As part of our mission to connect with and support amateur and part-pro creators, we at BLP present to you the first of our Creator Interviews! Our wonderful first interviewee is Kibble, a creator of comics from Western Massachusetts. The interview was done by Nagi on January 5th, 2018.
Given Name: Keane
Artist Name: Kibble
Location: Western Mass
Channels: comickibble.com, Twitter/Insta: comic_kibble
- Describe your life at the time you finished your first “real” art piece.
I’ve been drawing since forever. I guess the first thing that sprang to mind was when I finished Elk and Crow because I had never put together anything for print, intentionally, or any stand-alone stories really, up until that point. [Before that] it had all just been my long-form webcomic. At the time I had been living with my ex in Northampton and it was a weird time; I had just started working at the co-op, I was working 40 hours a week, it was in the middle of summer, and I was just holed up in this little tiny room in this little office, just making this weird story. I was just turning 24. I’m 25 now.
- What other artists or works inspire you?
[Jhonen] Vasquez and another artist he worked with on Invader Zim, Aaron Alexovich, they both have that gothic cartoony style that I was very into. Apart from that, I just read some Jeff Smith work for the first time in forever. He’s got some fantastic art, and all of his action scenes are so dynamic. But I also want to talk about people who haven’t already “made it” [in the professional industry]. As far as peers go, I’m constantly impressed by Hazel Newlevant put together the Chainmail Bikini Anthology, and just did another anthology called Comics for Choice, she’s out there doing really cool queer art, she just released Sugartown. The thing that inspires me there is that kind of community-minded type-deal, the anthologies that she worked on, she helped raise money for pro-abortion stuff, and that sort of activism is what I want to include in my works in the future.
- Describe someone super-cool who you’ve met through your creative work.
Last year, I had a chance to meet a lot of my favorite artists at MICE two years ago, in 2016. I had a chance to meet Melanie Gillman, who is one of my heroes, and one of the first self-published artists I started following way back in my early days of comics and social media. They’re really cool, they do a lot of stuff like As the Crow Flies, I got to meet them briefly with my friends Allie and Lex. They’re just, I don’t know, they’ve got this crazy work ethic, as a really dedicated student that used to go to CCS, and they have these crazy colored pencil works, and just like, they’re out there doing it, y’know?
- How does your creative process work?
Or doesn’t? (lol) It’s interesting, as far as ideas or inspiration goes, that can hit at any time, I actually just take notes down constantly, I’m always thinking about stuff in the back of my mind. I’m always throwing around ideas, trying to think of things that I want to see in the world. Really indulgent, queer stories or what-have-you. From there I’ll sift through all the ideas that I have, and if one catches my attention I’ll start developing it. I usually start with characters first, and then I’ll pick a setting, and develop both organically in context of each other, and then kind of think of a plot from there and insert it, and just let them run loose.
- Where does creative discouragement come from in your life and how do you deal with it?
a It’s a lot of pressure and I think I get really hard on myself sometimes about it, and I’m not even making money off of this yet or anything like that. It’s just this thing that I’m doing but I keep falling backwards into that ethic. It’s just trying not to burn yourself out but still being able to strike that balance where you’re working on something, but not dedicating every moment, which is what I have been doing in the past. So it’s just that sort of struggle there. I don’t have as much patience for drawing right now, which is why I’ve been really frustrated, and I haven’t done printmaking in a while, so that’s why literally on a whim I went back that, and that’s been good to create with this new medium. But right now when it comes to comics, it just takes so long to do, and no time to read, and that’s… incredibly frustrating (lol).
- What’s a dream project of yours?
I’ve been kind of brainstorming on this story for 3 years now collaboratively with my friend; a thing I’ve seen a lot of in the past couple of years is this uptick in comics online which take advantage of the internet format and things you can do with that. Like flash comics and, like, not animated per se, but they’ve got that motion thing going on, like the after-effects? So just these multimedia projects that advantage of that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do in print form. So my friend and I are working on this stoner superhero spoof comic, we joke that it’s, like, a superhero comic for people who don’t like superhero comics. Kind of poking at everything we know of the superhero format. I’ve done lots of character design for it in the past, but we sort of stopped working on it for a little bit, because life. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about programming at the moment, so this would be an excellent learning opportunity, my friend does music, so working collaboratively to both of our strengths and telling a story in that kind of multimedia format is a really enticing prospect. In my mind, it would be panel-by-panel much in the style of NEO-KOSMOS or Ava’s Demon, with video-animatic interludes, definitely bringing that music and motion into it. Especially for action sequences, I’m trying to think of stuff I would be able to do with that, like flash explosions, or “biff” “bam” “boom” “pow”! But, like, in real-time.
- What would you want to tell or give your 12-year old self for artistic motivation?
I would encourage myself to set up a good work practice. That’s the thing that has been my greatest struggle in trying to be a somewhat-professional artist. Motivation was something I struggled with a lot when I was younger, and motivation is fake. Motivation is not gonna be there… well, sometimes it will be. Hopefully you do have some passion for the projects you’re working on (lol). But it’s more about discipline and more about doing it and making it happen. You can think and you can want it as much as you can, but if you can’t actually do it… focus is also something I struggle with, but you just have to work on it, work on it a little bit every day.
Lighting Round Questions!
You have to eat a bowlful of Wheaties, Cookie Crisp or Raisin Bran.
Wheaties. With a lot of milk. Specifically, especially if they’re Frosted Wheaties.
Warrior, Wizard, Cleric or Rogue?
Socks on or off in bed?
When do you start getting excited for Halloween?
September? The end of August, let’s be real.
Swallow one of these things: a penny, a ball of wasabi or an extra strength laxative.
Coffee or tea?
Subtitles on TV or movies: on or off?
On. All the time. Constantly. Maybe it’s just a side-effect of being so into comics, but I need the words.
Pick only two qualities for a friend: organized, supportive, relatable.
You can only play games from one franchise for the rest of your life: Sonic or Mario?
Mario. I don’t have much loyalty to the Sonic series.
You can get free internet for life, but you can only use Bing and Internet Explorer. Do you agree?