Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
Current neighborhood: Hyde Park
Who or what is your sidekick? Peoplewise, Dennis Hopeless is my longtime friend and co-creator on a few of the comic books/graphic novels I’ve done. Nonpersonwise, my phone and iPad. I’m hopelessly addicted to mobile technology. I have an EVO 3D (bought before I knew there’d be an iPhone at Sprint) and iPad 2. Both are loaded up with everything I need to draw/write/conduct almost all my business I need to that’s not the actual finished art.
What career would you choose in an alternate reality? Guitarist-songwriter. I’ve been in and out of bands since I was 13. Owning/running a studio would be an option as well.
What was the last local restaurant you patronized? The Westport Café has been a recent good dining experience. Had tuna niçoise for the first time there a week or two ago. Been trying to turn around my opinion on eating fish, so that was a solid nose dive into raw fish.
Where do you drink? The Riot Room, RecordBar, McCoy’s, the Flea
Where do you like to take out-of-town guests? I recently took a couple of out-of-towners around and tried to find just one or two areas to show them, and ended up taking them all over the damn place. I used to dislike living here but I’ve grown to like it, and it felt kind of nice to be able to show off so many different areas. Crossroads, Westport, River Market are my go-tos, though.
Finish this sentence: “Kansas City screwed up when it …” Built its sports arenas outside the city proper.
Finish this sentence: “Kansas City got it right when it …” As much negative shit as it gets (and deserves), the Power & Light and Sprint Center are a HUGE improvement on an area of town that was blighted and depressing before. Bad comes with good, but overall I’d say that area and the city itself are much better off now.
What TV show are you embarrassed to admit you watch? Most of them. You’re talking to a man who tweets about watching Columbo and Murder, She Wrote. Recent guilty pleasure has been Hart of Dixie. It’s fucking awful and 99 kinds of horrifying writing and acting, but that’s how much I love Rachel Bilson. I’m a simple man — what can I say?
_______ takes up a lot of space in my iTunes: The Mars Volta, Clutch, Tool, Pearl Jam, Deftones, Uhh Yeah Dude.
What movie do you watch at least once a year? I have a few. Ghostbusters, Die Hard, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Godfather, Young Frankenstein. Obviously I’m an intellectual who likes to think about things in a weighty and scholarly manner.
Celebrity you’d like to take on a gondola ride: This is going to be an odd choice and probably not instantly recognizable to most, but Angela Lindvall.
Favorite person or thing to follow on Twitter: My friends. I am lucky enough to be friends with a very, very funny group of people both in town and across the nation. I’m amused and cracked up daily by most everyone I follow. They’re all amazing people. (Is that a cop-out answer or what?)
Person or thing you find really irritating at this moment: Internal answer: myself. It was recently brought to my attention that I was being an egotistical douche about some stuff. So I’ve been annoying the shit out of myself about “fixing” that. Becoming a better person is hard work. I can see why I put it off so often. External answer: Everything being a “cause.”
What subscription — print, digital, etc. — do you value most? I’ve got a “lifetime” print subscription to Rolling Stone that I’ve had for … fuck … at least a decade now. I was buying them every month for about a decade before that. (I’m 32, so at least since I started playing guitar at 12, 13). It’s a real love-hate relationship, for sure, but it’s been a part of my life for so long, I can’t really think of a time when I won’t be getting it.
What is your most embarrassing dating moment? Try all of them. I’m the worst at dating. I say the wrong thing, I make the wrong move. Always. Sigh. I’m the guy every mother loves but their daughter doesn’t want to fuck. It’s awesome being the “nice guy,” lemme tell ya.
What was the most important thing you learned in school? That while life sometimes mimics high school, it’s not. It’s a much richer and deeper experience that we are, at best, ill-prepared for by formal schooling. But I will say that high school taught me to get along with almost anyone in almost any situation — a valuable experience being in bands and now as an artist who travels the country for conventions. Being able to talk to anyone in any situation is a skill it took me awhile to realize a lot of people don’t have. College taught me how to put my head down and work and find a way to be passionate about work I’m initially not enthused about. I obviously went to the wrong college because I should have learned about much more debauched things.
People might be surprised to know that I ______: Own a ukulele. I haven’t played it in a while, but at one time I taught myself some Smashing Pumpkins songs on it.
Describe a recent triumph: My graphic novel, Lovestruck (Image Comics), with writer and co-creator Dennis Hopeless, finally came out after a very, very long process of working on it over the course of four years. I bled on every page for that damn thing. I put everything I’d ever been through emotionally into the art and making it, so to have it come out after all the problems and hurdles that it and we as the creators went through … fuckin’ A.