Laura Guzzo: A to Z Challenge

 

The thing that I’m loving about doing the interviews with 26 or so different female comic book artists is that they are so talented and amazing in a million ways. It’s not so weird that I want them all to be my new BFF’s right? For example, Laura Guzzo and I could sit around talking about our love for David Mack and drinking ginger beer.

What was the first thing that you were proud of drawing?

The earliest drawing I can remember getting excited about was a sketch of an avenging angel based off of a Magic The Gathering card. It was the first time I’d drawn a human figure that looked halfway decent. Prior to that, I mostly drew animals. I can still picture the card clearly- She was wearing red and gold armor and looked fierce and lovely and full of righteous fury. I was in middle school at the time and I’ve searched for that particular MTG card ever since, but I’ve never been able to find one with the right artwork.

What are you working on now?

My most recent piece was a variant cover for the comic Girls’ Heist Out! GHO is a heist story with an all-female cast that is very well written, beautifully illustrated, and extremely fun. I had the pleasure of reading the script for issue #1 before almost anyone else and I’m so very excited to see where Rob Wieland takes from here. Our Kickstarter campaign just ended last week and we were able to get it fully funded, so we’re all very excited about that!

Who has influenced you the most as an artist?

That is an extremely difficult question… As a comic artist, I’d have to say David Mack. His art style was so unlike like anything else I’d ever seen on the shelves, I noticed it immediately. He’s a major part of why I was interested in Daredevil when I was younger, and his Echo storyline is still one of my all-time favorites. I’m just sick of comics that have that glossy digital aesthetic going on. It’s boring. David Mack was extremely influential to me as a young artist because he showed me that it’s possible for beautiful art to succeed at finding an audience, even if it doesn’t fit in with the standard industry style.

Who is your favorite female superhero/villain/comic book character?

If we’re talking the traditional/western/tights & capes kind of super heroine, then I’d choose Black Widow. In some of the older Daredevil comics, she’s portrayed as a self-reliant, morally ambiguous kind of character, which is far more interesting to me then someone who fits neatly into the hero/villain role. I always liked the fact that Black Widow never really sided with the good guys or the bad guys- it was more like she was on her own side, if that makes any sense.

…That being said, if I’m allowed to pick ANY comic heroine, then my answer is Battle Angel Alita (from the manga of the same name), hands down. I absolutely LOVE that character!! She has a very attractive duality to her nature. She’s portrayed as extremely vulnerable, both physically and emotionally, but at the same time, she possesses both the skills and the passion necessary to pose a significant threat to opponents much larger and stronger than she. The original series is a great read and I recommend it highly.

Do you think people expect a certain type of art from you since you are female?

I don’t know if people expect a certain type of art from me because of my gender, but I CAN say that it is irritatingly common for people to approach me at conventions and express their disbelief that the art on display is mine. Whenever I ask a male friend to assist me at a convention, more often than not, people will speak to them as if they were the creator of my work- despite the fact that they are standing in front of a giant banner behind me with my name and face on it.   Just last year, after telling someone that I was actually the artist and they straight up called me a liar. It’s extremely frustrating to say the least.

How often do you go to comic book conventions? Do you enjoy conventions?

I love working the convention circuit! It’s exhausting, but so so rewarding. I used to travel a lot more than I do right now. A year or two ago, you would’ve seen me at over a dozen major conventions across the east coast and many of the smaller local shows, but I’ve recently had to scale back to a few core favorites. The next one on my calendar is Wizard World Philadelphia in June.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

I’m definitely an introvert. I can “turn it on” when I’m at a con, but honestly, I function best when I’m interacting with someone one-on-one. It takes a lot out of me to interact with a crowd and after the show floor closes for the night, I don’t really get to recharge until I’m somewhere quiet and isolated.

Where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from all over. It comes from my love for the beauty of the human figure and my bone-deep fascination with the wonders of the natural world. From my weeaboo roots as an anime loving teenager and my obsession with art nouveau. Movies I like, half-remembered dreams, you name it. Anything I find interesting is bound to influence my art somehow, often in ways I don’t expect.

What do you do if you have writer’s block?

Whenever I’m having trouble moving forward on a specific project, I try to research the subject matter and surround myself with reference material. For example, if I was trying to draw a knight, but didn’t know where to start- I’d look up photographs of armor from different cultures and time periods. I’d seek out illustrations that are similar to what I’m trying to accomplish, since it’s useful to see how other artists where able to communicate the concepts and emotions I want my image to invoke.

But when it comes to the type of “writer’s block” where you’re just feeling so drained that you don’t want to draw anything, I try to work on smaller creative projects just to keep the juices flowing. Weaving, painting dragons on eggshells, that sort of thing. Something to keep my momentum going without burning out the circuits.

Beverage of choice?

Right now I’m going through a ginger beer phase. There are few things more refreshing than a good Dark & Stormy cocktail, made with Reed’s ginger beer and Gosling’s Black Seal rum. It’s my go-to drink at the moment.

When was the last time that you dressed up for Halloween?

A better question would be: When was the last time I didn’t dress up for Halloween? (Answer = NEVER) I’ve been blessed with a mother who knows how to sew and who is willing to humor me year after year. In 2015, I dressed as Chun-Li from Street Fighter and it looked A-MA-ZING!

What do you want people to know about you?

That I make art and it is for sale! You can purchase prints and all manner of three-dimensional merchandise with my art on it at my RedBubble shop. And for art collectors interested in the originals, many of those are on sale at the Comic Art House.

 

Laura Guzzo on Twitter

 

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About holley4734

I could be the worst cook in America. My boyfriend tells his friends about my cooking disasters. I'm glad someone is amused. I like movies, music, comic books and corny jokes. View all posts by holley4734

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