We talked to Jim Hanna early in the day at Verde Valley Comic Expo – but we didn’t actually get around to interviewing him last. Hoping to make the procrastination worth it, our very own Sam Kittrel A.K.A. Glam Grimfire took the interview on personally to give our intern PB a break after running around the floor all day.
Glam Grimfire – So Jim has come up here to Cottonwood for the Verde Valley Comic Expo and he’s worked on a whole bunch of things in the industry – it’s pretty likely our readers are familiar with him, but why don’t you tell me a little about what you’ve been up to lately?
Jim Hanna – Lately is a book that I’ve worked on through “Contraband Comics” called Pugly starring my own dog. It’s about when this millionaire old lady dies and leaves all her money to her dog, and everybody is after the dog to get her money. So it’s kind of a silly thing. Like a Disney movie, but still pretty cool. (Please don’t sue us, Disney!)
Glam – It kind of reminds me of old Hollywood movies where they’d have capers like this. But you’ve also done some work outside of that, haven’t you?
Jim – Red 5, and stuff for I.D.W. Publishing and Arcada Comics. I did a book called Philly through them. There’s also another book that’s coming out in a few months called Starpower and it’s going to be a paperback.
Glam – So you’ve obviously done some stuff all over, what was it that made you want to get into comics, Jim?
Jim – I think it was all of the cartoons growing up, loving to draw and reading comics actually. I think the first comic I ever got was like a G.I Joe comic. So from that I saw “oh! There’s other stuff!” There’s X-men and Spider-man, and that’s when I thought “People actually do this for a living!?” Then it just sort of sparked in me.
Glam – So what are some of your creative influences?
Jim – Oh man there’s so many! When I was a kid I’d get so many of the old-school comics. So I was a big Jack Kirby fan growing up. There’s tons of artists that influence me now form Joe Maduera to Shawn Murphy. There was just a ton of styles that I wanted to emulate. There’s so many artists now that keep upping the bar! Once you feel like “Oh I’m so good.” You’re never gonna get better.
Glam – Yeah, you’ve kind of got to hold onto some humility.
Jim – Oh you need to, it’s hard to find an artist who doesn’t hate their work. You always gotta try to keep it fresh for yourself.
Glam – So is there any place creatively you feel like you’d still want to take your work?
Jim – For years and years I did a very cartoonish style, now I want to push further into more and more detail. Like, keep the style but add more to flesh it out and give it that edge. Like with the Pug Book! I pushed more for a realistic style because I felt like a cartoon style would be a little too ridiculous for the story. Yeah, I hope to push for a more realistic style the further I go, but it also depends on the type of comic I’m doing.
Glam – Well it really was fantastic to talk to you, Jim! Thank you for your time.
Jim – Yeah! Thank you it was a pleasure.
Follow Jim on Twitter: @jimhanna