Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Stephen R. Bissette

Sorry for the long hiatus. is the blog that collects the interviews made by Robin McConnell on his show of the same name, on Vancuover radio station CitR. According to the program’s webpage “Inkstuds explores the underbelly of the comic world, interviewing some of today’s top creators. Inkstuds focuses on underground and indie comix from publishers like Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Drawn and Quarterly and more. Each week, we interview a different creator to get their unique perspective on comix and discuss thier own interesting and upcoming works. No creator too big or too small to be interviewed. The talent interviewed, ranges from the legends of alternative comix, to some kid who has only put out a couple of mini’s, all with something new and interesting to share to the reading public.”

I’ve subscribed as soon as I discovered the site and these hour-long interviews have become one of the highlights of my web experience.
On the site you can also find an incredible archive of past interviews.
The show’s host Robin McConnell is sometimes a little too softspoken, but his knowledge of comics is pretty widespread (he must have a killer collection of books).

To me, one of the best interviews is the one to STEPHEN R. BISSETTE
Known mostly for his work on the SWAMP THING title during Alan Moore’s tenant, Steve Bissette has also been one of the "frontmen" of independent comics and spokesmen for creators rights in the 90s. He created and edited Taboo, a short-lived but very influential comic anthology where From Hell and Lost Girl made their debut.
A great lover of horror movies, Bissette later retired from both mainstream and independent comics (right after the outburst of the collector bubble)  and ventured in to the home video business , working for a video store he partially owned, right in time to witness the decline of the home video market too.
Bissette teaches now courses in Comic Art History, Drawing, and Film at Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont.

Many many topics are touched upon in this two hour interview: creators rights and livelihood (here and in other interviews Bissette is not afraid to talk about a very mundane but very hard issue: payments), Steve Ditko, the media conglomerates, Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye, John Carter of Mars, self publishing and more.

Be sure to check Bissette’s own site: it’s a goldmine.

And here’s an interesting compendium the the Inkstuds interview.

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