Agnes Garbowska Making Friends with Inspirations
I’m here with comic artist Agnes Garbowska, best known for her work on Grumpy Cat (which I love), My Little Pony, the Ringo Award-winning DC Super Hero Girls and her creator-owned book You, Me and Zombie. Agnes I’d like to ask you a few questions.
Did you want to be a comic book artist when you were a kid?
Agnes: Actually no, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was a kid. I just knew I wanted to draw pretty pictures, I wanted to draw. I actually didn’t think I wanted to be a comic book artist till my late teens.
Agnes: And I love comics, obviously.
What were your favorite comics when you were a kid?
Agnes: I really liked Supergirl and X-Men. Those were like my favorites.
Nice! Who were your inspirations as an artist growing up?
Agnes: Oh my gosh! So many! I liked Joe Mad, Jim Lee, Joe Thompson – I think those are some of the top 3 that really influence me. And Humberto Ramos. I loved his stuff! And I still love their stuff till this day.
I already interviewed Humberto Ramos.
Agnes: Oh, he’s awesome, right?
Agnes: He’s a good guy.
Now that you’re a professional, have you gotten to work with anyone you were inspired by when you were younger?
Agnes: I have not really worked with them, but now I know them as friends – which is still totally cool! And now they’re my buddies, which is a little surreal.
Nice! If you could pick anyone in comics, who would you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
Agnes: Oh my gosh! That’s really good question. Maybe Gail Simone. I love Gail’s work. We could come up with something quite quirky. I’m working with Shea Fontana, which I love working with already. I don’t know. That is really, really good question. I really want to work with Joe Mad just so I can draw his characters.
Most of your work is for kids. What do you think makes a really good kids book and how is that different from what makes a good book for grown-ups?
Agnes: Well, I think what makes a good kids book is you have to realize kids are smarter than you think they are. So you make a book that they can enjoy, but a book that they can enjoy with their parents, too. And it’s just about making the art very happy and appealing. And I think that’s why My Little Pony and DC Superhero Girls work: they are really strong characters, really great designs and the stories are amazing. So, when you put the right formula of things together, you’ll always have a great book.
Nice! I saw on your Tumblr that you like video games. What do you like to play?
Agnes: Oh my gosh! I wish I could play more! I used to love playing Halo and that was like my jam. I used to play Diablo a lot. Now I just play a lot of Pokémon because I can play it as I’m like traveling and I play a lot of Pocket Camp on my phone which is really-really fun. I play a lot of mobile games now when I travel.
I’m in the process of trying to get him to get me a Switch so I can get “Let’s Go Pikachu!” when it comes out.
Agnes: I want that too! I really want that too!
I know some girls who think comic books are just for boys. What can I tell them to convince them comic books are for everybody?
Agnes: They are crazy. Tell them that, first. You know what? Just tell them all about DC Superhero Girls, tell them about My Little Pony, tell them about all the other properties, and you’re like “these are kick-but comics that you will enjoy if you read them.” If they need convincing give them a Tiny Titans book! The moment any girl I know read Tiny Titans books she was hooked. So, they just gotta start reading – and then they will know that they’re not just for boys.
I’ll look forward to showing them that! Thanks for answering my questions, it was fun talking with you.
Agnes: Thank you! It was so awesome!