David Anthony Kraft’s Comics Interview (#1 – 2) – David Anthony Kraft, Various

5 out of 5

DAK’s Comic Interview is a long-running – 150 issues! – interview magazine, presented in standard comic format; I tracked down these two issues as part of my Steve Gerber obsession, as he’s interviewed / interviews in both, so my impressions of the series are very limited.

…With that established, this is an excellent concept – and it does sound like Kraft carried it on through the title’s run – and it’s really well executed. It is what I’ve described – a series of interviews – and if the title isn’t a further indication, these interviews focus on comics, and the comic industry. Kraft’s bright idea for this, though, was to split up the subjects by job, and regular (or semi-regular) columns dedicated to writers, artists, colorists, editors, letterers, and on to publishers and “fan on the street”-type highlights. The two issues I have are also led by a big name title and its related creators – Omega Men in issue 1; Frank Miller’s Ronin in 2.

Due to this being published by DAK’s own imprint, Fictioneer, it allows for the interviewees to be very free in their opinions. This was also, obviously, a billion years before interviews would have the potential to turn in to retweeted blurbs, and so there’s not only the freedom to not prop Marvel or DC up on a pedestal, but also the sense that you’re getting, very truly, unfiltered takes. It might seem gross to hear a publisher talk about monetizing something (that is, that it’s all money to him, and not about the “art”), but it’s also fascinating, and true to the business. And for a Gerber fan, this came at a point when Steve was working moreso in animation; Steve is usually outspoken, but he’s especially frantic and aggressive and expressive here, and it’s great.

As an interviewer, DAK follows a logical train of thought in his questions, but rather perfectly balances an insider’s POV with “our audience wants to know…” type probings, which is ideal – you get real questions and real answers, with just enough inside baseball-style patter.

This is definitely something to keep an eye out for in used bins. I imagine any issue of this is a worthwhile read.