Fanboy Comics – The Mecca of Geek?
North Hollywood is only as fabulous as its people. This should be the NoHo motto. The NoHo Arts District dot com team had the chance to chat with Barbra Dillon, one of the founders of the North Hollywood-based Fanboy Comics, an online mecca of all things “GEEK.” We are particularly thrilled to meet Barbra, a local, woman-co-owned business and a comic business on top of that. So gone are the days of comics being a male-oriented industry? We think it’s heading that way as more and more women are finding the joy of comics. So NoHo, meet Barbra and give Fanboy Comics a big East Valley welcome!
So what exactly is Fanboy Comics?
BD: Fanboy Comics (FBC) is an online conglomerate of geek media, providing its readers with daily reviews, interviews, and podcasts that span the pop culture spectrum. In 2011, FBC added independent comic book publisher to its credits, when it published its first graphic novel, Something Animal. The company’s second graphic novel, Identity Thief, was released in September 2012, and its latest graphic novel, The Arcs, is now available.
Why did you start the site?
BD: FBC was initiated in 2010 when my colleagues (Bryant Dillon and Sam Rhodes) and I wanted to publish our first graphic novel, Something Animal. We had so many ideas for creating our own comics and graphic novels, but we also relished the idea of providing an outlet for other independent creators to publish their work. There are so many talented indie creators who simply need an open and positive venue for their projects to be viewed, and we hope that Fanboy Comics provides that opportunity.
When most people think of comics they think “boy hobby,” however inaccurate and absurd that may sound. How did you become a fan of comics?
BD: I first became aware of comic books from my older brother, as well as through the newsstand that my father owned. The newsstand had one of those old, metal spin racks that held single-issue comic books, mostly consisting of Archie, The X-Men, and Barbie comic books. For some reason, the X-Men comics always intrigued me the most, which then led to X-Men: The Animated Series, ultimately opening my eyes to a whole world (and various mediums) of exciting entertainment. Later in life, my husband greatly expanded my understanding of all things comic books, which made me the fangirl that I am today.
What is Fanboy Publishing?
BD: As an independent publisher, Fanboy Comics seeks to provide an outlet for up-and-coming artists and writers with a desire to create new works and media. By facilitating in-house collaborations and providing support and empowerment, FBC hopes to enable the production of professional and marketable creator-owned works.
Tell more about your graphic novels.
BD: We have released three graphic novels to date, all of which may be found through the Fanboy Comics Online Store and in several comic book shops throughout Southern California.
The Arcs is an epic and gritty graphic novel written by Michael D. Poisson and featuring the artwork of Matt Jacobs. The story details the seven Archangels of Heaven as they battle the demons of Hell and their own faith in God.
Something Animal is an 80-page graphic novel written by Bryant Dillon and Sam Rhodes, with vivid, full-color art by Robert Burrows. Created as a response to the current romantic view of the vampire motif, Something Animal is a dark and gritty tale of psychological terror that is sure to satisfy any fan of the horror genre.
Identity Thief is a suspenseful graphic novel written by Bryant Dillon and featuring over 60 pages of original art by Meaghan O’Keefe. Reminiscent of the horrific tales of The Twilight Zone or Creepshow, this thriller will allow fans to discover the monster lurking in Fanboy Comics’ closet!
What are ‘The Katniss Chronicles’?
BD: Separate from our work with Fanboy Comics, my colleagues and I (along with Tony Caballero) have created an audio drama called The Katniss Chronicles. TKC is an unofficial audio drama adaptation of The Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins. Much like the old radio shows of the ‘30s and ‘40s, it consists of a full cast of talented actors, a beautiful score created by Sam Cushion, and amazing sound effects for a full listening experience. We adore The Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins and hope that the series will both entertain audiences and encourage people (of all ages) to read the books, as well.
My colleagues and I have been working on the project from 2-3 years, and we have already released the adaptations of the first two books in the series, totaling nearly 40 episodes. All of the episodes are available for free download through iTunes, as well as through our website (www.thekatnisschronicles.com). The final installment of the audio drama will be released starting in June of 2014.
Tell us a bit about the other women who contribute to the Fanboy site.
BD: We have an amazingly talented and dedicated group of staff members and contributors at Fanboy Comics, which include quite a large number of women. Staff members Kristine Chester and Rebecca Lear have not only provided vast amounts of reviews for our news wing, they have also shared their expertise in Young Adult literature, gaming, photography, and other areas that have both enlightened and entertained our readers. In addition, our female contributors are well versed and incredibly articulate, providing insightful reviews of everything from the latest films and TV shows to comic books and novels.
I also feel that it is important to note that Fanboy Comics is very supportive of the LGBT community, and we are very honored to have several LGBT staff members, contributors, writers, and artists in our organization. We strive to make Fanboy Comics a place that all creators and fans can feel welcome to create, share, and enjoy art (and all things geeky!) in all forms.
What are some of your personal favorite comics?
BD: I will voraciously read everything written by Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, The Private Eye, etc.). I also love a lot of the series published by Dark Horse Comics, including the recently released Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, as well as classics like Watchmen.
Can you tell us some of the popular comics for both serious comic fans and newbies, folks who know absolutely nothing about comics?
BD: The wonderful thing about comic books is that there is something for everyone! At Fanboy Comics, we hope to offer readers (those both new to comic books and seasoned fans) a chance to find something that interests them. For that reason, we review and promote comic books (and other projects within the geek genre) that range from independent to professional and pertaining to a wide variety of interests. It can be daunting and overwhelming to jump into the comic book medium, if you are unfamiliar with where to begin. For that reason, I would encourage readers to visit our website and engage our staff members and contributors for recommendations. At the same time, we hope to challenge our veteran comic book readers with new and exciting titles.
(I could go on forever with recommendations. Interested readers may find me on Twitter, @barbrajdillon, if they would like any specific ideas!)
Are there any upcoming project or events in the area or L.A. you’ll be attending?
BD: We have a few projects in the works that are scheduled to release later this year; however, I’ll have to keep those under wraps for the time being. Readers should stay tuned to www.fanboycomics.net, though, for further details.
The Fanboy Comics crew will be exhibiting at WonderCon Anaheim (Table SP-061) from April 18-20th, and we will also have some exciting announcements next month regarding our upcoming titles.
Wherever you go you can find Fanboy Comics!
FOR FANBOY COMICS:
Twitter (@FanboyComix): https://twitter.com/FanboyComix
Fanboy Comics Online Store: http://fanboycomics.ecrater.com
FOR THE KATNISS CHRONICLES:
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