what is your name?
My name’s Costa Koutsoutis.
how would you describe what you do?
I guess it’d be “bad amateur forays into comics”, as well as “free online bloggery and freelance journalism”.
what are you currently working on?
Right now I do a sharpie-doodle webcomic called “Mayhem & Cuddles” with my fiancee, as well as music and comic-book bloggery at my site “Fistfight At The Arthouse”. I also just finished a physical comic which is currently in the art-ing stage by a really great artist named Mike Howell.
what has had the greatest influence on your work?
In general? Coming from a DIY punk/skateboarding background, my parents instilling literature and creativity in me, all sorts of out-there art. In particular? People like Kinky Friedman, Matt Fraction, Bill Watterson, Scott McCloud, Brian Wood, bands like Fugazi, and Dario Argento and Jim Jarmusch films.
what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
That publishing online is strictly for amateurs, that comics are for kids, and that you have to know how to draw in order to make comics.
what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
Strength-wise, the fact that I can publish and get my work out there and network and all that for free is amazing. As long as I have access to the web, I can actively work. And that’s amazing.
Weakness-wise? It’s a big world out there. I’m one of millions of bloggers and wannabe creators out there, and they all are doing the same fucking thing I am. It’s just a battle to maintain a presence, never mind gaining an audience.
how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
Before the Web, before scanners and free blogging and site hosting and social networking, it’d probably be a thousand times more difficult to try and get into making comics.
what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
Don’t be shy about saying hi. It’s something I fought with and still fight with. It’ll stand in your way so much it’s not even funny.
where can we find you online?
what are you reading at the moment?
I’m about to re-read “Dune” for the first time in a while, as well as regular readings of my “Calvin and Hobbes” collections. That’s probably my favorite comic of all time.
what are you listening to at the moment?
No one thing in particular, I get a lot of music sent to me to review so a lot of it becomes a big blur after a while. However, their recent TV appearance, which blew my mind, has me dusting off my Jawbox records.
anything else we should know?
I am a giant fucking nerd. And not even in that “cool” way, I’m just genuinely a big nerd. I un-ironically love “The Last Starfighter”. I’d probably collect action figures if I had the room.