Comic Book Resources reporter, Alex Dueben interviewed me about my new free weekly webcomic series, THE RED HOOK.
"I feel like I've never been ready for prime time. I don't know what that means anymore in a DIY world, but there used to be a line that was drawn way back in the day because we didn't have a lot of channels. Working at Archie and Dark Circle, there was writing on the wall that "The Fox" probably wouldn't move forward and that's when I put a lot of my eggs into the Red Hook basket. Simply put, I wanted more autonomy. With the passing of Seth and knowing that he'll never be able to see the Brooklynite, that's sad. I get to see my character come alive and see people react to it -- for better or for worse. I'm trying to do a comic book that I really care about and that really means something to me."
"The focus for the past few years of my career has been more autonomy, and to hopefully get to full autonomy. I don't mean that in a diva sense -- I actively write/draw/develop all kinds of stuff that you've never seen because I'm an artist -- that's what I do. I've written feature-length screenplays. I've developed a pilot for a TV show that's being looked at right now. I've written a novel. I am a storyteller. I can work in a bunch of mediums, as long as I yield to their virtues. Movies and TV and comics all use pictures to tell a story. I have stories to tell. Not to diminish really good artists that draw stories, but I don't just draw other people's stories."
"Even when I'm not fully conscious [of it], whatever is happening in my life finds its way into my comics. Part of the romantic notion of a New Brooklyn is that it honors its artists at a time when New York City is not honoring its artists. It's honoring banks and CVS stores. I used to be really concerned, does New York City care about when all the artists move out because they can't afford to be here? New York City doesn't care. Maybe that's another reason I made Brooklyn sentient, because I get to inject a certain sensibility into a place that I care about. At the end of the day, developers or landlords just want money. Once in a while, you'll find an altruistic landlord who's willing to give space to a certain type of thing, and that's beautiful. My landlord has tried to champion artists, which is why he made this building an artist studio, but at the same time you have to take a bold look at your own career sometimes. If you're not making any money after many years, then maybe your career is a hobby. I hate to say it that way, but you do have to look at your own life sometimes and go what am I doing and can I continue doing this? You can't stop doing what you love, but you do have to figure out a way to live.
There are a lot of people who wish they could make art and decided not to so they could have a family or live a more normal lifestyle, whatever that is. To be an artist is sacrificial. There is no guarantee that anything you do will succeed, or even communicate to a stranger."
"We live in an ADD culture right now where everyone's attention span is being distracted and you have to deliver things quicker. I remember picking up "Marvel Two-in-One" and you'd get a full epic story in a comic book for forty cents or whatever. Then manga came in and they expanded that story into six issues and Marvel and DC adopted that kind of pacing. Now we're back to a culture of, tell me everything in 140 characters right now. I'm employing that sensibility in "The Red Hook."
You can read the entire interview/article here: http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/haspiels-the-red-hook-creates-its-own-superhero-ecosystem-in-brooklyn
You can read THE RED HOOK here: http://www.webtoons.com/en/super-hero/the-red-hook/list?title_no=643