Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with Chris Fenoglio

by Mike Rhode

A Baltimore Comic Con staffer tipped me about Chris Fenoglio of Alexandria, VA, who kindly answered our usual questions. Fenoglio should be getting wider recognition soon as he's drawn an X-Files spin-off that comes out this summer.

MR: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

CF: I have a couple of projects right now. The biggest one I’m working on is the X-Files Origins: Mulder series coming out in August from IDW. I just finished the first issue of a project called Bloodworth written by the supremely talented Dan Corey that’s coming out really soon as well. I also work on a webcomic strip called Chris & Christina about me and my wife. It’s funnier than it sounds…

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

CF: Mostly computer… especially lately. I have a lot of plates spinning, and it’s just faster this way.

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

CF: In Berkeley, CA in the early 1980s.

MR: Why are you in Washington now?  What neighborhood or area do you live in?

CF: Alexandria. Does that count still?

MR: What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

CF: I have a master’s degree in illustration from The Academy of Art University. I teach some of their online classes now (like I said… lotsa plates).

MR: Who are your influences?

CF: Too many to count, but the major ones would be, like, Jeff Smith from Bone, Alex Toth, Chris Samnee, and Greg Capullo… at least those are the guys I try to copy as much as I can.

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

CF: Nothing so far… maybe go to art school sooner in life? Or maybe pick a career that makes a lot of money… like accounting.

MR: What work are you best-known for?

CF: Probably the X-Files one now… but I also colored a few issues of the Orphan Black comic IDW put out.

MR: What work are you most proud of?

CF: Right now it’s a tie between my X-Files and Chris & Christina stuff. X-Files feels like a huge step forward in my career both artistically and in terms of my standing in the industry. Chris & Christina scratches that artistic itch of putting something together that’s totally mine. And it also lets me try out some of my weirder ideas.

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

CF: Everything. Is that an answer?

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

CF: Just keep working. I find that you can usually work through things like that if you just keep noodling. Worse comes to worse, I’ll take a break and go do something else for awhile.

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

CF: Hopefully universal acceptance. I’d love to live in a world where everyone read comics. I think the way the medium is expanding and diversifying is really helping, but it’s still got a ways to go.

MR: What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

CF: I just moved to the area about 2 years ago, so not a bunch. I’ve gone to NYCC the last two years and it’s been pretty great. I also checked out Baltimore this year also, which was a ton of fun.

MR: What's your favorite thing about DC?

CF: Is it cheesy to say, “the monuments and museums?” If you grew up on the other side of the country, they’re really awesome to see up close.

MR: Least favorite?

CF: Traffic… And that’s coming from a Californian. Is getting hit over the head with a tack hammer part of the driving exam out here?

MR: What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?

CF: Portrait Gallery. I like paintings.

MR: How about a favorite local restaurant?

CF: There’s this awesome place in Alexandria called Rustico. I love their pizza… and vast selection of beer.

MR: Do you have a website or blog?

CF: I have a website (that’s in dire need of an update) at
www.chrisfenoglio.com and you can check out my webcomic at https://tapastic.com/series/chrisandchristina. And people can always follow me on Instagram and Twitter @ChrisFenoglio

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