The Dreamer Podcast Brings Comics Home: A Q&A With Omar Spahi
by Hannah Means Shannon
This week, comic creator and entrepreneur Omar Spahi launched The Dreamer Podcast, a podcast and video show that will be rolling out daily featuring comic industry professionals talking about aspects of their craft. Fans can listen in to the full audio shows on platforms like iTunes, but they can also encounter full videos or topical video segments via Youtube based on their interests. The goal of The Dreamer Podcast is, in many way, simple: to convey the craft of comics to as many people as possible.
At New York Comic Con, I was interviewed by Spahi for his show, and that’ll appear as a forthcoming episode, but I was also intrigued to hear more about the what and why of launching such an ambitious slate of shows featuring high-profile talent and figures in the industry like Kyle Higgins, Steven T. Seagle, Matt Hawkins, and many, many more. Through the process of talking with Spahi, it became clear that this was a platform for telling personal stories and conveying them to fans and other pros, and also one that was about the teaching process, passing on the skillset of comics to those who want to take part in crafting the medium. In both ways, it’s bringing comics “home”, creating a personal connection between audiences and creators, and also making that content useful for potential creators.
I followed up by interviewing Spahi in the Q&A you’ll find below:
Hannah Means-Shannon: Omar, you’ve had a career in comics that has led you through various stages as fan and creator. What do you think you gathered from those experiences that led you to also want to create The Dreamer Podcast?
Omar Spahi: I want to help others make comics. I learned the trials and tribulations myself and want to share the joys and pains of making comics, so others can learn from the experience and make great comics without some of the pains I’ve endured.
HMS: When you make comics, do you find yourself wishing you had the perspective of other creators to help you make creative decisions, or professional decisions in the field?
OS: Comics is such a collaborative process, I think there’s so much that doesn’t get explained when it comes to comics. It’s easy to say your comic is for everyone, but the truth is each publisher has a brand identity and if you’re not staying true to that brand identity you have no chance at being published there.
Plus, I always want to continue learning from others have done it before. I don’t always take their advice. I like to experiment, but you must try what others have done in order to know if the changes you make work or fail.
HMS: When we’ve spoken about The Dreamer Podcast together in the past, you mentioned the concept of personal storytelling as key to your inspiration for this venture. Are there any stories that have been inspirational to you in the past, or so far in making the podcast?
OS: All I’ve ever done in comics is fail. I fail constantly, but I always manage to pick myself back up.
So many of my guest’s stories talk about their failures, about how they didn’t know if they were ever going to work again, but then they go on to become insanely successful comic book rock stars.
I remember hearing a story about a certain top tier creator thinking about giving up before his career took off and it broke me. He didn’t get the job he was promised so he was going to quit, but he persevered and was hired by a rival publisher. Who’s the creator? Well, I guess you’ll have to tune in to find out.
HMS: Some people really keep their creative life and personal life separate from the product that reaches the fans and the public. What do you think the benefits are of crossing that boundary and being more open with other creators and fans?
OS: The benefits are simple to me, it gives people the ability to know the real me, not just marketing material or promos, but the people and things I value. I think it lets people get to know the person behind the show instead of just seeing the content.
My goal is always to connect with others and hopefully help others achieve their goals and dreams as well.
HMS: What sort of formats with the podcasts reach viewers, and what’s the logic behind those choices for you?
OS: Well, all my podcasts are one-on-one interviews and I think in that format you can actually listen to what people are saying and they can reveal their true selves in that process.
The show comes out in an audio episode on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
It also comes out in daily videos on YouTube and Facebook. The full video episodes are also available on YouTube as well. We wanted to give people the opportunity to absorb the content in what’s best for them.
HMS: How important do you think it is for comic creators to “teach” the craft to others through various media where possible? What difference do you think that can make to comics?
OS: It makes all the difference, we all learn from somewhere. I don’t believe that greatness just appears out of nowhere. Great writers, artists, editors and executives all had to learn from somewhere, and my goal to gather all that information in one place and hopefully inspire the next generation of comic book creators.
HMS: Presumably just getting going on this new venture has been a learning experience for you. What are some of the discoveries you made so far about setting up a show like this one?
OS: I’ve learned more than I’ve ever learned before. It takes a village to make this show happen and I couldn’t do it without my producers, editors, guests, and all the people behind the camera making the show happen. Much like comics, it’s a huge collaborative process to make a show like this as awesome at is it. It’s really a passion of mine.
HMS: What are all the places online that fans can find the show and take part in its growth?
OS: The best way to stay connected is to sign up for our email list at www.dreamercomicspodcast.com.
You’re always welcome to subscribe to us on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
You could even subscribe on YouTube here.
Thanks very much to Omar Spahi for joining us today! Make sure to check out the excellent roster of content you’ll find on The Dreamer Podcast, appearing daily.