Today we are honored to have superstar artist Liana Kangas join us on the show tonight.
Find Liana online:
Casey has a kickstarter! Check it out!
“Drinks and Comics with Spoiler Country!”
Did you know we have a YouTube channel?
Buy John’s Comics!
Support us on Patreon:
Theme music by Good Co Music:
Liana Kangas – Interview
[00:00:00] Casey: All right, everybody. Welcome again to another episode of spoiler country today on the show, my buddy, Matt Sumo, and I are going to talk to a comics powerhouse, Leanna, Kangas.
How you doing?
Liana Kangas: I am doing great. Also, I love your radio voice so much. It’s such a great
Casey: introduction. It’s my NPR voice. Please tell me, I said your name right. Your your last name specifically. Okay.
Liana Kangas: Angus. Yeah. Yes, I think so. Yeah.
Casey: I meant to ask Matt beforehand, is it, is it Kangas or like Ken gas and because I will, but like you hear the Southern dripping off of my voice.
I will butcher a last name and easily make myself sound like a jackass, which I’ve already done. So Leanna, how you doing?
Liana Kangas: I am not bad. Also. I appreciate the Southern accent, obviously, you know, I’m also in the South right now. Love [00:01:00] it. And to the fact that I didn’t remember how you pronounce it probably was a great time or tells how I’m actually feeling right now, which is, you know, pandemic.
Casey: So your day, like pandemic has either incredibly disrupted how you operate or it’s made you even more productive. Maybe even Like a little bit of both. Can you tell us how, how do you start your day? Cause you, you have a creative job. You, you create for a living and those hours are the hours that you choose to keep.
Liana Kangas: Yeah. I get up. I try to get up at like six 30, but it usually ends up being seven kind of lay there, existential dread for a couple minutes, you know, just existing and checking my phone. Obviously you got to start your morning with the doom scroll and then Take care of my dogs. I have two wonderful dog children and I take [00:02:00] care of them first because I’m very much Oola is, she’s like a, she’s a mix between like a pit bull and like a Collie of some swore or like, Shepherd of some sort.
And then all he is a Brindle
Casey: corgi. Oh, nice.
Liana Kangas: Nice. So they are the loves of my life. Yeah. And I take care of them first have breakfast usually from like seven 30 or eight, depending on when I get out of bed to like 10, I’m doing like emails or writing or. You know, cleaning my place or whatever, to try and get me in the mindset.
Cause like everything has to be clean and done before I can work for some reason. And then I usually get to my desk around nine, nine 30, 10, depending on what I’m, you know, either if I’m writing that morning or whatever. And then I work until. Sometimes six or seven depending on like, if I have meetings or [00:03:00] whatever to fill in the time withdrawing in between.
And then I usually either do a podcast to wrap up the day, which I’m pointing at you, but people can’t see, or I do my own podcasts. Now once a week, usually, sometimes like I overbooked myself this month with podcasts and everyone’s like making fun of me cause I tweeted about it. But it’s great for me cause I get to meet new people.
But at the same time, you know, it’s like, I feel like I’m doing a podcast every day. And then I usually like wrap up, have dinner. Maybe a beverage and then literally I’ve just been playing destiny for the past, like two months and until like 10 or 11. And then I actually do, like, I try to read a little bit at night like right now I’m reading Mexican Gothic.
So I try to get at least a chapter read every night and then start the day over again, Groundhog day style.
Casey: Nice. Nice. So. Like you have other people in your life [00:04:00] in addition to your dogs how do you achieve like a balance to where you are present with them? And then you’re also because I’m a dad, I have two kids and a wife to go along with those kids and they’re all trouble.
And, but I love it. As you know, I do this podcast, I work a full-time job. And then like I try to write in the evening you know, maybe one day I’ll get published, but finding a balance is something I’m really wanting to strive towards. Do you have any tips for that?
Liana Kangas: Absolutely not, no. When anyone finds out, please tell me, I do weekends.
I try to take it. I have a lot of things come up last year to where some of my weekends were being taken up solely by work, but I usually try to take off work the majority of the weekend and like, you know, play music or like do whatever chill [00:05:00] try to just. Exit myself from the comics industry.
It’s very difficult, obviously. You know, I love it very much. And all of my friends it’s difficult because like half of my friends are in comics and the other half are so beyond displaced from comics. That it’s great because no matter who I’m hanging out with at any time, they either want to hear about it or they’ve already heard about it.
So it’s kind of nice, but you,
Casey: you were in like advertising or something. Well, I worked in marketing, marketing pricing. Yeah. And that seems like such a different world from, from comics. Do you, was there any, like crossover there to the people who you worked with kind of understand what you were trying to do?
Liana Kangas: All of my old coworkers. So like I worked in an industry that’s primarily focused around like Behavior analysts and stuff like that, which is like, kind of in the psychology field for those that don’t know. I loosely say that only because it’s like coupled in the [00:06:00] psychology departments. Were you in
Casey: the CIA?
Liana Kangas: Actually, yes. And I knew tell us so No, but however two of my really, really close friends who are close friends outside of my old job they were always like very supportive and could tell that I was creative and they were like, we just want to see you succeed outside of, like, we can tell you’re miserable here, like, you know, fly free.
And I like FaceTime them the other day and they were like, We just can’t believe how successful you are. And I don’t feel sucks. I don’t like, how do you measure success in comics? Right? Impossible. Like there’s no, you either. Tell yourself that you feel successful or you’re just like, I haven’t done enough.
There’s no in between for me. So like for the validation for somebody to be like, you’re so successful, it feels really great. And kind of makes you step back to be like, Oh, I did achieve stuff, you know? Or like ideal value. The things that I have done, which is nice, but [00:07:00] as a creator, you’re always like, okay, what’s the next step?
What’s the next thing that I’m going to make? Or like, how am I going to be better or whatever. And I think that that’s. Somewhat healthy. If you have a balance between celebrating your successes and also continuing to want to be better.
Casey: Awesome. Where do you get your inspiration? Because you’ve done a ton of creator owned things and it’s, it seems like when you’re not creating, you’re taking stuff in you, can’t not shut yourself off from the world.
So, so w where do you get that spark?
Liana Kangas: I think that I am actually, I’ve been thinking about this a lot in that, that I don’t. Take enough time to look at other things, mediums and like explore other, you know, like read more or things like that. I’ve been kind of being hard on myself to like try and push myself outside of, you know, I have like, I live and breathe comics all the time.
I always have even in retail or whatever. So it’s difficult because it’s. Every time, like [00:08:00] I was trying to read like bad weekend and I can’t read it because like, I just want to analyze the entire thing while I’m reading it. Right. So like, I have to shut parts of my brain off to be like, you need to sit down and enjoy this, or maybe be inspired by it, but you need to stop being like, how does he do this?
Or how does you know, like, so films, music, Normal stuff. I, I really enjoy fine art, but like, you can’t go to museums and stuff right now. So it’s kind of interesting to like, look at old books and things like that. But I would say mostly music.
Casey: What’s your jam right now?
Liana Kangas: What’s my jam. That’s all really hard question.
Sorry. Okay. So I actually made a playlist for like a thing that is coming out next week or on my birthday which I went assistant release that
Casey: is up to our editor and it’ll probably be like maybe two weeks from now. Okay,
Liana Kangas: great. Well, so [00:09:00] I have. I have a, a roast coming out with rootless coffee. And I got to look for it, but I also did, like, I asked to do like a playlist to go along with it and things like that.
So I’ve been listening to it a lot, kind of reminded of my old who’s on it. Oh, it is a mixed bag of very weird old stuff, because I was like, how do I make it? Seemed like my childhood, but not quite. And so it has. I’m pulling it up. So that way I can tell you, because I don’t want to tell you the most embarrassing thing, which is three 11 and then stop there.
Oh my God. There were so awful. Metronic dummies in there. The gorillas, I even put some black eyed peas on there. Yes. Obviously justice, the strips. Cool.
Casey: I love it. The car to justice on the way to with my daughter on the way to daycare. When she was
Liana Kangas: learning young, that’s good. Oh, you know black lips, so,
Casey: Oh, they’re they’re [00:10:00] fricking yes, they were great.
I I’ve gone through a doom phase. And I just want to listen to like home and sleep and bong, Zilla, and bands like that. I’m getting a blank look. And then for some reason, Matt, I never heard of them. And for some reason I was like, I want to hear like, Dance hall and early reggae and stuff like that.
So I made like a huge playlist with like Prince Buster and like the old. Oh, old reggae stuff. And it’s so fun. I w w on the way to dance the other day I was because again, I have two girls, we were listening to to the old reggae stuff and it was, it was so fun. And my daughter’s like, this is, this is really weird.
I was like, yeah, it is
Liana Kangas: what it’s great. Were they digging it? Did dad [00:11:00] turn it off? Okay, that’s good.
Casey: So my. My six year old loves ransom, which w we have a small selection of songs that we allow her to listen to. Tom balm is one of them. She just rocks out to that all the time, but yeah. Lloyd chambers, sugar minnow John Holt Bunny Wailer Jimmy cliff, all these old, old early reggae stuff.
I love it. Yeah. I
Liana Kangas: think that’s one Sean ride. Just, I don’t listen to, and it might just be because I grew up in Florida. So everybody, all the time, any bar you walk into reggae, you’re just
Casey: like what? She’s like drunk uncle music.
Liana Kangas: Well, it’s perfect. Cause it’s like all drunk. White people that are on vacation.
So you’re just like miserable. Just SWAT. Yeah. So anyway, can I continuously make fun of Florida there? So
Casey: what part of Florida do you come up in?
Liana Kangas: I grew up on the East coast. Your [00:12:00] Orlando and, you know, near the Kennedy space center is great. So yeah. That area is really, it’s like full of. You know normal Floridians, but then also full of Ex-pat and like people that went to college there for like engineering and stuff like that, because of the, all the different types of I guess government contract places and things like that.
And then also, you know, NASA and
Casey: that’s the way it is in Huntsville. Because we, you know, we have the space center and a bunch of other. People that we contract out to for for aerospace. So it’s in Alabama, it’s one of the most that part of Alabama is one of the most highly educated cities in the nation.
It’s really weird. But obviously it does not help us out one bit if you watch the news. So how’d you get into comics in the first place? Like what, what drew you to the medium?
Liana Kangas: I think just the limitless [00:13:00] opportunity that you could kind of ingest it with coupled with your own imagination. So you could like fill in the gaps.
It’s like a mind game when you’re reading it. And sort of see it happening in your brain, or at least that’s how I’m at like a visual reader. So I would like read it kind of like how I would watch a film, but it’s much more fun. Filling in those gaps and like figuring out the world building while reading it, if that makes sense.
Cause you already have visual cues, so it’s easier to fill in gaps. And also, you know, it’s just, I feel like 10, like a much larger creative format with very extremely talented people. So I’ve just always had like a draw to it, I
Casey: guess. Nice. What, what was the first thing that, that blew you away in terms of like seeing a book and going like, Oh, this is cool.
Liana Kangas: Probably why the last man really that’s the only time that I can really remember because, you know, I have a terrible memory and [00:14:00] also like concussions and stuff, going to shows younger. But like mostly that’s like the only book that I can remember being like, it’s always been one that. I’ve been reminded of like, I guess, especially like one that I remember actually physically asking for the next volume every time, you know what I mean?
Oh yeah. Yeah. Like I was still, I was reading it when I think when it was coming out or like halfway when it was coming out. How old were
Casey: you when you discovered this?
Liana Kangas: Oh, I don’t remember. I’d have to do the math. What maybe 17, maybe 18. I don’t, I actually really don’t know. So don’t quote me on that.
Casey: Oh no, no, that’s all good.
Liana Kangas: What are years? But
Casey: as math, especially after fucking 2020, it’s like, Oh my gosh.
Liana Kangas: Wow. I just told somebody on a call right before this, that January was an entire year. So. Yeah, it is. I don’t like it.
Casey: I feel that we, [00:15:00] we went through an entire decade in the span of a year with just awful shit that could happen.
And I apologize for the language, but cheese crackers, man, pump the brakes.
So what, what are you working on right now? Like you have you’re you’re constantly, it seems like you’re constantly juggling plates. She said, destroy a true cult. All these other amazing books. You don’t slow down. You’re like brick and shark.
Liana Kangas: Oh, thank you.
Liana Kangas: nice. I guess. Yeah, I appreciate it. Though, you have to say like alligator because of Florida.
I am working on a graphic novel right now that I can’t talk about yet. And then I’m also working on Finishing up the last half of true cult. So we finished half of it already, which is great. Like wink at Matt. Who’s wearing his true PALT beanie. Wow. I love it so much. Great on [00:16:00] you. Thanks our model.
It’s that. And like, I am doing some covers and things like that. So I’ve definitely booked myself fairly full, which is great. And I feel very lucky by the way. So
Casey: is there, is there ever a point that you think like, I need to take a break? I need to, because I was talking to I was talking to the artists for, for billionaire Island that that podcast actually went up today.
And he, he mentioned, he’s like, yeah, I’ve been busting my ass so much lately that Steve Pugh, by the way, he was like, I’m going to have to take a break for a little while, because the past few years it’s just been constant and there’s so much Not just mental strain on an artist, but you’re, you’re like glued to a chair.
I don’t have to tell you that. It’s more for the person listening, but [00:17:00] y’all are really taken a lot of burden on yourself to put out a great story.
Liana Kangas: One of the major things that I think about recently, and they have found that a lot of my peers feel the same way about it is that. When you try to take time off or you try to take weekends off, you don’t know how to exist for think as a human being anymore, because you’ve been working so much, all you can think about is work.
And I definitely fall in that category. And I think that that’s a problem that a lot of people have that there’s ways that hopefully we can all pull ourselves out of. But, you know, obviously during like lockdown or whatever that we’re experiencing or however you choose to keep yourself safe.
Like, I know that I am living Groundhog day in my house every single day. That’s fine. And I have been trying to add in small things into my routine and things like that to like break up. So I don’t burn out more specifically, but then also to take breaks. To make [00:18:00] sure that my body is not going to, you know, crumble in, on itself and things like that.
And it’s great to have reminders of really close friends. Like I’m thinking specifically about two or three of them that are always constantly telling me to drink more water and like stretch and like take care of yourself and blah, blah, blah. I am very blessed. But I, I don’t think a lot of people talk about it enough in that there is that.
I wouldn’t say it’s unhealthy because I definitely feel like it’s a new thing, though. A lot of people are experiencing where you are stuck in the mindset where you have to be working all the time. And I want more freelancers and more people in comics specifically to promote boundaries and being able to separate our lives, working from home.
To healthy work habits and everything like that, because like, I see a lot of people posting, like I’ve been working for 10 days straight and I haven’t had a break and blah, blah, blah. And I also love that a lot of people tweet back or say like, [00:19:00] it’s. Great that you’re being productive, but I like at what cost, right?
Like, or how are you going to make other people feel reading this stuff? They’re not being productive enough or like, you look like you’re murdering yourself on Twitter, please stop. Like, we don’t want you to die next week. So like maybe yeah. Take the day off, so you can actually work hard next week. You know what I mean?
So it’s really hard because I get it. I know what it’s like being under a deadline and I know what it’s like working six days straight, 10 hours, 12 hours a day to get something hit by a deadline. But it’s also difficult with the direct market and like schedules and things like that. So it’s very interesting.
I am really lucky that the publisher that has hired me to do this graphic novel. They’re very lax on schedule, very communicative. Very great. And it’s a new way for me to see what it’s like freelancing in comics to see like, Well, I I’ll have to kill myself to murder myself over this monthly deadline.
Right. And [00:20:00] I’d love monthly’s. I collect them. I buy them. I love doing them. I think the issue format is such a great delivery method. I just think that there probably are really healthy ways to do that. And I just went down an entire vental.
Casey: No, no, no. That’s great. No, no. I want to hear it all
Liana Kangas: out in therapy, but it’s all about work.
Casey: it’s, it’s stuff that people need to hear. And I don’t think that a casual reader will re really get the full picture of what y’all go through to put out an issue. Cause there’s so many people. Working on one, you know, 24 page comic or in so many people working on a a graphic novel and it it’s a grind.
And part of, I think part of the, the whole rise and grind culture is really has a lot of negatives. To it. And it worries me that is going to [00:21:00] burn people out. Yeah.
Liana Kangas: But next year or two, or is going to look like for comics, because, you know, by the time you draw something it’s flatted colored, lettered, edited production, blah, blah, blah kind of thing.
You know, like that’s months down the line sometimes. Yeah. Or sometimes weeks, depending on who’s pushing it through. But to know like people’s output right now, like we went through a lot last year, so much, we went through so much. I know I’m tired, you know, I, I would love to take a month off or like even a week off, I’d kill for that.
But like, you know, we are lucky that we have these jobs as freelancers and. I don’t know where I was going with that.
Casey: Well, it it’s, it’s a, it’s like a boutique industry and there’s so many people that want to get into it. And so many people that will never be able to [00:22:00] maybe be successful in it. Your you’re, you’re doing a great job of making sure that Leanna Kangas is out there and doing amazing stuff.
And So you’re, you’re an outlier in, in that so many people, you know, try to make it and you know, there’s talent and there’s opportunity and all these other things that go into it. It seems like you’re, you’re, you’re pushing it all on all cylinders. Yeah,
Liana Kangas: I think you’re right. There’s like a lot of different variables and you just have to spend all the plates and that’s how you make it work.
Casey: One thing I’ve noticed about you in particular is a so I follow you and I specifically follow you on social media because my good buddy, Matt Sumo who is, is also on here, you’ll hear my in the background every now and then he follows you and thinks you’re you’re, you know, a coolest thing since sliced bread.
So I was like, Oh, [00:23:00] let’s check her out. Love your artwork. And also. You’re never not positive. I’ve never seen you dog anybody out or be like negative about anything that didn’t deserve negativity. And that says so much in not only the positivity, but the uplifting other people, which in. A an industry that, you know, there’s so many people trying to get in.
And so little opportunities haven’t seen somebody uplifting another artist or another writer is a fantastic thing to behold and it’s really makes you hopeful.
Liana Kangas: That’s great. That’s how it should be. There’s space for everybody. That’s what I, I, and I hope that people see that eventually in that comics is like such a great medium and such a great place to find friendships and, you [00:24:00] know, and collaborator ships and things like that.
And thank you for saying that stuff about the positivity, because that is primarily what I want to be known for is that you can come to my feed and like, Be filled with the excitement about comics that I’ve always felt. And so I don’t think it’s productive to share, like I don’t want to use my Twitter or anything for like negativity, specifically, anything negative in my life or anything like that.
I don’t want people to feel that way. I want people to feel great. And that’s why I’d rather give. You know, support to other people and like make use of those feelings to be productive and like share the growth or love of somebody else’s work or what they’re doing. That’s way more important than I feel like.
And I just genuinely want to see other people succeed in comics because I, I didn’t think it was possible for me to be in this position at all ever years ago. If you were, [00:25:00] if you like told me. That I would be anywhere near where I’m at or have the opportunities that I have now I would call bullshit. And that I wouldn’t believe you, period, but it’s because I grew up in Florida, the comics industry was primarily like dominated by like an older generation there.
The conventions were very like old school oriented where it was just pretty much like old pros or like celebrities or like. Cos players. And so there wasn’t really a lot of like the indie aspect or the makers aspect or the actual direct contact, like people who make it aspect of comics. And so when I moved to Canada, which before we had talked about I went to my first decaf and Toronto comics arts festival is by far, I think probably my favorite convention and too.
Introduces you to the exact side of comics. That if you are a creator, you need to see, like, it is [00:26:00] imperative that you see it much like SPX much like, you know, I think things like Dean can, things like that is that you realize it is an attainable passion project that you can actually do. If you put the work into it.
And that you are successful no matter what, because even if you’re a one comic is read by these one peop you know, this one group of people, and even though it may be small and it impacts them in such a way that they continue and go and do or make comments or inspires them to make comments like isn’t that all that’s worth it.
Right. Like having met, like, so obviously I’ve been in comics a long time, or been collecting comics for a long time, but like going to that T calf and like, Buying a whole bunch of really indie stuff, which I had never outside of like direct market haven’t ever really purchased before. And then, you know, meeting people like chip or, you know, all these other like creative human beings that were established in the industry and like how nice and [00:27:00] welcoming they are, or like how funny, or, you know, just interactive.
And, you know, you get to see what the industry is as a whole. In like one weekend and it just makes it attainable and it makes it, you know, a realistic goal thing. I don’t know what I’m trying to say now, but anyway, you know, it, that’s the kind of like support that I want to give to people that I received.
Like I had a really, like, one of my friends, Darryl Graham is an animator and he’s worked on like big movies and things like that. He’s my friend, because I met him working at a comic shop and he was like, why aren’t you making comics? You love comics. You are like drawing out work. Like, why aren’t you making comics?
And so to have like, people like that, that’s what I want to do for people, for them to be like, Oh, she thinks I can do it. I can totally do it. You know what I mean?
Casey: Awesome. So you [00:28:00] have around the same passion that like Tom Pyre and Jamal light will have. So the media and he is he not read there, but I love that they’re both on the same, on the same comic.
And they both are insane about comics. Like Tom is like a chill Willy Wonka of comics. Like he. He loves everything about a Holy and he’s like, this title is so good and blah, blah, blah. He talking about everybody with the most respect and love it’s really awesome in Jamal. If you ask them, like who’s blowing your hair back right now, he will list off about 20 people.
Just like, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Totally nuts about it. And I’ve had a lot of tea with a lot of caffeine in it, so that might be rubbing off, but yeah, Jamal is red
Liana Kangas: and he’s great. [00:29:00] I getting to meet him. And a couple other people that worked on the black series a couple of years ago was an incredible experience because they were extremely welcoming, especially Jamal and like, I don’t know, great to be accepted by people who you think are like heroes and stuff like that.
Liana Kangas: dude. Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
Casey: So you, you’ve kind of built up a nice little community of, of people and creators and stuff. How, how, what was the impetus for that and how did, how has that helped you in, in terms of creativity?
Liana Kangas: I wanted friends. I move a lot, so it’s kind of hard. And like comics Twitter is actually like primarily how I make friends, because with somebody who has to move fairly frequently or like is new to an area, usually you’re like, okay, who do [00:30:00] I, what shop do I go to?
And then like, what creators can I talk to? Like, for instance, that’s how I met Erica Schultz and how we’re like BFFs, because I moved to New Jersey and I was like, What comic shop can I go to when, to my comic shop, she was doing a signing. I was like, Hey, I’m actually a fan of your work. Like if you ever want to have coffee sometime, whatever.
And now we’re like besties lover. She’s incredibly talented. Please read, forgotten forgotten how so I use comics Twitter. It’s been great because it turns out other people do too, like Vita and I were mutuals on Twitter for so long. And when we finally met in person, we hugged, it was wonderful.
They introduced me to their mom. I was like, this is experienced in my life that we’re friends, what the crazy, you know? And so things like that, like Vita has introduced me to people like Phillip CV and he’s wonderful, or like, I was introduced to like Joe Osmo by my, one of my closest friends, Sarah. And like, he was so nice.
I’ve like asked him for advice a ton of times, and he’s like super supportive. And so like [00:31:00] that has become my support network, not only in learning comics, but also like. Love to see people succeed, love to celebrate their successes and love to see them at conventions. When I finally get to see them or like go to dinner or like, things like that, that’s how I socialize.
Essentially. It’s kind of, I’m luckily in that this is my job, but it’s also, you know, When the con is said and done, I actually have friends afterwards. It’s not like, just all right. I did my job. Kind of go back to the hotel room. Can I like, it’s like, no, I get to see my friends. That’s great. So and same with like creating a network of like community, like.
I have recommended all of my favorite artists, who I R w who I feel like are great friends, like Emily Pearson, or like Lisa Sterl, like just people that, like I kind of came up with. And like, I think it’s like beneficial in a million ways. And networking or like just friendships in general or like I don’t know.
You like learn from them like [00:32:00] it’s, it’s wild. So anyway, I’m naming names now because I love all of them and they are great. And I could name names for forever.
Casey: One name that I can name right now that I’ve met through comics. Community is, is Matt Sumo. And I love that man. And I aspire to one day, buy him a beer.
Liana Kangas: Wonderful. He’s like one of the few people in comics that like, number one, you support me, always Matt and I love it so much, but number two, like me just dropping everything and being like, I need a Batman beyond story. Please write me a wine. And you’re like, Oh,
about to write you go third one.
Casey: He he’s he’s great. And Consistently solid writer.
Liana Kangas: And you a really funny story about Matt real quick, that I’m like, this is the greatest I got to meet one of my heroes and that was standing right next to me. And I was like, how do I. How do I act? I don’t know what’s happening. I even liked, I [00:33:00] think I turned to Matt and I was like, I’m sweating.
I don’t know what to do. And so I almost dropped my water bottle while talking to her and I swear to God, he like just caught it immediately. It’s just something happened. I don’t remember what happened. It was so fast, but I was like, Matt, you just saved my life. You just saved me from complete and utter embarrassment.
It was wonderful. Sorry. I just have to tell you
Casey: he’s perceptive and has the reflexes of cat. But yeah. Yeah. I’ve, I’ve asked him so many questions about writing and been like, Hey man, tell me if this is shit and he’ll be like, no, it’s not shit. It’s good. Okay, cool. Cool. You sure it’s not shit. Yes, Casey.
It’s not shit. It’s good. And I just, I love seeing what he’s doing and he’s got something coming up. I’m really excited about. Speaking of, of things coming up You’re you’re doing star a star war and yeah. So how has that been? Because [00:34:00] you, you exist in a realm in comics in which you make the rules and you, this, the characters are generally your, your people.
And then now you’re, you’re drawing people that are not your people, but you have to make them your people because that’s what your job is. So how has that man?
Liana Kangas: Well, I will touch base on like working on IP projects that are not
Casey: don’t get
Liana Kangas: yourself in trouble. No, just in general, but like working on IP projects is very interesting for me because as you know, I started out with devils, which is technically an IP project for the black universe and not anything that I own.
But for even working with somebody like Vieta, like it felt like kind of. It felt like limitless creativity between the, you know, the two of us and also the rest of the team to be able to do, like we were trusted to do with it, you know, whatever. And I’ve recently worked on other IP stuff like this [00:35:00] year, past this year or whatever in that.
There are requirements to some of the things or like approval processes and things like that. And I always find it to be a challenge and I love it because you are kind of working with other people to like, make this it’s kind of like working with a client versus working with like, just co-creating.
Right. So I enjoy that because I enjoy both creating things for fun and, you know, drawing as a job. So if that makes sense, right? Like it’s just business with creating. It’s more, it’s equal half and half for me. So it’s nice to deal with like client and or an editor or somebody that has the control over the IP.
And I find it challenging and I love it.
Casey: How is there any IP project that. You’re just really, really itching to, to put your Mark on
that. See, that’s [00:36:00] one thing that I think I’m a little bit older than you. I don’t, it was on TV, but I think I was like in my teens maybe. And so like I told you to
Liana Kangas: assume that you’re older than me. Thank you. I’m 38. Okay. You are
Liana Kangas: is now two for two, or I’ve called all the hosts in the past week.
Casey: No, no, no,
Liana Kangas: it’s good. You know, if you’d like the Bruce Timm stuff, like it’s really good. And I say that obviously, like there’s tons of IPS. I’d love to work on, but like, Especially with friends, like someone like Matt to write this worry would be really fun because it’s just a whole bunch of people really excited about the cartoon being able to like sandbox it.
Right. Like that would be
Casey: so fun. That’s red. I I’m having, I rarely get a chance to watch cartoons. But [00:37:00] you know, I have. Two small kids. Well, a 10 year old and a six year old and my six year old wanted to watch gargles the other day. And she was like, dad, dad, that looks cool. And I was like, Oh yeah. So we fell down the rabbit hole, the gargoyles rabbit hole.
And she dug it so much. It, it was, it was fun. Yeah, and it was something that was on when I was a kid. And we also went down the, the X-Men in the animated series rabbit hole, which I then got a chance to interview the the show runner. And his his wife who also wrote scripts for the show and it was, it was super nice.
Liana Kangas: Yeah. That’s really cool. Did you play the theme song for them? Were they like sleeves down?
Casey: I, I, I did not. Ha however, I, I did tell them a few personal stories about, you know, watching it when I was a kid. Cause w we, when I grew up, we didn’t have a whole lot of money. But an uncle bought us a VCR and I.
I [00:38:00] taped like the, or like the first season on a videotape that was like something, my sister, it was her gymnastics performance and I got so much trouble. But it totally worth it. She’s not a gymnast now, so it doesn’t matter. And X-Men the animated series still exists. So I guess I want out
Liana Kangas: is that the only time I ever got in trouble?
I think growing up was when I cut my brother’s rat tail off.
Casey: Good. You did the work. He did the
Liana Kangas: Lord’s work. So Thanksgiving day.
Casey: So I wanted one, we had some red notebook. We had some redneck neighbors and their kids had they all had rat Hills and I wanted one. My mom was like, yeah, you’re not going to fucking rents.
Liana Kangas: What if that comes back in the next like, Oh my God, that’d be, Oh, yes. Please don’t put that evil out into the
Casey: universe. [00:39:00] I mean, if, if you want it started, you got to get it started yourself. I mean,
Liana Kangas: you’re like shut the trend. Absolutely not exactly.
Casey: After, because of COVID Kind of setting the mullet trend back, maybe just in this household, but yeah, it’s, it’s not, it’s not a good sight at all.
Liana Kangas: Why don’t you just give yourself a haircut? Well, if I wanted a self-imposed in mullet, I would definitely cut my hair. However, you know, I can just
My six year old told me I had the hair, but baby cow. Which I don’t understand, like, you know, like the shaggy hair. Yeah. Yeah.
Liana Kangas: So petting zoos often for her to have a six
Casey: year old. So it comes up every now and then that’s
Liana Kangas: hilarious. Oh my
Casey: gosh. So Matt, do you have any questions for, for Leanne?
Liana Kangas: Do I have a couple?
I wrote down [00:40:00] Leanna, a true blood fan disco, enthusiast, powerhouse, artists, comic book writer, drummer podcaster, a couple of questions for you. Number one. Your favorite song to play on the drum.
Casey: Oh, also what’s your kit?
Liana Kangas: I have a. I want to say it’s a Yamaha kit with Zildjian cymbals. Nice. Hey, pronounce it.
What’s that Lenny Kravitz song. That’s my favorite song. Cause it’s just so easy. Are you going to go my way? Is it that
Liana Kangas: Nope. It’s the sad.
Yeah, I think ever sang on a podcast.
Casey: I was about to say, you need to, like, you just gave us a tiny little, little taste. We need to hear more. Now.
[00:41:00] Liana Kangas: Maybe catch me at a karaoke bar after cons.
Casey: What’s your favorite song to sing on karaoke?
Liana Kangas: I have been recorded and posted on YouTube, the singing call me and my Blondie times because I frequented a bar back home.
And that was my weekly. The stressor was to go like, hang out with my friends. And I always did that song.
Casey: My wife back in the, before times a week before COVID her, her jam was always is what is it? Psycho killer, but the talking heads and she kills it. I love it so much.
Liana Kangas: So my ever have like an opportunity for karaoke.
It’ll definitely be like Latika.
Casey: Oh, nice. Which one? Deceptive.
Liana Kangas: Oh yeah. Just have to go. I want to scream. I haven’t seen people in two years. I’m just going to scream. That’s that will be, this is how I show you. My [00:42:00] love is that I’m screaming at you.
Casey: I think it was one of their videos. We were showing our kids music that we like, and I was like, Oh, you know, let’s play some Lottie gray we’ll play Decepticon that’s clean enough.
I think it was either. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was the, it was the gray, the video is nothing but phalluses. And I was like,
wow, but we’ll, we’ll, we’ll play it on Spotify.
Liana Kangas: I did just realize if not lending Kravitz, the sign that I like playing is there’s like think it’s total football by parquet courts or the Go-Gurt the beat. Cause it’s just also very easy, but fun, you
Casey: know, parquet courts is so good. So good.
Liana Kangas: All right.
Did I answer your question, Matt? Sorry. You did here’s a good follow-up music related as someone who has said in the past, disco seems important. What would you say is the quintessential disco track? I would [00:43:00] say, Oh I think maybe anything by chic or you got to go, like, I don’t know. Like, I feel like women really made disco like fun.
You know what I mean? Donna Summers, you know, everything like that. I was just yeah, I that’s really hard if I was just talking about the emotions the other day. I feel like. There are good earth, wind and fire. Like how do you, how do you decide this? Okay. Like discuss way too. Good. You can’t, you can’t put me on the spot.
Like this is you. Can’t fair enough. I’m so stressed out now. I’m just,
I love it. I’m so glad that you brought that up. I love disco so much. And I don’t think I’ve met any people on Twitter, but like also live disco. So people have always asked me, like, what do you want to do for your birthday? Or like, whatever, like, what’s your dream birthday? [00:44:00] And I’m like, all of my friends.
Go dancing, but it’s disco and they have to enjoy it. That’s the caveat. And I mean, that’d be pretty fun. Come on now. Thank you. Thank you.
Casey: It’s not necessarily, you know, disco is a lot more wide ranging than, than people initially suspect because it kind of came out around the same time that like. Proto punk was kind of, because Blondie is essentially a disco band that, that played on a punk stage.
Liana Kangas: And like you have funk and like all these other genres that kind of encompass, and like this goes kind of in the middle, just sitting on top kind of like, almost about to fall on every side.
Casey: Exactly. You got another one, Matt.
Liana Kangas: Yeah. So this is kind of true cult related. True cult is available digitally on Gumroad right now.
It’s fantastic. I highly recommend it. Pick three fast [00:45:00] food items from any three places. And so you need a drink, a sandwich and a site then aside, what would your three be? Okay. It would be,
I have to remember the main and that’s going to be difficult, but it’s, McDonald’s fries, fresh classic.
That’d be sitting. There has to be immediately out of the fryer. If they’re cold, it’s garbage. A drink is Baja blast. Taco bell
is going to be okay. It’s either going to be from the dollar menu, a cheeseburger with extra shred and like a little bit of a thousand Island dressing or whatever the big Mac sauce or whatever they call it. Or it’s the breaded. Chicken wings from, I think it’s Hardy’s. Maybe, you know, just like [00:46:00] the like chicken nuggets, but they’re like the whole like strips or that probably the stripes, like I personally would go for the strips.
But if some of these, like you have to have a sandwich, then it’s the shitty dollar menu with the shred and the add extra pickles, extra pickles. Nice.
Casey: Yeah. Do you have coming home from the the club go-to restaurant? Ours is Whataburger. Cause we, we, we pass a Whataburger and it is the bed. Do you
Liana Kangas: want the one that I actually want or the one that I had to get?
Casey: The one you actually want? We’ll go with that.
Liana Kangas: The one that I actually want is probably steak and shake. The one that I had to get was 99% of the time waffle house or the white castle that was like, On a random road coming back from kissing me. And it was not good. It was bad every time. I don’t [00:47:00] know why we ever thought that it was good.
Casey: Where’s the white castle in the South or in, in. I didn’t know they were down here. Cause, cause in, in
Liana Kangas: Alabama it was like a, like a fake one-off or whatever. Okay. Cause we have burger. Oh, it’s crystal burger. Just kidding. It’s gross.
Casey: Yeah. Cause you’re you’re you’re you’re losing
Liana Kangas: your roots. Yeah, I know.
Apparently I just saw a Freddy’s go up. I’ve never heard of that before. I
Casey: think there might Midwestern because a friend of mine mentioned them and he said that they’re like the best.
Liana Kangas: Oh, I’m excited for it. You automatically see that old school sign. And I was like, I’m here for it. I’m about to go get some drive through just to see what it tastes like.
I hate getting fast food, fun, fat, even though I’m drawing this book. But I lived off of fast food my entire life, essentially until it was like not able to eat it anymore. You know what I mean?
Casey: Yes. Yeah. Do, do you now [00:48:00] that you’re an adult, has that changed how you eat now? Like, do you, do you prepare your own meals?
Do you order out what do you do?
Liana Kangas: I mean, I’m, we mostly cook? I do like having to find like local restaurants to pick up things that like aren’t. Totally bad for you or whatever. Cause it’s all just feel like garbage and sleep for 10 hours. Food like affects me. Energy-wise very intensely. So like if I went to go get so like to celebrate for instance, I really do love fast food.
The problem is, is that I will sleep for like six hours after I eat. Like if you meal, you know what I mean? Right. So I have to spare and like treat myself by like, literally treat myself an order, fast food, which is the reverse, right? Like you usually do it for convenience or like you know, price or anything like that.
And But, I mean, I’m like a S I could eat cereal. [00:49:00] This is getting into such a weird conversation, but I’ve never talked about this. So it’s very interesting.
Casey: I could eat sugar cereal, like three meals a day. I’m terrible
Liana Kangas: because I don’t eat, I don’t eat bread. I don’t meet like a lot of starches. So I’m kind of like just like meat or protein.
Like I would eventually one day like to go vegetarian, that would be really cool. Or like I used to just eat like fish or things like that. And like vegetables
Casey: I used to do that was the best Rotarian for a little while. My, my wife Was full on vegetarian. And I, I worked for a moving company, so I had to get some type of protein and I would do that.
It’s not bad.
Liana Kangas: What is, what do you like to eat me? I mean, I’m like a human garbage disposal, but pizza pizza is like my, my weakness, like, so I have Friday is Is kind of like a holiday around here. Like for me, it’s I call it pizza to the face Fridays. Cause that’s my [00:50:00] one day a week that I order pizza.
So that’s like, I kind of like look forward to, it’s like my celebration, the week’s over. Like I don’t have to
Casey: work and you’re in a place for good pizza. Yeah. I mean,
Liana Kangas: it’s. Pizza so
Casey: much. We get little Caesars. You have the good,
Liana Kangas: now I like either order sushi or like I’m here, John tacos, like I could. I say all those things about, like, I don’t have any bread, stuff like that.
You put a bag of tortilla chips in front of me and forget it. I can eat it in like two hours, like done and tacos. Oh my God. Every kind of taco.
Casey: Do you have any more questions, man?
Liana Kangas: Yeah. My last one is sort of also food and drink related. It’s about your podcast comics inebriated with Matt Emmons.
It’s sort of a drunk history with comics, right? So, and this might be like, I don’t know if you’re gonna explore this down the road, but like what would be your topic of [00:51:00] discussion on your, like, if you were like, Do mean your own episode? What would your topic be? Is there good interview? I’m never explained my entire schedule talked about what I eat in a day, or even told them that what I’m going to do on the podcast yet.
Like, this is great. You guys are great. I would. Require, well, not required. I would pick my drink to be an aviation. For those that don’t know an aviation is it has like a lavender, like it’s called crammed of wallet and it’s like a lavender cure and it’s with gin and lemon juice. And it’s very delicious to me.
It’s like, I’m a huge foodie. So this cocktail specifically, I feel like hits a lot of notes. If you enjoy citrus and like, You know, you know, alcoholic beverages specifically with liquor or liquors. And [00:52:00] I would either ask that I get to do something, not really to comics, which is like, Let me tell you the entire plot of oceans and obviously pig, like an old run, maybe like the old dark horse books of like star Wars and research it and do everything first.
Otherwise I could probably do, you know, run through a couple things here. It would be fun to try and do paper girls cause let’s be real. Love time and you know, time travel rather, and things like that. And like did a great job introducing a ton of random characters to confuse the fuck out of you, but necessary for the timeline.
And I would definitely mess that up, which is great. Could do that, or I could try to do a blazer on our one and then go back and read all the comics too and say how it relates to the movie. I know he’s shaking.
I want to [00:53:00] listen to that or never hear about that again. I would totally listen to it. So you’re, I think you’re on the right path. I do the aviation and pick blade runner because of the color of the drink, which is really
Casey: fun. I just looked up that recipe for, for the aviation. That sounds amazing. I I’m, I’m such a noob at making drinks and I recently have started trying to learn how to do stuff and I’ll experiment by making my wife drinks and she’s been liking it.
Liana Kangas: awesome. Yeah, Luxardo in it too. Sorry. So that’s like a maraschino liqueur. Yeah, cherries or whatever. So it’s really, really good. What I, I think that’s cool that you’re exploring that because I didn’t explore anything until I left Florida, because all I thought was like, the things that exist is, you know, the Australian Pinot, Grigio, limes, and Miller Lite on the shelf, like never like [00:54:00] even with food.
Right. Like I was, that’s why I can’t eat it. Cause like once I changed everything to like, Not processed fast food, going back to it. I’m like, Oh God, I think I’m going to die. So like a lot of that, same with like alcohol and stuff like that too. Like once you have stuff that’s like made well with good ingredients and things like that, you’re like, Oh, dang.
I didn’t know. It was supposed to taste like that. You know, like the $5 wine versus like, you know, the $20 wine. Yeah. Oh, you don’t get a headache after drinking. Like what? Cause you’re late bad
Casey: stuff and drinking not to achieve a goal, which is to get blitzed or whatever, but, but instead drinking to go like, Hmm, this is enjoyable.
I like this. The foodie aspect of it. Yeah, exactly. So What’s been knocking your socks off lately, just in terms of [00:55:00] comics, movies, TV, anything that you’ve been inspired by?
Liana Kangas: I did finish bad weekend. And what was the other one? All my heroes are junkies very late to the game on that one. It was very interesting and I enjoyed that a lot.
I have been reading I’m like on the second hard cover of East to West.
Liana Kangas: look around real quick. Oh my God. November. So good. Elsa is like one of my favorite artists and like her and Matt, fraction’s such subject good teams. So good. Love her artwork so much. The plot, obviously you have to buy it because you know, Josh and Michael and Tim are phenomenal and, you know, just incredible.
I could plug so many books right now, revenue. Sorry, two very great volt books. DB, Andrew, Schuyler. Patridge wonderful people. Extremely talented. Love it so much. I, so I have no knowledge of X-Men whatsoever, but I start, I picked up a beat as [00:56:00] a new mutants with rod rice.
Casey: Is it not amazing
Liana Kangas: yet? It’s so good.
It’s so good. And they like the way they. Have these relationships already establish. It’s just so organic and like, it seems effortless so well. And I’m learning so much about X-Men who knew all that stuff.
Casey: So amazingly, so well done. I got, I got to talk to talk to them about it and They know their stuff.
They, they don’t, they don’t have assets, they hold assets. It is amazing how, how much work. And they also went into the the kind of accountability friends that they have. While making it, it seems like a lot of the ex writers are really a tight knit group,
Liana Kangas: fully look up to like teeny Leah and beta.
Yes. That’s like my work goals in the future. And let’s, let’s [00:57:00] not forget Danny hitter. Vida’s co-writer on some stuff like corporate killer and things like that. So good. Yeah, I could go. I could give you like hundreds of bucks, mostly like a lot of stuff that I’m reading. Like anything that I’m not, I was about to say anything I’m reading big too again by, I just picked up because people that I really enjoy are creating it.
So it’s kind of nice that to see people that I really admire being hired on big license stuff. So
Casey: nice, nice. Speaking of big license stuff star Wars had ventures, eight yelling to keep your eyes peeled for that. That’s for that. That’ll be in April, but do you have anything else coming out that our listeners need to know about.
Matt mentioned true cold earlier.
Liana Kangas: Yeah. So true call issue. One is available on Gumroad and actually two true call issue. Two is about to come out. So if you want the primer for that, go [00:58:00] ahead and pick up issue one. And the other stuff that I worked on from this past year, I can’t talk about it. But I won’t have a graphic novel announcement soon, so that’ll be fun.
Oh my gosh.
Casey: That he can, you, can you get back to us on that and just say like, Hey, this is coming out. And we’ll we might be able to put in the show notes if it’s, if it’s coming out, like soon-ish. Especially otherwise, you know, I see it, we will retweet it and let everybody know. And thank you.
Other stuff I’ve really enjoyed talking to you. Anytime I get a chance to, to hang out with my buddy, Matt, I love it. I call him and bitch to him so much, and I feel bad
Liana Kangas: just ascended after hearing that. Yes. Okay. No, it’s totally fine. Seriously.
Casey: I feel like every time I call you, I talk about the most jackass thing ever was like, yeah, man, that’s pretty weird.
[00:59:00] Liana Kangas: No, we talk about comics. Like, yeah. Yeah. I appreciate that. You guys talk about like normal stuff and ask me like bizarre questions. I try to keep it the normal questions too, which like, you know, schedule and stuff. Like, I always love hearing about that kind of stuff with other creators, like. I, yeah,
Casey: I, I know that people are, you know, they’re, if they’re reading the books, I want to know who you are.
I want to know what your process is. And I also think that that other people want to know process because they look up to you and they go like, She knows what she’s doing. Maybe I can learn something.
Liana Kangas: Definitely. I definitely know what I’m doing for science.
Casey: Yeah. So, but, but I really honestly think that that it’s something that people want to know.
Because like, well I want to know and those other people [01:00:00] don’t have podcasts so they can, they can kick rocks.
It’s been a pleasure talking to you both. Thank you.
Liana Kangas: Nice to meet you. And obviously Matt, my nephew. Thank you so
Casey: much. And Lana Kangas y’all. Go track down true cult track down star Wars adventures and Holy smokes. Keep an iPad. Keep your eyes peeled for her stuff. And also keep your eyes peeled for Matt Sumo, because he is about to blow everybody away.
Liana Kangas: Oh God fingers crossed.
Casey: Guys. You’ve read what he’s doing. Right. Have you read it?
Liana Kangas: Actually a fun story. I, Liana was the, I was your first cover. Is that, is that correct?
Casey: Is that yeah. Yeah. So I’m super jazzed and I love, so I, I [01:01:00] help run a group called the comic jam in any time somebody from the comic jam does something amazing. I’m like, Yeah. I feel like, yeah, exactly. Yeah, because these are my friends. These are people that I care about and they’re doing stuff and it’s, it’s amazing.
So I love it.
Liana Kangas: Quick, quick sidebar about the comic jam. I mean, for me, like really quick I was on a book called dedication. The company folded and I was kind of like between work. So I like just stumbled upon the comic jam and like probably the comic book collapsed subreddit and you know, Discovered this group of creators and like, we’re all making one page comics and that’s kind of how I met Casey and how we became friends.
So like for me, like that group is really important cause it sort of bridged The end, the tail end of this this freelance project with like kind of, you know, working on one page, like honing my craft and things like that. So I do have to say like, thank you to you Casey, for having that group and, and, and all [01:02:00] that stuff.
It was really important for, for me as like a creative, to be able to like, have stuff to work on. Like while I wasn’t actively working on projects it was a lot of fun.
Casey: It men, you, you bring so much to the table and not only so getting to meet people and. Kind of no, like, I try to be very choosy as to who gets on the discord because I don’t want anybody being disrespectful or rude or like, I don’t want any assholes.
I don’t want to deal with it and I don’t want it. We have, we have a ton of different people. On the discord. I want everybody to know that they’re loved and we’re friends and, or at least feel respected. And like you. Bring such a positive approach to your writing, to other people’s writing. And so it’s, it’s been a great [01:03:00] pleasure getting to know you and like, I mean, we’re friends, we talk on the phone, I love you with him.
Stupid car shit.
Liana Kangas: I have a
Casey: lot of that. So that’s the best. I love you, man.
All right, I’m going to go ahead and end it there. Lana. Thank you so much. Y’all go get some dinner because I’m about to go cook for a 10 year old and a six year old and my wife, because she’s been grading papers, so that’s nice. I love it. Y’all be good. See you guys on the social side. Take it easy.