Karl Slominski, “Floater”
KARL SLOMINSKI is the illustrator of the graphic novels Tad Caldwell & the Monster Kid, Golgotha, Run Like Hell, and the upcoming Ashes. He is a graduate of the Kubert School of Cartooning and Graphic Art, and currently lives in upstate New York. Karl can be found online at Slomotion Art, and through his alias, Kid Reverie.
I went to art school, but I have no delusions of grandeur — I should have gone to janitorial school. I’ve been working at a record store for two years. Growing up, the record store and the comic store were places of solace. I liked comics and music — I love what I love. Now I’m living the fantasy, working in a record store and making comics. It’s like every John Hughes movie blended into a Psychedelic Furs song.
I went to the comic school never having read Jim Lee’s X-Men. I’d started from Jack Kirby and Carmine Infantino, then moved to Vertigo, then to bandes dessinées. I didn’t have much money, so I was raised on the quarter bin — I got old OMAC and Fantastic Four and the Marvel Star Wars for pennies on the dollar. It was the purest form of discovery for me.
I think the earliest thing I did that my mom saved was from 1993. I was six or seven, but I had it down — six panels, my own ads, back page ads for movies that didn’t exist! I was neurotic about duplicating comics.
I’ve done other stuff besides comics, but nothing really stuck. I was burnt out after the Kubert school, so I did a band for awhile. But even then I was still doing a book or two at a time, making a decent page rate right out of school. Balancing a band and comics was tough, but ultimately comics was the thing. I detoured, but I never strayed.
ON THE FEAR OF IRRELEVANCE
I secretly fear being a guy who people haven’t heard of. I want recognition. I’m finally seeing my hard work and persistence and arrogance pay off, and my stuff is finally seeing print — but it’s stuff from five years ago! In Karl-land, thats a huge leap. The way I drew five years ago isn’t how I drew two years ago, how I drew two years ago isn’t now! But in indie comics publishing it takes forever and a day, so there’s a lot of Not Karl coming out in between.
I have mental breakdowns on a weekly basis. That’s the downside to being cutthroat with yourself. I like the page I’m drawing for the duration of the time I’m working on it, and then I hate it. I may see it for what is when it comes out on print. It’s like a bad relationship — ‘Oh, maybe that was good for me.’
ON STYLE AND THE FUTURE
I come from a self-aggrandizing perspective — I make pretentious comics. I see it as an art form. I’m working on two books right now — Teeter Topple and Star Child. With Star Child I’m doing full script. You hear all the time that ‘artists can’t be writers,’ so I’ve scripted the first two issues to prove I can do it. Now I’m shopping it around. But Teeter Topple will be three books, three acts. It’s my creation through to the end.
I never drew Wolverine. I never drew Batman. I had no interest. Everything I’ve done was stuff I wanted to see that I haven’t seen. There’s people who work for the Big Two, but that’s not me. I just have stories I think people will enjoy — it’s arrogant, but it’s true.
Below: Click the top left image to enjoy a Teeter Topple sneak preview.
Want to be considered for future installments of The New Comics? Send your best work to Comics Curator Keith McCleary via the Entropy submissions page.