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Monday, April 15, 2024

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Sandbox Spotlight: JOE GLASS, Comic Book Writer

THE CONVENTION COLLECTIVE: Thank you for joining us in the Spotlight, Mr. Joe Glass! How did you get into comics and why did you want to become a creator?

Well, I loved comics from a pretty early age, I adored the artistry and the wild, out of this world stories of superhero comics in particular, so I knew I wanted to work in them. When I realised I didn’t have the perseverance to be a great sequential artist, I leaned into my other passion of writing, and here we are. 

TCC: What was the first work you completed, where you stepped back and thought, “Yes, y’know what, I can do this for a living!”?

It was probably a series I was co-writing with some friends, a horror-comedy set in Wales called STIFFS. The series never got completed, but I’m still immensely proud of it. 

TCC: Which creators inspire you? And they don’t have to be in the medium you work in, either…

In terms of other comic writers who inspire me, unfortunately, a lot of those that inspired me as I was coming up have turned out to be… not so great, so instead I focus on contemporaries and more modern creators who inspire me to be better at what I do, like Kieron Gillen, Tate Brombal and Kelly Thompson. Outside of comics, I love the work of Russell T. Davies a lot. 

TCC: Can you tell us your greatest fan moment, interacting with a personal hero of yours where you may have gone a little weak at the knees?

I got to meet Alan Moore once at a signing, and gave him copies of my early comics, STIFFS and THE PRIDE. He was amazingly humble and to have him accept the copies so graciously really meant a lot. No idea if he ever read them, but hey, I shook Alan Moore’s hand, so I’m good. 

TCC: What is your favourite fandom? Who is your favourite comic book character/movie/tv character?

In terms of fandom, I love X-Twitter a lot, especially after the new Krakoa era started in the comics. The fandom, at least on that social media platform, are very excitable, very queer and very fun, which is the best parts of fandom.

And the end of the day, the X-Men are my favourite comic characters and stories anyway.

TCC: What genre do you like writing the most?

I think most people can tell, I adore writing superhero stories. Drama is up there for me too, but throw in superheroes and I am there!

TCC: Let’s get creative! What’s your working routine? Do you work regular set hours and days, keeping certain days free for personal time, or do you find you create any time the muse takes you?

I’ve recently started to try and set myself set hours to work, to treat my writing as what it is too: work. It’s something I picked up from Scott Snyder, and I’m still getting used to it to be honest, but it has proved remarkably beneficial to my process.

TCC: When you’re creating, what do you use for background noise? Some artists use music or podcasts, some use a TV show that they just can listen to in the background. What do you use?

Lately, I’ve been playing the Trixie Mattel & Katya YouTube show, UNhhh, constantly in the background. I dunno why, I find it weirdly soothing as I work. 

TCC: What was the first comic con that you remember attending?

There was a convention in Cardiff when I was little held in the Angel Hotel. I remember it purely because a stall had a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 in mint condition and had a massive price tag on it, and it blew my tiny mind. 

TCC: How has your approach to attending conventions changed since that first one? And what’s the one big piece of advice you would give to someone tabling at a convention for the first time?

Well, since the pandemic, my biggest change is I now bring and use a lot of hand sanitiser, something I always used to laugh at others doing at shows before. And now I know what an idiot I was.

TCC: What’s your favourite element of a comic convention? And which bits could you easily leave behind?

I absolutely adore the cosplay. The level of skill and talent on show is incredible, and I am often blown away. 

Con bathrooms, on the other hand, are hell on Earth. 

TCC: At a convention, when you’re not behind your table or doing the things you have to do at a con, which corner of the show would we find you in?

I’ll be honest, I don’t stray far from Artists Alley. Merch tables and booths can be great places to get a great gift, for sure, but generally, I’m always on the lookout for something new and exciting in comics. 

TCC: The conventions are slowly but surely coming back, thank goodness! Have you attended one yet, do you intend to get back out behind a table soon? What’s your next convention or, if you’re holding off for a while longer, what’s your thoughts on cons right now?

I’ve attended three, post-lockdown! From a small one-day event, all the way through to a massive three-day event in the capital of the country. Sure, I was anxious at first but, generally, everyone seems to be using common sense at them and the venues are being very careful so I have felt pretty safe throughout.

TCC: When the lockdowns kicked in and conventions came to a pause, a lot of creatives also took to crowdfunding – such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo – to generate income from their work. What’re your thoughts on that avenue?

I’m a big fan of Kickstarter, for independent and/or new comics creations. It’s been so useful for letting me continue to make and share my work, but it also is a TON of work. To the point that I’m not 100% sure how I can continue using the platform when at the moment it also takes a lot of time away from actual writing for me and, hey, it’s surprising how physically demanding packing and shipping so many orders can be by yourself. 

I am, however, much less of a fan of massive celebrities and publishers with deep pockets using the platform. I feel it is actively detracting from new voices who NEED the platform to fund their work; funds that certain recent users of the platform don’t need or already have available to them. 

TCC: But let’s get back to the important stuff:  your work! What projects have you recently finished, what are you working on at the moment, what projects are coming up that you can talk about? 

We’re still hard at work on THE MIRACLES, which is going to be fantastic I reckon. There’s a bunch of pitches I’m working on with some great people too, but all very early days, so we’ll see where they go. 

In the meantime, people can get THE PRIDE OMNIBUS in any comic shop or book store, and I have other books like ACCEPTABLE LOSSES and GLITTER VIPERS available via my website or on Kindle/ComiXology 

TCC: How do you stay connected with fans? Do you use a mailing list or newsletters, are you active on social media?

I’m primarily a twitter user (@josephglass) but I also have a newsletter too, which can be signed up to on my website at www.joeglasscomics.co.uk

TCC: Where can people see an example of your books online?

People can find out more about me and my work on my website www.joeglasscomics.co.uk, and there’s a store where you can get most of my work, too (though THE PRIDE is available, as I say, in any kind of comic or book store now too).

TCC: Thank you so much, Joe, for your time!

Leonard Sultana
Leonard Sultana
Leonard Sultana is a full-time DJ / part-time nerd and is doing his damnedest to swap those around. He is the creator of An Englishman In San Diego, The Convention Collective and a rather nice cocktail involving Dandelion & Burdock.

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