Interview With Joanne Wojtysiak

Joanne is a comic book creator based in Edmonton, AB

Joanne is the creator of Artificial Intelligence (college newspaper comic), Gothbunnies (webcomic), Mellapants (webcomic), and Wintertide (print comic).

When did you first become interested in creating comics?
When I was a kid! I loved to draw and I loved to read and I loved to copy comics I enjoyed and tried to make my own versions.

Which comic book creators inspired and inspire you? 
My early influences were Alan Davis (Excalibur) and Wendy Pini (Elfquest). Then I got into manga and was really into Naoko Takeuchi (Sailor Moon).  There’s lots and lots of comic book creators to be inspired by, though, and I’m always finding new ones to read and enjoy!

What were your favourite comics when you were a young person?
I liked newspaper comics, Asterix, Archie, MAD magazine and various superhero comics like Batman and X-men and Justice League.  My favourite comics were ones that had a lot of humour as well as action and drama.

What are your favourite comics now?
Gunnerkrigg Court and Squirrel Girl are probably my favourites right now.  I also like stuff by Faith Erin Hicks and Noelle Stevenson.

How did you learn to create comics? 
A little bit through trial and error, and a little bit by looking up information in books and online and by talking to other comic creators.  I love learning new stuff so whenever I come across a tutorial or a book about comics I have to read it and then try it out for myself.

How many hours per week do you draw/write?
I try for about 20 hours a week. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes I have other things I need to work on.

What genre/type of comic is your favourite to draw/write?    
Funny fantasy is definitely my favourite.  I love magic and weird situations and cool costumes, but I also love how silly it can be.

What’s one thing you didn’t know you would have to do as a comic book creator?
I didn’t know that I would have to draw everything!  When I was a teenager practicing how to draw I mostly just practiced drawing people.  But it’s not very exciting to have an action scene that happens in a blank white room, so I had to learn how to draw furniture and mountains and castles and monsters and cars and everything else that my characters would encounter in their adventures.

What advice would you give anyone wanting to get into comic book creation?
I’d say that you should start making short comics.  You get better at what you practice and if you want to get better at making comics then you should practice making some comics!  You’ll learn some things about how to make comics and you’ll also have a finished booklet that you can show to other people.

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