Showing posts with label Dean Haspiel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dean Haspiel. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hang Dai Studios at Baltimore Comic-Con: Dean Haspiel speaks (UPDATED!)

by Mike Rhode

Baltimore Comic-Con is one of the best and friendliest of the mid-size superhero focused cons. Under the leadership of Marc Nathan and Brad Tree, it's grown quite a bit in a decade and a half, but still remains enjoyable for all ages and interests. Hang Dai Studios is based in Brooklyn, but as usual will have a big presence at Baltimore. My friend Dean Haspiel (and Hang Dai Studios founder) will be there with the whole studio, a week after he, Christa Cassano and Gregory Benton attended the Small Press Expo. We hope to have interviews with everyone in the studio throughout the week. Our fifth interview is with Dean Haspiel.

Where did "Hang Dai" come from? 

 "Hang Dai" was derived from HBO's "Deadwood." Whenever Al Swearengen and Mr. Wu would curse their way through a private deal and come to an agreement, Wu would cross his fingers and say "Hang Dai." Or, something that sounded like that and which meant "Brotherhood." Or, as my studio mate Christa Cassano likes to say, "Sisterhood."

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

I hopscotch between superhero and memoir and psychedelic romance comix. My recent effort is called Beef With Tomato, co-published by Alternative Comics and Hang Dai Editions. It's about my escape from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

Blue pencil, occasional brush pen and Micron pens + digital shading/coloring.

When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

1967. New York Hospital.

What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

The comic book rack on the newsstand at the corner of 79th street and Broadway in NYC was my comix kindergarten. Later on I discovered a steady flow of pop art pulp treasures at West Side Comics, opened a weekly account at Funny Business, and discovered American Splendor and Yummy Fur at Soho Zat. After that, any inklings of pursuing a normal life went out the window when dreams of drawing comix for a living took over and held my sway. I never learned how to draw comix in school because school didn't teach comix. School shunned comix. Comix taught me how to make comix. And, I'm still learning how, one panel at a time.

Who are your influences?

Ron Wilson, Jim Aparo, Jack Kirby, C.C. Beck, John Byrne, Steve Ditko, Alex Toth, Will Eisner, Frank Robbins, Jim Starlin, Michael Golden, Howard Chaykin, Walter Simonson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Mike Zeck, Frank Miller, Katsuhiro Otomo, John Romita Jr., Frank Quitely, Goran Parlov, Darwyn Cooke, Marcos Martin, Chris Samnee, Gregory Benton, Josh Bayer, Stan Lee, Warren Ellis, Jason Aaron, Brian K Vaughan, Joe R. Lansdale, Jonathan Ames, Mickey Spillane, and Richard S. Prather.

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

The Thing: Night Falls On Yancy Street. I wasn't ready. I would ask to change the dark ending, too, so me and Evan Dorkin could make it Marvel canon rather than Marvel folklore.

What work are you best-known for?

I believe I'm best known for my collaboration with Harvey Pekar on The Quitter. Possibly, the ten-issues of The Fox I recently co-wrote and drew for Archie Comics. Maybe, some Billy Dogma.

What work are you most proud of?

Billy Dogma in Fear, My Dear. And, Heart-Shaped Hole.

What would you like to do or work on in the future?

I aim to focus on creator-owned comix but, given the opportunity, I'd like to write and draw The Fantastic Four, Captain Marvel (Shazam), O.M.A.C., Deathlok, and bring back Marvel Two-In-One, featuring The Thing. I also have a great Batman & Superman story that features cameos of the JLA, done in the spirit of a cross between Sullivan's Travels and On The Road.



What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?


Wash dishes. Work on something wholly different. Mix it up. Your mind is always working. Let it work by letting it relax and think different.



What do you think will be the future of your field? 

Patronized digital comix produced one panel at a time; published one per day, delivered directly to your phone, and story arcs get collected into print (if necessary).\

Why are you at the Baltimore Comic-Con this year?


Baltimore Comic-Con is my favorite show, bar none. A perfect combo of rookie and veteran cartoonists among old and new comic books and just the right amount of cosplay. I've also been a regular guest for almost 15 years.

What other cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, or others? Any comments about attending them?

Besides BCC, I usually attend SPX, NYCC, MoCCA, CAB, and Locust Moon Comics Festival. I was a guest of Wizard World six times this year. They treat me very well.

What's your favorite thing about Baltimore?


Marc Nathan and Brad Tree.

Least favorite?

I've yet to encounter anything in Baltimore to make me dislike its innate charm.

What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?

 

One day I plan to stay an extra day or two so I can personally visit Baltimore's culture.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

 

Out of pure proximity and laziness, I tend to grab dinner at the M&S Grill on E Pratt Street and soak in the Inner Harbor sights.

Do you have a website or blog?

http://deanhaspiel.com/

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hang Dai Studios at Baltimore Comic-Con: Christa Cassano speaks


Christa Cassano and John Leguizamo
by Mike Rhode
 
Baltimore Comic-Con is one of the best and friendliest of the mid-size superhero focused cons. Under the leadership of Marc Nathan and Brad Tree, it's grown quite a bit in a decade and a half, but still remains enjoyable for all ages and interests. Hang Dai Studios is based in Brooklyn, but as usual will have a big presence at Baltimore. My friend Dean Haspiel (and Hang Dai Studios founder) will be there with the whole studio, a week after he, Christa Cassano and Gregory Benton attended the Small Press Expo. We hope to have interviews with everyone in the studio throughout the week. Our third interview is with Christa Cassano. Come back tomorrow for interviews with Dean and Gregory.

What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?


I do original type of comics, not sticking to any sort of limitation. 


How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?


Originally, I used pencil, but had to switch to working on a Cintiq after dislocating the middle finger of my drawing hand a few years ago. This is because you can press a lot lighter, so it is much less painful. At the one year mark of the injury, I was only able to draw for a few hours on paper before pain set in. I'm hoping enough scar tissue has gone away so I can go back to it soon. Really want to produce tangible art again! 


When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born? 

I was born in the latter half of the 20th Century (that's the best you're getting) in the state of Washington.


What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

I've only been doing comics for the last three years, before that I was in fine art and received extensive training in drawing, painting and sculpture.


Who are your influences?

Discovering Daniel Clowes' Eightball in the early 90's is what made me want to make comics. I carried that torch for decades before finally realizing it, so I guess I'd say he is my ultimate influence. Sam Keith is another early influence, as is Paul Pope, who I've spent a lot of time studying. It's a hard question to answer though, because I am continually uncovering new gems of comics work to worship and adore, but I rarely look outside myself to come up with panel solutions and my drawing style arrived naturally from having taken thousands of life drawing classes, so I can't help but draw like I do.  

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?

I would have started doing comics much sooner, or rather, never stopped when I started in 5th grade.


What work are you best-known for?

The up-coming graphic novel Ghetto Klown, written by John Leguizamo and based on his one-man show of the same name. 

What work are you most proud of?


Probably the one I currently have for sale called A Letter Lasts Longer. It's written by Dean Haspiel and was presented to me and 7 other cartoonists as an exercise/experiment at the Atlantic Center for the Arts graphic novel residency in Florida a few years back. We were to create a one page comic around what he had written. Instead, I took extreme liberties and drew a nearly fifty panel comic that you could enter from several points, recently turning it into a uniquely formed accordion book. That residency was the entry point for me into the world of comics and the experiment and its production taught me that I can take my crazy ideas in comics and make them real.   


What would you like to do  or work on in the future?


Pawnland characters with Mouse Guard for 
Baltimore comic con yearbook
Well, as much as I enjoy doing uncommon things and pushing boundaries, I am going to move forward with something that came to me rather naturally, without the usual hair pulling. I recently wrote the first draft to a five-issue series that is a pretty straight forward revenge story. It's set in a dystopic alternate reality called Pawnland. 


What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?

Eat, usually. Or ride my bike.

What do you think will be the future of your field? 

tumblr, robots, extinction.

Why are you at the Baltimore Comic-Con this year?

Because Dean Haspiel is a favored and time-honored guest who graciously shares his table with fellow studio mates. This year our studio will be doing a panel and Hang Dai Editions will be debuting 3 new books, one of which contains a six page story I drew.

What other cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, or others? Any comments about attending them?

I just came back from SPX, my second year in attendance and always a good, fun time. Not sure about future cons, need to lay low and draw.

What's your favorite thing about Baltimore?

Baltimore Comic Con Director's Brad Tree and Marc Nathan! 

Least favorite?

That I haven't seen The Wire yet. 

What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?

I dig going to the harbor outside of the convention.

How about a favorite local restaurant?

Whatever that one is on the Harbor that begins with an M.

Do you have a website or blog?

I have a flickr with images of my work and an old blog lingering around.
http://swinginmeatcomics.blog.com/

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

"I would not pursue comix as a career": An Interview with Dean Haspiel


Rhode and Dean Haspiel
My friend Dean Haspiel just attended the Baltimore Comic-Con last weekend and is returning to the area for this weekend's Small Press Expo. Dean's had a good year resurrecting The Fox as a well-received superhero comic from Archie, while also putting out a hardcover collection of his Billy Dogma webcomics. I first interviewed Dean years ago as part of a Harvey Pekar panel that ended up as the foundation for a book. From working with Harvey and being an icon of alternative comics, Dean has built quite a resume with comics as varied as Mo and Jo from Toon Books to Inverna Lockpez's autobio Cuba: My Revolution. Dean kindly answered the usual questions for me today hopefully without any such expectations.


Mike Rhode: What type of comic work or cartooning did you do?
Dean Haspiel: My comix run the gamut between semi-autobiographical to superhero to psychedelic romance. I hopscotch between mainstream and alternative comix. I've collaborated with Harvey Pekar, Jonathan Ames, Inverna Lockpez, Jonathan Lethem, Stan Lee, Mark Waid, J.M. DeMatteis, Gabe Soria, and lots of other writers. I also write some of the stuff I draw.


How did you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?  
I draw traditional pencil, ink and erasers. LOTS of erasers. Recently, I've been digitally inking my pencils and I sometimes color and letter digitally, too.


When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?  
I was born in 1967 at New York Hospital. I grew up in Manhattan and moved to Brooklyn over 17 years ago.

What was your training and/or education in drawing? Do you have fine art training?  
I went to Music & Art High School. In my senior year (1985), M&A married Performing Arts and became La Guardia High School. I went to SUNY Purchase a couple of years later where I studied art and film. I also assisted cartoonists Bill Sienkiewicz, Howard Chaykin, and Walter Simonson in 1985, which helped me train for making comix. 

Who are your influences? 
 Howard Chaykin, Walter Simonson, Jack Kirby, Alex Toth, Will Eisner, C.C. Beck, Steve Ditko, Frank Miller, Bill Sienkiewicz, John Byrne, Mike Zeck, Ron Wilson, Chester Brown, Mike Mignola, John Romita Jr., Frank Quitely, Baru...

If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change? 
I would not pursue comix as a career. I would write and draw comix on the side - for the fun of it. My day job would be a mail man, cook, and/or paramedic.


What work are you best-known for? 
Harvey Pekar's The Quitter, The Fox, and Billy Dogma


What work are you most proud of?
Fear, My Dear: A Billy Dogma Experience.


   
What would you like to do or work on in the future? 
I would like to pursue creator-owned comix, including more Billy Dogma, The Red Hook, and semi-autobio comix. I would also like to draw more Fantastic Four; especially The Thing (and bring back Marvel Two-In-One), and I'd like to tackle Jack Kirby's O.M.A.C.
 
What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block? 
I type. I read. I watch movies and TV. I take showers. Lots of showers where my mind wanders.

What do you think will be the future of your field? 
While franchise companies continue to Maim, Rape, Murder, Die, Resurrect, Rinse & Repeat 75-year old icons on a quarterly basis, creator-owned comix will yield more original ideas and characters for other mediums to exploit. No longer will the question be "What if we made this comic into a movie" but more "When will this comic be made into a movie." It's cheaper to beta-test new intellectual property via comix before producing it as something served over easy for lazy readers who don't have the attention span or the imagination to actually read and fill in the gaps between the panels. Meanwhile, rebellious creators will continue to explore the virtues and innovate the art of comix despite competing with the more popular story delivery systems. 

Do you have a website or blog? 
http://deanhaspiel.com/

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Impressions and photos of Baltimore Comic-Con day 3, Sunday

Gerhard and the Little Nemo book from Locust Moon
Sunday was a nice quiet day at the con. Plenty of energy, but it wasn't so crowded that you couldn't see the guests, or run into friends (such as Heidi MacDonald who requested this photo of Gerhard from Friday (Day 1 is here)). I bought the only print Gerhard brought (by accident) of his Little Nemo art. I'm not sorry.Gerhard's finishing work on Cerebus made Dave Sim's artwork sing.

My daughter and I cruised around and I got my Team Cul de Sac book signed by Rob Harrell and Jay Fosgitt. I saw two other Little Nemo-related modern items (by Fosgitt and Joel Gill) - it's odd how the character is making  a comeback.

Here's some shots. A few additional pictures can be seen on Flickr.

One joy for me was meeting Fred Hembeck and getting a Shadow sketch for him. I've loved his skewed take on comics history for thirty years.
Little Nemos by Gill and Fosgitt
Mike Rhode and Dean Haspiel

Denis Kitchen and Fred Hembeck

Rafter Roberts covers X-O Man-o-War

Big Planet Comics owners Peter and Jared

Fulcrum's Jess Townsend with books edited by local cartoonist (and ComicsDC'r) Matt Dembicki
Andy Runton's booth babe, AKA "Mom"

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dean Haspiel's EW Harvey Pekar Tribute

Years ago, my friend Dean Haspiel suggested that I interview Harvey for a Small Press Expo panel - that turned into a journal article, and then a book, as well as a friend acquaintance with Harvey. Harvey died earlier this year, and Dean's got a nice tribute strip up about Harvey now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

ACT-I-VATE at Politics and Prose pictures

ACT-I-VATE webcomics people at Politics & Prose, l-r Simon Fraser, Jim Dougan, Joe Infurnari, and Dean Haspiel. Further down, Jim and Joe switch seats...

100_9738 ACT-I-VATE

100_9739 ACT-I-VATE
(that's Jim's wife who read some of the parts in the comics)

100_9741 ACT-I-VATE

100_9740 ACT-I-VATE

100_9743 ACT-I-VATE

100_9742 ACT-I-VATE

100_9744 ACT-I-VATE

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Feb 27: Act-i-vate at Politics and Prose

Politics & Prose Bookstore
welcomes

The Act-I-Vate Primer
With contributors: Dean Haspiel, Jim Dougan, Simon Fraser and Joe Infurnari

Saturday, February 27, 6 p.m.

5015 Connecticut Avenue, NW • Washington, DC
www.politics-prose.com • (202) 364-1919

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Baltimore Comic Con photos

100_8273 Dean Haspiel Dean Haspiel defacing a copy of The Act-i-vate Primer.

Here's my photographs from Sunday at the Baltimore Comic Con. Labels to follow, and more pictures will be put up here too. Most of the photographs were taken by Claire. (If you click through the link, several people are unidentified in the photo names, and if you know who they are, please comment).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

OT: Haspiel on Simonson

My buddy Dean talks on his blog about visiting his mentor Walt Simonson - "Walter Simonson." Man_Size blog (March 9).

Boy, I loved that run on Thor, even with the frog.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Friday, December 26, 2008

Blogs and websites of my friends

I just stuck a new widget up on the side linking to my friends, on topics that may or may not be comics-related. Check them out. First up is Dean Haspiel, cartoonist and Lisa Cherkasky, food fluffer.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

OT: Dean Haspiel's NY Times comic about holiday drinking

Dean Haspiel did a cartoon for the New York Times Proof blog - Snow Dope - starring himself. A couple of days ago he wrote an entry for their blog, and then followed that up with a post on his own blog.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jim Dougan in new anthology

I still haven't met local cartoonist Jim Dougan, but Joel Pollack of Big Planet Comics told me today that his work will be appearing in No Formula: Stories from The Chemistry Set vol. 1, (Desperado) and you can order it from the June Previews using Jun083849 as your code. So I ordered it. My buddy Dean Haspiel appears to be in it as well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

OT: Where in the world is Dean Haspiel?


My New York buddy Dean Haspiel, who suggested me for the Harvey Pekar SPX panel interview that led to the Conversations book, is keeping busy. Here's a note from him listing his projects:

1] my webcomic, BILLY DOGMA in "Immortal," got nominated for an Eisner award for 'best digital comic'. Link to IMMORTAL: http://www.act-i-vate.com/21.comic [Mike's note - this is available in print now as well]

2] I finished THE ALCOHOLIC, the original graphic novel I illustrated in collaboration with writer, Jonathan Ames, for Vertigo/DC Comics, which is slated to come out in September. I'll be doing lots of press for that book soon. Here's a recent article from PWCW: http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6557737.html?nid=2789

3] MO & JO: FIGHTING TOGETHER FOREVER, my kids book collaboration with underground comix legend/writer Jay Lynch, will also be coming out in September from Francoise Mouly's Toon Books [Raw Jr.]: http://www.toon-books.com/book_mojo_about.php

4] DC Comics' webcomix wing, Zuda, just announced STREET CODE, the new series I'm writing/drawing for them come early summer: http://www.zudacomics.com/street_code

5] ACT-I-VATE, the webcomix collective I founded [and where I do BILLY DOGMA], finally launched an official website after two years utilizing Live Journal: http://www.act-i-vate.com/. Check out, FEAR, MY DEAR: http://www.act-i-vate.com/22.comic

6] I launched a webcomix anthology that I'm also editing called NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR at Smith Magazine: http://www.smithmag.net/nextdoorneighbor/

7] I just finished drawing some more AMERICAN SPLENDOR stories for Harvey Pekar [at Vertigo].

8] BEFORE I DIE I WANT TO... http://man-size.livejournal.com/333109.html

As always, interested folks should regularly check my blog: http://man-size.livejournal.com/ for alerts and news and occasional, actual real-life blogging!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

OT: New webcomic edited by Dean Haspiel

My buddy Dean's joined his old friend Josh Neufeld at Smith magazine to edit a webcomic. The first appears to be by Nick Bertozzi and features, yes, you guessed it - nudity.*

See "NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR - True Life Webcomix Anthology, edited by Dean Haspiel, Launches on SMITH Magazine 04.08.08,"

*Bertozzi's depiction of a naked Picasso in Salon has rubbed a bluenose prosecutor the wrong way. He indicted a comic book store owner and this has run up bills for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.