Meet a Local Cartooning Couple: A Chat With Liz and Jimmy Reed
You may have spotted Liz and Jimmy Reed at the first Awesome Con in D.C. this spring. Together, the married couple cartoons about food in a variety of media, including webcomics, minicomics, and sculptural dioramas. Arts Desk spoke to the duo, who answered our questions as a single human unit.
Washington City Paper: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?
Liz and Jimmy Reed: We're a mixed media webcomic at CuddlesAndRage.com with posts twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays). We also create stand-alone books and provide a weekly diorama to HelloGiggles.com.
WCP: How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?
L&JR: We use a combination. Our Monday comics are ink and colored pencil. Our Wednesday comics are made from polymer clay, dollhouse furniture, and a variety of other components.
WCP: When and where were you born?
L&JR: Liz: 1980s in Baytown,Texas. Jimmy: The very late '70s in Ellwood City, Penn.
WCP: Why are you in Washington now? What neighborhood or area do you live in?
L&JR: We work in the D.C. area and currently live in Columbia, Md.
WCP: What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
L&JR: We're self-taught cartoonists and sculptors. Informally, we've learned a lot from talking with and watching other artists work. We've been seriously making comics for the past three years and can definitely see a progression over that time.
WCP: Who are your influences?
L&JR: We have a lot of varied influences between us. We're both big fans of pop culture, horror, and humor, and draw inspiration from quite a few places and things. A few recent discussions between us have involved The Smiths, Bioshock, John Carpenter, King of Kong, and Shel Silverstein. Some of our current favorite comics and cartoonists are Scott C., Dustin Harbin, Hellboy, Saga, Francesco Francavilla, Robby and Bobby, and Buttersafe.
WCP: If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?
L&JR: We would have attended the Small Press Expo a lot sooner! We started exhibiting at SPX in 2011. It was also our first time to attend the convention. There are so many amazing independent artists there. You will always leave SPX feeling inspired.
WCP: What work are you best known for?
L&JR: Our dioramas are probably the most distinct element of our comic. We have been fortunate to share our diorama work at HelloGiggles.com and at Gallery1988 in Los Angeles.
WCP: What work are you most proud of?
L&JR: Sticking with creating the comic for so long and consistently! The lifespan of webcomics can be short lived. It’s always challenging when you find a new comic and they either die out shortly after you discover them or don't post consistently. We try to make a huge effort to stick with our schedule and really respect our fans.
WCP: What would you like to do or work on in the future?
L&JR: We'd like to get into stop-motion animation. We have tons of background stories with our one panel comics and would love to expand on them through video shorts.
WCP: What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
L&JR: Our comic mainly involves food and animals. We have a little game we play where we each make a list of foods and animals then swap lists. We then write jokes for each other's list, trying to make the other person laugh. We're fortunate to have each other to bounce ideas back and forth.
WCP: What do you think will be the future of your field?
L&JR: The indie-comics world seems to be in a bit of a boom right now. It is so exciting and inspiring to see so many diverse artists coming forward to share their work. Creativity is contagious, hopefully the trend continues for many years to come!
WCP: What local cons do you attend? Besides the Small Press Expo—Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?
L&JR: We attend as many comic shows as we can. Last year we attended or exhibited at Small Press Expo, AwesomeCon, Annapolis Comic-Con, Southern Maryland Comic-Con, and Baltimore Comic-Con. We're also always on the hunt for miniatures, so we've worked a few of those conventions in as well. The D.C. area has some really great conventions!
WCP: What's your favorite thing about D.C.?
WCP: Least favorite?
L&JR: The traffic, for sure. There are so many great things to do here, if only they were more quickly accessible!
WCP: What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?
L&JR: The Lincoln Memorial is always a must see when friends are in town.