Okie Comics Magazine
Promoting Comics by Oklahomans, for Oklahomans, the new publication, Okie Comics Magazine, showcases an anthology for local creators telling local stories, whether directly from Oklahoma’s rich history, set in Oklahoma’s familiar locations, or in a theme that evokes Oklahoma culture. In this Tuesday Treat Q&A session, Editor, Jeff Provine, shares what readers can expect, how the magazine was started, advice for comic book makers, and more.
What can readers expect when they pick up a copy of Okie Comics?
Okie Comics are all comics by Oklahomans about Oklahoma. Typically in comics, you see superheroes flying around New York City or in some distant realm, but these comics are set right at home. You’ll see the Devon Tower or the OKC Museum of Art or a restaurant or a neighborhood you’d recognize just from driving around town, or it might be a story from Oklahoma history. We want to make comics that are truly local.
How did this magazine come about?
I’ve written for several local free periodicals for years now, and, in a completely different social sphere, I got to know many members of Oklahoma’s burgeoning comics creator community thanks to working on The Academy. One day it struck me: why not a local periodical feature all this local talent?
What has been some of the feedback you’ve received so far on the magazine been like?
[pullquote-right]”We had such demand from people outside the Metro wanting copies that we set up a mail-order system.”[/pullquote-right]People have been loving the comics, especially that they show what people from right next door can do. Folks just say “wow” when I note that this comic was done by someone from just up the road or our first cover was artist Matthew Brendle in Moore. Several people have just flat-out said, “Thank you for making this.” We had such demand from people outside the Metro wanting copies that we set up a mail-order system.
What got you interested in making comics?
I’ve always loved writing stories. The go-to for writing is typically prose, but when my ideas for The Academy best fit as a comic strip, I ventured into new territory. Soon I started partnering with artists to make comic-book style stories, which are their own world. It’s a powerful medium that I think might be underused from its potential.
What are some of the challenges you face or have faced in making the magazine?
As with anything new, the trick is getting the word out. I’m thankful to have an awesome response from the community that setting up stands for distribution has been so well received. People are intrigued by our covers enough to empty them out, and as word spreads, we’ll hopefully match on the business side as well. There is so much potential still to unlock.
What super-power from a comic book character would you like to have and why?
Super-speed is looking better and better every day to get things done. I always get a little nervous, though: what if going at super-speed also meant super-aging?
Where are some great places to go in Oklahoma for inspiration for story ideas?
All over! Oklahoma has spots to inspire for just about any comic you could want to do. Want to do a war story? Drop by the 45th Museum. Want to get a feel for how people interact? Hit up a festival or do some people-watching in Bricktown or on a Second Friday. Looking for nature? Check out our many awesome parks.
What advice do you have for aspiring comic-book makers?
Read all the comics you can get your hands on—and after you’ve read them, analyze them. Break them down to see what you like and why you like it. Ask yourself, “Why is this panel this size, or this shape, or from this perspective?” If you run across something you don’t like, ask yourself why exactly, and what would you do to fix it?
It’s a trick getting comic book pages, which are naturally read by the eye moving back and forth, zooming in and out, onto web pages, which are generally scrolled through vertically. It’s a subtle difference that makes for a fascinating change in how the comic stories are told.