|photo courtesy of Isiah Tanenbaum|
Hometown: New York City
Education: Parsons The New School for Design
Favorite Credits: Masterpiece Comics (a graphic novel published by Drawn And Quarterly), Carousel (live comics performances around NYC and North America). Have contributed drawings and/or comics to The Onion, MAD, The New Yorker, SpongeBob Comics, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and more. I also drew this year's image for The Brick's Comic Book Theater Festival (with Romeo & Juliet as Superman & Betty).
Why theater?: I love the immediacy and energy of theater, and I've been making shows with comics for many years.
Tell us about Masterpiece Comics Theater: Masterpiece Comics Theater is "Where Classics and Cartoons Collide!" This hour long multimedia show adapts my graphic novel “Masterpiece Comics” and its sequel stories, and features re-tellings of classic literature in the styles of popular American comics. Inspired by epic poetry, Gothic romance, and Elizabethan tragedy, as well as superhero stories, cat cartoons, and gum wrappers, Masterpiece Comics Theater uses projections, a rotating cast of voice actors, and live sound effects.In my comics, I try to honor both classic literature and popular culture, with sincerity and absurdity. Similarly, the show will revel in the serious and the silly, and the immortal and the disposable.
What inspired you to create Masterpiece Comics Theater?: I love reading and adapting my comics in performance. My ongoing live show Carousel features cartoonists. performers, musicians, and other storytellers who present their work using slides or other projections. I've done shows at The Brick before, and really enjoyed being part of their previous Comic Book Theater Festival. I was excited when Executive Producer Jeff Lewonczyk suggested we do a full show of my own work.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: When I came to NY over 20 years ago, I was very excited by the performance art scene in spaces like The Kitchen, Franklin Furnace, Dixon Place, and Performance Space 122. The shows I saw then had a huge impact on my ideas about theater.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Herman Melville.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: I'll recommend other shows in the Comic Book Theater Festival! I'd start with 3D COMICS ALIVE! by Jason Little, on June 7. He'll be reading 3-D comics from the 1950's through the 1980's, with 3D projections (glasses provided). A spectacle that combines two great fads (genre comic books and 3D) in one show. A number of my Carousel contributors are doing shows in the Festival, so check the schedule for more info.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: The movie is in development limbo, and we've got to do rewrites.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Since I make comics about comics, my whole job is inspired by what others might call "guilty pleasures." Batman comics, Garfield books, Transformer graphic novels -- they're all research.
What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: Let's say "Moby DIck" by Led Zeppelin.
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Making more comics?
What’s up next?: More Carousel shows are coming up, watch carouselslideshow.com for more details. And I have comics coming out in SpongeBob Comics (this June) and The Graphic Canon of Children's Literature (this fall). http://catalog.sevenstories.com/products/the-graphic-canon-of-childrens-literature
For more, visit rsikoryak.com and http://carouselslideshow.com