Monday, May 08, 2017

Highbrow.com interview with "But Like Maybe?" writer Dru Radovich

click here for the article
Dru Radovich of STX Entertainment- also 1/2 of the cult comic brand but Like Maybe- talks defying the job-odds without a Bachelor’s Degree, using comics and T.V. as a vehicle to address uncomfortable topics, and being O.K. with not knowing all the answers.
How she turned a dream internship into a real job:
“I started in film at Endgame Entertainment. I was a baby intern, and I was also the intern who would never leave [laughs]. After the summer, I wanted to stay, so they promoted me to receptionist where I was assisting three people and also running the intern program. It was funny because I was so young, younger than a lot of the potential interns who were interviewing.”
Her open-mindedness is how she found her place in the industry:
“When I was ready to leave Endgame, another intern I knew had moved over to Universal Pictures, and she put my resume up for Adam Fogelson’s desk, who was the Chairman of Universal at the time. I had no idea who he was when I walked into his office, but luckily we fell in professional love [laughs]. The competition, especially somewhere like Universal, is insane. There are graduates from all the Ivy Leagues with amazing resumes, and here I was, this Santa Barbara City College kid.
I moved over to NBC to work in Digital for a bit, and that was around the time Adam joined STX Entertainment, so I ended up following him there. I’m really big on loyalty! I jumped back into film while working on his desk again, and now two years later, I’m back in Digital and T.V. Film was always so glamorous, and I felt like I belonged there. I loved all the fun people I got to interact with, but I never found the perfect fit in that genre. Digital wasn’t a path I saw for myself, but I’m such a Digital kid, so once I embraced it, I knew it was where I was supposed to be.”
One hip hop class was the reason she ended up partnering with Arianna on But Like Maybe:
“As for my side-hustle, I have my But Like Maybe endeavors. At STX, my coworker Brian Phillipson is a publisher and has a comic book company. He asked if I’d ever want to write for one of his comics, and that same day, I’d been creeping on Arianna’s [founder of @butlikemaybe] Instagram. I didn’t have her phone number, we were just friends on Facebook after we took a hip hop class together a while ago [laughs], so I sent her a Facebook message asking if she’d be interested, and she said yes. What’s so funny is neither of us has any business creating comic books. I did the graphic design [for the books], and I had to completely teach myself how to do the whole thing using this crazy software. I still don’t even know how it works [laughs].
The Instagram @butlikemaybe is all Arianna, but anything that is plot-driven, like the comics, is the two of us together. When I was first looking at the Instagram, all I could think is, “What’s this girls’ story? She’s me! I want to know more about her!” So that’s what we do really well together, add more color about her life.”
How she and Arianna are taking But Like Maybe to the next level:
“Arianna works in fashion out in New York, so last summer, she came out to L.A., and I wanted to give her the “Hollywood experience” since I grew up in the studio system. I set up a bunch of generals [ed. note: meetings] with CAA and all the agencies, and we thought the meetings were casual, but then people ended up showing interest in working with us. Now, we’re signed with CAA and are looking at going into T.V.
Instagram is so ‘instant,’ so playing the long game, like when you’re putting together a T.V. deal,  is hard. We’ve all gotten so used to instant gratification that when a deal is all “hurry up and wait,” it can test your patience [laughs].”

Why comics are more relevant than ever:
“When I first started working on the comics, I got a bunch of How-To books since I had never been a comic book reader as a kid. I still remember one of them said, “When you look at a photograph, you see the face of another, but when you look at a simple drawing, like a comic, you see yourself.” That’s when it dawned on me why I felt such a strong connection to Arianna’s drawings.”

But Like Maybe is really a coming-of-age story:
“Arianna and I write around themes, so for example, one conflict we’ve explored is the feeling when you accidentally “like” your crushes ex-girlfriend’s photo on Instagram and how in that moment it feels like World War III. Seriously, what’s worse than that? I can’t think of anything [laughs]. The main themes we focus on are panic, rejection, and overcoming tough situations. Arianna and I are both still growing up, so But Like Maybe’s story has those notes of ‘coming of age.’
Arianna and I both are all about working through discomfort and rejection- topics that no one talks about, but everyone goes through. Self-love is important, but so is knowing when not to text a guy back [laughs]. We’ll see But Like Maybe explore both bigger, universal themes, but still deal with those funny settings she’s become known for, like your Uber driver being your therapist when you’re drunk.”

How to get comfortable with being uncomfortable:
“I think there’s a lot of uncomfortableness around not knowing the answers. I can’t even count the number of times someone has asked me to do something, and I’ll agree on the spot as I furiously Google whatever it is they’re asking for [laughs]. The older I’ve gotten, though, the more I realize no one has all the answers, and the more comfortable I’ve become with asking questions. Especially when I was an assistant, there’d be situations like, “Dru, where’s my lunch?” And I’d say, “It’s almost here,” as I am in the middle of ordering it. It’s not lying per se, but more just pretending your life is not complete chaos and you have it all together, even if you don’t. But it’s OK to be chaotic! It’s OK to not know all the answers. Life is a little like a rollercoaster, and you just have to keep riding it out because it will take you where you need to go.”

Monday, April 24, 2017

TRAIN 8: THE ZOMBIE EXPRESS #1 (of 3) will be in comic book stores worldwide starting July 26 and is now available for per-order through Diamond Comic Distributors!


TRAIN 8 ZOMBIE EXPRESS #1
TRAIN 8: THE ZOMBIE EXPRESS #1 (of 3)
(W) Brian Phillipson, David Stephan (A/CA) Alex Cormack
Train 8, the famous Seattle to Chicago line, becomes ground zero as an experimental GMO virus breaks out on the crowded train during the Thanksgiving holiday, turning any infected passenger into a blood thirsty primordial. The surviving passengers are then left with the moral dilemma of stopping the train to save themselves but also letting the outbreak infect the world or being heroes by keeping the train rolling and suffering the consequences. A 3-comic mini-series based on the forthcoming major motion picture.
In Shops: Jul 26, 2017
SRP: $4.99

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Weed Magic #1 is now availbale exclusively at Drivethrucomics.com!

Click here to buy now.
Weed Magic #1

Hollywood, California. It’s 4/20 and two lovable stoners – Moe and his best friend Bunny – find themselves (and the whole city) completely dry.
When local vagabond My$tic gifts the boys a strange and exotic strain of cannabis (along with a cryptic warning), Moe and Bunny soon discover that this “magic” weed provides potent yet fleeting super-human powers of body and mind.  The love child of “Pineapple Express” and “The Greatest American Hero,” Weed Magic will delight the sober and stoned alike.  Red Eyes.  Full Bong.  Can’t Lose.

Written & Created by Brian Phillipson & Jordan Lichtman
Art by Alex Cormack

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

This Illustrator Is Making Cartoons Cool Again

Click here for the Highbrow.com interview with "But Like Maybe?" creator & artist Arianna Margulis.

In The Know By Zoe Brenneke March 13, 2017

Ever since she burst onto the Instagram scene with @butlikemaybe– a nameless and virtually faceless (more on that later) female cartoon character who seamlessly blends of the peaks and pits of millennial living- Arianna Margulis’ character has made a name for herself as the caricature of the modern-day adult. Here, she talks expanding from single frame Instagram posts to full-blown comic books, where the brand is heading and answers our Highbrow Questionnaire.

THE @BUTLIKEMAYBE ORIGIN STORY:
“I always drew and doodled. I definitely drew more than class than I paid attention [laughs]. After college, I had been working in the fashion industry designing store windows here in New York, and drawing was my way to decompress. I was dating a guy who worked with me at Ralph [Lauren] at the time, and after we had got back from visiting his parents one weekend, he dumped me out of the blue. I was so angry, but I was also kind of able to laugh about it considering one of the reasons he gave for dumping me was that I ‘threw off his meditation schedule.’
I took out all of my anger on my drawings, and in that process, created this character who is sort of a version of me, but more like an alter-ego. I initially just put the drawings on my personal Instagram until a friend told me to get a second Instagram just for the doodles, so that’s when I started @butlikemaybe.
It’s always so funny to see people tag their friends on @butlikemaybe’s Instagram photos and say things like “OMG, she looks so much like ‘so and so’!” or even when people say she looks like me because she’s basically just eyes and a mouth [laughs]. I purposefully drew her that way, colorless, and pretty much face-less, so that people can project themselves onto her. She can be any of us!”

HOW THE OG COMICS LIKE THE SIMPSONS AND POWER PUFF GIRLS SERVE AS CREATIVE INSPIRATION FOR @BUTLIKEMAYBE:
“In the same way that I’m a little scared to grow up, I’m scared for @butlikemaybe to grow up, too! I envision her being like the Simpsons or Power Puff Girls, so even though her story evolves, she’ll always cater to this ‘young adult’ time in your life and won’t age out of it. That phase is an experience everyone goes through with so many storylines to tell. There’s something so cool about a relatable character who is going through all the stuff that you are to help laugh at yourself; you feel less alone.

HOW THE @BUTLIKEMAYBE BRAND HAS EXPANDED OFF OF INSTAGRAM:
“A friend of a friend knew someone at Cosmopolitan [Magazine], and when they featured @butlikemaybe on their Snapchat, we got a huge amount of followers, and from there it took off.
Six months after the account started, I got a Facebook message from this girl named Dru from L.A. who I met once in a hip hop class. She said she loved the account and had a friend at her work who could help us turn @butlikemaybe into a real, physical comic book. We had one phone call and immediately decided to go for it, so through Google Docs and Facetime, we bicoastally created the drawings, script, and book. So now, the Instagram account is where I do New Yorker-style, one frame drawings, and a lot of the content is based on ‘universal truths,’ and the comic books are where Dru and I get to flush out @butlikemaybe as a character. It’s like an ongoing saga where we introduce new friends, new places, new challenges and you get to see her whole world!”

ON THE EVOLUTION OF @BUTLIKEMAYBE AS A CHARACTER:
“I see myself and @butlikemaybe both growing a lot together. She’s starting to learn from her mistakes, like now that she’s been dumped a few times, she’s getting smarter, kind of like I did after my relationships ended. Even though she’s a millennial, and we as a generation get a bad rep, what’s so fun about @butlikemaybe is you want her to win. Even when she makes mistakes, you’re still rooting for her because you see a little bit of yourself in her. I think her repeating mistakes is a little endearing, but mainly it’s realistic. We all do it! We go back to the guy we know we’re not supposed to be with; we drink too much tequila on Fridays, it happens [laughs].”

 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Emerald City Comic Con '17 + new comic "Train 8: The Zombie Express"

Bliss on Tap will be at Emerald City Comic Con 2017 in Seattle, March 2 - 5.  Stop by booth #1201 and say hello to Brian Phiilipson, Phil Phillipson, David Stephan & Marysol Levant.

We'll be premiering our latest comic book series "TRAIN 8: THE ZOMBIE EXPRESS" a 3-part series about a zombie outbreak on a runaway train - soon to be a major motion picture from BPositive Films.  Written & Created by David Stephan & Marysol Levant, with additional writing by Brian Phillipson and art by Alex Cormack.  Issue #1 will be in stores summer 2017 but we'll have some advance copies for sale exclusively at the Emerald City Comic Con.

Train 8: The Zombie Express #1



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Observer article on But Like Maybe?

Meet the Instagram Cartoonist For Millennial Messes

Think 'Girls' meets 'Daria,' with a Bob Ross twist

By
An illustration of the pair.
An illustration of the pair. Courtesy @butlikemaybe


Butlikemaybe, the 20-something fashion girl cartoon on Instagram, makes for highly #relatable content (at least that’s what the cool teens are calling it these days). The account was created by Arianna Margulis, who worked in fashion in New York and Los Angeles, where she’s also dealt with the pitfalls of dating apps, NYFW parties and tequila hangovers, all of which has lead to the aforementioned content. And now, the account has its very own comic book, created by Margulis and her recent collaborator Dru Radovich, with plans for a potential television show.
The collaborators connected over (what else?), Instagram, and worked together to create the comic book, with Margulis in Manhattan and Radovich in L.A. They chatted over Google Docs and FaceTime. Now, they’ve signed with CAA and are taking meetings for an animated series.

“I want people to know there is a pulse behind the pen,” Margulis told the Observer. She used Instagram stories to allow her character to join strangers on the subway and at airports. The 20-something even started posting stop motion videos so followers can see the animation process. Margulis has also made personal appearances on the feed, by doing what she called “dorky instructional drawing videos à la Bob Ross—RIP.”
The nameless character Margulis created is engaging because she’s unapologetic about being a millennial mess, even if that means smeared mascara, a truly terrible hangover and openly cyberstalking a Tinder first date. The account has helped the cartoonist come to terms with growing up (which makes sense, as it has been called New Yorker cartoons for millennials). “I used to think you had to be doing a certain thing by a certain age. I don’t intend to change my wacky self, but I want to grow—and I think she will too.”

The creator and her cartoon have more in common than just a penchant for pop culture. “To anyone that knows me IRL, she is me. I go out until 4AM and stumble out of a white limo that I didn’t pay for. My mom called asking me to take down a photo in which I wore a ‘boobie dress’ on New Year’s Eve. When I run out of clean underwear I just buy more from Kmart,” she admitted. It’s all very Cat Marnell, only far more PG-13 rated.

The Instagram creation has led to social media connections, including an encounter with Lil Yachty after posting about her love for the cool teen and a “going out top” collaboration with @greevingcards. But the biggest collaboration yet has been with Radovich, who she connected with over Instagram after they briefly met in Los Angeles. Radovich was inspired to reach out and wanted to know more, asking herself, “Who are these dudes she shouldn’t be texting?”
Margulis began scanning her sharpie art to Radovich, who called their process “archaic.” She explained further: “Comic book veterans get very technical with their panels displayed neatly on cork boards—we are digital babes—the literal opposite of that.” While they had a few issues critiquing each other’s ideas over FaceTime, and ran up their phone bills, the television series that’s likely on the way (perhaps it will be a modern-day Daria, with a hint of Girls thrown in for good measure) made it all worthwhile. They want to create a series that captures “our truth of the just named ‘most narcissistic generation ever'” Radovich joked. And with a snarky main character, an Instagram fan base of thousands and content about growing up, going out and getting rejected, they just might. capture the selfie generation.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

But Like Maybe? #2 now available on Drivethrucomics.com

CLICK HERE TO BUY

"But Like Maybe? #2" is now available to download over at DriveThruComics. Print copies available in comic book stores and at blissontap.com on February 22!
page from "But Like Maybe? #2"
page from "But Like Maybe? #2"
page from "But Like Maybe? #2"
page from "But Like Maybe? #2"