5 Question Interview #85

We put 5 Questions to Alex from Pipedream Comics...

What’s the secret origin story of Pipedream Comics and how did it all come together?

I wish we had some kind of exciting origin story involving cosmic rays or some kind of power ring, but the actual story is rather dull. I was working for a computer magazine in 2010 and was researching an article about comics on the iPad (which had just launched). Because I was a comic fanboy I contacted loads of writers and creators and got lots of great quotes and interviews that simply never made it into the article. So rather than see them go to waste, I started a website. it was a great time to get into digital comics as everything was so fresh and exciting thanks to this new thing called the iPad and I soon discovered an amazing range of new digital comics and apps that were being released. Not many people were covering digital only comics, so I decided to carry on.

Over the years we have tweaked our mission statement to also include indie and small press titles as I started finding out what an exciting and vibrant scene those encompassed, and also how many of them were available digitally, which meant they were eligible to be included on the site. (As the years and have gone by though, this rule has become very flexible!)

Things have then come full circle as I launched our indie fanzine The Pull List in 2016. I’ve worked in magazines for years as my day job and was so inspired by the comic creators I saw publishing their own books that I thought “I can do that” – it’s a shame I can’t draw or write well enough. So I decided to do something I knew a bit about, and make a magazine about comics instead!

What is it about Small Press Comics that you love?

I love that moment when you discover this amazing book which no-one else knows about, that you can shout about and then watch it grow. The quality of small press comics have never been better, and so many have professional quality production values that put the major publishers to shame. They also feature stories and artwork that are so much braver and more exciting than the mainstream as they don’t have to worry about sales figures or movie tie-ins. Writers and artists can just tell whatever bizarre tale they want to, however they want to tell it. Sometimes it works, and you get a new hidden gem, and sometimes they don’t, but even then they can still be pretty entertaining!

Since you started, what moment has been your highlight so far?

It’s difficult as there have been quite a few. Interviewing heroes like Mark Waid, Kurt Busiek and Mark Millar rates highly, as does launching the first issue of the Pull List and it actually selling copies to people I didn’t know! However I think the best thing has to be the reactions to our annual Digital Comic of The Year poll. The first year it was won by Madefire’s Liam Sharp (who is now on Wonder Woman) with his motion comic Captain Stone, and he actively campaigned for it to win and then put our award on the cover of his next issue – a cover which was drawn by his childhood idol Bill Sienkiewicz. Then in the second year it was won by David Lloyd’s Aces Weekly and he has used our award in some of his marketing too (that’s David Lloyd who co-created V For Vendetta using my logo!!). And then last year Electricomics won our App Of The Year and Alan Moore posted about it on Facebook while Leah Moore used our logo on their social media for most of last year too, which again was just amazing and very humbling!

This is your first year behind a table at True Believers, what can people expect to find at your table on the day?

We’re coming to True Believers to help spread the word of Pipedream Comics and The Pull List. We'll hopefully have issue #5 of The Pull List finished and ready to make it’s debut and we’ll also be running some giveaways! 

If you could pick one line that inspires you from a comic or nerd culture as your life motto, which would you choose?

Everything is better with a bit of Kirby Krackle!

Thanks Alex.

You can find more Pipedream Comics online at their website and Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @pipedreamcomics and don't forget to stop by their table at #TBCF2017 and say "Hello"!