It’s a double dose of Mark Newgarden this week, as he returns with an interview with his longtime friend, Drew Friedman. Friedman has a new collection of caricatures out, Chosen People, and is doing a signing in Los Angeles this Friday.
I have absolutely no memory of having said that [I planned to become a producer] but I probably did over multiple beers and Chinese food in Chinatown. I suppose I envisioned myself as the next George Jessel or Max Bialystock? Back then we bounced a lot of interesting future plans back and forth. Didn’t we discuss starting an agency to book comedians for funerals?
I know there was a time before we met at SVA that I resisted becoming a cartoonist or illustrator, and considered a career in stand-up comedy. But like Pacino in The Godfather Part III, it was inevitable, I was sucked back in. I have no regrets about not entering show business. I was witness to what my dad went through over the years in Hollywood and although he’s had great success in his career, things could also get very demoralizing for him. But he had a knack for bouncing back which is what you need to survive, I don’t know if I could have.
I’m a contented misanthrope; I like the life of a solitary artist, emerging from my undisclosed underground bunker from time to time to promote a new book. And I’ve gotten enough of a show biz fix by having greats like Abe Vigoda, Joe Franklin, or Larry Storch on hand to help celebrate my latest releases.
—News. Incoming Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski kicked off the most ridiculous first week on the job imaginable by confessing to Bleeding Cool that over a decade ago, while working as an associate editor at the company, he also sold comic scripts to the company under the false identity of Japanese mangaka “Akira Yoshida.” (Cebulski is a white American who lived for a time in Japan.) Cebulski had developed a complicated backstory for Yoshida, and even once gave an interview in character to Comic Book Resources. The statement Cebulski gave to Bleeding Cool is, in the grand Marvel tradition, empty and upbeat.
I stopped writing under the pseudonym Akira Yoshida after about a year. It wasn’t transparent, but it taught me a lot about writing, communication and pressure. I was young and naïve and had a lot to learn back then. But this is all old news that has been dealt with, and now as Marvel’s new Editor-in-Chief, I’m turning a new page and am excited to start sharing all my Marvel experiences with up and coming talent around the globe.
The response online has been predictably and understandably harsh, and the story has migrated from fannish comics sites to mainstream media outlets such as Vulture, The Guardian, and The Hollywood Reporter (in a piece written by Graeme “Fanboy Rampage” McMillan, no less).
—Interviews & Profiles. Meg Lemke talks to Gene Luen Yang about diversity in books and his work as a reading ambassador.
So, I would never tell a writer that they cannot write outside of their experience. I almost think that it’s the defining job of a writer to be able to go outside of their own experience.
But I would say: don’t let that fear that you feel allow you to stop writing the story you want to write. You should let that fear drive you to do homework. You should let that fear drive you to humility. Approaching experiences that aren’t your own with a certain humility.
Alex Dueben spoke to GG:
I spend a lot of time laying in bed thinking about and playing out scenarios in my mind and then I go to my computer and start trying to put some of those scenes on the page. I work all digital now because it gives me much more flexibility to move stuff around. Like I mentioned above, the writing and drawing happens together and it’s just a process of redrawing things that don’t work. It’s not very efficient. Sometimes I’ll get to the middle of a story and have to throw everything out and start over again because I went down bad path. Again, it’s very intuitive – sort of an “I’ll recognize it when I see it” kind of approach.
And he spoke to Sophie Goldstein:
When I was at the Center for Cartoon Studies we had Paul Pope come as a visiting artist and one of the things he said really stuck with me—that he writes stories to give himself stuff that he wants to draw. Which may seem super-obvious, but that just blew my mind. I was like, I am never writing another script with a car again. [laughs] Which I haven’t actually stuck to, but I definitely think that fed into House of Women. I love science fiction, but I like drawing natural environments, not machines, and so House of Women takes place on a planet that’s essentially a jungle.
There were a lot of choices made in House of Women that were about giving me things that I wanted to draw.