Dana Simpson + Phoebe and Her Unicorn = Success

Alex Deuben interviews Dana Simpson.

This spring saw the publication of a new collection of strips, Unicorn of Many Hats, and Today I’ll Be a Unicorn, Simpson’s first board book. In August Andrews McMeel is publishing a collection of some of Simpson’s Ozy and Millie comics, and this fall will see the publication of a second Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novel. Simpson is also working on a graphic memoir and we spoke about these many projects and how she works. – Alex Dueben

How does your work method differ on the graphic novels than from the strip format?

If a story doesn’t go longer than one or two weeks, I can just write it and see what happens. Writing something longer requires a lot more structure, and that was something I had never done before. I had to work with an outline, and then plan the whole thing out in a much more formal way than I ever do with the strip. It’s a lot to keep track of in a way that writing the strip isn’t. It requires structure and organization and those are not my strong suits. So it’s a good thing I have an editor.

First I write it out as an outline and then my editor Shena and I go over that. Then I sit down and start doing page layouts and a really sketchy version of the art so it’s clear to me and to Shena what’s going on in each panel. Having done that I sit down and make the finished art. It’s those three steps. Outline, very rough layout version, and then tackling the finished art. I’m all digital. I have been for about ten years. Ozy and Millie was mostly done on paper. All but the final two months. You can see if you read it. But Phoebe was always all digital. I like it that way. I miss in some ways having finished art on paper than I can show people, but I really like how I can undo anything. I think it causes me to take more chances and makes me a better artist.

Read the complete interview at The Comics Journal.







One thought on “Dana Simpson + Phoebe and Her Unicorn = Success

  1. It is so encouraging to see Dana’s success. Every time I think my dream is imploding, I look to her for inspiration.

    Thanks Dana for inspiring so many of us who are reaching for the stars, dreaming of syndication. Your work is imaginative and extremely creative. I am sure this is ONLY the beginning for you and your epic journey.

    – Davy Jones
    creator of Charmy’s Army

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