Linework NW is at its heart a gathering of remarkable creators, editors, illustrators, cartoonists, and publishers who represent some of the best work that is being produced in these mediums today.
Each day from now until the show we are going to be highlighting the amazing creators of Linework NW in a series of interviews conducted by the awesome folks over at Gridlords. Today’s spotlight is on Paul Lyons of Hidden Fortress Press.
Describe the first piece of art that changed your life. When was it? How old were you? Where on the planet were you standing?
When I was a kid, I think the grown-up world was not as concerned with shielding horrible things from the innocent minds of children as the kids growing up today. My grandmother gave me a King Arthur book illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren
for Christmas when I was 5, and that book was filled with terrible, wonderful things: Sir Tor slicing off the arm of a giant, the witch Vivien turning men into stone, Lancelot cleaving heads in two (with one hand tied behind his back, mind you)… oh it warped me, to be certain.
If you were in charge of a small press show like Linework, how would your tastes shape the event?
I’d try to bring in book makers that make imperfect, hand-crafted, beautiful books, because that’s what I love.
Who are five people that helped you get to the place you are now with your current work? What did they contribute?
Umm… I just took an inking class with Rick Altergott
, does that count? And I wouldn’t be able to run the Hidden Fortress press without Roby Newton, she’s the only thing that keeps that old engine humming. Plus 3 more people.
What do you think you can contribute to someone else who is trying to make progress with their small press or artistic projects?
Oh geez, I’m not the right person to ask that, I think every approach I’ve made has been wrong. For the first couple of years, I had the luxury of supporting my press with my day job, but now I don’t have that anymore and it’s getting tough. I don’t know how anyone pulls it off. You’d think that if you poured all your time and energy into doing something that you love, you’d be able to support yourself doing it, but that’s simply not the case.
If you could design a monument, what would it look like and what would it represent?
I’d build an ice luge in the shape of a wizened wizard’s head, where you pour lemonade down the left eyebrow and iced tea down the right, and sip Arnold Palmers from the forks of his beard.
What kinds of obstacles do you encounter in your work, and how do you overcome them?
I freeze up when I draw on fancy paper, so I’ve been drawing exclusively on butcher paper.
If Linework were a country, who should be the president and why? This can be anyone in history or in the world.
Pick a zine or small press item you really like, and promote the shit out of it right here:
There’s a small press show starting up here in Providence called RIPExpo, the Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo, the first weekend of August (08/02 - 08/03). Providence has a deep and talented pool of comic artists, it’s about time we had our own show!http://ripexpo.tumblr.com/
Gridlords Interview by Emily Nilsson