San Hannibal Just the other day I was on twitter and a name popped up upon my screen. 'PJ' was the name in question, and his game was publishing independent comic books. 'Wow!' I thought to myself "A chap who is named after an item of bed-time apparel! He must be a very creative and comforting character indeed". And do you know what? I was right you know. Here, check out this interview I had with him whilst shopping for a dressing-gown in an Army surplus store.

New logo with all kinds of size

1) How would you describe your publishing house, Pop Goes The Icon?   Pretty simple: We publish cool stuff other people aren’t. The basic idea was to provide a platform for up-and-coming talent. Strength in numbers, you know?

Dalai Lama2) What are your own origins PJ? And when did you know that you wanted to be a publisher / creator?   If you check out my Homemade Comics blog, you’ll see I considered myself a comics publisher as early as 10 years old – so the bug bit me very early. In my pre-teens and early teens, I wrote, designed, and printed newsletters for my classmates and my friends. I had my first professionally published article at 16, self-published ‘zines and poetry books in my late teens and early 20s, and then eventually bounced between freelance journalism, editorial jobs at websites, magazines and newspapers, and came full circle back to comics about four years ago.

3) Where did the name ‘Pop Goes The Icon’ originate from? Does it have an origin?   It was actually the name for a proposed art show/T-shirt set that I was working on several years back, which juxtaposed images of historical iconoclasts with quotes from pop culture. The first (and only) image was that of the Dalai Lama. I never did the art series, but I did end up using the name for a comic book blog I started, which eventually led to the publishing company.

4) How do you find your creators? Do they come to you? Or do you go to them?   At first, I placed ads on sites like PencilJack and Digital Webbing, as well as chatting up creators locally and at comic book conventions. Then I got pretty involved in a pro forum called Panel and Pixel (now Sequential Workshop), and a lot of my international creators come from there. Now we get hit up with submissions on a regular basis, but I still put out calls on various forums whenever we’re about to launch a new anthology or something.

5) What formats do your wares come in? Plus what are your publishing affiliations?   We do traditional “floppy” single comics, trade paperbacks, downloadable PDFs, webcomics, and viewer-based digital comics -- available at a variety of on-and-off-line stores.

Old Wounds
6) If your publishing house was a movie, a piece of music, or an object, what would it be and why?   Interesting question. I guess 'Pop! Goes the Icon' would be one of those sampler anthology CDs put out by punk rock labels. Because, basically, that’s what we are: A punk rock publisher putting out scrappy anthologies.

7) What was the first comic book you ever read? And do you still read mainstream comics today?   I've had to answer this many times, and I maintain that the first comic I remember reading was a Radio Shack Superman giveaway comic from the early 1980s. I do still read mainstream comics, though usually collections of old stuff I missed. But I’m loving Mark Waid’s Daredevil, the new Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, and Scott Snyder’s entire run on Batman / Detective Comics. These days, however, I’m enjoying more of the small press, personal-style comics, little black-and-white things that make an impact.

8) If you could assign a smell to some of your comic books, what odors would they be and why?   Rusty coins. Why? I have no idea.

9) Do you have any new projects upon the horizon?   We’re about to ink a deal for a crime procedural graphic novel that I think is going to be a really great book. And I’m editing a script for a fun, all-ages, adventure comic that we hope to have out in 2013.

Great! Looking forward to that PJ. So there you have it dear reader, www.popgoestheicon.com. Please, when you have the time, give it a click or ten and remember to do the twitter / facebook thing. Yee-haw!!!!