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Minicomic Greats By Jeff Manley
Tony Consiglio and Mike Dawson are two rapid up-and-comers in the world of minicomics. Historically relegated to the back alley of comicdom, minicomics have become an increasingly prevalent way for independent creators to showcase their talent in a more economical manner.
Praised by The Comics Journal, Tony Consiglio is best known for Double Cross, a minicomic that has blossomed into a critically-acclaimed graphic novel published by Top Shelf. Mike Dawson is best known for Cabaret and Gabagool, the former of which caused Wizard Magazine to label Dawson as "brilliant."
Okay Slushers...here it is. Our interviews with two of minicomics' greatests...
The Tony Consiglio Interview
What did you, Tony, buy after you made your first million dollars off of Double Cross sales?
Chewy deep-fudge walnut marshmallow brownies.
Do you get angry when people accuse you of riding Alex Robinson's (large) coattails?
No. I feel lucky to have coattails to ride.
Have you ever killed anyone by giving them a pair of "cement shoes"?
By "cement shoes," I assume you are making a comment towards organized crime, which I can say categorically I am not affiliated with nor have ever assumed a position in what you call "Cosa Nostra" or the "Mafia". As for killing anyone, I have never been convicted of any crimes and am an upstanding citizen.
Are people usually surprised to find out that you're an Italian-American?
Only narrow-minded-mid-western-uncultured swine.
Would you ever consider being on a television sitcom based on Double Cross?
Yes. I don't even care if it's awful, as long as I can quit my day job and draw.
What would be the flavor of Double Cross cereal?
Double Cross pop tarts?
No, thank you, I'm not hungry.
When you were four years-old were you riding a tricycle or a bicycle?
I have never owned a bike or a tricycle, and even though I learned how to ride them, skates are my preferred choice of physical recreation.
Did you take art class in middle school (Junior High, to some folks)?
Yes. I took cartooning classes and calligraphy (yes, my junior high had a cartooning class).
How many pages of comics have you drawn since college (rough estimate is okay)?
Roughly 763 pages. About.
Do you think the Beatles are overrated?
Not at all.
Was Ringo just a misunderstood genius?
Not at all.
Which member of the Rolling Stones do resemble most?
The fat bald sweaty one.
If you weren't drawing comics professionally what kind of job would you be working now?
I'd probably be doing what I'm doing now, which is working at Lowe's home improvement store. Yes, it sucks immensely.
Do you get tired of people who find out you draw asking you if you can draw caricatures of their kids? And then saying, "Well, we see it all the time at Six Flaggs."
No. Most people ask if I plan to work for Disney. But as of late I get vicious monsters who say, "you should do a comic about me! HA HA HA !!"
Do you do commissioned Artwork?
How much do you charge?
It matters on what someone wants commissioned. Maybe anywhere from $10. to $100. That sounds fair.
If Someone wanted to buy Double Cross books how could they get ahold of you?
Like I said, I work at Lowe's at the Glendale Mall in Indianapolis, but I don't usually carry my comics with me. But you can go to my webpage and the info is all there. (http://members.aol.com/doubletony)
Any last comments?
I like extra sharp cheddar cheese.
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The Mike Dawson Interview.
How long have you been drawing?
I have been drawing all my life. My Dad used to bring me reams of computer paper from his work (the kind that would go in those dot-matrix printers) and I would fill them up with drawings. Mainly of dinosaurs and werewolves.
Did your parents encourage your artist notions?
Yes, very much so. They sent me to Art school without complaint, and like i said, supplied me with paper when I was little.
Did you ever believe that Mountain Dew gave you the magical power to run fast and do superhuman burps?
No, I wasn't introduced to the Dew until I was in my teens, by which point I had learned that soda's couldn't actually give you the power to do the things that soda drinkers do in commercials. However, I have not yet learned that beer does not actually make you get lucky with scores of women. I am going to continue to buy into the hype with my Bud Light...
How long have you been the writer and artist of Gabagool?
About six or seven months, which is how long it has existed. And three issues already. We are a productive Production House.
What exactly is a Gabagool? My guess is that tuft of hair that grows on your big toe.
Your guess is not right.
Which of your comics, Gabagool or Cabaret, would like to have action figures of?
Cabaret. I dunno if you've ever read the book, but some of those "action features" would be pretty startling...
There are rumors on the web that you have someone help you plot Gabagool... are those rumors true?
Yes, Chris Radtke and I write the book together. If we wanted to get all nit-picking and comic book nerdy about it, we could say that Chris "plots" and then we both "script," but I say we write it together, and I draw it, and he laughs at it. When he laughs at the right spots, then we know we've made some Gabagool gold.
Do you believe that you could do the comic by yourself?
No, not at all. I could write different stories by myself, but Gabagool is a lot of both me and Chris.
How often do you get to your vacation home in Mexico? Do you like Corona or do you think it is overrated?
I am over Corona. It's so two years ago. I am a Rolling Rock man now.
What is it like being famous? Do you get tired of being recognized?
I got recognized a little bit back in my theater days. However, comics work is what they call "behind the scenes," so my public recognition factor has decreased.
Who is cuter? Andy Gibb or Leif Garrett?
I don't know what Leif Garrett looks like, so my answers wouldn't be fair.
For all the ladies out there, are you single? How could a hot young girl get ahold of you?
No, I am taken. I live with my girlfriend down on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
After making love do you go to sleep or cuddle?
I beat my chest and flex, while my lady-friend recovers.
Do you draw comics better after sex or before?
Before. The act of drawing charges me up. For real.
Sorry for all the sex questions. How often do you draw in a sketchbook?
Recently not so much. I can't sketch in public. I get self-conscious that people are going to think that I'm trying to look arty and interesting in the hopes that girls will talk to me.
Are your sketchbook drawings any good? In a couple centuries will archaeologists find your sketchbooks and reprint them in giant coffee table books and charge $50 like they do with Leonardo DaVinci?
My sketchbooks are excellent.
Has anyone ever asked you if you color your hair? Shave your legs? Wear a dress? Go to male gogo bars and shove dollar bills down the speedos of men that look like a cross between Antonio Banderas and Fabio?
I colored my hair maroon once. It looked dumb. I do not have a great deal of body hair, so I have never been asked to shave it. I have worn dresses in my day, but I do not make an attractive woman. I have never been to a male strip-club. I have hardly been to a female one. I get uncomfortable there. I know that the women are not into me, and that makes me feel extra-ugly.
Any last comments?
I have shared enough.
About The Writer: I am Jeffery J. Manley. I draw a comic book called Stories of Kiwi. Currently, I am producing a near daily comic strip with the Stories of Kiwi characters. I live in Scottville, MI in my parents house. I am 26, and I'm not proud of living with my parents, but damn is it cheap. My best friend is also the cartoonist Donovan Cater, please read Null and Void (after Stories of Kiwi, of course).