Sunday, April 12, 2009

Aris Asks Sarah Horrocks

The first fan interview. Sarah is a blogger and comics fashionista.

1. So, tell me…how do witches taste?

Like goldfish.

2. Are you into magic?

I am. It intermingles with pretty much everything else that I'm into, and definitely influences the perspective I have on most things. Which probably sounds completely creepy or mad, but it's more just incredibly useful. I should probably start keeping it more to myself though, because most of my friends and family give me strange looks when I bring it up

3. What other things besides comics are you into?

I'm very much into fashion, music, and film. I also love history and literature and some sports(really only professional basketball, and soccer(football before any of my European friends start sending me hate mail). I'm really into everything. I'm intensely curious, and tend to obsess over things when I find them. So because of that, I end up with a lot of disperate interests. But it's good, because it gives me a lot to pull from, and it makes it easier to relate to a wider swath of people.
4. How did you get into comics?

Initially probably those old Superfriends cartoons. I used to watch all of those growing up. I thought Superheroes were intensely fascinating. I liked the idea that you could be a person of great power and ability, but that those abilities could be unseen from most. I think like most kids of that era, we used comics, particularly superhero comics, as a kind of coping mechanism for a variety of alienating feelings. What sealed the deal for me was when my mom finally bought me a comic, it was some really violent Flash comic, where the Flash fights Zoom, and I think kills him. It was very graphic. Well I was visiting my dad at my step-grandmas, and he found the comic, and forbid me from reading it, and threw it away. But he threw it away in the bathroom trash can, so I would constantly be going into the bathroom to pull the comic out of the trash and read it, until finally someone took out the bathroom trash. It was both really gross, and really what being a comic fan is all about. And then spinning out of that, I got very into Calvin and Hobbes, and that's probably the book most to blame for my knowledge base. I used to look up all of the references Watterson made in those books, in the school encyclopedias, in like kindergarten and first grade. Which that process got me addicted to research, and knowing things.

5. What comics are you really enjoying right now?

Well I'm a big DC fan girl, so right now is kind of a dull period over there, because they're still recovering from Final Crisis and Batman RIP. But Gail Simone's Secret Six is the best superhero comic out there. I also am enjoying any book that contains both the words Avatar and Ellis on the cover. I love everything that he's doing over there. Doktor Sleepless being my favorite. The first trade of Doktor Sleepless is what pulled me through the rabbit hole on magic, from reading a lot about magic, to actually DOING a lot of magic. Phonogram the Singles Club when it comes out. I really wish people would read this. The talent on that book blows my mind. And Jamie McKelvie is one of my very favorite artists. He and David Lafuente are both outrageously good at drawing very fashionable comics with characters who are so cool you just want to be them. And Kierron is completely brilliant. Those are the books coming out currently that I probably look forward to the most each month. I also enjoy what Geoff Johns does. I read all of his books, but I'm sad he's leaving JSA. I'm excited about Barry Allen being back in the DCU. At DC I'm most excited about the Rucka-JHWilliams III Batwoman book. I'm a big fan of Batwoam, which I know a lot of people hate her, but we've not really had a huge story dedicated to just her, and to have it done by Rucka and JH Williams III(who is one of my favorite artists too) is completely mad. I can't wait. At Marvel I'm waiting for the next thing Lafuente is going to draw. I'm sad Hellcat is over. I'm going to follow that team over to Runaways and Ultimate Spider-man though, so it's all fun.

6. You may not think you are obsessed with Morrison, but reading your defense of Final Crisis it would seem other wise, now that it’s behind us what do you think of Final Crisis?

Hahahahaha, I am not obsessed with Morrison! But so many people were attacking Final Crisis, and still do--when it was a complete masterwork--that I think it sort of made me into a de facto Morrisonite. I just love how chaotic Final Crisis was. It's exploding everywhere with great ideas and conception all of these characters that I love in my favorite Superhero Universe--it's just unrelenting in its amazingness. When Tawny the Tiger took out Kalibak--how are you ever going to get better than that? And then just the overarching narrative about the power and importance of stories--it's such an uplifting story really, and my favorite comics are the ones that are completely weird, and aren't overly dark. I also liked the channel zapping style of the book, it's kind of how I live day to day, so it was nice to read a comic that was written for my pace as a reader. I can't wait to read it all in trade with Superman Beyond and all of that.

7. Who are your favorite characters?

Huntress is my favorite character. God bless Gail Simone for loving her too. Everyone else kind of shuffles depending on what's going on in their books. But currently I love Madame Xanadu, Black Canary, Zantanna, Batman,Rogue, Hellcat--I like pretty much all of the DC/Vertigo magic users. I also like Deadpool and Moon Knight at Marvel. Scott Pilgrim. Scott Pilgrim is god. I still have to read the newest book though, which is terrible. It eats me up with guilt every day.

8. Given the chance to write one of them, which one?, and tell us who you would want on art chores?

I'd be almost too intimidated to write a Huntress book by this point. I thought Ivory Madison did a really great job with her in the Year One story. Still, that's my most beloved character, and I'd love to take a crack at writing her. I'd do it in a completely bonkers way. I'd also play up that she's a teacher more. It's something she kind of had to give up to work with the Birds of Prey, but it was something I liked about her. I like how much she cares about education and spirituality. Her sense of community, I've always felt was much greater than Batman's. And I also think Madison was right in how she wrote Catwoman as an influence in Helena's life. I feel like there's a really great feminist comic book to do with Helena. At any rate, I'd want McKelvie to draw it. When I think of my ideal Huntress book and how it looks, she looks a lot like the girls in Phonogram and Suburban Glamour. I'd also like to do a Zantanna book with Lafuente, just because he could draw so many rabbits every issue, the goal would be to top the Hellcat rabbit total.9. Can you think of a better artist for Hellcat than David Lafuente?

I can't think of a better artist for a lot of books than David Lafuente .He's going to take over Marvel after Ultimate Spider-man. What I love about his art is that his characters are so vital. They seem alive on the page,and the way that they bounce around, it's almost Manga-ish--but it still has kind of European sophistication to it that makes it very hip. I also think he puts a lot of stuff into his art that is sort of extra. There are a lot of Easter eggs sort of floating around in his stuff, which I don't know if people have started to see him in that kind of way yet. But I definately think he's well on his way to being one of the most important Marvel artists going But where do you go from Spider-man and Hellcat? Or Runaways? you go over to DC is what you do. Can you imagine a Lafuente Legion or Teen Titans? Or a Birds of Prey book drawn by him? Yeah but no, he's incredible. And Kathryn Immomen is also going to be important. Marvel has so many talented writers, that I hope they don't forget about her. You look at Hellcat, and there's this wonderful comic timing to that book, and it's coupled with this chaotic magic mysticism pulling through the book- it's really remarkable. Even though I don't like the Avengers, I think she could write a really great Avengers. I hope she does one of the core x-books at some point too. She's kind of a no-brainer for writing Deadpool too.Which, it's strange she's not, given that there's like a billion Deadpool books right now.

10. What do you have against Powergirl?

Her boob window. It bugs me that so many talented writers spend so much time on her. I'd prefer Supergirl get that attention. So it's a combo of not liking her, and being jealous as a Supergirl fan. Did I mention Supergirl is one of my favorite characters? Well there you go. Which, it's funny, like 8 or 9 months ago I remember messaging Geoff Johns pleading with him to save Supergirl, and he was like "just you wait". And sure enough, he and Sterling Gates, have completely turned her around, which is great, and just shows how much Geoff cares about the DCU. Some people think he cares too much. I think not!

11. Top three artists?

JH Williams III, Dave McKean, David Lafuente. Let's pretend you said Top5 artists, and I also said Jamie McKelvie, and Fabio Moon
12. Writers?

Alan Moore, Gertrude Stein, William S. Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson,Aimee Bender, Emily Bronte, Warren Ellis, Bernard Dolan.

13. Do you ever notice the coloring and inking in comics?

Not really as much as I should. I notice good coloring, but not bad. Like I think John Rauch is good. Though I will say that on the whole, I think Marvel does a much better job than DC at coloring. DC kind of wants all of their core books to sort of look the same, which kind of boring. I like color that makes a book look different and special. I think I also tend to favor lighter colors. But it's not a make or break thing for me.

14. Are you the only woman you know who reads comics?
No way. I know lots of women that read comics. Both on the internet and personally. One of my friends actually reads comics to her five year old as bedtime time stories. I give her comics all the time to read to him. Right now he's a huge Batman fan. I think it's the coolest thing I've ever heard of.There's also a strong comic book following amongst lesbians, and queer folk in general I think. Which I think again has to do sort of with specifically superhero comics ability to help cope with alienation. But yeah, I know lots of women who read comic books. Go over to Warren Ellis or Gail Simone's message boards. It actually irritates me that people think women don't read comics. Women read a ton. And we will read everything from great literature to trashy romance novels, and somewhere in the middle there are comic books. And of course manga is a whole other beast when it comes to women.

I'd also add of the women I know who read superhero comics, they read petty much DC exclusively. Which makes sense when you look at how well written the female superheroes are over there. Especially in the cartoons.Most women I know that read marvel, pretty much stick to the X-books. For the same reasons they read so much DC.

15. What is Ophelia?

It's my web comic. I did both the art and the writing for it. It was kind of my first real comic project. I'd written scripts before, but for various reasons been unable to get them drawn. So I finally got fed up of hinging my dreams on the shoulders of others, and decided I would do everything on my own. It ended up being a really great experience, and I learned a lot,especially about the artistic side of things. It's funny, I deinately don't consider myself a great and talented artist, but now I have people coming up to me from that project that want to talk to me exclusively about the art. I've had some people discuss me doing album artwork for them in the near future, which blows my mind, but is really neat. But yeah, Ophelia was a weekly 6 page comic where each week is built around a tarot card reading, which continues the story, and gives it all of these weird twists and turns. You sort of follow this girl through this horrific surreal magical landscape, and if I explained too much more, I'd spoil a huge twist in the middle of the book. What's most interesting about it though, is watching me sort of learn comic art as I go. The opening chapters of the book, look so radically different from the later parts, which look pretty different from what I'm doing now. So you can really see me experimenting artistically and learning a lot of things in the process. It's also got a very raw DIY lo-fi look to it. Someone compared it to Dave McKean, but that's overly generous. You can get at that and all of the other comics projects I do through my workblog at:,and if you follow me on Twitter, I update that a lot too. Right now I'm doing a lot of writing, but at the end of this year, I should have about three really incredible books out. Two I'll publish somewhere, and then the third will be another web comic.

16. Why do you take pictures of dogs?

Because Maria and I were talking about dogs, and I wanted to show her the dogs I was talking about. A lot of my friends love animals, so it's fun to share. Plus I think pets can be indispensable friends. My dogs are better then people at knowing when I'm sad, and they always come over and hang outwith me until I feel better. I think it maybe comes from their pack mentality, and desire to look after everyone. They are also good security systems. At least my dogs are.
17. Do you really like Lil Wayne?

I do. His music always makes me happy. Sometimes I think over him, but then I hear his music again, and I always fall back in love. Plus he represents New Orleans for me. I lived in New Orleans for four years before Katrina hit, and listening to Lil Wayne rap, it always takes me back there.In my opinion, he is THE rock star of the moment. There is no one misically with more of the world in his palm than Lil Wayne. He's also beautiful on so many levels. My musical tastes are pretty varied. I also like the Stooges, Taylor Swift, Burial, Project Pat, Jim Croce, Bob Dylan, Joy Division, The Knife, Sage Francis, and B. Dolan. The last of which is one of my very favorite artists, and a good friend. He does sort of horrifyingly brilliant hip-hop/spoken word stuff. Go over to and check him out. The piece about Evel Knieval is one of my favorite things in the history of ever. It gives me chills every time I listen to it.
18. What do you think of $3.99 comics?

I think that I'm exceptionally poor. I used to spend upwards of like two hundred dollars a month on comics back when I was doing my comic book review blog. But now the only comics I buy are by artists I really believe in, or books that I feel are truly special. If I believe a lot in what someone is doing, I'll find a way to support them. I'd buy more comics if they were available digitally though. If only because it's easier to talk me out of my money on the internet than it is at a bookstore or comic book shop. I think DC's Wednesday comics is an intriguing notion that might actually justify the paper format though. We'll see how that goes, and how ex[ensive it is.
19. Do you think floppy monthly comics will ever completely be replaced by digital comics?

Yeah I do. I read a lot of comics that I buy on my computer. I prefer it to reading a floppy, just because I can do it, while I'm doing other things,and I can organize and database the books a lot easier, than say with a long box, which I find entirely too uncool to actually use. Can you imagine if DC made available its entire archives online through an iTunes like thing,to buy? That would be insane. That kind of thing is the future. Marvel sort of feinted in that direction, but I think they kind of missed the point of digital comics. It will all get sorted out eventually though. I think floppies should be online, and then trades should be sold offline. That way you can read the monthly stuff quickly on your computer, but if you want to sit down for a long read, you can get a big physical book for like ten bucks.
20. Do consider yourself a geek?

I always forget what the difference is between a geek and a nerd. I think I'm probably a nerd. But not like overtly.
21. What kinds of stuff do you blog about at Mercurialfuturist(

Sort of everything. But primarily history, magic, futurism and fashion.I was using it to put my comic book stuff on there, but I've moved that overto my workblog: So now it's more purely various topics that sort of spring to my mind to write about. It tends to change to whatever my obsessions are really.
22. What’s so great about the Vertigo Tarot Deck?

The Dave McKean art and linking magic with Superheroes. I know most ofthese characters pretty well, so when a superhero turns up on a card, it has an expanded meaning for the tarot card, to me. I think that makes the cards more powerful for me. The unfortunate thing is that the deck is prettylight on the superheroes. I think there's maybe 10-13 actual vertigo characters on the major arcana, and that's it. I would like to see someonedo a deck using the whole of the DCU in a thoughtful and intelligent way.Perhaps someone can put a call into Grant Morrison and JH Williams III. Or Kurt Busiek, who is apparently also very into the tarot, going by Trinity.
23. If some one asked you what you did for a living?, you would say?

Comic books and magic. I pay for those things by working at a hotelduring the graveyard shift and trying to avoid getting serial murdered bycreepy farmers. I've never been career oriented. All I've ever cared aboutis art and expanding my mind. So I'll probably die poor and crazy, buthopefully I leave a trail of destruction in my wake.

24. What would you rather be doing?

I'd rather JUST be doing the comics and magic. My goal is to eventuallyearn my food money with the comics, and then moonlight as a tarot card reader to keep things interesting. I'd also like to eventually live somewhere outside of the US for a time. I like to move around.

25. In 5 years will you be reading comics?

For sure. It's the best medium there is right now.

26. So what's next?

Like I said, this year I've got about three major things on my agenda. Right now I'm just doing the writing, and then from June until December,I'll be locking myself in somewhere and doing the art for said books. Oneof them is a book about Western-Bondage. Another is about Ghosts, Zombies,and a boy with a Lampshade on his head in the future. Both of those aregoing to be between 3-5 issues that I'll put out somewhere, some way. Sothey are quite long all things considered. I'm also doing another webcomicthis year which will be much shorter than Ophelia, the idea right now is todo it in a series of pods that are small and self-contained, but combine atthe beginning and end, like how Morrison did Seven Soldiers. But muchsmaller. Probably 30 pages total for the whole thing. And much moreconducive to being read in short bites on the web. Those are the things I'mdoing for sure. I also have some projects with other artists that couldtrickle out here or there, I'm not for sure. I do plan to get a comicI'vebeen sitting on for about a year now about James and Dolly Madison--I planto get that out there in some form. But yeah, it's going to be another busyyear.

27. Last minute plugs?

Of course! One of the places I actually donate money to, and spend timewith--that's actually beyond my general state of selfishness is This is a site run by my friend Bernard Dolan. Itis this amazing corporate watchdog site, where you can type in pretty muchany company you want to know about, and find out how they rate across humanrights, workers rights, environment--those type of things. So you can getinformation on the companies that you are putting money to. Money is thebiggest voting block in America right now, and you can't really beparticipating fully if you're not in possession of information. This sitegives you that. Plus, I'd ask anyone if they have the time or inclinationto see if they can help with some of the wikis for various companies. Ifyou're a research nerd and like looking things like this up--it's the sitefor you. Its good people, who work really hard, and an extremely importantproject from my vantage point. Check it out! Oh also. Buy Phonogram theSingles Club! I'm not really affiliated with Keiron or Jamie. I'm justsaying as a lover of comic books, support this book. I say it almostselfishly because I want them to continue to make these books and I wantJamie McKelvie to become fat and rich. Plus it's an extremely great book.And in a time when so many books aren't giving you value for your buck, thisbook does it in spades. There's no ads in it. It's just chockfull offantastic stories and talent. If floppies have a big future, it's becauseof books like this. Plus, the concept is super cool, and the extras are forthe floppies only.


  1. <3 Sarah!

    Thanks for the interview, Aris!

    - Kenny

  2. Thank you.

    I would really be honored if Sarah would do a weekly column for teh site.