Questions for the Week: 4/20/2009

I’ve been linking like mad the last week on Twitter and Facebook, so it seemed high time to do another rundown. • Why are there still intelligent people out there laughing at brilliant webcomics creators’ self-publishing and distribution models? Over at The Beat, one my regular quadro-daily blog stops, there was a comment thread flowing … Read moreQuestions for the Week: 4/20/2009

Warmoth on Webcomics: Cameron Stewart

[Editor’s Note: This is the seventh in a series of some of my favorite webcomics creator interviews that previously ran on and were a part of the site’s archives that are no longer hosted there. Cameron Stewart, of Sin Titulo and Seaguy fame for me is still one of the most interesting and versatile creators working in comics right now, and the Transmission-X project he put together with his fellow creators is one of the best examples I’ve seen of how to put an ongoing webcomics anthology together. This interview was originally posted on November 9, 2007.]

Cameron Stewart is already a respected and Eisner-nominated name in comic book artwork coming out of his Vertigo series Other Side. He’s also worked with A-list names like Grant Morrison and Brian Azzarello. Stewart has further aspirations, however. Right now, he’s writing and drawing his own webcomic serial Sin Titulo as part of his Toronto based collective Transmission-X with Karl Kerschl and Ramón Pérez.

Sin Titulo follows a main character searching for answers about his grandfather’s death after he goes to visit the nursing home and discovers that no one notified him that his grandpa died. The story takes some screeching and unsettling turns as Stewart has honed his scripting talents, which as I found out speaking with him, dealt with some issues very close to home.

I caught him in the middle of the day at his Canadian studio and asked him about his writing aspirations, as well as where autobiography helped shape Sin Titulo, and he was remarkably forthcoming.

BRIAN WARMOTH: How’s stuff going at the studio right now? Is everyone still on schedule?

STEWART: Amazingly, yes. We set it up so that everyone has a week to do one page. We want one update a week from everybody, and everybody’s stuck to it so far. We have a little informal penalty system. Every week, we all go for brunch on Saturday, and whoever fails to update their strip has to buy brunch for everybody—and there’s eight people, so that’s going to be expensive. That’s kept everybody motivated.

It’s a bold endeavor putting that many people together for a webcomic project. Virtually no one can publish for a year without missing a single deadline. But with that many creators together, there’s a lot of inter-reliance. 

STEWART: When you’re doing it alone there’s no sense of consequence if you fail. If nothing else, even if we didn’t buy each other brunch we’d just mock each other terribly if anyone failed to do it. We’ve been up since July, and no one’s missed a day yet, though. There have been some close calls, but everyone’s managed to—like Indiana Jones pulling his cap as the stone wall’s coming down—just make it.

Read moreWarmoth on Webcomics: Cameron Stewart

Simon Cowell’s face

I’m as big of a supporter of schadenfreude as anyone, but I’ve never really latched on to American Idle. That said the character of Simon Cowell does fascinate me, mainly from the absurd polarization between critic and performer that the show creates with him. Sky News has this moderately aesthetically interesting masks gallery up right now; … Read moreSimon Cowell’s face