Krypton Radio Interviews Tom Hutchison and Stephen Smirl of Big Dog Ink
Interview by Gene Turnbow
At the annual Long Beach Comic Convention last October 30, we got to speak with Tom Hutchison and Stephen Smirl of Big Dog Ink! Mr. Hutchison owns the fledgling but rising comic book company and created Critter; Mr. Smirl writes and draws Island Tales.
The first issue of Critter was released to the public in April of 2011, and it takes comic books back to the basics: good story, appealing artwork, great characters, fantasy costumes and utility belts.
Gene Turnbow: It’s great to see you here at the convention, Tom! Can you tell our readers about your publishing company and what you’ve been doing?
Tom Hutchinson: Actually this is our third year at the Long Beach Comic Convention, and our third year that we’ve been in existence, so this is sort of our anniversary as well. Since 2009, we came with a couple of titles, starting with “Penny for your Soul”, which we followed up with our superhero title called “Critter”, and this year we’re doing five or six series. We’re releasing at this show our western reimagining of the Wizard of Oz called “The Wicked West”, and we just keep on growing.
GT: I see the quality of these books is extremely high, certainly as good as from any major publisher I’ve ever seen. How long does it take to produce one of these books, and what are you working hard on developing right now?
Tom Hutchinson: When we started this, we really wanted to make a splash with our art. To do that, we really had to make some decisions, primarily about the distribution of it. Most of our books at this point are bi-monthly, they’re coming out every two months. We want to give our artists all the time in the world to do the best work they can possibly do. In order for us to compete artistically in this business – well, art is the first thing people see. So we let our artists do their job, and we have great people working for us.