While wandering the aisles at Long Beach Comic Expo a few months back I was making my way toward the Top Cow booth to say hello to President and COO Matt Hawkins, as I try to do at every convention (He’s a great dude to have a nice long chat with). Unfortunately he was on a panel at the moment, so I started chatting with the guys behind the table. As we were chatting, to my right was a fluffy haired artist doodling away, consumed with his work. That artist turned out to be recent Top Cow Talent Hunt winner Isaac Goodhart.
I stepped over to where he was sitting, and trying not to intrude too much I just said a quick hello. That hello turned into a great 30 minute chat with a young artist full of passion and excitement for comics. You could just see it in his eyes, he was beaming. It was quite refreshing to see someone so excited and enthusiastic about drawing them funnybooks. At that point he had only had one published comic; Artifacts #38. He was working with Matt and Bryan Hill on a new series that was just about to debut, little knowing what a hit it was going to be.
Postal was supposed to be a four issue mini-series, but after going to multiple printings, and outselling Top Cow’s flagship title, Witchblade, the series inevitably became an ongoing. Isaac agreed to have a chat with me about his short but already storied career, his influences, his early days, and what the future holds for one of the most passionate creators I’ve ever met. And certainly a Future Comic Rock Star.
I once had an art teacher (whom I’m about to horribly misquote, sorry!) that said, “everybody draws as a child, and those who never stop drawing become artists.” So, I didn’t start as much as I just never stopped!
I knew I wanted to draw comics professionally ever since I knew jobs were a thing. I really haven’t wavered much all these years.
Were your parents/family supportive in those early years?
My poor mother!! She was hoping for a doctor or lawyer and instead got stuck with a cartoonist. We certainly butted heads over me pursuing comic art, but it actually provided me invaluable life skills. I had to learn to fight for the dreams that are important to me, and for that, I cannot thank my mother enough. It’s also important to point out that throughout the years of arguments, every single art supply of mine was bought by my mom. I’m incredibly lucky to have had a parent so supportive, even if it was in her own unique way!
My father is, and always has been, the most proud and biggest supporter of mine. When my issue of Artifacts came out, he went to the comic store the Tuesday before its release just in case it was delivered early. And when Postal came out, he bought a safe to keep them in. My parents rule.
Have you had any training/schooling in the arts, and do you feel it is important?
I did! I took many art classes in high school and went to the School of Visual Arts for college which has the greatest comics teachers in the country! I’m extremely lucky to have studied there.
Comics education was important for me, but I’ve met many self-taught artists whom are mind-bogglingly incredible.
What is the first comic book you read, and what was the one that inspired you to create them?
I read comics before I could read comics! I have an early memory of my mother explaining to me that if I could read a comic to her, she would buy me a new one. At that age, I couldn’t read yet, but I would narrate what I thought Silver Surfer was saying to Galactus, hoping to dupe my mom into buying me more comics. At the time, I thought my charade worked, but looking back, my mother definitely knew I was making up dialogue. Kind of Marvel Method-y now that I think of it.
Brian Michael Bendis comics definitely were the books that inspired me the most to create my own. His work was like nothing I’d ever read before. Even though I’m an artist, it’s definitely Bendis who has always been my biggest inspiration in comics. I’ve been collecting nearly everything by him since Ultimate Spider-Man #5 in 2000.
What were your biggest inspirations/influences growing up, and have they changed/evolved over the years? Who are some of your favorite creators in comics right now?
My artistic influences are 99% comic book creators. Growing up, I loved Mark Bagley and Todd Mcfarlane the most. Nowadays my favorite artist in the world is Stuart Immonen (which I believe is evident in my work). I’m also crazy about Adrian Alphona, Sara Pichelli, Adam Hughes, Joe Quinones, Kevin Wada, Yanick Paquette, Chris Samnee, Kim Jung Gi, John Paul Leon, Frank Quitely, and Alex Maleev to name a few.
My favorite aritsts range from the very realistic to the very cartoony so it’s hard for me to find a common thread enough to define how my tastes change/evolve. I guess the common thread among these guys is that they all have a very unique and exciting artistic voice. They’re all leaders with many imitators!
You entered, and won, the Top Cow talent search, leading to your first published work. Can you tell our readers a little about this process?
Top Cow has an annual talent search for artists where they draw 9 pages from a sample script. I entered twice and (rightfully) lost the first year. My entry the following year was much better – and all digitally drawn. I was announced as a winner and immediately started working on a self contained issue of Artifacts written by fellow talent hunt winner, writer Devon Wong.
It can be said that Postal is a success and critical darling, selling out of multiple printings, and even outselling Top Cow’s flagship title, Witchblade. How did you come to be involved with this series?
I got an email out-of-the-blue from my Artifacts editor in early October 2014 asking if I was interested in a 4 issue mini-series and I said yes immediately! Since then, the series has extended well beyond the initial 4 issue run. Hopefully it remains ongoing for as long as possible!
For our readers that may be unfamiliar with Postal, can you talk a little about the series? Give us an elevator pitch, so to speak.
Postal takes place in Eden, a small Wyoming town full of ex-criminals. They all come to this town to turn a new leaf and live a peaceful life. When the town’s first murder in several years occurs, the only person who can solve the crime is Mark, Eden’s postman. He has Asberger’s Syndrome and notices the details other people overlook.
MORE exciting!! Postal is one of those comic series that gets better with every issue! Matt, Bryan, and Betsy are all brilliant story tellers and aren’t afraid to take risks or experiment. I absolutely love Postal, because objectively, the story and characters are GREAT.
After Postal, if you could work on any comic for any publisher, carte blanche, what would be your dream job?
Whelp, I’ve made it obnoxiously clear to everyone at Top Cow how much I love Witchblade! It was one of my favorite books in high school!
My favorite character in all of comics is definitely Jessica Jones. To draw that character is my dream job. Also, Brian Bendis and Kelly Sue Deconnick are my two top comic heroes right now. I’d jump at the chance to work with them on anything!
I’m working on a self contained one-shot with writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly. They’ve been extremely patient with me as I’ve slowly delivered my pages for them, but I promise the wait will be worth it!! They wrote an amazing comic and I can’t wait to get enough time to make more headway with it!
Do you have any last words for our readers?
Thanks to everyone for the tremendous response and support with Postal. Issue five is coming out in July and it is far and away the best issue of the series (so far). I hope you’ll all check it out! You can find me online at isaacgoodhart.tumblr.com and on instagram @izgoodhart.
All of us here at FanboyNation would like to thank Isaac for the interview, and wish him many more years creating comics.
Postal issue #4 came out last Wednesday, May 27th, and the volume 1 collection is in shops on June 24th, 2015.