Thursday, February 16, 2012

High Seas - Terry Currie

High Seas is twenty pages, black and white, and undated although I would guess it was published in the 1950's. No credits are featured although the artwork is signed Terry Currie in a few places. Back cover has an advert for another comic, Clancy The Clown and a printer/publisher credit - Marketing Services (N.Z.) Ltd, New Plymouth. - J.G.H. The lead feature is a High Seas Adventure followed by some shorter back up's, Kid Kiwi and Arrow Boy.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Phantom Commando - Flame Over Korea

Flame Over Korea is a nine page Phantom Commando story by Maurice Bramley from Page Publications Phantom Commando #16. This issue also features two other Maurice Bramley stories, The Big Gun and The Raiders.


Early New Zealand History In Pictures

Another selection of stories from Charles Mckenzie's Early New Zealand History In Pictures.

 Early New Zealand History In Pictures courtesy Geoff Harrison

Rebecca Clements Interview part four of four

Rebecca Clements interviewed by Chris Beach

Read part one over here.

Read part two over here.

Read part three over here.

Is a community of artists important to you? Are a lot of your relationships with other artists exclusively online?

Most are! I tend to think of Twitter as my studio/office. We kind of passively talk to and with each other all day and even if I don't say anything myself, it's sometimes nice to just be able to hear what's going on with other people.

For the first time though, I'm connected somewhat to the local cartoonists and I try to catch up with my friends here when I can. Sometimes we hang out and draw together, which is fun (though admittedly, I think I get very little work done and just seem to watch a lot of Tim and Eric).

As for importance—crucial. Not only are they important connections for me, but I learn so much from the artists I associate with and follow, as well as often having MUCH needed support. Plus, they're fun.

Has doing guest strips for other webcomics been an important part of building your audience? How do you select artists who do guest strips on your site?

Very important. It's one of the most effective ways to reach new audiences. Luckily, I happen to ADORE doing guest strips for comics I love. I often feel like the best comics I produce are my guest comics, which is sometimes a shame! It's not like I can publish them in a book at some point, or even really have them understood by people who don't also know the comic they're for. That said, because most of the comics I've done them for have had much, much larger audiences than mine, it kind of cancels that complaint out.

I've only had two rounds of guest strips on KinokoFry so far, one featuring mostly my favourite international webcartoonists and the other featuring Australian cartoonists. Both were incredible. I will continue to try to get the cream of my personal crop, because not only do I want to show them to more people, but it is completely thrilling to see a cartoonist you admire's take on your own comics.

It's not something I'll do often though because I have so many comics I want to do myself.

What kind of commissioned work do you typically do?

There's been a lot of variation. I've worked on games and books and animation storyboards and cards and website images, but typically I do personal paintings for people. Sometimes it's an image they want to see realised. More often than not it's as a gift or for a special occasion, often painting a couple or a family in a particular kind of scene.

What kind of response do you get from your readers? Is it more than you would expect to get from making print comics?

I get typically REALLY good responses from my readers. I suppose that's natural because your readers surely are the people who like your comics. That said, it's often not the case and I'm lucky to have a very enthusiasic, positive, supportive and generally lovely readership. I have no idea what I might get from print comics, but I know that having a webcomic gives people a huge number of ways to communicate with me, and often instantaneously.

The prints and posters available in your shop are printed with vegetable-based inks on 100% recycled paper and mailed in 100% recycled packaging. Ethical concerns also make up much of the subject matter of your comics. Why is this such an important dimension of your work?

I suppose because more and more in my life, I've come to realise that solitary happiness isn't really any kind of thing. The more I learned about the world, about the current state of things, about life in general, about society and about people, the more I didn't want any happiness or success I have to have come at the expense of worsening others' lives, or the earth. Not only that, but the more I read and discover, the more I know that really amazing and positive changes are very, very possible and happen all the time when people make changes to their lives. I want to keep doing what I can to find my own success and continue to live more sustainably, in ways that don't cause misery for others, or chip away at the planet's limited resources.

We have all the ideas, technology and human power we need to move towards a genuinely sustainable life, in terms of both maintaining the natural environment and making massive leaps towards a more equitable world. I'm nowhere near leading a totally sustainable lifestyle right now. It's impossible without the society we live in also changing. However, I'm constantly finding new ways to improve and I want my art and my business to reflect this! It's been nothing at all really to do my best to use things like recycled paper. It's not only been fun and surprisingly easy, but it means the quality of all my paper has really improved. I've started using this really lovely recycled card for all my prints and it looks STUNNING. I can hardly believe that I might otherwise have been putting my artwork on boring old white-bread paper with no character and no life.

Still a long way to go but as each new change becomes a very easy habit, I'm able to make new ones and recommend things to others. And that's pretty much how real, tangible change happens! I'm always changing my focus, but never stop moving forward.

What is The Donation Project and how does it work?

I think is very important to talk about and promote the kind of life we wish to lead. So I started a comic called The Donation Project, inspired nominally by The Uniform Project (look it up!), where I do a comic about some project, artist, charity—whatever—that I think is doing important work and means something to me personally. Then I donate a small amount to that cause. The idea is not just to talk about these great things, but also to show that lots of small amounts of support really are important.

Can you describe how readers' ideas shape your BEC comics and what you're aiming to achieve? Why do you think sharing ideas is so important?

The way that BEC works is that the ideas come from my readers, and I turn them into comics. This was largely inspired by TED, which is one of the most amazing and inspiring projects I've ever come across. TED brings together great people from all fields and walks of life to share their ideas and experiences and work toward making a better world for us all. I loved that, and since lots of people who will never be asked to speak at TED have great ideas as well, I wanted to give some of them a forum. By putting their ideas into comic form, it's kind of like editing them and making them pretty, so that more people will not only read them but hopefully become interested in their potential.

There's a great variety and that's the way it will always be. For the most part, I want to base the comics on ideas and experiences people have had and on changes they've made in their lives, because that can be a powerful statement—saying, "I used to do or think this way, now I do or think THIS way instead, and it's awesome and here's why". People will always respond to that because 'doing' an idea is better than just talking about it. But the important and often neglected step is remembering to share that. No one can think of everything! Very few people can make changing their lives their full-time job. Why not package those ideas in a fun, cute and entertaining way that lots of people will read? Your idea isn't going to be right for everyone, but it might be right for someone, and it might make others consider things they hadn't thought of before.

That's how it ALWAYS happens with me. An idea is introduced in some way. Often I react defensively at first, but it sits in me like a seed. Over time I turn it in my mind, and when I'm ready, I might do something about it. It can happen in no time at all, or happen over years. But that those seeds are there is the important thing.

All I hope to achieve is to inspire people and play my own small part in helping to change the world, and in helping others to do the same! That's already happening, even though BEC is young. I hope to put more time into it soon and see how much we can make it grow.

Would you say that the underlying message behind BEC (and much of your other comics work) is that everyone has the power to influence the world in a positive way through small, incremental changes?

Absolutely. That's the only way change ever happens. There's never been a huge, noticable change that didn't first come about because of hundreds of tiny factors. History has taught us this lesson well, and you can see this happening on every kind of level all over the world. Sometimes people just don't realise that this is the way it works. There are a lot of companies and governments and people telling us we can't change things and it's an absolute lie, and it's always in their interest for you to believe them.

I'll tell you, even just reading on a daily basis websites like Inhabitat or magazines like Peppermint will reveal that determined people are working everywhere and succeeding at making positive changes all over the world. It's so heartening!

Would you like to share any changes you've made to your life in recent months that you feel have brought about positive change, helped to make you a happier or better person, or set a good example for others to follow?

I finally bit the bullet, made the call and started volunteering once a week at the CERES organic farm (though I'm often so busy I can only make it once fortnightly). It has been THE BEST. Every day I come away from that farm feeling absolutely amazing for having spent a beautiful day in a giant garden with fascinating people, and feeling thoroughly satisfied with how I've spent my day, physically and mentally. I learn a lot about how to grow plants, which I could NEVER do—I'd never even kept a potted plant alive before, and now I suddenly have the confidence to grow some ferocious thyme plants in the ground at my own house!—and have a really refreshing time talking with interesting people who share a lot of my goals. I also come home with armfuls of fresh, organic veges and eat like a freaking king.

A lot of articles and studies sing the praises of what a little volunteering will do for a person's happiness, and that doesn't even take into account what a great thing you're doing in an area that needs support. Not everyone can do it, but it's something to aim for—if not the volunteering, the learning to grow some of your own food. It just seems crazy to me to be a human being who can't grow my own food. It's really liberating, and exciting!

 All images copyright 2012 Rebecca Clements. Interview copyright 2012 Chris Beach

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rebecca Clements Interview part three of four

Rebecca Clements interviewed by Chris Beach

Read part one over here.
Read part two over here.

Did living in Japan give you access to anime and manga that you wouldn't otherwise have had the opportunity to see or read in Australia?

Hahaha. Wow. Yes. It's very funny to think about the contrasts between those two times and situations. I grew up when anime was first leaking into Australia, when it was amazing if your town had 10 VHS tapes. What is manga? It's what they yell out before the anime starts. Some of my major social groups were brought together by these shared interests and I guess we were all there while it grew and grew into whatever it is today. We eventually became quite cynical from exposure to so many obsessed anime fans for such a long time.

Japan is a country obsessed by and incredibly accepting of art and comics—with a long and rich history with comics—that values and gives a platform to even the smallest indie cartoonist, and where there's almost no 'comics demographic' to speak of (which might be a bit of an exaggeration, but honestly not much). I mean, you're surrounded by manga everywhere. It's always changing, it's always there. So much of it will never make it out of the country. Thankfully, more and more of it is.

I've long since lost my interest in it, generally—I think the two of us are better off living apart—but I retain a healthy respect for the good stuff and for its spirit, like with anything.

Can you describe your working method?

Often it involves sitting at my computer and drawing on my tablet for 10 hours. Sometimes the same kind of thing only with a piece of paper in front of me. Some of my comics evolve from the scribbled notes I record in my sketchbook whenever an idea strikes me. Some of them are totally spontaneous, drawn on the spot in response to something that makes me laugh (that's the exception to the rule, though).

I probably write about 20 or more scripts or ideas for every comic that actually sees the light of day. With some, they're really detailed and I draw lots of thumbnails for each panel; with others they're just one or two vague words that are enough to trigger the whole idea sitting in my head. More and more, I have occasions where I go straight to inks with barely the roughest and loosest of pencils. Sometimes I'll still need to do 3 layers of pencils to get a particular idea right and I'll work on it for days.

The great thing that has come with experience is having a whole range of approaches, and continually having a better sense of which of them best suits the idea or whatever mood I'm in at the time.

One of the biggest factors for me in being able to make a particular comic is being able to move from one place to another to work on its various stages. Sometimes I'll work on a comic from vague idea to completion in one sitting, but usually I need to leave the house and go to a café to write and think different elements through. I'll even move from room to room to get the inking and colouring done. Sometimes I need silence, or nothing more than the kinds of outside sounds I can completely drown out, but more often than not I rely very heavily on listening to the exact right kind of music to suit the frame of mind I'm either in or want to be in. It sounds silly, but getting that right for me can make an absolute GIANT difference in how I work, or whether I CAN work.

Lately I've been very dependent on watching and listening to video longplays of old video games on YouTube while I work. They put me in a great frame of mind. I get to relive the sounds of a well-loved game while it creates the illusion that I'm being quietly social. It's like having a friend hanging out with me and playing a game, I think it's really neat. Picking the right longplay is just as important as the right music playlist! I'm one of those artists that has a lot of trouble working within rigid conditions. It's a bit crap. I struggle on by with my ways.

In a typical day roughly how much time do you devote to your comics (mulling, writing, drawing, posting)?

I don't really know. I kind of feel like I haven't stopped thinking about them for years now. I mostly don't have weekends or any real days off. I just work most of the time, even if that's just moving about with my life generally to get new ideas, or wandering about like a zombie while trying to grasp all the aspects of a comic in my head. When I'm actually sitting down and drawing (or standing—I have a standing desk too now—it's great!) it can last all of one or two days and sometimes my breaks are only when I'm sleeping or showing or eating and watching Doctor Who.

I do take a break when I need one. If I'm feeling so stuck and dead that I'm not getting anything done, I try to do one or a bunch of things to kick some life back into my brain again, be it watching a movie or going out for a walk, and every now and again I just take a bunch of spontaneous time off to go hang out with a friend and not think about work anymore.

Plus, so much of my work time has nothing to do with making comics. Often things like bookkeeping, packing and sending prints can take up most of a day. Sometimes my balanced routine helps to maintain a creative state of mind, but at other times I have so much of that stuff to do that it can drive me crazy and I begin to lament how little time I have to spend on the art I want to do.

How much of what you draw is done digitally and how much is hand drawn? What tools do you use to make your comics?

I think it's about 50/50. Sometimes I'll go through a digital phase, then I'll suddenly tire of that and want to hand draw everything. Lots of cartoonists I know are like this and I think it keeps things fresh for us. You always get excited to use a particular medium again after a while and find too that you have fresh new ways to approach it.

If I hand draw my comics, I tend to use mechanical pencils (blue or green), then ink with a Kuretake brush pen (the best!) and either colour with Copic markers or paint with watercolour.

Digital comics I do with an amazing and not-so-well-known program called Paint Tool SAI. In fact, I never made digital comics until I discovered that software. It's really perfect for me. I'll do the whole comic in that and maybe some occasional basic image manipulation in Paint Shop Pro 7, which I still love after all these years.

What for you are the advantages of digital artwork as opposed to more traditional methods?

Being able to get that line exactly right. Sometimes you'll catch yourself drawing and undoing a line 20 times to get it right. Sometimes that's ridiculous, but it's really nice to be able to produce a very crisp, tight-looking comic like that. Being able to experiment with colour easily is a big one too. Maybe the thing I value the most these days is being able to easily play with my layout. I think that has the biggest influence on me being able to sometimes get the look or timing just right.

 All images copyright 2012 Rebecca Clements. Interview copyright 2012 Chris Beach

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rebecca Clements Interview part two of four

Rebecca Clements interviewed by Chris Beach

Read part one over here.
What are some comics that have influenced you? Did any particular comics creators inspire you?

As I mentioned before, Patrick Alexander is a strong influence. I may never have got into comics without him, and I feel pretty damn lucky to have one of the greatest cartoonists of our generation there beside me. I know of very few cartoonists who can make me laugh like him, or take my breath away the way his thorough and masterful use of all the elements of comics art in his pages and stories does. If there's one surefire thing that keeps me in comics, it's always wanting to impress him. Or outdo him.

James Turner and Nick Wolfe's comics, among others, were early webcomic influences for me, and still are! James' fun sense of humour and charming characters, Nick's ceaseless headfirst rush into new ideas and ways of expressing his worlds and characters—there's a lot of really astounding talent out there. Over the years I've been influenced by far too many cartoonists to list them all, and often I'm not aware of an influence until years after its effect on me. I will mention Nedroid, KC Green, Rene Engstrom, Kate Beaton and David Troupes, then stop there before I go on forever.

Are there artists who work outside the field of comics who appeal to you? What is it about their work that you admire?

Absolutely, I'm also an illustrator and although not by trade, there's a game designer inside of me (as well as a director and an animator and many other things all hoping to get out from time to time). I'm very much inspired by the ideas and creations of all sorts of people in these fields.

The children's illustrators and writers I grew up with remain a huge force pushing and pulling me along. I never stop feeling the presence of the various stories and characters and artists whose worlds I spent much of my life in. There are too, too many to name: Roald Dahl, Babar, Daniel Pinkwater's The Big Orange Splot (to be very specific!), Dr Seuss and Diana Wynne Jones. I feel that I create richer things when I remember what excited me as a child. To remember those feelings and the specific things I responded to, but from an adult perspective that can come at it from different angles, is vital I think for creating charm. I'm always stomping around with a clumsy enthusiasm, trying to figure out how to hit the right notes. That's a mixed metaphor, but I think that's what I mean.

In my adult life I've discovered things like Moomin by Tove Jansson, James Marshall's George and Martha and the work of Shaun Tan, that are beacons I always make sure to keep in front of me—people and works that stun me with their masterful gift for creation in any medium. Discovering them is like finding the greatest treasure life has to offer.

To limit myself to one single last mention, who has been and always will be one of my biggest inspirations: Jim Henson and all of the hundreds of his fellow creators and creations that basically raised me. I'm not sure I'll see a repeat of a creator like him in my lifetime. Somehow I seem to find more respect and admiration for him every year of my life. He is the best. 

Do any other interests feed into your cartooning?

Of course. I think my interests in cartooning are just about the least of it. A person's life in general tends to be what really feeds their art (and people who are only immersed in comics often have little to say).

As I've said, my intense interest in video games coupled with my having grown up with computers makes it into my work. It's probably clear to anyone who knows me or reads my comics that I have an ever-increasing interest in things like sustainability. On top of that, I'm passionate about finding ways to improve our lives and ourselves in general, and about the wisdom that comes from exploration and experience, from new interactions and feelings, and from being able to make people happier. It's important to me to try to find ways to help all of us fit together better. I don't think I can stop that seeping into my comics. If it doesn't seep, it will pour anyway.

Since I've started doing a lot of diary comics, it's hard to have an interest that doesn't make its way into my cartooning. I especially like to make comics about things I find that excite me, often movies or books. I think once or twice I've even done comics around learning Japanese.

Life, both frustratingly and thankfully, is always getting in the way of comics for me.

When you were a guest and interviewed on 3CR you said "I don't read much in terms of print [comics] because I don't have much of a history with it". It seems like more and more artists who don't come from the usual background of reading a lot of mainstream comics are becoming comics creators. What do you make of this trend?

Great! It's just great when people from all kinds of backgrounds try a medium. The worst thing that can happen to any medium—music, television, whatever—is for the same kinds of people who all followed the same lines and jumped through the same hoops to be the only ones who have any impact. It happens in every industry, and that's when you begin to see nothing fresh and people forget to experiment and try new things—people become afraid to try new things. In areas where this happens, creators themselves seem to be a mix of arrogant, depressed, self-loathing, conservative types who forget why they got interested in their trade in the first place.

The things people genuinely love—that excites us and makes us feel alive, that unites us by bringing different demographics to a medium that should never be a single-demographic one—can only come out of an industry that is rich with different opinions, experiences, outlooks and styles. It's great when artists mix and share ideas. It's also great when artists have nothing to do with each other. That variety drives us all to create.

Which comics (on the web and in print) do you currently enjoy reading?

It's always changing because I don't really have that much time to read comics. I'll definitely read anything by the web cartoonists I mentioned earlier, so Gunshow and Hark! A Vagrant are among my staples. Pictures For Sad Children, So Far Apart, Hilarity Comics ... I'm very excited by anything people like Ben Hutchings and Pat Grant do (Pat's Blue is one of the most wonderful comics out there).

I'm not reading much in print right now! I'm finally reading Eddie Campbell's Bacchus, which I recently acquired. Just today I was reminded that I have a lot of Alan Moore to catch up on. I read my Moomin comics whenever I need to be reminded of what it's all about.

What prompted you to live in Japan for several years and what were your experiences like there?

To answer the second one first and succinctly: A-MA-ZING.

I'd always been interested in Japan (come on, I grew up with video games and anime) and I studied Japanese for a few years, so after university I went to teach in Japan for what was supposed to be a year but turned into many.

I think of those years in Japan as my truly formative adult years. That's where I learned the most about life. I had difficult and harsh experiences that taught me the best things about life. I met really fantastic people there, had so many unbelievably fun times and traveled a lot around the country. It was the best decision of my life. I can't even begin to imagine what I would have missed out on had I not gone. So much of who I am now came from those fantastic struggles and good times. So many more after returning to Australia too. And I look forward to all the new experiences to come all the places I go.

All images copyright 2012 Rebecca Clements. Interview copyright 2012 Chris Beach

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rebecca Clements Interview part one of four

The following interview was conducted in May 2011 via email

Rebecca Clements interviewed by Chris Beach

Rebecca Clements populates her Kinokofry webcomics with a continually expanding cast of cute, whimsical and enormously charming characters (the adorable Submameen, ferocious Xylosaur and tragic Cookie Thing are some recent welcome additions to the Kinokofry family). She employs humour, a fertile imagination and innovative graphic elements in her comics to share entertaining stories, to document aspects of her life through diary comics, and also as a vehicle for progressive social change (with a particular emphasis on sustainability). You can read Rebecca Clements' comics on her website

 Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like?

I grew up in a pretty little port town in Western Australia called Albany. It's a nice place, but I left as soon as I was able and went to university on the opposite side of the country.

I feel like my childhood was pretty typical, but I suppose everyone has different ideas about what's typical. I was fortunate enough to have parents who have always been very supportive and gave me copious amounts of freedom. I played a lot of video games, read a lot of books, did a lot of silly things in school, changed what I wanted to do with my life every month, discovered things like Red Dwarf and Monty Python, had great and terrible times with kids at school, was fascinated with the world and always wanted to go out and explore on my own.

I suppose something I took for granted, and have come to realise lots of kids (especially in cities) didn't have so much of, is all the wandering about and exploring of places in the town and in nature; climbing hills, especially the sides without paths, exploring all the parts of the beaches no one went to, making cubbies and hanging out with older neighbourhood kids in patches of bushland drawing boobs and finding junk people had abandoned, being in all the places that just don't exist in cities. Lots of bike riding, finding all those tracks between houses, walking along the coastal roads down to the ocean and spending hours looking in rock pools and climbing around dangerous cliffs.

Not to romanticise it too much though. Of course it was a country town and came with all the negative aspects of that lifestyle as well. As I said, I left to push myself out into the world and see what I could make of myself.

What made you decide to make your recent move to Melbourne?

I had come back to live in Australia after a few years in Japan and wanted to work on my art full-time, which meant I didn't need to be in any city in particular. I'd already spent a lot of time in Brisbane, I wasn't very interested in Sydney and a couple of my friends were also planning on moving to Melbourne, so we all decided to get a place down here together. Which we did! And it's been pretty fantastic.

Melbourne very quickly let me know it was my new home. Whenever I live in Australia, I'm pretty sure it will be in Melbourne. It's well established as the Australian hub of art, food and excellent coffee, which all suit me fine. I love the lifestyle here, I love how exciting Melbourne is, I love the general enthusiasm and trend towards more sustainable living here. Melbourne is full of amazing potential and it bubbles with those possibilities. I even have a respect for the ever-changing weather here, which I prefer to Brisbane's dependable humidity. Oh, and trams. Trams are GREAT.

How did you first get into comics?

My initial answer is always that it was only a few years back really. I was living in Japan and had given up on art for a few years. I hadn't grown up with comics and had only fairly recently discovered some interest in European comics via Tintin and American comics via Alan Moore. I'd grown up with some British comic anthologies when I was very young, but I barely even thought of those when I heard the word 'comics'.

Some of my good friends were cartoonists and I of course had an interest in their work, but it didn't really occur to me that it was something I could do. I never thought about it. I had even stopped drawing until I was inspired by some new artists who excited me and I became encouraged, largely by Patrick Alexander, my best friend and housemate at the time. I started to draw again and try to draw from my own head, my own personality and imagination instead of trying to copy others (I had spent my teenage years learning to draw in a manga style and attempting to be 'just like the professionals!'), and it was a pretty amazing and liberating feeling!

I started to read a few webcomics (the ones that stick in my head are Beaver and Steve by James Turner and Name Removed by Nick Wolfe) and I was pretty in love with this new medium that seemed to be the place with the kind of comics, creativity and humour that appealed to me. Fairly soon after, I decided to buy a domain and start drawing comics and putting them online to see where it took me. They were TERRIBLE at first, but some very nice people liked them anyway and that encouraged me. Pretty soon after that, I guess, it started to take shape. I improved, I started to get an idea of what kind of comics I was interested in and my audience grew and grew. The possibility of having a career as an artist finally started to feel real.


What is it about webcomics in particular that helped to renew your interest in art?

First, I never really cared about comics while growing up because what 'comics' was to me, outside of newspaper strips like Garfield and Hagar, was American superhero comics. Zero interest. They made comics seem like a very stagnant form indeed and were just completely samey and boring to look at. I loved books. I loved cartoons. I loved illustration. I loved great comedy and TV shows. I loved video games; that's what I spent my childhood with more than just about anything.

I think one aspect of it is that when I discovered web comics, I found the comics that MY generation was inspired to create, and in the place that best suited us, and with the freedom to express things the way we wanted and to find our own audience. I finally found comics that struck me as fun, and funny, and beautiful, and original, and creative and there was no one to tell their creators to do anything differently, and there were lots of them, all doing what they wanted. Obviously I thought lots of them were crap too but that's part of what makes them wonderful. It must have been much like what discovering zines was to people who grew up with print comics.

In a kind of wanky way, it was like rather than me discovering comics, comics had come to MY playground. Where I'd always been and where my interests lay. On top of that of course, there were far, far, FAR fewer limitations on them and it was an exciting new medium and industry. It's accessible to everyone and it's always growing and changing. It's very exciting to explore.

What do you enjoy about making comics?

One of the things I enjoy the most is how liberating an art form comics can be. I feel like I get to be an illustrator, a writer, an animator, a comedian and a teacher, all in one. I often see much of the world in comics form. It's exciting to have these thoughts and be able to translate the world, my experience and imagination, using all the different facets that make up a comic. Finding a particular configuration of images, words, lines, colour, layout, timing, typeface, ideas ... I think any medium handled well can feel limitless like that, but I feel it most with comics. When I see an amazing page or story that brings everything together elegantly and effectively, and makes me feel consumed with admiration and pure excitement for art and creativity in general, I think those are the times I love comics the most.

To be able to feel you've achieved that, or that you're getting closer to feeling like you might achieve that is an amazing feeling. I deeply enjoy looking at a page for a long time and considering the possibilities. Finding new ways (for me, at least) to communicate an idea. Getting expressions just right. Being impressed with some really economical lines or some great unconventional palette. Creating a page that makes people laugh or smile, or makes them read it again trying to discover all the things you've put into it (that's what we always hope for). Being told my comics have actually inspired people in some way.

And being able to make my dumb jokes as beautiful as my good ones is pretty nice too.

All images copyright 2012 Rebecca Clements. Interview copyright 2012 Chris Beach