“I’m Amanda Scurti! I’m 23 years old and based out of Queens, NY. I’ve worked as a colorist on School Spirit by Arielle Jovellanos & Kate Leth (Rosy Press) & We Can Never Go Home by Josh Hood & Matthew Rosenberg (Black Mask). I also worked as an artist on a two-issue arc of Tales of the Night Watchman by Dave Kelly & Lara Antal (So What? Press). My work can be found at amandascurti.com, and my twitter is @amandascurti.”
What do you do? (Write, draw, edit, publish, promote etc.)
How did you get started doing that?
I’ve dabbled in all areas of comics production, though I primarily work as a colorist and artist.
What was your first comic? Why that one?
My first self-published comic was HEY, JANA J!, which I created in a panic after taking a self-publishing class and having no knowledge of how to even make comics (I was an Illustration major in school. and although I enjoyed reading comics, I had never created any of my own). HEY, JANA J! has been on-and-off in production for a few years – the story I’m trying to craft is a little dense, and I want to make sure I do it right.
The first comic I read was a Shazam!/Captain Marvel Giant-Size collector’s edition comic from 1973. My Dad’s cousin brought it over to our house because it was a book they had shared and both scribbled in when they were kids and he had recently found it while moving. I must have been 7 or 8 at the time. Despite the really ratty condition of the book, I thought it was super cool, and that initial familial tie got me interested in what the actual work underneath the…”bonus” content was.
I’ve got some pans on some burners I can’t quite divulge yet, but there’s large-scale comic project among those pans.
Favorite inspiration, collaborators, other professionals you’ve worked with if any?
I’ve always been really inspired by music – for me, creating work that has a certain melody to it has helped in unifying the sort of message I want to convey. I think some of my more successful short comics have a song tied to them in some way that encapsulates the mood, even if it’s a silly comic.
Anyone you’d like to collaborate with some day? Why?
I’ve already had the pleasure of working with Kate Leth, but there are so many other creators I’d like to collaborate with I can’t even name them. There’s something special about being on a creative team with a bunch of people who are super psyched about the same thing.
Favorite genre to read? To work in? Are there any you won’t work in?
Although I’ve got a huge soft spot for hard sci-fi, nothing draws me into a comic like a lush fantasy forest. A blend of the two is my ideal, really. I love weird self-aware characters who aren’t afraid to question the worlds they’re living in, no matter the genre.
Due to recent circumstances, I won’t work on any comics that involve guns in real-life settings. Space lasers are fine, and I’m down for a crossbow, but I don’t want to be part of the problem of America’s casual obsession and acceptance of guns.
Have you ever faced adversity/discouragement for being a woman in your field? How did you overcome it?
I think every woman in every industry has faced adversity & discouragement just simply for *being* there. It’s certainly not limited to comics, but our field has a different set of overlapping spiderwebs that makes avoiding problems trickier than it may be in other fields.
How do you think the current comics industry is toward women? What can we do to improve it further and create a safe space?
The current comics industry’s attitude towards women is such a broad statement, I want to break it down a bit first and hopefully address what I personally feel is a misunderstanding of the different facets of comics and cartoonists. Bear in mind that I am an able-bodied white woman with privilege that skews my view on what each subcategory of comics entails, and I am only speaking from my own experience.
What do comics mean to you?
To me, comics are a medium that can combine the best of literary art with the best of visual art, so there’s really no limit to what can be done with them. There aren’t many other forms of storytelling that can be so personal and also lead to the creation of such cool handcrafted art objects. I love self-publishing because I love being involved with the comic from its inception to the final physical product, and I don’t really think there’s an equal anywhere else.
Advice to other female creators in the field?
Stay with it! There are a lot of times when it feels like you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle, but comics are a really uniquely fulfilling art form. People want to hear *your* stories through *your* voice.