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Exclusive Interview with Comic Artist Karl Christian Krumpholz

karl christianQ: When did you get interested in comics, and what’s the first comic book series you remember really liking?

Like a lot of people, my first exposure as a child to comics were the ones in the newspaper: Bloom County, The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, etc. That pretty much lit the fire under me even if I was too young to understand all the political jokes happening in Bloom County. After that, I started finding comics in the local shops. It was the mid-80s so the X-Men were all over the place, so I easily fell into that hole. As I got older, I quickly drifted toward the alternative comics: Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children, Milk & Cheese, Raw, Hate, Eightball, etc.

Q: First published work?

I started doing crudely made ‘zine’ comics in the late 90s and kinda went from there, learning how to lay out a page and so forth. The my first published comic was Byron by SLG Publishing. That was around 2009. Since then, I’ve been self publishing most of my work.

Q: What other artists influenced and continue to influence you and your style?

Looking back, Evan Dorkin’s work probably had the biggest influence on me. His comics like ‘Pirate Corps/Hectic Planet’ caused me to start thinking about smaller stories about characters and relationships.

30 Miles CoverQ: Do you use computers, tablets and software, or are you old-school with pens and a scanner?

Pretty much a mix of both. I create everything with pencils, crowquils, and bristol, scan it into my Mac, and add greyscale electronically to the finished work. I recently started hand lettering my comics and annoyed with myself that I didn’t start doing that sooner. Same with hand coloring my work.

Q: What are you reading nowadays?

I just picked up Chester Brown and Noah Van Sciver’s new books the other day. Other than that, I’ve been reading a lot of comic reprints of older comics lately: Little Nemo, Krazy Kat, and the reprints of old EC horror comics from the 50s.

Q: Favorite comic book -> movie adaptation and TV show?

Comic: Maakies by Tony Millionaire

Movie adaption: Bukowski’s Barfly film? Does that count? Aside from Tom Waits, Bukowski’s work probably had the most affect upon what I’m doing in my comics.

TV Show: Doctor Who. Hands down. Peter Capaldi has been knocking it out of the park. I’ve been watching the show since was young. Yes like many people, my first Doctor was Tom Baker, though I do have a soft spot for Sylvester McCoy.

Q: Share some of your work: A first pencil sketch to a finished panel. Do you do all your own inking, coloring, and lettering?

Sure. Here is an illustration I recently did that will likely be the cover of my next 30 Miles collection. With this piece, everything was hand done aside from the final coloring. The original for this piece is about 7” x 33”. I knew I wanted a large panoramic illustration of one of my favorite sections of Colfax Ave (here in Denver… Once called “The Longest Wickedest Street in America” by Playboy magazine.) I got the size of the piece from taping two pieces of bristol lengthwise together.

East Colfax sketch by Karl Christian Krumpholz. Pencils.
East Colfax sketch by Karl Christian Krumpholz. Pencils.
East Colfax sketch by Karl Christian Krumpholz. Black & White
East Colfax sketch by Karl Christian Krumpholz. Black & White.
East Colfax sketch by Karl Christian Krumpholz. Grey.
East Colfax sketch by Karl Christian Krumpholz. Grey.
East Colfax sketch by Karl Christian Krumpholz. Duotone.
East Colfax sketch by Karl Christian Krumpholz. Duotone.

Q: What’s next for your career?

Continuing to do more 30 Miles of Crazy! (which comes out weekly) and publishing the third collection in the next couple months, more Bootleg comics for the Westword (which is also weekly), getting started on the WW1 story that’s been in my head for a couple years, and likely getting some sort of cocktail later. Probably bourbon.

Q: Where were you born, what did you study in college, what are the names of your pets, if you have any, and where do you live now?

I’m originally from Philadelphia, PA, went to school at Temple University, studied photography and history (with art on the side), moved to Boston for several years, and suddenly found myself in Denver, CO for the last couple years. I have have two cats: Cattywhompus and Uisce Beatha. They stalk me for food.

You can find me at Karl Christian Krumpholz.com or on Facebook.

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