Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sam Bosma Interview On Fantasy Sports 2: The Bandit of Barbel Bay

Sam Bosma
We have an interview with the grand artist Sam Bosma, you've probably seen his work on Steven Universe. He started a series not long ago about Fantasy Sports and this July the second book in the series came out. We got to ask Sammy a few questions about it.

In this newest chapter we find Mug, a grouchy stout macho man and Wiz a young powerful wizard girl somewhat stuck in a fishy village and I mean really fishy with fish people. One thing leads to another and they must do the form of volleyball?!!

TTDILA:First off, where do you get off making such a great book and then not giving the readers more. Seriously, you've made me want more stories of Wiz and Mug to be turned into an anime, because, darn, it looks more like an anime than a cartoon.

Sam Bosma: Haha, well, it takes a long time to make these books, and I’ve gotta keep them short if I want them to be nice and snappy. I don’t think FS would work super well as a 200 page book (though I guess the inevitable Omnibus will test that out). Cartoons would be cool, though there’s a lot of extra brainstorming I’d have to do to figure out how to translate the story into something more episodic. I think it would work pretty well, though.

If I have a kid, I'm just going to scan the repeating characters on the inside of the cover of this new book to make wallpaper for their room. You really made a wonderful design there.

Thanks! Those are just developmental sketches to figure out characters before the book is actually written. Some of them never made it in and some of them got their own scenes.

I just love going through the pages and looking over the art. It's like reading a children's book from ages ago, but it's strange to think its only just come out. Can you tell me a little bit about you character design process or why I just seem to want action figures or little statues of everyone I see in the book.

With character design I try to make everyone look like they live their own lives outside of the context of the story. I know that, for the most part, background characters will be drawn once and then never seen again, but I want you to be able to imagine a bit about their lives outside of that one panel. I don’t know if any of that comes across, but it’s what I try to do, at least.

I like to think about what people’s clothes are made of and where they get them, and if any other characters shop at the same store. I think it’s really boring in stories to have each character have an absolutely individual design with absolutely individual articles of clothing that nobody else in the universe has ever had before. I think most of us are taught in art school to make each character totally individual, which works on a lot of levels, but it doesn’t bind people together into a world or community.

Sports, who really cares in fantasy other than you? Really, I'm unsure why I like the book when I myself care so little about sports as do many other fantasy readers. It isn't Quidditch in your book, but volleyball. G-d damn, only-used-in-summer-episode-volleyball and no bikinis even. Is there a reason you really wanted sports to be in your fantasy book, you could've gone fantasy all the way. Why include basketball, baseball and volleyball so far?

Yeah, I here this all the time — that nobody in the comics community likes sports aside from me. It’s sort of true, but if they don’t like sports, they probably do like games. I’m trying with these books to see if I can strip sports of all the negative associations that comics readers might have and bring them back to what they are at their core — a game. I think a lot of older sports video games did this — NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, NBA Street, Super Spike Volleyball, Mutant Team Football, etc.

I like sports. The only one I really follow is basketball (and boy do I follow it), but there’s something pure and beautiful about the drama of it, people dedicating their lives to a game, treating each part of it as life or death. Why not make a book about it? There’s already a manga for every sport under the sun, I’m not really treading any new ground here.

But after Fantasy Sports is done, I’m going to take a deep dive into fantasy. I’m gonna wallow in it.

Where ever did you get the idea of the Yahms ( the antagonists in this chapter)?

I love bad guys who are a pair — Jesse and James from Pokemon, the Androids from Dragonball Z, those two twin characters from Sailor Moon. I just really wanted to have a pair of villains who could banter back and forth. From my brief time playing rec league volleyball, I figured out how important communication was to the sport, and what better way to communicate than by sharing one mind?

Also I love slime enemies in games. Pretty simple.

It looks like we have a third chapter with golf set-up, just how far down the line do you have the story. Will you and other artists make some sort of American Weekly Shonen Jump of great artists we could get behind and follow?

Golf is next, and then a mYsTeRy sport to finish things off in volume 4. I think an anthology is a great idea — maybe if I fall behind and need a year off, haha. I know a lot of great artists who I’d love to commission for it.

Nice Ultraman pose on pg. 32.

He’s the best.

Get the book here

Friday July 29, 7pm
The Secret Headquarters
3817 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Sam Bosma will be signing his latest book, Fantasy Sports Vol. 2! Come join Sam and the SHQ crew for adult beverages, new books, and good times.