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Fill in the Blank: Tonci Zonjic

Comic Books

Fill in the Blank: Tonci Zonjic

In which creators share their pointed insights on modern comics.

As part of our new campaign of ongoing features, we’ve already released the debut editions for Post-Game (with Mark Russell) and A Day in the Life (with Karla Pacheco). We end the week by unveiling Fill in the Blank, in which creators enlighten us with their thoughts on the comics industry through the medium of informal questionnaire. It’s a neat opportunity for our favorite artists and writers to share some very specific insights, news, and commentary about the wonderful (and sometimes weird) medium we all adore so dearly.

Artist Tonci Zonjic is the first to tackle Fill in the Blank, sharing some perspectives on his personal motto, his fandoms, the future of comics, and much more. Mostly recently, Zonjic teamed with Jeff Lemore for the excellent Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy series. (You can read the first issue for free.). His credits include Immortal Iron Fist, Jake Ellis, Hellboy, and JSA, among others.

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Fill in the Blank: Tonci Zonjic

Every day I tell myself, “What do you make?” But as they say in No Country for Old Men, maybe I should, “commence dedicating myself twice daily — and it might come to three times before it’s over.”

My favorite story/piece of art in all of comics I don’t have a favorite (or a ranked top 10, or top 100). That said, 20th Century Boys.

The one rule for writing/drawing I stand by is the reader has seen and lived through complex things and times, has met and dealt with complicated humans; they can understand nuance and subtext and everything else you can ever possibly put into it — so don’t treat them like an idiot or rip them off. That tends to solve the majority of writing and drawing problems.

The first thing I ever had published made me feel excited, since I was 15; ambivalent, since I then proceeded to not get paid for it, first for about five years, [and] then never; and embarrassed, since the biography included with it also included the entire e-mail I had sent. So all in all, a pretty good lesson right at the start.

The one thing I want to do with my work someday is make a personal comic that’s longer than eight pages.

People don’t read comic books because [redacted].

The one writer/artist everyone sleeps on is Simon Roy. [Editor’s Note: Check out Roy’s work on Protector from Image Comics.]

The one thing all heroes need (visually) is more character than being a “badass.” Some color, too.

The one secret to drawing I’ll actually reveal is often sheer time solves things no amount of conscious effort on your part ever will. Both in terms of sometimes not looking at a page for a day or two, and in terms of years when it comes to learning the craft.

If I could draw one comic and/or character it would the one I’m writing for myself in the evenings. It’s much longer than eight pages.

Comics in 10-15 years will all share two key qualities: A large portion will probably scroll instead of thinking in terms of pages. And they will be even more segregated into very separated niches and audiences. (Predictions are always famously inaccurate; I’d be more than happy to be wrong on both.)

When I get a new project, the first thing I do is throw the usual list of “Things You’re Supposed To Do” out the window.

Fill in the Blank: Tonci Zonjic

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