…but most of all, I’d like to thank the Lord of Darkness.

Artwork © Mark Masztal

Late last year I interviewed Glenn Danzig.  Yes, THE Glenn Danzig.  THE punk rock legend.  THE metal god.  THE comic publisher.  And the latter is exactly what we talked about.  We talked about comics.  His comics, and other people’s comics.

I’ll admit, he was a bit intimidating at first.  But once we got rolling, he really seemed to enjoy talking about words and pictures, and really seemed to be in his comfort zone.  He has lots of opinions, and he’s not afraid to share them, and that’s exactly why it was so much fun to talk with him.

After the interview was completed, I’d posted on the Panel to Panel facebook page that I was looking for a Danzig fan who could draw, because I needed an image to go alongside the interview.  Well I received a couple of responses, but among those responses was one which would end up making a much bigger impact on P2P than I could have ever initially imagined.  A gentleman by the name of Mark Masztal responded, and mentioned that he would love to come up with an image.  Now I knew Mark by way of mutual friends, and I was familiar with his small-press work in the mid 1990’s, and I’d even met him back in ’95 when he’d attended the Alternative Comics Expo (ACE) which was part of the Spirits of Independence Tour stop, which I’d helped organize.  So all that said, I told him what it was I was looking for, and waited patiently for the results.  Well the result was the image you see above, at the beginning of this post, and I was blown away!!

Now why was Mark’s response more important than I’d ever imagined?  Well, after he and inker Bill Anderson completed the Danzig image, Mark kindly offered his services in the way of lay out and design for P2P.  Now this all happened right as I was realizing that any plans I’d already had for a designer were disappearing quickly.  So I told Mark that I would love a little help, and any contribution would be appreciated.  Well that little turned into a lot, and his contribution to the look and feel to Panel to Panel has been astronomical!  Without Mark, there would be no Panel to Panel, and in the end I guess I have Glenn Danzig to thank for that.  Just another example of “everything happens for a reason”; which is quickly becoming Panel to Panel‘s mantra.

So enjoy a sneak preview of my conversation with Glenn.  And enjoy the sneak preview of Mark Masztal’s fabulous image for the article.  (If you think this is cool, wait until you see the inked and colored version!)

John Rovnak: Comics have a long history of struggling to be taken seriously and fighting for notoriety and acceptance.  Many people nowadays would say that with all the huge Hollywood blockbusters based on comics, and comics having cracked the book market, that comics now have achieved in a lot of ways what’s it’s been fighting for.  I disagree. I see comics becoming more of a “gateway drug” to Hollywood; a vehicle that exists solely to sell concepts to film producers, and the original comic gets pushed aside. What are your thoughts about this?

Glenn Danzig: I know that there are comics that are only put together to attract a movie or TV or video game deal.  Obviously that’s the wrong reason to do a comic.  But from a businessperson’s standpoint, it’s the right reason.  A lot of these companies, at the end of the day, are businesses.  So somebody like Paramount or 20th Century Fox, they don’t care about comics, they care about making money.  If that studio doesn’t make money, everybody is out on the street and everybody is fired.  The doors shut…  They have a bottom line that they have to think about, so I can’t fault them for that.  But on the same token, that’s not what Verotik does.  It is what it is, man.  You choose your bed, and then you gotta lie in it.  If nobody takes you seriously, then it’s your own fault.  Nobody else’s…

Author: John Rovnak

John Rovnak can hardly remember a time when comic books were not a part of his life. He has bought them, sold them, written them, drawn them, collected them, bought them again, and sold them again. He has endured a lifetime of ridicule and shame for his hobby, but that hasn't stopped him. Most recently he's written and edited a book about comics. He's planning more.

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