10 Mildly Interesting Questions for Joe Stone

 Artist Joe Stone is the author of Like Tweet Match Repeat, one of the stand out comics of the year.
Not only is Joe a throughly decent chap he’s also the 2017 winner of the prestigious Donnie Wahlberg Award.  An accolade first held by Mike Medaglia many years ago.
Fresh from designing the CCZF poster with incorrect postcode Joe answers our 10 mildly interesting questions.
CCZF: Hi Joe, what are you doing right now?
JS: Working on an illustration project for a client for my actual job, semi-watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Netflix, and nursing a slight hangover.
CCZF: Nice detail.
It’s Always sunny in Philadelphia is great. If you are unfamiliar this is what it’s like.
Nightman, sneaky and mean
Spider inside my dreams, I think I love you
You make me wanna cry
You make me wanna die
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you, nightman


‘Every night you come into my room
and pin me down
with your strong arms
you pin me down
and I try to fight you
you come inside me
you fill me up and I become the Nightman’
How long have you been doing comics and art and stuff?
JS: I’ve been drawing stuff for my whole life (I drew my first full comic when I was seven – it wasn’t very good), but have been focusing on making comics a bit more seriously for the last couple of years. I’ve also been working in design and illustration for my actual job for about eight years.
CCZF: Nice.
In order of preference, what are your three favourite soups? We are compiling a chart.
JS: Chicken, Tomato, and Pea & Ham.
CCZF: Can’t argue with those choices.
What are you reading and listening to at the moment?
JS: Comic-wise the last thing I read was Headlopper by Andrew MacLean
and I’ve picked up a load of small press stuff lately including work by Chloe Elise Dennis, Josh Hicks, Bianca Bagnarelli and many more.
I listen to music basically non-stop all day, but lately then particularly a lot of John Maus (who incidentally is a big inspiration on a comic I’m working on),
CCZF: John Maus is very interesting fellow. Looking forward to that. Get a move on.
CCZF: We’re enjoying that new Four Yet album, New Energy.
It features a kind of electronic dulcimer.
Your father is a painter. I see you designed a beautiful poster for a recent exhibition of his.
How has his practice influenced your work?
JS: The most important lesson he taught me was that it’s natural and healthy to never be fully satisfied with your work.
JS: If you’re happy with it then you won’t try to do better next time. He also criticised almost everything I ever drew
CCZF: Helpful…
JS: Which made me want to get really good and be more successful than him, more out of spite than anything else.
CCZF: Right . . . thanks Dad.

I found this by the way.

 The Joe Stone Crab restaurant, Miami Beach. We should go.
Have you ever visited the Peter Cushing Museum in Whitstable?
JS: I didn’t even know there was one, but I absolutely would go if I was in Whistable.
CCZF: It seems no comic artists have ever been. We’re organising a coach trip.

If you had to recommend a comic/graphic novel/zine for a 11 year old what would it be?
JS: I started off by reading superhero comics, and in some ways I think it’s a good starting point for young readers as it’s much easier to read something light and dumb and fun and expand to different genres and styles from there than it is to go backwards. That said, probably Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson, because it’s full of beautiful art and great writing and humour, and can be enjoyed by young and old audiences.
 The lovely Hanna Lee Miller recommended Space dumplins too. A great book and a popular choice.
 What are you working on at the moment?
JS: I’m a bit of a workaholic, so I’ve been churning out some quick mini-comics, I’m working on my next larger book which is a very personal autobiographical story, and I’m making a collection of a few short stories that are a bit more narrative driven than my other work that. I like to work on multiple things at once to break it up a bit and have some variety in what I’m drawing, but it does tend to make things take longer to finish. Also I’m pretty busy with my day job as a graphic designer, and I often take on freelance jobs, and I’m doing a personal project where I’m trying to literally draw A MILLION THINGS (which you can see here).
CCZF: What advice would you give to somebody starting out in comics?
JS: Start small. Many people are tempted to try and create a 6,000 page, multi-volume epic as their first project. Your first comic should be no more than one page long. Build from there.
CCZF: Solid advice.
Do you know how to get to the Blythe Hill Tavern?
JS: I could probably work it out, if only I knew the postcode…
Thanks Joe. See you on the 10th.
You can meet Joe and buy his wonderful comics at the Catford Comic and Zine Fair on the 10th of December at the award winning Blythe Hill Tavern.
Follow Joe on Twitter here
And visit his website here

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