June Brigman is a veteran of the comic book industry and for my generation one of the brains behind the creation of Marvel’s Power Pack, who’ve had something of a Renaissance of late and gets a mention below, as well as having illustrated such books as Supergirl for DC Comics and Star Wars for Dark Horse. Recently the cat-loving Brigman has had success at AHOY Comics where she’s been flexing her muscles on Captain Ginger which she co-created with Stuart Moore.
As those who came before her, Brigman was kind enough to give up some of her time to answer the 10 questions we’re setting comic book professionals to help them, and you, keep connected and entertained even in this small way.
So, here we go again, folks!
Olly MacNamee:Now, for many creators a life of isolation is nothing new, but these are, I think we can all agree, unprecedented times. As such, have you noticed any changes yet to your regular daily routines, for better or for worse?
June Brigman: Well, my old routine was: sleep, feed cats, drink coffee, eat, draw, drink coffee, draw, feed cats, clean litter boxes, draw, eat, feed cats, draw, sleep. My new routine is: sleep, feed cats, drink coffee, eat, draw, drink coffee, draw, feed cats, clean litter boxes, draw, eat, drink wine, feed cats, draw, sleep. So as you can see, I’ve been dealing with a huge disruption of my daily routine.
OM: Like so many others, have you pledged to take up any new hobbies or interests during this downtime? I imagine after one week that resolution—like New Year’s Eve resolutions—may have ebbed for some? So, do you ebb or flow? And that’s not a euphemism!
JB: Out of a deep sense of fair play and sympathy for non-cat people, I’ve taken up drawing dogs in my Captain Ginger comic. Or, as we say here in Georgia, “Dawgs.” I think it’s going pretty well. However, my cats have made their opinions known by leaving large, disgusting hair balls where I’m most likely to walk barefooted.
OM: This could very well go on for a few months, listening to the experts rather than the politicians. We’re all going to soon be clambering the walls, if we’re not distracted. What comic book gems will you have the time to go back, dig out and re-read and suggest to our readers to go order from their local comic book store to help support their business?
JB: There’s this book that came out way back in the last century that I might read again to see if it stands the test of time. It’s called Power Pack. I seem to remember it being pretty good. Oh, and my furkids want me to read the first four issues of Captain Ginger to them again. Which is silly, since they practically know all the words by heart.
OM: Any newer titles out there you’ve discovered or been recommended and enjoyed reading?
JB: Gee, I mostly just look at the pictures, like the amazing artwork by Dominike Stanton on DC’s House of Whispers. I’m also looking forward to Alison Sampson’s artwork in Sleeping Beauties.
OM: And, what will be playing on your turntable over the coming weeks? What albums could you not live without?
JB: Turntable, ha ha, I actually have one. And I still have most of my vinyl from back in the day. We’re talkin’ way, way back. Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks. Bruce Springsteen, Darkness on the Edge of Town. And I know all the words to all the tracks on Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Damn, I’m old.
OM: Any box sets you’ll be going back to rewatching? Or any new films and TV you may now have the time to invest in?
JB: I’ve been rewatching some great Alfred Hitchcock movies, Vertigo, The Birds. Yes, he could have been the poster boy for #metoo, but he was a brilliant bastard. My guilty pleasure is Outlander. Hey, it’s about a hot Scottish guy who rides a horse. Sue me.
OM: I must admit, getting back to comics, it’s been really pleasing to read, see and hear the comic book communities coming together at a time like this. What have been some of the positive stories coming out of the comic book industry that have caught your eye over the past week or so?
JB: In general I’ve seen a lot of support for comic shops. Even in the best of times, retail comics is a tough business. There’s a great little comic shop near me called Infinite Realities. They recently celebrated their one year anniversary. I hope that, when social distancing is just a bad memory, they’ll be around to celebrate many more.
OM: It would have been the start of another busy comic con season on both sides of the pond, but alas no more. Will you miss these chances to socialise and meet up with fellow colleagues and friends?
JB: Comic cons are like family reunions. It’s a chance for me to catch up with artists I’ve known for almost forty years. And it’s also a chance to meet some of my heroes. I don’t do many conventions, but it’s something I’ll definitely miss.
OM: What hopes do you harbour for the comic book industry once these stormy clouds have passed?
JB: I hope we can all keep making comics. I hope people will appreciate more than ever the simple pleasure of losing yourself in a world that you can hold in your hand. I hope we can share our love of this medium at comic cons and comic shops, and in classrooms too. You know, face to face, maybe even closer than six feet. But not too close. That would be weird.
OM: Finally, and to leave a smile on our readers’ faces, have you heard any good/bad jokes recently?
JB: Hmmm, most of the jokes I know aren’t suitable for polite company. Ok, here’s one: How many artists does it take to change a lightbulb? Ten. One to change it, and nine to reassure him that it looks great.