Written by Neil Greenaway
At Denver Comic Con 2016 I had the chance to sit down and talk with Joe Becker & Joe Oliver of Titties and Fangs about their take on publishing indie comics. This interview originally ran on Bleeding Cool on 6/21/2016, and you can read their version of it here.
There was a new pin-up/horror art book released at Denver Comic Con this year, called Titties and Fangs. The 18 page, magazine sized book holds full color pin-ups from some of the best and brightest talent on the Colorado indie-comics market. Several tables had the book prominently displayed, so I decided to sit down with the masterminds behind the project and see how it came about.
Neil Greenaway: So, we are here at Denver Comic Con 2016 talking to Joe Becker and Joe Oliver about their new book Titties and Fangs. I understand that you guys are both a part of Red Team Go Colorado. Is this book a part of Red Team Go or is this book a separate thing for you guys?
Joe Becker: This is a separate book. It does involve some Red Team Go members, but essentially RTGC is very family oriented, and this book is very NSFW, so we didn’t want to confuse their mission with what the content of this book had.
Joe Oliver: We do believe in both. We do drawings for kids and we do kid sponsored events. But yeah, this book is the brainchild of us because we like that stuff also, our R rated, horror themed pin-ups.
NG: How did this book come into being?
JO: It actually started as a joke, we were joking back and forth about T&A and doing horror related pin-up stuff, it turned into T&F (for fangs). I was extremely busy for this first book, so Joe B. made it happen. He worked his ass off. He contacted a lot of our friends, a lot of people in the community and artists that we know about doing pin-ups and brought it together in the last 2 and half months?
JB: Yeah. I think our conversation started in mid-February and then it really didn’t start to pick up until April. We put it together and obviously you just gave a lot of props to me, and Joe O. had a lot of input and everything, but a lot of it too was the artists that contributed to the book. They all worked hard on it. As artists ourselves we understand what goes into doing a piece like that and I can’t express my love for them enough. They all did hard work and helped me and Joe O. put together a great book.
NG: Did you have any trouble getting artists into this book or were they pretty eager the get a piece included?
JB: Both. The hardest part that we ran into a lot is scheduling. You know many artists are very booked up, and they have a lot of commissions and they’re doing their own books. So to say yeah, I’ll map out 8 to 14 hours or whatever it takes for your book, it’s kind of hard to get in there. And again, that’s why I thank so many of them that did. And the ones that committed to it and didn’t do it, I hold no ill will. Because I totally understand that. Then there were a lot of artists that were like yes! I want in, or I can’t do it now, what about the second book, can I be in that one? And the answer always is yes. We love art, both of us.
JO: We had such a good time putting this one together, we’re coming out with a second one this year as well.
NG: So is the plan then to have this be a series? Will this run on beyond #2?
JB: I think so.
JB: The difference between this and a typical comic is that ours isn’t story based at all, so there is no ‘story arc is over, we’re done.’ This is all pin-up art, horror pin-ups. And that mindset people are going to have forever. So I do, I’m hoping this will happen, maybe 3 a year or more if it really starts to pick up. We will see how the 2nd one does. We’re already working on it. Started working on it a couple weeks ago with a handful of nationally known artists, nationally recognized comic book artists are going to be doing it, or have committed anyway. So it’s already rolling for the next one. We’re working on more incentives for the artists with a Kickstarter that will be happening. As artists ourselves, we don’t want to tell them, “Hey this will be good exposure for you”. Because I know how that sounds. Joe O. and I are trying to come up with more incentives and things for them so it’s not just, “Hey you can be in a book”. It might not be money right off the bat, but there will be something.
JO: And starting off we made sure to keep that strong also. We made sure that they are compensated, like a couple issues of the book.
JB: If they want to buy more books we give them those at our cost, after their comp issues, so that they can also make money from it. I’m all about helping artists because I know a lot of people helped me.
NG: I have seen it on several tables around here today, so that’s pretty cool. Switching gears a little bit, did you both work on the new issue of Dinopocalypse?
JO: I did the last 3 pages. Roberto Martinez wrote those.
JB: I was not in that book.
NG: So you were not in the book, have you worked in the Dinopocalypse series?
JB: My contribution to the Dinopocalypse series is I designed the logo, I did the cover layout, not necessarily the art on the cover, but the general layout, the logo, things like that were my contribution. I did the second series that Red Team Go has put out. I did a coloring of one of Andrew Mark's pieces in there. But for Dinopocalypse I was more of the design aspect.
NG: Ok then, if I can ask, are there any other books that you are working on that you would like to let the world know about?
JO: RTG’s Cryptids and Cogs, which is like a full color anthology book. That one is going to be a lot of fun. We came out with the first issue for DCC, and I think the second one is either going to be fall or spring, but coming out pretty quick. Personally, Laser Party is going strong, I have a new sketchbook and I’m working on my own personal comic which will be a collection of short horror stories.
JB: Myself, I have a whole world I am writing essentially. I have a novel I am writing. It’s a series of short stories; the first arc is six of them. I have about 3 stories done. So I am going to try to have them written before I start releasing things. Then I started working on a comic that is in the same world but is set both before and after the world. It is a steampunk zombie story, the difference is this is not just zombies that are fighting steampunk creatures or steampunk people. When you get infected you turn into a steampunk creature. So, your bones start to turn to metal. You get furnaces that start to grow and boil your blood. Fun stuff like that, really fun. It’s a fun story to write and everyone that’s read the first three parts has absolutely loved it. I actually just came up and started mapping out the 4th part, which actually takes place about 200 years in the future from where we are now. I don’t know, I don’t even want to get into it. I could talk about it for hours.
NG: It’s huge.
JB: It is.
JO: I’ve read the roughs and they’re awesome.
NG: All right. If someone wanted to see more of your work online, where would they go?
JB: Definitely Facebook is the easiest way to find me. You can also search online Joe Becker Big Blue Head that will show you a lot of my deviant art and my personal store envy shop which is where Titties and Fangs will end up for online purchases if we have any left after this show. But yeah you can easily find me just search my name or Big Blue Head and there I am.
NG: And for you sir?