaBeouf's antics (yes we are going to keep mentioning his name for SEO optimization) into something productive.
WIthout further ado, welcome to our new feature:
Shia LaBeouf is a Douchebag, but (INSERT CREATOR HERE) Is Not
Hi James, thanks for joining us to capitalize on Shia LaBeouf's possible mental breakdown. You're a part of the buzzing Columbus, Ohio comics scene, which seems to have a sort of punk rock vibe about it. What's so special about Columbus that it has such an active scene for comics?
It’s a confluence of factors. Columbus is massively supportive of independent local artists and businesses in general. We eat locally grown food in locally owned restaurants and put local bands on our locally owned radio station. That appreciation for what our neighbors are doing runs deep. People are open to and supportive of local comic’s creators. If you do the work, get it out there to the people, and it’s good this is a city that will reward your efforts.
It’s a college town for too. Several colleges at that including the massive Ohio State University as well as a great art school in Columbus College of Art and Design which means we have a constant influx of young people and especially young creative people who are supportive of the sort of culture I just mentioned, as well as supportive business and organizations. Those institutions have a direct engagement with comics culture too. OSU has the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (which just had a grand reopening) which aside from being the biggest collections of comics art in the country, is also essentially a gob smacking temple to comics. The stuff hanging in the gallery space right now alone would floor you. Caitlin McGurk, Jenny Robb, and the legendary Lucy Caswell are doing amazing work. CCAD has also supported comics in a big way especially Robert Loss’ MIX academic conference. Both organizations do events with creators as well as outreach events of all sorts (Billy Ireland does minicomic workshops with the Girl Scouts for example)
I think outside of the city there’s a perception we’re a cow town, but it’s a very cosmopolitan city. It’s also the most city that most demographically resembles the country as a whole so it’s a great test market and very diverse. There are a lot of great art and craft festivals in town that welcome comics people. Also a lot of record stores and coffee shops will carry them as well. It is however a very inexpensive city considering how great it is and it is easy to use a good day job’s salary to fund self-publishing.
We also have more traditional comics organization like Bob Corby’s Small Press Alternative Comics Expo, as well as several great comic shops including the store I go to, The Laughing Ogre, that proudly carry self-published material.
It’s a fantastic place to live and make comics. Everyone should check it out.
Assume that, thanks to whatever deal Shia LaBeouf made with the devil to make him famous, there will be people clicking on this article who aren't even aware comic books are even still a thing people make, much less that they can be about subjects other than superheros and zombies. Give them an elevator pitch. What are you working on right now, and what is it about?
I write comics in all sorts of genres but I aim to make them both highly entertaining while using the medium in interesting ways. There’s Radio Free Gahanna with artist Joel Jackson which is the book we launched 2 Headed Monster Comics with. It’s an indie rock romantic comedy in which an adrift twenty-something woman comes into contact with an old friend after stumbling on his pirate radio broadcast. We elevator pitch it as 500 Days of Summer meets Pump Up the Volume. We’re hoping to get the final three issues of that this year. When that’s done we already have our next projects lined up including something tonally opposite of almost everything we’ve done so far. Joel and I also published an all-ages action one-shot called the Toyetic Adventure of Coco Fiasco which is basically like Sailor Moon vs. Godzilla. We did a positive, non-hateful take on a Chick Tract with all-ages It’s Candy Time. We also did a short story in Nix Comics Quarterly #5 called “It Felt Like a Kiss” which involves a punk rock version of a 60’s girl group, domestic violence, and necromancy. Keep your eyes peeled for an interesting side-project we may be involved with in a few months.
Katie Valeska plans to have The Rotten Ones ready to debut by this year’s SPACE show and I think everyone will love her work on that. It’s about a flying Vespa –riding interdimensional delivery girl, a chain-smoking French robot DJ, a snarky bookish witch, and a bro barbarian who are roommates in Columbus. Shenanigans happen. Imagine an Adult Swim version of classic Brit-Com The Young Ones.
I’m also doing a suite of short comics stories with Lisa Sterle called Elfpunk. It’s a little Shadowrun-esque in blending fantasy and sci-fi . It also a kind of deals with my thoughts on the first burst of British Punk culture, which is as interesting in its failings as in its successes. The plan is to put the shorts up online as they are done and print a comic collecting it once they are all done. I’ve also got a short mini-comic in the Monster Tract style with Val Cianfaro coming out called The Monsters in My Head.
Much of that is already written so I may end up doing some other stuff soon.
If you were Shia LaBeouf, which of your comics would you plagiarize and why?
If LaBeef is going to terribly use other people’s art and art theories for his Jackassery, he may as well gank from Boroughs and use the cutup method on every 2 Head Monster Comic we’ve published and assemble something from that. That would be a good recipe for maximum surrealism. Is that too close to creativity for him?
Where can people learn more about you and get their hands on your work if they aren't lucky enough to live in the Columbus area?
You can gives money in exchange for comics at http://2headedmonstercomics.storenvy.com/ . You can get follow us on Facebook and get updates on our work at https://www.facebook.com/pages/2-Headed-Monster-Comics/178980065480175 . Our website is http://www.2headedmonstercomics.com/ . Follow the 2HMC crew on Twitter @jamesmoore1278, @2hmcomics and @katievaleska.
Thanks for taking the time to participate in a hit-grabbing bait and switch.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me!
Check back in at The Outhouse every time Shia LaBeouf does something douchey for more spotlights on indie creators that deserve the attention more than he does!