Hire This Woman: Cartoonist Kasey Williams
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Cartoonist Kasey Williams has been writing and drawing her own mini comics and anthologies for years while working on her first graphic novel. In the mean time she's also the artist on the webcomic Galacticat, which is also available in two print volumes.
ComicsAlliance: What is your preferred form of creative output?
Kasey Williams: The general art side, definitely. I have a ton of respect for writers, but I don't think I could just write.
CA: Do you work on paper or digitally? Why?
KW: I normally sketch on paper, but have recently moved more into doing most other things digitally. It's hard to go back to traditional when you've gotten accustomed to digital! I've been spoiled by CtRL+Z.
CA: What’s your background/training?
KW: I didn't go to art school or anything- I'm mostly self-taught, with a couple basic art classes here and there. Most of my training came from drawing a lot, observing a lot, and having talented friends who tell me what not to do.
CA: How would you describe your creative style?
KW: I'd probably describe it as subtle. Nothing I do is very action-packed, nor is it dynamic- most of the shots I draw are eye-level, with simple composition. My page layouts are basic, modified grids. I think that simplicity in storytelling is very underrated.
CA: What projects have you worked on in the past? What are you currently working on?
KW: I'm currently actively working on my first big project, a web/print comic called Galacticat. It's a collaborative effort between my and my dude Gene Goldstein-- he writes it and I draw it. We just released the second volume, and there's one more to go! Before that, I participated in a few anthologies, but I mostly just made self-printed minicomics. I've been working on developing one of those mini comics, Before I Sleep, into a big fat graphic novel for the past few years. Once Galacticat is over, I'm going to bust my ass and get to work on that.
CA: Approximately how long does it take you to create a 20-page issue?
KW: About a month, but it totally depends. If I'm not writing it, it could take less time. If I'm busy with my day job, more time.
CA: What is your dream project?
KW: I'd love to work on a multi-volume graphic novel series, completely written and drawn by myself.
CA: Who are some comic creators that inspire you?
KW: Charles Burns, Matt Furie, Johnny Ryan, Anatola Howard, Jamie Hewlett, Guillaume Singelin, Ben Constantine, Michael DeForge, Kaneoya Sachiko... I have a really long, bloated list. Anybody with a very standout art style is inspirational to me. I love something that looks different and interesting.
CA: What are some comics that have inspired you either growing up or as an adult?
KW: I started drawing comics as a kid because of Dav Pilkey. I loved Captain Underpants and I drew notebooks full of obvious knockoffs of his work. I also grew up with anime and manga, which, in general, was a huge influence on my art. Although it's not technically a comic, I caught the anime FLCL on TV as a kid and it blew my MIND. Since I'm still young and my art hasn't really settled into a comfortable place yet, I gobble up anything remotely interesting to me, and it's all super inspirational. I was finally able to get a hold of the first volume of Johnny Ryan's Prison Pit, and it's drawing me to the idea of making something super pulpy and relatively simple. Inio Asano's Goodnight Punpun is a relatively recent discovery that's really really resonated with me. It focuses on complex characters, very detailed art and atmosphere -- the whole thing is completely different than any comic I'd ever been exposed to before. Dash Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button reaffirmed my belief in subtlety in comics.
CA: What’s your ideal professional environment?
KW: A personal studio with big windows, a tablet that always works, the fastest Wi-Fi and unlimited snacks.
CA: What do you most want our readers and industry professionals to know about your work?
KW: There's a lot more to come! I'm always drawing, and always thinking of more ideas.
CA: How can editors and readers keep up with your work and find your contact information?
If there is a woman you’d like to recommend or if you’d like to be included in a future installment of this feature, drop us a line at comicsalliance-at-gmail-dot-com with "Hire This Woman" in the subject line.