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Interview

Phil McAndrew p2

Phil McAndrew talks about the Crazy Rattlesnake Treehouse Comics Gang live comics reading on July 12 for the San Diego Comics-Con, and pitching for a forthcoming cartoon series...

READERSVOICE.COM: You’ve been published in Mad Magazine. Was this a long-term dream maybe since childhood and would you wish to be a regular, or would you prefer going your own way with books and comics?

PHIL McANDREW: Getting published in Mad Magazine wasn’t a goal I’ve had since childhood or anything, but I think almost any cartoonist would love to have work in Mad. I’ve always thought of them as part of this golden trinity of magazines that have historically published really incredible comics and illustrations, the other two being The New Yorker and Playboy. Amazingly, Mad wanted to buy one of the very first strips I submitted. I’ve had comics in the magazine twice now and I’d love to become a regular contributor. I can’t think of any reason why I wouldn’t be able to do that in addition to working on my own books and comics.

RV: What plans do you have for the San Diego Comic Con, and how long would you stay for it and where will you stay, and what will be your activities there?

PMcA: My friend David King and I have been working for a while now to organize a big live comics reading event that will coincide with the San Diego Comic-Con. It’s going to happen on the 12th of July, in the evening after the first official day of the convention. We’ve got some really terrific cartoonists lined up to read and it’s happening at an awesome venue called Space 4 Art, not far from the convention center. Other than that, my only plans for Comic-Con are to wander around, maybe buy a couple books and hang out with all my cartoonist friends that’ll be visiting from out of town.

RV: You were invited to pitch a cartoon series for a Los Angeles company. What sort of detail would you have to go into? Would you give them a complete episode guide for one series?

PMcA: Before I went up to LA to pitch I spent a month putting together something like 30 pages of drawings and text, just showing off all the characters and how they interact with each other and the world they live in. I wrote out four episode ideas too, just brief outlines. When I was working on the pitch materials I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time talking to my friend Pendleton Ward, the creator of Adventure Time, about his experiences pitching ideas for shows. He gave me some terrific advice and feedback and has generally just been a huge help.

RV: Will all your mini-comics be appearing in the book you have scheduled, and what else will be in it?

PMcA: Almost all of my mini-comics will be reprinted in the book. There are a few really old things that I’m not going to include, stuff I drew when I was still in college. There will also be around one hundred pages of new material in the book. When I first started working on new material for the book I was drawing a couple longer stories, things that were each around fifty pages long. And then before I was able to finish them there was a period where I didn’t work on the book at all for a couple months due to some unexpected personal stuff. When I did finally get back to work I decided to scrap the longer stories. They just weren’t what I wanted to do anymore. I’ve since been writing tons and tons of very short comics. I’m very happy with all the new material, I’m really enjoying myself and having a lot of fun. It’s really exciting! I think the new comics are the best I’ve ever drawn.

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-copyright Simon Sandall.

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