SPACE coverage continues! One on one interview between Stick Figure Specialist Michael Carroll and the InDiY Hunter!
Michael Carroll embodies the spirit of Do-It-Yourself type of comics! Creative types come in all sized packages, large and small, thick or think and sometimes all a creator needs really is a few lines written or marked to make a story. Check out the goods below as we flow with M.A. Carroll! (Yea, I sound like a white 90's rapper! Go me!!).
IH: Michael Anthony Carroll, tell the people what is it you do!
MAC: I do stick figure humor/adventure comics, publishing both in print and online. I divide my attention between a small army of characters, including my version of Death, aka Rip, a group of elemental characters I call "R.A.In.B.o.W", and ninjas.
IH: What can visitors expect to see at your table at SPACE?
It's great to be a part of SPACE again! Been an exhibitor there since the first one, and it's a great feeling watching it grow from a modest one day show to a two day small press event that's known outside the state.
I'll have several brand new comic book size anthologies published by Main Enterprises, each including a new strip starring Rip or, in issue 31, my chibi ninjas. Hope to have some oversized digital prints of my comic strips available also. I'll be presenting "Zeepra and Crocobat", the comic I made as part of MiniComic Day last April. Lots of my 'classics' that I keep in print. I'll be making sketch cards in between table visits. I also have stories appearing in Oh!Comics and the 2012 SPACE Anthology, which Bob Corby will be selling at his table (though the SPACE anthology is already available for free download here, along the left side of the page). And a handful of works-in-progress. Obviously, I like to keep busy!
IH: I've noticed there's some spiffy stick figure action going on. What have been your artistic inspirations for STICK?
For the STICK comic, it started out as a parody/homage to Robocop(titled RoboStick), and slowly grew into its own adventure series. I wrote and pencilled two more complete adventures(which are still in my inventory) before my attention shifted to group dynamics and my elemental characters. I colored the first two issues of UnStuck and posted them to Webcomicsnation.com about six years ago. You can read a couple of them starting here.
As for the rest of my work, I'm inspired by a wide variety of sources! Two "Matts", Feazell and Groening; I discovered their respective works around the same time, at Monkey's Retreat in '85. Lots of oddball superhero comics. Animated cartoons from every era, excepting maybe the mid 70s. Jack Kirby for imagination; filmmaker Roger Corman for speed; pop music and sketch comedy for brevity; advertising for iconography; UPA cartoons for design; real life, Dave Sim, Howard Chaykin, Neil Simon, Brian Michael Bendis for dialogue. The list is eclectic and ongoing.
IH: So Mighty Mike, besides SPACE, where can our friends find you in internet land?
I have over three hundred strips posted to Facebook in various "photo" albums; interested folks can send me a friend request (Michael Anthony Carroll), and let me know you read about 'em here so I can direct them to the right sections. There's a couple hundred more posted at http://webcomicsnation.com/carrolltoons/ . And I'm working on bringing all that together into a portfolio blog that I'll start promoting sometime this summer.
IH: Do you have anything coming up you'd like to talk about?
Continue to make comics and post them online.I'm planning to do at least one comic book sized publication between the day after SPACE 2012 and SPACE 2013; at least part of that book should be in color. a maybe a lengthier collection in trade paperback before then. I'll continue submitting Rip and/or chibi ninja stories to Jim Main, and maybe submit material to some other publishers as well. I've done a couple animated shorts in the last year, so I'll probably dip back into that, too. All that and maintain my day job :-)
Remember, all this week, The Outhouse will be showcasing SPACE! If you live in the Mid-West and are looking to check out some great small press comics, be sure to come!
The Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE)
The Mid-West's Largest Exhibition of Small Press, Alternative and Creator Owned Comics
Over 170 exhibitors
April 21 & 22 Saturday 10am-6pm Sunday 10am-5pm
Ramada Plaza Hotel And Conference Center in Columbus.
4900 Sinclair Road Columbus, OH 43229
Off I71 at the Morse / Sinclair exit. Free Parking!
Admission $5.00 per day and $8.00 per weekend.
Written or Contributed by: J.M. Hunter