Jamie S. Rich hosts new comics interview webseries 'From the Gutters'; sneak peek set for Rose City Comic Con Sept. 21


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 13, 2013

More info: Ryan McCluskey & Martin Vavra,

Writer/editor Jamie S. Rich is hosting "From the Gutters" -- a new original online show featuring in-depth video interviews with comic-book industry professionals. The nine-episode first season debuts on YouTube on Oct. 4 -- with a special sneak-preview event set for Portland's Rose City Comic Con on Sept. 21.

To see preview videos, visit the show's YouTube channel:


Produced by Martin Vavra and Ryan McCluskey, "From the Gutters" will begin as a weekly series, with its initial season consisting of nine episodes, each spotlighting an individual comic book personality.

"From the Gutters" Season One will feature a diverse collection of industry vets and on-the-rise superstars -- including Eisner Award-winners Matt Wagner ("The Tower Chronicles"), Becky Cloonan ("True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys"), and colorist Dave Stewart ("Hellboy"). Established behind-the-scenes pros including Bob Schreck (editor, Legendary Comics) and Eric Stephenson (publisher of Image Comics, as well as the writer of "Nowhere Men") will share the spotlight with newer talent including Ming Doyle (artist of "Mara") and such indie pioneers as Mike Allred ("Madman"), Michael Avon Oeming ("Powers"), and Ted Naifeh ("Courtney Crumrin").

Each interview will be serialized in edited segments, followed by the full-length session for those looking to go deeper into the comic-book process.


The show is produced and directed by McCluskey, with camerawork and editing done by co-producer Vavra. Each has a long resume in front of and behind the camera. The pair hatched "From the Gutters" as a way to learn more about an art form they both loved.

"Living in Portland, Oregon," McCluskey said, "we regularly bumped elbows with comic-book creators. I’ve been an avid comic book fan for years. Getting a chance to have an ‘All Access’ pass with these creators was a dream come true. Generous and amazing…every single guest.” 


McCluskey and Vavra approached Jamie S. Rich, veteran graphic-novel writer and editor they knew socially. "We'd have drinks with Jamie and he'd tell us a bunch of stories about his years in the comic-book industry," McCluskey said. "He knew everyone and had an opinion about everything. Someone needed to stick a microphone in his face."

Rich began his career in comics as an editor at Dark Horse Comics before taking over as editor-in-chief of Oni Press. He has since established himself as a writer on books that include "12 Reasons Why I Love Her" and "It Girl and the Atomics." His next major release is the original graphic novel “A Boy and a Girl,” drawn by Natalie Nourigat and set for publication by Oni Press on November 27.

"My friend and collaborator Joëlle Jones had been joking for a while that I needed to do a podcast or some kind of history about comic-book creators," Rich said. "It was kind of a no-brainer when Ryan and Martin approached me. I had grown tired of the treadmill of comics press. It's all too often a hype machine: Promote this one book that you're doing right now. It got so impersonal -- most interviewers wouldn't even ask me how my day was going. At the same time, most readers and curious laymen I'd run into had very little idea of how a comic book was made. 'From the Gutters' was a chance to change that."


In addition to discussing what inspires each creator to do what they do, each episode will showcase the art process.

"We look over Oeming's shoulder as he inks," Vavra said, "and get a breakdown from Dave Stewart of how a digitally colored page comes together. Each session is practically a master class. It's 'Inside the Comic Book Creator's Studio,' in a sense."

"That's not just figurative," McCluskey said. "When we can, we go to the artist's space an see what they do and where they do it. That means looking at the art on the walls at Bob Schreck or Mike Allred's house, or getting a cooking lesson from Matt Wagner. It's not just about ink on paper -- it's about the whole lifestyle."


"From the Gutters" will debut on a dedicated YouTube channel on Friday, Oct. 4, following an official unveiling at Rose City Comic Con ( ) on Saturday, Sept. 21.

For more information or interview requests, contact Ryan and Martin Vavra:

Twitter: @fromthegutterz