Indie Interviews – Stephen Cefalo
This week we sit down and talk to the awesome person Stephen Cefalo. If you like comics, and we’re sure you do, you’ll want to take a peek at what Stephen Cefalo is up to. After you’re done, be sure to check out their work here.
What was your reason for getting into comics? That is, how did you end up involved in comics?
Sequential art was my first love. At age six I was doing ninja sequences. In 3rd grade, I created my own comic strip, which I’d copy and distribute to my classmates. In middle school, my best friend and I created a superhero comic book that we sold for a dollar a piece. My studies in traditional art took over in art school. After doing a bit of work on “Rugrats” at Nickelodeon in the late 90’s to 2001, I have spent the last 15 years teaching figure drawing, exhibiting, and doing oil portraits. Following some other major life changes, and personnel shifts, I found my heart calling me back to comics. I’ve left “Stephen Cefalo” behind, really, and “Steve Cefalo” already looks like the name of a comic artist! I’m now pretty much 100% dedicated to that art form.
While painting, I’d often listen to bizarre podcasts, especially in the UFO genre. This eventually led me to a tales of a guy named Corey Goode. Goode claims to be a whistleblower from the Navy’s Secret Space Program and to have completed a 20-year tour on Mars. I had heard that his creative team was thinking of a graphic novel, and shortly after reaching out, I became their choice for the artist. It is great fun!
How many years have you been working in comics?
This is my first professional gig as a comic artist.
Tell me a little bit about your work. Where does it draw inspiration from? Where do you come up with your ideas?
I really enjoy picking up odd comics from the 50¢ bin at comic shops—the more out-of-left-field the better, from public service announcement-type comics to practically homemade underground stuff. I love seeing how many possible ways an artist can push the boundaries, and even violate the conventions of the comic book format while remaining squarely in the tradition of comics in another respect. I’ve been a huge fan of the graphic novel work of my friend Nate Powell for many years since we went to school together in the nineties. I’ve been out of the art form for so long, and am rediscovering the art form, but among the artists who have lately captured my attention are Sean Murphy, Wes Craig, Olivier Coipel, Elrich Robin Recht, and the list is growing daily. It’s such an incredible learning experience!
Growing up, who is your favorite character or team? Who is it now?
I painted Wolvie on the back of my jacket in the eighth grade and imitated his expressions whenever people took photos of me. He was so much more of a beast than a man in the 80’s and 90’s, and I loved the raw aggression about him. I think he would have been portrayed better by Danzig—ha!
Do you have any advice for a new writer who is just getting into the business?
That would be me, actually. A lifetime of drawing the figure at least once a week, and studying composition has contributed greatly to my general versatility as an artist for sure. My best advice is to follow your bliss, and be open to any opportunities!
Where do you see your work taking you?
I have no idea, actually, and that’s the fun part! For the next few years, I will be working on the “Sphere Being Alliance” graphic novel series for Corey Goode. I now have a few ideas of my own in that genre, so maybe that’s on the horizon somewhere back there too. We shall see. I definitely plan on sticking with comics as a focus for a while though.
Where do you see the direction of the comic industry heading in 20 years?
I was sort of devastated during my return to comics to realize you could no longer buy them at convenience stores anymore! They used to be my favorite impulse buy. While graphic novels are great, I miss the accessibility an low commitment of the 24-page comic book. I hope that there is a return someday to broader distribution and popularity of comic books.
How can people get a hold of you?
Stephencefalo@gmail.com or @SteveCefalo on Instagram.
Where can we buy and/or see your work?
You can keep updated on our comic and graphic novel projects at www.ReturnOfTheGuardians.com My traditional work can be found at www.StephenCefalo.com