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Comichaus Meets: Kathryn Briggs

Today we meet the supremely talented Kathryn Briggs, an American graphic novelist who moved to Scotland in 2012. 

Please introduce yourself and your team (if you have one).

Hi, I'm Kathryn, an American living and working and making comics in Scotland!  I write, illustrate and letter my comics, which can be auto-bio, or examinations of mythological archetypes, or just odes to cats.  And sometimes I teach comics and art as well.

What are some of the comics that inspired you to start creating your own? Any creators in particular?

I distinctly remember wanted to break all my brushes and give up forever after reading "Kabuki" by David Mack when I was 18.  Glyn Dillon and Dustin Nquyen's watercolour comics are amazing, and I am forever astounded by Emma Rios, Marian Churchland, and Amei Zhao.

What do you think people see in your character(s), or the books in general, that has really drawn them in and kept them coming back for more?

Hmm, that's a tough one.  I think the art draws people in; it's different, changes all the time, and is pretty experimental when it comes to the materials I use or the way I layout a page.  I try my hardest to write as honestly as possible, but still try to capture the poetry and beauty of the everyday.  And I think people like myths and fairytales! Who doesn't?  A lot of my comics re-interpret these beloved stories, and maybe folks are interested in what I do with them. 

How much of your own personality goes into your character(s)?

A lot, actually.  Even if I'm writing fiction, I'm usually using my characters to work through whatever I'm going through personally; they give voice to my inner world.  Outwardly, maybe not so much.  My characters don't make as many dumb jokes or swear as much as I do; maybe in future they should...

Where did you draw your inspiration from?

I'm curious, and I work out the answers to my questions through making comics.  "Triskelion" started with the question "what does the heroic feminine look like?", which took three years and five issues to come to some sort of an answer.  Other comics I'm working through emotions and the process brings clarity; a meditation over 4 pages, or something like that.  Or I find a quote or a piece of a play that I fall in love with and want to make into a comic. 

What struggles have you faced with the creation of the comic and producing the final release?

After the rush of curiosity and creativity, I can lose interest.  Bringing everything into a polished, finished comic is the hard part!  I'm getting better these days, I'll even proof read :D  The other aspect I find tough is self-promotion.  After working so hard on a comic I just want to have a nap or move onto the next thing, telling folks all about it and why they should buy it is a struggle! 

What do fans need to know going into their first issue of your comic?

Nothing, just jump in!  In "Triskelion" there are layers of meaning, but all of them are optional.  If the art makes you happy, I couldn't be happier.  In fact, I'm honored.  "Magpie" is a collection of short auto-bio comics and comics about cats, so some folks like to start there.

What have you got coming up in the future? Are you working on more issues?

I am very excited to announce that Throwaway Press are releasing a collected trade of all my short comics this March!  Keep an eye out for "Magpie", 96 pages of shorts, eight of which are brand new, never-before-seen.  I'm also working on a pitch for my next big graphic novel.  I can't divulge much, but I can say that I'm thrilled to be working Bobsy (of The Mindless Ones and Diane Podcast fame) as my writer and that it will be fantastic.  I'll also be contributing to BHP Comics and 404 Ink's new collaboration, "We Shall Fight Until We Win: 100 years of Women in UK Politics".  The Kickstarter has now launched! 

You can check out all of Kathryn's releases at: http://bit.ly/kathrynbriggs

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