Guts and Glory: Jeff McComsey gets Comic Booked!
Last year I helped to fund an anthology called,”FUBAR 2: Empire of the Rising Dead”. FUBAR is an anthology about zombies in World War II. Some of the most talented small press and indie comic creators are among its contributors. The book was funded through Kickstarter, and has since made its way to the New York Times Best Sellers list for graphic novels. I was lucky enough to ask the man behind FUBAR’S inception, Jeff McComsey, a few questions.
FRJR: How long have you been making comics?
JM: I’ve been doing it for serious since 2007.
FRJR: When and how did the idea for FUBAR come about?
JM: I originally did 2 mini comics that were World War II zombie stories. One is called Kilroy Was Here, and the other was called Mother Russia. I did them for funsies and to have something else to sell at my con table. I eventually wanted to put them and maybe one other story into a collection and self publish it. Instead of just doing one more story, I asked some of my fellow small-press writer and artist friends if they would like to cook something up for a World War II zombie antho. The response was great! I couldn’t come up with a name for the life of me. Stephen Lindsay and I were chatting one day and he spits out a bunch of possible titles. One of them was FUBAR. I was sold immediately.
FRJR: FUBAR 2: Empire of the Rising Dead is the first Kickstarter funded project to land on the New York Times bestselling graphic novels list. How awesome is that?
JM: It’s been huge for us. I think it really validates Kickstarter as a de facto publisher of independent comics. A real game-changer.
FRJR: What can you tell us about FUBAR 3?
JM: FUBAR 3 is underway and titled: FUBAR: American History Z. It will widen its scope to cover not just World War II, but the entire American experience, from the Pilgrims to present day Americana.
FRJR: What are your post-FUBAR plans?
JM: I don’t know. I’ll be finishing a book called Flutter, written by Jennie Wood. It’s a 122 page full color book in spring of 2012. FUBAR 3 will take most of the rest of 2012. I have plans to make Mother Russia into a stand alone OGN in late 2012 and then I’d like to get back to my American Terror series.
FRJR: Are you personally prepared for a zombie apocalypse?
JM: Not really. I am pretty nasty with a 12 gauge, so I’m not sweating it too hard.
FRJR: Tell us about the Small Press Commandos.
JM: It’s rough out there, making indie/small-press books. The idea behind the Small Press Commandos was to create a little espirit de corps for us guys and girls going about the business of making comics in a market and industry that is in the midst of great upheaval. It’s a loose organization of cartoonist and writers that we use to meet new collaborators, talk about new projects, ask for advice on anything and everything about making comics. I know I’ve come across some really great work by my fellow Commandos in the short time we’ve been together.
FRJR: Name one comic you’re really enjoying right now and why.
JM: The new BPRD arc, with Tyler Crook doing art. Just started reading his stuff this past year, and I dig his sensibilities and style. Petrograd from Oni Press was by far my fave book of 2011. Great art, great story and super cool packaging.
FRJR: What are you listening to lately?
JM: All kinds of stuff. I’m a big Pandora guy while I work. Keeps a good rotation going. Really getting into Irish folk/rock stuff like Flogging Molly, The Blaggards and Darby O’Gill. Stuff just gets me fired up. That and a bunch of Rockabilly.
FRJR: Is there anything you’d like to add?
JM: I think there’s never been a better time to make comics. The big debate about what’s going to happen to the medium, whether digital comics is the way to save the medium and whether or not you can still make a living doing comics is to me besides the point. Good work will always sell. We learn and adapt. Keep your head down and do the best work you can and do it a lot. Keep busy and the world will be your oyster.
So if you dig zombies and World War 2 you should totally get copies of FUBAR 1 and 2 in your hands. If you buy them from http://fubarpress.com/store/, Jeff will throw in a rad zombie sketch!