Interview with Tim Heiderich of Misunderstanding Comics

GameStop, Inc.


Misunderstanding Comics is a tongue-in-cheek look at the world of Comics as well as their place in the realm of art. Writer Tim Heiderich took time out from his Convention visits to offer some insight into why he and artist Mike Rosen chose to put together Misunderstanding Comics and his view on the comic world today.

FBN: What was the final straw that led you to create Misunderstanding Comics

Tim Heiderich: For those who don’t know, in 1993, there was a landmark book by Scott McCloud called Understanding Comics that was a thoughtful meditation on the language of comics and their viability as a legitimate art form.  But at that same time, comics were going through a mania where publishers were gouging fans with holofoil gatefold embossed covers, the stories were adolescent power-fantasies of heroes who were ‘roided out walls of muscle wielding giant square guns, and rushed, sloppy artwork was all riding a wave of hype.  Misunderstanding Comics sarcastically addresses that schism between what comics could be versus what they are — if Understanding Comics were for the actual kind of comics being created at that time.

That was the initial idea, and people I’d shared the pitch with were skeptical, like “How many pages can you wring out of Rob Liefeld not being able to draw feet?”  But the more we looked, the more we found to make fun of, and it grew into a satirical guide to everything wrong with comics: not just bad art and flimsy, one-dimensional characters, but how continuity actually prevents stories from having too great an impact and inevitably leads to resurrections, reboots and retcons; manga’s fixation on weird Japanese culture, Fanboys and how to exploit them, the vast wasteland of web comics and even the vain search for validation in intellectual comics.  We covered so many topics and, in a joking way, managed to hit on some insights into the cliches that have been plaguing comics, that when the book was finished, we’d won over our critics who thought we’d just be ripping on Todd McFarlane for 22 pages.

FBN: What do you feel is the greatest challenge to the creativity of comics today?

Tim Heiderich: It’s really a matter of choice: it’s easy to stick to recognizable franchises and pander to fans, but the only way to advance comics as an art form is to start taking more risks, in story, content, subject matter, and so on.  Giving fans just what they want sells comics, I’m not going to argue against that, but if it’s just a retread of the same things, then comics are going to remain small time and not be taken seriously as an art form.  More than TV or movies, comics can afford to take risks, so that’s where the innovation should be happening.

But if you walk up and down artist alley or the small press table, what is selling the most?  Fan art based on recognizable properties, or exhibitors chasing trends rather than setting them, and that’s the thing that is most disappointing.  Comic creators who are taking the safe bet.  So in our book, we kind of poke fun at that, like, “If you’re just in comics to make money, here’s how.”

This is why we have con bingo — you attend enough conventions, and you start to see the same things over and over:

Con Bingo2a

FBN: How long have you been reading comics? Do you have any other passions?

Tim Heiderich: I started reading GI Joe, Transformers, and Robotech comics as a kid, then stopped during the ’90s — which was a good time to stop.  When I came back to comics it was with a copy of Understanding Comics and Watchmen, and I learned that comics could be more than just adaptations for cartoon shows, that they could be more than just second-tier art.

My other passion is animation; I created a web series called Emergency 411 that was in a similar vein that I’d like to get back to soon.

FBN: In Misunderstanding Comics one of your characters, Sketch McLoudmouth, is having a hard time drawing feet. Is this a dig at artist Robert Liefled?

Tim Heiderich: I saw Liefeld’s banner at WonderCon of Deadpool leaping through the air, and clearly Liefeld has no problem drawing feet, but judging from the pose, he seems to think that the only way heroes get anywhere is through jumping.  He may know how to draw feet, but still doesn’t know how they work.

FBN: What is your partnership like working with artist Mike Rosen? How did you two begin working together?

Tim Heiderich: We have a mutual friend, and he and I have a similar sense of humor, so creatively we got along well.  I had read Mike’s previous book, Malleus Maleficarum, and thought that it and his web comics, like Guttersnipe (, were hilarious and had the art style I was looking for, so we turned out to be a good fit.

FBN: Can you share with us what you’re currently working on? What is one project you’ve always wanted to work on?

Tim Heiderich: Besides comics, I also write and direct web series; I’ve done two in the horror/comedy genre, Normal Activity and Assignment Unexplained.  I’m currently re-writing an earlier short story I’d written and shelved because of this book.  Also, I’ve always wanted to work on a Twilight Zone-style anthology, so one of those may come up, too.  I gravitate toward stories with an ironic twist, which you’ll even see at the end of Misunderstanding Comics.

FBN: How much of your time do you spend creating?

Tim Heiderich: Like every other independent comic author I know, I still need a day job, so how much of my time do I spend creating? Not enough!  This means I usually work mostly late at night night; that’s when I feel most creative, and there are the fewest distractions.

FBN: Where is the best place for our readers to find your work?

Tim Heiderich: We’re on ComiXology, Amazon, Kindle, and Pulp-Free Press, but prefer selling books and digital copies directly from our website here:
We’ve in also on the shelves of several fine LA comic shops: Golden Apple, House of Secrets, Secret Headquarters, Meltdown Comics, and others.

dlAttach (1)


Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Paul Crowder and ‘Boss’ Wooldridge Talk ‘The Blue Angels’ Doc – Interview

Director, Paul Crowder and Flying Ace, Greg “Boss” Woolridge talk about...

Eric Bana Talks ‘Force of Nature: The Dry 2’ – Interview

Eric Bana Returns for the sequel to ‘The Dry‘ in ‘Force...

Letitia Wright’s Talks about her Latest Film ‘Aisha’ – Interview

Letitia Wright’s latest film, ‘Aisha‘, a story about immigration, resilience, friendship...

Event News Event Reviews
Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Takes You to A Whole New World at Segerstrom – Review

Disney’s Aladdin takes the audience on a thrilling chase and a wonderous place...

Dark Harbor Returns to Long Beach on The Queen Mary this Halloween

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Returns to Long Beach for the...

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice’ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the Arts – Review

It’s Showtime! ‘Beetlejuice‘ is a Hit at Segerstrom Center of the...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse part something: Hermione and the Mini-gun pt 2

Have a lead salad instead!

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse part ?: Hermione and the mini-gun pt 1

It can't fire more than 6,000 per minute!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse: Kurt v Sid – HASTA!

Hasta La Vista Baby!

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...