(Josh Neufeld, Dean Haspiel & Gregory Benton at Greenlight Bookstore)
Really nice essay about Hang Dai, our event at Greenlight Bookstore, and closing a circle by the incomparable Hannah Means-Shannon.
“I’ve known these guys for a few years and yet the things they said about their perception of comics and creative choices were things I had never heard before, proving that the combination of people can bring out new elements in any panel situation.
Some of the highlights included:
-The process by which a creator who is both writer and artist may compose or write a comic then hand it off to the artist “who happens to be me”, according to Neufeld and Haspiel. In this they seem to act as two different personas.
-Haspiel perceives himself to be a character in his Billy Dogma works, but presents the “story as the comment” on his character and is “willing to be the villain” to serve the story.
-Haspiel might not have created autobio comics had he not felt competitive with Neufeld from a young age, who worked in the genre.
-While Neufeld thinks that “quiet stories” are the hardest to do well in autobio comics, but something to strive for, Haspiel creates comics already in frenetic motion and feels the comic has to “earn” the quiet moment, which is, however, also his ultimate goal, and “what the story is about” really.
-Haspiel’s creative endgame lately has been to move toward a more dynamic and fluid style that can move more quickly to keep up with the speed of reading comics. “I want you to feel the comic more than ogle the craft”, he said.”
-Creating the Hang Dai Editions imprint has meant that all business aspects have been under the control of the creators and the experience makes them more likely to use Kickstarters in the future.
-The studio atmosphere has contributed to the productivity of these creators since it creates a positive “tension” when members wish they could do what they see the other members doing and it urges them to try new things and find solutions in their own creative process.
“While it will always come down to individual personality and knowing one’s best working methods, nevertheless, there is a lot to be said about operating in studio groups when it comes to independent and freelance comic creation. There’s plenty to learn from one another, as well as plenty to celebrate when banding together helps further a creator-owned imprint like Hang Dai Editions.”
Read the entire essay here: