Posted October 17, 2016 by Luigi Cabrera in Comics

LET’S TALK KOMIKS: One Week In the Library With John Amor

The last time we interviewed John Amor, creator of Urban Animal and Tres Komikeros alumni, was six years ago. It has been a very long time but once again, Flipgeeks got the chance to catch up with him. It seems that John has been keeping himself busy especially now that his new graphic novel is about to hit the stores.

This is Let’s Talk Komiks.

FLIPGEEKS: Turns out that we interviewed you six years ago! How’s it been since then?
JOHN AMOR: Wow, has it really been six years? I’ve just been bouncing around the scene. Trying to get my indie books off the ground while keeping an eye on the market with the help of the TK boys.

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Keeping an eye on the market?
On the comics market. It’s important to do that especially if you’re an independent creator. People might be interested in one kind of genre this month and something completely different in the next. Watching the trends, so to speak.

That’s good. And how about your indie books? Would you mind telling us about them?
Justin Jordan (Spread, Luther Strode) are currently shopping around a couple of titles. We’ve been meaning to put a series out for a couple of years now, so it would be nice to get that off the ground. There are a couple more irons in the fire, but nothing I can really talk about yet. Locally I’m collaborating with Paolo Chikiamco, Noel Pascual and the amazing Studio Salimbal peeps. Bravos Davao is still in production and I’m hoping to get that done in time for November’s Komikon.


How did you end up working for Image?
My collaborator W. Maxwell Prince can take all the credit for that. After doing JUDAS THE LAST DAYS at IDW, he shopped around a collection of short stories that would eventually become LIBRARY. Image likes teams that have experience together, plus they had seen my stuff before from previous pitches. I guess LIBRARY just fit nicely into their current slate because we were greenlit within a week – it happened pretty fast.

How long have you worked for them?
Well LIBRARY has slowly been taking shape since last year, but we only got the greenlight from Image around February of this year, so I guess you could say I’ve had official ties with them for that long. That being said, they’ve had material from me since 2010, for other pitches. When Image pubs you, you don’t become an employee of theirs — they are simply the guys marketing and putting your books out. You and your collaborators remain independent.

So far, how is the experience?
Fairly painless. They gave us a clear deadline for delivery of everything and now that the book is done, they’re handing all the marketing and generating buzz. They have way more reach than two creators, so that part is working out nicely.

What is ONE WEEK IN THE LIBRARY about? What makes it special?
OWITL is about a simple man in charge of, quite literally, the library of all fiction. And I do mean all fiction. The book collects seven short stories — one per weekday, hence the title — with different themes. Without giving too much away, it deals with the nature of fiction and how that relates to our perception of the seven days we live through every week, over and over again. It’s special to me because it feels very much like Culkin’s character from PAGEMASTER (old-ish movie) grew up and became a sort of Librarian Supreme. That’s a weird metaphor, but I’ll go with it.


How many issues is it going to be?
LIBRARY is a single 96-page original graphic novel. Just one thick book. There may be a bit of back matter beyond the 96 story pages, but that’s beyond my purview. We’re toying with the idea of doing a second volume though, there are certainly more stories we can tell in the setting and vehicle Will cooked up.

How do you coordinate with W. Maxwell Prince?
It’s always been via email. Will, as I like to call him, isn’t too keen on social media, and he barely tweets. But we’ve had a good correspondence since 2009 and have become pretty good friends. Telling stories about the apocalypse and the nature of fiction will do that to you, I guess.

How did your career start as a comic artist?
When I was in high school, I was part of a monthly anthology put together by local artists from different colleges in Cebu. This was called SUKOL comics (sukol is visayan for laban), and that was probably my first official experience of putting my stuff out there. After that I moved on to POPCORN comics, which was another Cebu-based book. In college I started BEAST BOY JOE, which would later evolve into URBAN ANIMAL. That essentially became the core of my portfolio which allowed me to work with C.B. Cebulski for his WANDERLOST graphic novels, then things just went on from there.

How long have you been drawing?
Like many artists, I’m sure, I’ve been drawing seriously since I was in my early teens. So you could say it’s been twenty years. I still have a lot to learn though, and every day I see things in my work that could be better, and then I shed a single tear, knowing it’s been twenty years.

[CHECK OUT… Prince And Amor team up again for ONE WEEK IN THE LIBRARY at Image Comics!]

Do you have any rituals or habit that you do before you draw?
Aside from the daily crying over how good Stuart Immonen is, there’s nothing of note that comes to mind. I take my coffee and read a bit, and then I work. I listen to a lot of podcasts and lectures to keep me in my seat, but nothing visual so my eyes don’t wander off.

As of now, could you tell us all the comics that you’ve worked on?ow3

There was SUKOL and POPCORN komiks, which I worked on when I was in high school. URBAN ANIMAL in college. Then were was WANDERLUST for Image. MASK OF MANOLO for Patchwork Comics. PLUCK for Zuda Comics. JUDAS the LAST DAYS for IDW, and now ONE WEEK IN THE LIBRARY for Image. There’s a bunch of projects that were in production concurrently with those last two that are still being shopped around, but I’d rather not mention them yet.

What else keeps you busy aside from illustrating comic books?

When I’m not at the desk I spend time with my wife, who is an excellent artist in her own right. I also have two insane dogs. I have a podcast called TRES KOMIKEROS, which is my weekly avenue for just geeking out. I read a lot and watch quite a bit of anime, and as often as my schedule permits I run a Dungeons and Dragons game for some friends.

Any tips for the others people who are just starting?
I’ll keep these brief because I’m sure other people have put it more eloquently:

Get proper sleep.

Draw every day.

Avoid Reddit.

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Luigi Cabrera

Enthusiast of things geeky, weird, and random. He finds peace in writing.