A few weeks ago we brought you a graphic novel review of a lovely comic called Yets. I was lucky enough to connect with the author and illustrator of these adorable creatures, Mike Bocianowski, and he was happy to give us a brief interview for the site. Enjoy!
Lytherus: Where did you get the idea for the Yets comics?
The Yets came about after I was invited to sail on a local ship, the Niagara, with a group of artists. We were asked to create an artwork that described our experience so I incorporated the Niagara with some of my favorite motifs like dragons, mythology, whimsy, Chihuahuas, etc. The first chapter of Yets is what I produced from that experience.
L: How long have you been drawing these adorable creatures?
That first Chapter was published in November of 2002.
I like a lot of what I do. I like the graphic novels, the edition prints, the sculptures. Each item fulfills a different creative need, so after I am tired of working on a graphic novel I can work on a painting, or paint a figurine.
L: What is your favorite thing about being an illustrator?
I like when a piece can make me laugh as I produce it, whether it is a specific expression or the overall gag. Usually when that happens the customers seem to laugh more and understand my art. That inspires me to do more, and I believe there is something magical in that.
L: How long did you work on the Yets before you became well-known?
Gosh, I don’t consider myself to be well known… I’ve been working with the Yets since September of 2002.
L: Do you read comics yourself? Is it for the story or the art? what are some of your favorites?
I try to read a lot of comics. I stay away from mainstream DC & Marvel. I like the art of independent publishers however they are produced on irregular schedules so I don’t get involved with the story. I like stories that I can eat like a Thanksgiving meal, ones that are long and complete, like Tezuka’s works. I like Walt Kelly, Osamu Tezuka, Harvey Eisnenburg, Hayao Miyazaki, Goscinny & Uderzo, Pierre Alary. The books imported from Europe and Asia show the potential of what the medium could be.
L: Any new projects you’re working on?
I’m constantly working on something, I try to do an annual Yets! graphic novel (I just finished writing the three stories for the fourth book and suddenly I was given an idea for a better story so I’ll take one of the first three and move to a fifth book!) in between that I paint, and I still have a children’s picture book that I’d like to see published and produce some fairytail stories. This goes without saying that an animated version is always lurking around too.
Thanks Mike! If you’re interested in seeing more of Mike’s work, or in purchasing a print, make sure you check out his website.