Mark Tatulli talks about Lio and cartooning

I’m a bit late with this one, but it’s a good read (and listen if you’re into the podcast scene). Mr. Media has an extensive interview with Mark Tatulli who created last years comic breakout strip Lio.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

ANDELMAN:Have you ever in the time you have been doing this strip, have you had an idea, you woke up in the morning or in the middle of the night or you are in the shower, wherever you get your ideas, you had an idea for the strip that would have required him to say something, and then you went, oh, and you slap yourself on the head and go, ah, that’s right, he doesn’t talk, it’s not going to work?

TATULLI:No, no, because I don’t think that way when I do these strips. It’s all visual, and so my brain is just switched in that mode. It’s odd, because I do have another comic strip called Heart of the City, and it is dialogue-driven or script-driven, and I hear their voices. I put them in situations, and I see how they react, and there is dialogue, but with LIO, because I don’t put any dialogue in, I just don’t hear a voice.

ANDELMAN:It must require a tremendous amount of, oh, what’s the word I’m looking for, I mean, focus, to not want to slip and go to words, especially because you have the other strip where you are used to putting words in people’s mouths.

TATULLI:Well, again, you know, I just don’t even think in terms of that. That’s not even an option. The other strip is dialogue-driven, and like I said, I hear the voices, but when it comes to LIO, I am just thinking visually, completely visually.

ANDELMAN:What other rules have you set for this strip? What parameters are there?

TATULLI:There are no parameters.


TATULLI:It’s really a basic concept. It’s just LIO who lives with his father, and that’s basically it, and whatever I come up with. I set no parameters because I didn’t want to lock myself in. I mean, having no dialogue means that there is going to be no dialogue-driven gags, so I have to leave myself as open as possible to any kind of thing, so anything basically can happen.

Other questions include the relationship between Lio and his father, the world the Lio lives in, how Mark produces the ideas for Lio, his other strip Heart of the City and others.

10 thoughts on “Mark Tatulli talks about Lio and cartooning

  1. I was one of your art teachers in high school. I’m so proud of you, Mark.I love Heart of the City. But Lio is fantastic. I wish you great sucess with it. Fondly, Ms. Denzler

  2. Ms. Denzler! Holy crap! The one teacher I had that let me do what I wanted! You gave me an “A” in art without forcing me to follow the curriculum. What a great teacher! Of course, Mr Dexter and Ms Crosby were great too, but you were a bohemian! Thanks for caring!

  3. Ha! I love Mark’s reaction above! Classic!

    I also had an art teacher in HS (Mr. Yee) who let me do my own thing, which was comic book art and cartooning. He even compiled a portfolio of four years of my work and submitted it to UCLA where I was offered a four year art scholarship unbenownst to me. Unfortunately I had already joined the Army.

    There should be more Mr. Yee’s and Ms. Denzler’s in the world.

  4. Wow. My HS art teacher Mr. Madison was the same way. It was the only class I ever got consistant A’s in just for drawing cartoons.

  5. Congrats on the continued success of your innovative strip! Pretty cool about your art teacher too!

    My son had a great one like that this year … they can really bring out the interest and creativity in people.

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