Kazmantra's Blog


What … why… ?! And Other Questions

Q: What does “not too orangey for crows” mean?

A: This is a reference to the Kia Ora ad of the 1980s. Kia Ora was an orange squash type drink, which was advertised with a cartoon of a boy and his dog being tailed by sharp-suited crows. He wouldn’t let the crows get any of his delicious beverage as Kia Ora was “too orangey for crows. It’s just for me and my dog.” As I wouldn’t want to put off our potential corvid readership, I labelled my blog as being “not too orangey for crows”. In fact, it is scarcely orangey at all… If you wish to see the ad, it’s on Youtube.

Q: Why do you call yourself “Kazmantra”?

A: Internet names are funny things… this came from way way back, (1997 or so) when I became sick of ending my informal emails “Kaz” and decided to flourish it up a bit by pretending to be a sorceress of some kind named “Kazmantra the Magnificent”. If this STILL seems incomprehensible, that’s because it is. Kazmantra became a useful handle because it was completely unique, unlike all the billions of other Karen Rubinses out there.

Q: Is Karen Rubins really a common name?

A: No it isn’t. But it is less common that “Kazmantra”.

Q: Should I call you Kazmantra in real life?

A: No, please don’t.

Q: Why “comics” rather than “graphic novels” or “manga”, or even “sequential art”?

There are many ways of referring to the practice of putting pictures and words in sequence to make stories. Sequential Art is descriptive, but also a little too pretentious to describe the kind of work that I do (mostly not pretentious, some would disagree). “Graphic novel” is a fine term for book-length comics but does not fit shorter works (or non-fiction), and has the ring of euphemism, as though one shouldn’t use the word “comics” in polite society. “Manga” is also a great word, and very useful, but it’s only either a sub-set of comics, OR it just means “comics” in Japanese – either way, comics is better, although I don’t mind at all being known as a manga creator if it helps people understand what I do. Comics is the simplest way to refer to this amazing art form, and therefore the best!

Q: Why don’t you update this blog more often?

A: Blogging doesn’t come naturally to me. If I’m doing something interesting, I’m probably busy concentrating on that, and if I’m not, then I have nothing to say in my blog posts! I realise this attitude isn’t the best, but it’s all I got for now.

Q: What are your influences?

A: From indie comics – Wendy Pini, Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Carla Speed McNeil, Jamie Hewlett, Charles Burns, David Lapham, Sergio Aragones, Stan Sakai
From mainstream comics – Neil Gaiman, Jamie Delano, Chris Claremont, Lew Stringer
From manga – Hiroaki Samura, Rumiko Takahashi, Junji Ito, Hiromu Arakawa, Taiyo Matsumoto
From literature – Ursula le Guin, Lian Hearn, Diana Wynne Jones, Jack Vance, Orson Scott Card, Hilary Mantel, Robin Hobb, George RR Martin, Nicholas Fisk
From life: Everything! I like people-watching, psychology, movies and mythology.

Q: Do you take Work Experience students?

A: While I have a studio, the answer is yes. Please email me if interested.

Q: Will you draw XYZ thing for me?

A: Of course! Email me to discuss your needs and get a quote on the price.

Q: Can you run an event at my school/library/museum?

A: Yes, indeed! Please email me to discuss it.

Q: What’s your email address?

A: It is k_rubins(at)yahoo.com

Q: Do you have any bad habits?

A: Why, this is getting mighty personal. Of course I do.

Q: I messaged you on Twitter, how come you didn’t respond?

A: I am an infrequent Twitter user, so I rely on the email updates to tell me if I get DMed or mentioned. Sometimes they don’t work. I’m sorry! Please be patient, or use Facebook or email.

Q: I added you as a friend on Facebook, how come you didn’t accept?

A: I only accept friend requests from people I actually know! Sorry. You can “like” my page though.


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