Interview: Sophie Campbell Talks Wet Moon Vol. 3 On ComiXology and the Awesome Possibilities in Digital Comics
Sophie Campbell is one of the best artists on the planet. Yeah, I said it. From her creator-owned titles like the now-classic Wet Moon, to her work on established properties like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Jem and the Holograms, Campbell is basically the patron saint of the misfits and weirdos (and teenage mutant turtles), and the third volume of her Wet Moon series arrives on ComiXology this month!
I had the chance to chat with Campbell via email about her latest addition to ComiXology Unlimited, her thoughts about digital comics, and what she’s geeking out about right now. (Does she really think Grey’s Anatomy is the best show since Star Trek: TNG??)
We’ve also got a complete list of ALL the awesome titles debuting on ComiXology Unlimited this month. ComiXology Unlimited is the new subscription service that allows customers to explore the amazing world of comics, graphic novels and manga for just $5.99 a month. Check out November’s full list of new titles below!
Teresa Jusino (TMS): With Wet Moon Vol 3 coming to ComiXology this month, I’m thinking about digital comics as a platform. There are definitely pros and cons when it comes to digital versus printed single issues or trades. As an artist, how do you see digital comics both when it comes to your older work like Wet Moon, or potential new work? Do you find yourself creating with digital in mind these days? Or do you just draw how you draw and figure it’ll all work itself out?
Sophie Campbell: I usually just draw how I draw and figure out the other stuff later, but I’m interested in doing comics specifically for the web or mobile devices. There are some minor considerations with print vs. digital like how a page reads on a screen that you’re scrolling vertically rather than a printed page where you kind of take in the whole thing at once even before you read it, like with tall vertical panels for example. Anyway, I’ve done some digital-only comics, like my Ninja Turtles fan comic which I don’t intend to ever print so I’m able to use brighter RGB colors and non-standard page dimensions, but it would be cool to push that further someday. Recently I was talking to a publisher who does mobile phone comics and their page format was really unusual and interesting and had neat possibilities for playing with how people scroll the screen on their phone, I’d like to try something like that, it would be a fun challenge. I think the color thing is what I’m most interested in with digital, though, I love those neon RGB colors that you can’t get in print!
Regarding older work, digital is a great way to keep it alive and accessible. I love being able to send a potential new reader a link to Wet Moon or TMNT and they can get it immediately without any hassle. I like having my books right at my fingertips, so to speak. Also digital is really nice in that you can change things whenever you want, like I was able to have my name changed on my entire back catalog on Comixology and Amazon, and in theory I could even fix mistakes or add new material or something like that into digital versions, rather than having to wait however long until the next physical printing.
We keep all keep saying versus but I don’t think print and digital have to be going head to head like that, they’re just different things and they can co-exist just fine. In some ways I think of it like apples and oranges.
TMS: Are there stories outside of the world of Wet Moon that you’re dying to tell? ie: write/script as well as draw? And do you have a preference? Do you prefer writing and drawing your own stories, or do you prefer the collaboration of working with a writer? Or does it depend on the story?
Campbell: Yeah! I have a kaiju/giant monster comic that I’ll hopefully be doing next year, tentatively titled Super Monster Shibzuna. I’ve had that one on the back burner for many years. I’m also dying to get back to my series Shadoweyes! I very much prefer writing my own stories, writing is usually my favorite part of doing a comic, I love writing dialogue and being in control and figuring out who the characters are.
Working with a writer can be fun, too, it does depend on the story like you said, and it takes some of the pressure off and lets me relax and turn my brain off a bit, if that makes sense. I like the structure of working with a writer, it feels more like an actual job which I like, but I usually end up getting frustrated or confused, and I often feel like working with a writer is an inherently antagonistic relationship for me no matter how hard I try not to be that way. It’s like I feel compelled to work against the writer’s scripts for some reason, like I’m constantly swimming against a tide, it can get exhausting. I don’t know why I’m like that. Still, I like to alternate between my own writing and working with writers, just to keep myself on my toes. I don’t think I’ll ever work with a writer on a creator-owned project, though, just work-for-hire.
TMS: Obviously, diversity in body types, physical ability, race, and gender are all very important to you and shine through in your work. However, you also seem to be very drawn to creating women and girls that are specifically on the “goth” or “alternative” spectrum! Is it just that they’re more fun to draw? Do you identify as one yourself? Will you ever draw a comic that doesn’t feature girls with piercings, tattoos, and multi-colored hair? You know, for boring-ol’ mundanes like me? (my tattoos and piercings and hair dye are on my soul!)
Campbell: I don’t really identify as goth, at least not anymore, but I love the style and the music, that’s always been a huge influence for me since I was a kid. I don’t have any tattoos or piercings, either, but they’re sure fun to draw! Haha. Maybe one day I’ll do a comic with non-punky characters but I can’t promise anything! I just can’t resist drawing mohawks and undercuts and ripped leggings, I’m afraid. I guess Glory is my least punky/gothy comic, Glory, Riley and Gloria didn’t have mohawks or piercings or anything. Although Glory was a demon alien superhuman warrior so maybe she doesn’t count. Does Ninja Turtles count?!
TMS: I was thrilled to be able to get rid of my old copies of Wet Moon and get new copies with your real name on them! Have you found that the comics publishers that you’ve worked with have been supportive in making sure changes get made on all the stuff you’ve worked on? Have any been noticeably proactive about changes, as opposed to needing to be asked?
Campbell: Thanks for picking up the new Wet Moon edition! Yeah, all my publishers have been super supportive, they were already on top of making changes before I’d even asked them. I really can’t thank the people at IDW, Oni, and Image enough. Especially IDW, they really went above and beyond with getting my name changed on my TMNT work on subsequent printings which they totally didn’t have to do since it’s licensed work.
TMS: Are there any new titles or projects that you’re working on now that you’d like to let us know about? And are you getting a vacation any time soon?
Campbell: I’ve had a bit of time off here and there since finishing Jem back in June! I could probably use another month off, though, haha. Right now I’m working on Wet Moon Volume 7 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #66, which comes out in January. Wet Moon is my big project right now, so I won’t have much on the shelves for a while.
TMS: Outside of comics, what are you geeking out about right now?
Campbell: Shin Godzilla! I wasn’t sure what to expect, I haven’t loved any Godzilla movies since the ones from the 70s, but Shin Godzilla was super fun and I love the monster designs. Other stuff I’m really into right now is Carly Rae Jepsen’s new Emotion Side B album, the Rain Within’s new album Dark Drive, the podcast My Favorite Murder, Grey’s Anatomy season 13 (Grey’s might be the best show ever made next to Star Trek the Next Generation?!), the true crime book Living With The Devil by Lori Hart & Cindy Hart, and Terminator Genisys which I went into fully prepared to hate but ended up loving. Also season 4 of The Goldbergs is great so far.
Are you looking to check out Wet Moon Vol 3? Wanna see what else is new over at ComiXology Unlimited? Check out the full list of comics coming to, and leaving the service below!
“In addition to the titles currently available, selections from the following great series are debuting on ComiXology Unlimited November 1:
Amazing Forest #1-2 by Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, Melody Often, Yumi Sakugawa and various (IDW Publishing)
The Activity Vol. 1 and #1-5 by Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads (Image Comics)
Ant Vol. 1 and #1-8 by Mario Gully and Marc Hammond (Image Comics)
Battle Chasers #0-3 by Joe Madureira and Munier Sharrieff (Image Comics)
Brit Vol. 1 and #1-3 by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Cliff Rathburn (Image Comics)
Burn the Orphanage Vol. 1 and #1-3 by Daniel Freedman, Sina Grace and John Rauch (Image Comics)
Ciudad collection and #1-5 by Ande Parks, Anthony Russo, Joe Russo and Fernando León González (Oni Press)
Crow: Midnight Legends Vol. 1 by J. O’Barr, John Wagner, Kyle Hotz and Alex Maleev (IDW Publishing)
Drones #1-2 by Chris Lewis, Bruno Oliveira, and Ramon Villalobos (IDW Publishing)
Dynamo 5 #0-7 by Jay Faerber and Mahmud A. Asrar (Image Comics)
Epic Kill #1-3 by Raffaele Ienco (Image Comics)
Fiction Squad #1-3 by Paul Jenkins and Ramón F. Bachs (BOOM! Studios)
Great Pacific Vol.1 and #1-6 by Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo (Image Comics)
The Infinite Loop #1-2 by Pierrick Colinet and Elsa Charrtier (IDW Publishing)
Jungle Girl: Season Two #1-5 by Frank Cho, Doug Murray and Adriano Batista (Dynamite)
Life With Archie #13-20 by Paul Kupperberg, Pat Kennedy, Tim Kennedy and Fernando Ruiz (Archie Comics)
M3 Vol. 1 and #1-6 by Erica Schultz and Vicente Alcazar (Vices Press)
Madman Vol. 1 and #1-3 by Mike Allred and Laura Allred (Image Comics)
Radical Guardian Skater X #1 by Chris Sims and Joe Hunter (Action Age Comics)
Rumble #1-5 by John Arcudi and James Harren (Image Comics)
Sons of Anarchy Vol. 2 and #7-10 by Ed Brisson and Damian Couceiro (BOOM! Studios)
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts Vol.1 and #1-5 by Zander Cannon, Javier Aranda and Joe Corroney (IDW Publishing)
Sunstone Vol. 1 by Stjepan Sejic (Image Comics)
Torpedo Vol. 1 by Enrique Sanchez Abuli, Alex Toth, Jordi Bernet and Jimmy Palmiotti (IDW Publishing)
Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye Vol. 4-5 by James Roberts, Guido Guidi and Alex Milne (IDW Publishing)
Undying Love collection and #1-4 by Tomm Coker, Daniel Freedman and Tomm Coker (Image Comics)
Wet Moon Vol. 3 by Sophie Campbell (Oni Press)
Titles leaving the program include:
Alabaster Shadows GN by Matt Gardner and Rashad Doucet (Oni Press)
Aliens: More than Human collection and #1-4 by John Arcudi (Dark Horse Comics)
Angel: Surrogates #1-3 by Christopher Golden and Christian Zanier (Dark Horse Comics)
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth Vol. 1 and #1-5 by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Guy Davis (Dark Horse Comics)
Capture Creatures #1-4 by Frank Gibson and Becky Dreistadt (BOOM! Studios)
Conan and the Demons of Khitai #1-4 by Akira Yoshida and Paul Lee (Dark Horse Comics)
Cyclops #1-3 by Matz and Luc Jacamon (BOOM! Studios)
Dead Man’s Run collection and #0-6 by Greg Pak and Tony Parker (Aspen Comics)
Dragon Age: The Silent Grove #1-3 by Alexander Freed, David Gaider and Chad Hardin (Dark Horse Comics)
Feathers collection and #1-6 by Jorge Corona (BOOM! Studios)
Godzilla (2011-2013) #2-3 by Duane Swierczynski, Matt Frank, Simon Gane, and Zach Howard (IDW Publishing)
Meteor Men collection and #1-5 by Jeff Parker and Sandy Jarrell (Oni Press)
Orphan Blade #1-2 by M. Nicholas Almand and Jake Myler (Oni Press)
Sharknife Vol. 1 by Corey Lewis (Oni Press)
Warlord of Mars Vol. 1 and #1-9 by Arvid Nelson and Lui Antonio (Dynamite)
Wasteland Vol. 2 and #8-14 by Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten (Oni Press)”
(images via ComiXology)
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