Welcome to our first ever “Inktober Winner Edition” of CXC Creator Spotlight.
Today we are joined by the 2017 CXC Inktober Winner, Joe Francis Totti!
During this year’s Inktober, Joe took the road less traveled and created an entire Comic over the 31 day period. Slow rolling a terrifyingly good mini-horror, delighting his Instagram followers with every gruesome panel. It’s for this reason our selection team chose Joe as our winner and we thought you’d all enjoy getting to know this talented writer, illustrator and graphic designer as much as we did.
Let’s get to the interview!
Hello Joe! First off, congratulations on winning our first ever CXC Inktober Contest! The hundreds of entries we received from incredible artists made choosing very difficult, but your work came out on top as the clear winner this year. A truly exceptional execution of Inktober, we tip our hats sir!
Now, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your work.
Joe: My name is Joe Francis Totti, I’m 29 years of age and based in Liverpool in the Uk, My profession is Freelance Graphic Designer, but my love, life, and passion are reserved for comics (and my wife haha). I have worked in the creative industry for the past 7 years. Only in the past few years did I puck up the courage to jump into indie comics and social media and try to find my footing in the industry. That is something I am still working on daily to find haha.
What kind of comics do you create?
Joe: So far they all seem to have a dark tone, I find myself working on Horror or Science fiction, but I like to make sure there is humour in everything I work on. It brings you out of the misery and grimness.
When did you get your start?
Joe: I like to think I’m still waiting for it haha!
What made you decide to start making comics, how did you get into it?
Joe: I have one of those personalities, I cant just enjoy something I have to be involved in the things I love, so naturally, I found myself craving the idea of making my own stories up and drawing them.
How about your graphic design career? Did you attend art school, or are you self-taught?
Joe: I studied under two amazing teachers, Alan Baker and Paul C, but even they would say University sets you deadlines and it’s your job to teach yourself.
How do the two occupations complement/ clash with each other? Do you have a favourite?
Joe: It really helps me with compositional work and understanding programs like photoshop & illustrator. So this helps with the colouring and lettering of my work and understanding the print process, but I love comics, they wipe the floor with design hahaha!
What do you see as the biggest obstacle to your success?
Joe: I like to feel like I’m yet to be successful to help me keep pushing haha (ever the pessimist haha) but I would say allowing people to work with me and not being a control freak and doing all the work myself.
What’s the one thing (tool, process, etc) that you absolutely could not live without during the creative process?
Joe: My Mac (computer not jacket) haha.
What resources do you rely on for illustration?
Joe: I love to use my little notebook and fine liners (when traditional) and my Yiynova graphics tablet when working digitally.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the comic realm?
Joe: I would have to say, Tony More, Rick Remender, Daniel Warren Johnson, James Harren, and Mike Spicer all masters of there craft!
Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from?
Joe: Usually, a situation sparks a weird idea then I jot it down and develop it from there. Conversations are really important to the process as well, tell people about your ideas it really helps.
What does your workspace look like?
Tell us a funny story JOE!
Joe: Aha! Last year at thought bubble festival I had an opportunity to meet one of my heroes in comics, Jeff Lemire, creator of one of my favourite books Sweet tooth. We had a conversation at my table and he said come over and say hey and I’ll draw you a quick doodle of Gus. So I head to his table I stood there like a deer in headlights and he said: “what’s your name again so I can sign this?” I said, Joe. The room was loud so he said “Jon?” (I thought) so I said, “With an N?” And he said “Joe with an N?” I said “I’m not sure” ….. he then said “do you know how to spell your name?” haha so I went red-cheeked and slumped away from the table embarrassed, but he gave me the drawing below. He was a great guy, gave me multiple prints and books.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years creatively?
Joe: Like most creators, I have dreams of releasing a book with image comics, but I will be happy as long as I’m still making comic books.
What do you think the big publishers could learn from the Indie scene and vice versa?
Joe: I like both for different reasons, I would say they both serve a purpose as well, but there is a real sense of levity with characters in indie comics I would love to see in the big two but, would that be destroying what I love about them? Haha tricky question.
That just about wraps it up Joe, any final thoughts?
Joe: I would love to share my projects I’ve recently been involved with. They are: The Landings, being published through Markosia. It’s a sci-fi horror, super hammy like the old cinema, a bit like (it came from beneath the sea) this is with writer Elijah James. Also a project with Matt fitch and Dead Canary Comics called “Eye in the sky”. This is part of an anthology called “Adventures in science” out next week through the Dead Canary Comics website, http://www.deadcanarycomics.com/product/adventures-in-science/ Another is Self-made hero’s The Corbyn Comic. I worked on a 3-page story in this anthology called – Lethal Corbyn III – with Chris Baker also of Dead Canary Comics. I realize I’m rambling now, but look out for my social media for news on the printing of mine and Matt Fitches Inktober comic that we will be printing in the next few months! 🙂
Awesome! This has been such a pleasure Joe! How can people find out more about you and the work you do?
Joe: You can find me @thelifeoftotti on both Instagram and Twitter thank you for all the support through Inktober.
Well, that’s it for this Creator Spotlight! Thanks so much for joining us. Make sure you follow Joe on all his social platforms, you’re gonna’ want to keep an eye on this talented guy! I think we’ll see great things from Mr. Totti! Who knows, maybe one day he’ll misspell your name at Comic-con!