Welcome to my 'zine tree!

Here in my studio, I've got this wire-y thing hanging above my computer desk chock-full of paper goods that have kept me curious.

Instead of filing one thing away when I wish to add something, I've decided to do these features about some of the creators' works on the tree.

There's a little bit of everything up there - some photography, some stickers, some floppy comics, but most of it is cartoon and comics art and all of it is independently produced.


AG: It’s not too difficult to see why you wrote this mini-comic, so let’s talk about the fever dream that occurs at the end of the story. I know that answering questions about mythology can be a little embarrassing if the reference is not grounded in some other anthropologically pertinent legend, but why do three lions appear to the character?  

SC: The idea of "winged lions" shows up in a lot of mythology, back to Sumerian and Assyrian mythology, but they also show up in several visions described in the Bible.  The winged lion sometimes appears on The World and The Wheel of Fortune tarot cards. In The Lesser Key of Solomon/the Ars Goetia, the winged lion appears as Vapula-- to roughly quote The Goetia, 'she has knowledge of arts/crafts, philosophy, sciences.'  It's an image I just always really liked-- something powerful and mystical.
The Sphinx-like three-headed lion in the comic isn't any of these in particular, maybe the closest to what it would be is a version of Vapula.  I am playing VERY fast and loose with magic here but the idea was that the band, mostly the singer, hides a sigil in a song that gets popular, and through the song being played over and over again, he is able to tap into something powerful.  The winged lion is the form it manifests.  

AG: I listened to the tracks from the playlist you provided at the end of the story. I ended up really liking the band, The Crime & City Solution.  What song have you listened to most recently from this playlist, and how do you feel it connects to the experience of music in your mini-comic?

SC: I've been listening to a similar playlist as I work on Last Song with Holly Interlandi (thru Black Mask, the first issue comes out in May 2017)--it's about the rise & fall of a fictional band in LA in the 90s, so the playlist has been a lot of Placebo, a lot of Rowland S Howard (The Crime & City Solution, The Birthday Party --yes, that one with Nick Cave, These Immortal Souls, and some brilliant solo albums), early Smashing Pumpkins, Manic Street Preachers.  

I pretty much always build a playlist or end up with one specific song/album attached in my head to whatever comic I'm working on, The starting point for a lot of my comics is "I was listening to a song and it reminded me of/made me feel like..." and building from there.

For Mysteries in particular I wanted to express the intense emotional experiences and catharsis I've had involving music, especially at live shows--  feeling completely in a moment to the point where time and space don't matter, where you're just overwhelmed with love and joy or sorrow or whatever emotion is being evoked in the song, or with dancing or moshing or keeping your head above the crowd, sharing that experience with your closest friend or total strangers. Or how songs or albums get associated with specific experiences and places and times in your life, that big swell of emotion and longing that you feel.  

AG: You had mentioned that you were working on some new comics. Can you tell us anything about your approach to storytelling now?

SC: I've been doing more work collaboratively, where I'm drawing and someone else is writing. It's nice to feel like I'm not working in a void, and to draw subject matter I might not normally pick.  It's actually given me time to work on just planning and writing a longer comic in the meantime.

My approach to storytelling when I'm both writing AND drawing is generally this: I find a specific emotion or feeling, and build a narrative around it.  I make an outline, jot down dialogue ideas in the thumbnail stages, and write the script as I'm penciling.  I'm currently finishing up a solo comic to debut at Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) in June called In The Cold, which is a comic about suffocating suburban NJ young adulthood and confusing first queer crushes with a backdrop of unsettling supernatural elements.  

AG: Thanks, Sally!


Visit Sally's website>>