Or as we also know them, Stephanie Lantry and Carrie Smith. Stephanie is someone the GRCT crew interact with on twitter quite a bit, and I’ve been following the webcomic that she draws and Carrie writes, emomagician and you really have to love it. No, no, you do. On top of that they have a book, To The Power Against which I really need to get my hands on.
Catalina Jones is a mild-mannered probabilistic risk assessor. Her life was relatively normal; she had a fiancé , a cat, and one big jerk of a boss. But now, thanks to the fallout from a bizarre microwave burrito/graviton missile accident, she also has the power to control probability itself. This new power is wild, thus far unpredictable, and potentially deadly. With the help of her friend Xi Chen she must learn to control her abilities before she destroys her whole neighborhood—or worse, the universe—and attracts too much attention from the creepy guys in dark suits.
Tell me that doesn’t sound awesome. Geeky girl dealing with sudden power onset? I love it.
If you want to get your hands on it (and you should), you can check them out at SDCC in the Small Press, Table M-04. Go check them out, and hey, tell them you read this here whilse you’re at it.
They were lovely enough to answer a few questions for us as well!
* How did you get into comics?
Carrie: I had an idea for a sci-fi novel that really wasn’t working, because I felt like it needed to be in a more visual format for the pacing to work right. Around that time, I started hanging out with Stephanie, happened to share the idea with her, and from that To the Power Against was born. As far as “getting into” comics culturally, I was immensely into Calvin and Hobbes as a kid. I still think it’s one of the greatest comics in the history of mankind, and I’m willing to bet the history of most of the unexplored universe, too. Few people can tell a story, convey a gag, and make you absolutely love characters as well as Bill Watterson did.
Stephanie: With me, drawing came first and everything I got interested in came from the desire to do that. I loved animation especially, and collected the Garfield and Calvin & Hobbes books, eventually I was able to copy the characters and different styles. I was about 12 years old when some of my friends started asking me if I could draw comic characters for them. They loaned me their copies of X-Men for reference, I ended up reading them and then I was hooked. Not long after, I started going to the comic shop every Friday night with my mom. About a year later I set up a table at small, local comic convention and did sketches for people.
* Tell us a bit about the projects you’ve worked on.
Stephanie: I did sketches at conventions and private commissions all throughout school; it wasn’t until about six years ago that I worked on an actual book. I did a few short stories with my former roommate (Journey Into Misery and Dropkick Detectives) before working with Carrie on To The Power Against and Emogician.
To The Power Against is our sci-fi superhero story about math genius Catalina Jones, a probabilistic risk assessor who is granted the ability to control probability through a bizarre experimental government-launched missile/microwave burrito accident.
Emogician is our goofy little gag comic about a super sad magician. We came up with the idea while watching The Illusionist with Edward Norton.
* What is your favourite work that you’ve done so far?
Carrie: I once wrote a story about a yeti getting a job at a crappy factory that I quite liked. And I’m obviously very fond of our comics. Emogician is incredibly fun to do. I love watching people giggle at those.
Stephanie: I’m pretty proud of the most recent issue of To The Power Against (number 6). I suppose that’s typical for artists, the thing you like the most is whatever is the newest. I also did some Doctor Who doodles recently that were a fun little exercise for me.
* Did you ever get advice about the field that you’d like to pass on?
Carrie: Someone at a convention once asked Brian K. Vaughan how to get a break in comics. His answer was to just start doing comics, don’t wait for anyone’s permission. The point here is that the person was really asking him how to be FAMOUS doing comics, and BKV’s point was that trying to be famous is the wrong goal. If you’ve got a story to tell, just start telling it the best way you can, don’t wait for an engraved invitation. If it’s good, people will respond. The rest is just luck. I thought that was a good.
Stephanie: I think it’s important to be unique and make sure that your work really reflects the things that mean something to you. Making comics isn’t always easy, but if it’s something that matters to you, you can get through it. Another thing: don’t worry if what you’re doing is perfect–do the work, get it done and try something different next time if you’re not satisfied, the important thing is to keep going. You can’t help but improve that way.
* What is your favourite thing to write or draw? From situations to characters to themes, anything goes…
Carrie: As far as writing goes, I’m obsessed with making my characters deal with issues of mortality and mindless bureaucracy. And I have no skill as an artist, but I can sort of draw an awesome robot punching someone really hard in the face. And that’s ALL I can draw. Heheh.
Stephanie: This is completely non-specific, but I love to draw faces and create character designs more than anything else. Also, super ladies.
* In an ideal world, in what direction would you like to see your project evolve?
Carrie: We’re pretty much free to write and draw whatever we want, so we can make our project go in whatever direction we want, which is great. In an IDEAL world…erm, someone would fan me with $100 bills while I write.
Stephanie: I think we mostly just want to keep it going. It’s taken us a few years of playing around to get to a place that we like and can take further. Other than that, I’d love to have the means to put out a full color book. Maybe get a minion to help me with lettering.
* Links to your work:
Carrie: Great, now I want pie.
Stephanie: Carrie, if you are very good, I will make and bring tiny pies to Comic Con.