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Q&A With Queer Press Grant Recipient Steve MacIsaac!
by David Stanley, posted September 8th, 2010
[Print-ready Version]

With the 2010 Queer Press Grant deadline just days away (September 15th, which will be here before you can scream "Bieber Fever!"), we're catching up with the past QPG recipients. This time, we're happy to check in with Steve MacIsaac, who was the very first QPG recipient for his submission Shirtlifter.

DAVID: How are you? How’s your summer been?

STEVE: Summer has been busy, but not with comics so much. It's the busiest time of the year at my day job, and the weather gets nice, so I don't get nearly as much drawing done as I should. Got to take a trip back to where I grew up in Nova Scotia for the first time in three years though, so that was fun.

DAVID: What’s your latest project? Is it out yet? And where can people see it or get a hold of it?

STEVE: Working on the fourth issue of Shirtlifter. I have been serializing a rough draft online at the Modern Tales website and am about a month away from completion. After that I have to go through and make edits and revisions - likely getting rid of some panels and pages, adding others, redrawing others. Hoping to have the finished product out by Spring 2011 at the latest.

DAVID: How do you put everything aside and find the time and space to create? Do you have to banish yourself from everyone and all your gadgets?

STEVE: It's hard. It's one of the reasons that there has been such as delay between issues #3 and #4. I usually set aside one day on the weekend for comics work, and then do some work throughout the week as I can. Some weeks I get more work done than others, depending on the demands of my day job.

Trying to set deadlines for myself is one of the reasons why I serialize online at Modern Tales, even though my comic is pretty much incomprehensible as a webcomic. I have to have work ready to post every Monday and Thursday, forcing me to draw even when I don't especially feel like it.

DAVID: How was Comic-Con? Did you have any interesting fan encounters? And did you get to meet any of your heroes?

STEVE: It was a pleasure meeting Howard Cruse at ComicCon. He's a sweet, intelligent and articulate man.

DAVID: What thing are you excited about at the moment—a song, book, movie, person, app, pastry bag—that everyone else should be excited about?

STEVE: Just picked up William Messner -Loeb's first Journey collection from IDW. I never managed to track down every issue of the original, and I think I read it all out of order anyway. Really enjoying revisiting his open page designs, organic brushwork, and skill with dialect.

DAVID: Tell us about the comic book, character, artist or writer who inspired you to become a comics creator.

STEVE: I only get to pick one? That's a hard choice, but I would probably have to go with Jaime Hernandez. Not only because he's a virtuoso draughtsman who can draw anything, and challenging storyteller who trusts his audience's intelligence and ability to make narrative leaps of faith, but also because Maggie and Hopey were the first positive, nonjudgmental depiction of LGBT characters I encountered in comics. He set the bar for realistic portrayals of queer characters very very high, and it’s a standard that still informs how I approach my own work.

DAVID: What’s up for the future?

STEVE: I have a couple of older pieces being reprinted in upcoming anthologies. My collaboration with my partner Todd is reprinted in the Best American Comics 2010 anthology from Houghton Mifflin, while my short story "Amanuensis" has been reprinted in Best Erotic Comics Vol. 3.

STEVE: I am finishing Shirtlifter #4, which is the second part of my graphic novel Unpacking. The third and final part will be in Shirtlifter #5, which I will start as soon as I finish #4 - hopefully I will have #5 out by the end of 2012.

DAVID: How can people learn about your work, follow you, or contact you?

STEVE: Best bet is to go to my website - www.stevemacisaac.com.

DAVID: Thanks, Steve!

(If you noticed that these are the very same questions that we used for our Pam Harrison interview—congratulations. If I had a No Prize, I'd give it to you although since it didn't exist, there'd be nothing to give. I'd like the envelope it came in, though!)


David Stanley is Prism's Co-President & PR Chair and working on stuff, you'll see.

Prism Comics promotes the works of the LGBT community in comics. It does not implicitly endorse any other material or products associated with those works. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s).


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