Hey folks! I’ve had the pleasure of writing reviews for the past two issues of Sliced Quarterly, a “slice of life” comic anthology series where a bunch of talented artists and writers share short comics with a connective theme. It’s a fantastic book I loved checking out because I think it’s absolutely worth experiencing. Right now, there’s a Kickstarter Campaign happening for a Volume #1 trade paperback containing the first four issues. Please check it out by clicking here.
Check out Sliced Quarterly for free at http://slicedquarterly.co.uk/
Ken Reynolds, the Editor of Sliced Quarterly, was kind enough to answer a few questions I had for him. Check it out, and make sure to stop by the Sliced Quarterly Kickstarter Campaign!
How did Sliced Quarterly come into being?
KR: It was following that old adage ‘make comics you want to read’. I wasn’t seeing any small press comics doing something that attempted to put the medium front and centre, but that’s only part of it.
Once I began to mix with other creators on the small press scene, a common theme in conversation began to crop up. It seemed to me a lot of creators were making work targeted at getting published, not necessarily the work they actually wanted to produce. Indie comics are a great space for experimentation and doing what you want, so I wanted to encapsulate that feeling, and provide a home for comics that didn’t seem to fit anywhere in the usual publishing routes.
Do you have a particularly favorite story in issue #4? What about previous issues?
KR: This is a really tough question, because I like everything I include, otherwise it wouldn’t go in. My favorites are always chosen for very different reasons to those of a reader. The comics I particularly found interesting are because of the process behind making them. Self(ie) Obsessed written by Chris Sides with art from Maximilian Meier, was great because what is in the comic is so vastly different to what was described in the first script. Cliffs of Dover written by Charles Ripley in issue #4 is also notable because it took 6 months to figure out how the script might be made possible to execute. I also have pure favourites that came to me fully formed that I enjoyed as a reader. Like Limits by SJ McCune.
What are your personal influences, and what influences do you feel have shaped the style and the themes of Sliced Quarterly so far?
KR: A huge influence is Scott McCloud. Understanding Comics helped me to fall in love with the medium and see the potential in the medium. I come from a graphic design background, so I always cite Neville Brody as a strong influence, and artistically Dave McKean has always stuck out to me.
I’ve tried hard to set Sliced Quarterly up as quite a neutral space and it’s the contributors work that shapes it. So each issue is different, but has a consistent feel. I want to surprise readers, and maybe show them a few comics that make them think differently about what is possible in the medium.
How do you decide on a theme? Can you tease any we’ll see in the future?
KR: It’s all very organic. I certainly don’t plan themes for each issue. They just happen. I have a pool of contributions, I curate some with writers and find teams, and sometime work comes in as complete pages. After around 2 months I cherry pick from what is available and pull an issue together. Sometimes there are clear connections. But it comes down to what is on the contributors minds at the time.
So it that way Sliced has turned out to be reflective of creative output in reaction to what goes on in the world. So as for the future, I won’t know until I begin pulling the next issue together for January. It’s as exciting for me to see what comes out at the end as everyone else.
What does your role as the editor for Sliced Quarterly entail? What’s your approach to picking the comics that will be included in the issue?
KR: I have a very loose approach to my editorial duties, as far as I can tell speaking to others.
I can’t offer page rates at the moment, so I refuse to impose deadlines. Sliced Quarterly provides an opportunity to work on something different, and hopefully fun. I like to think it’s the stuff you work on in between the paying gigs and more important projects…As far as what I pick… That’s easy; story first. If there is a strong story that produces an emotional reaction, and it’s told in an interesting way that accentuates the comic narrative, it’ll go in. I like to publish stories that can only exist as comics.