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JOSH BLAIR
Editor & Publisher of Candy or Medicine
Published by: Josh Blair

Interviewed by: Richard Vasseur - (Posted: 7/5/2009)

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Josh Blair

Richard: How was "Candy or Medicine" started?

Josh: I began Candy or Medicine in the fall of 2007 as a place to publish a few random comics I came up with. After publishing the first issue, I decided to transform it into an anthology and have other people contribute. In the eight issues Iíve published as of May 2009, Iíve had 50 contributors from all across the U.S., Canada, Greece, Belgium, Slovenia, England, Japan, Brazil and New Zealand.

Richard: How do you get various contributions?

Josh: At first, I searched online for other mini-comic creators and posted calls for submission on various social networking sites and bulletin boards. Now, Iím backlogged quite a bit and received inquiries from people on a regular basis, so that keeps a steady flow of material coming in. Iím planning on expanding the issues from 16 pages to 20 pages (and eventually 24 pages) once I have the financing to do so. I was planning on making the next issue, Vol. 7, which will be out July 2009, 20 pages, but because of my financial situation, I canít afford it at this time.

Richard: What are the stories about?

Josh: Most of the submissions are humorous, but there are also a couple serious stories and some artsy/avant garde comics.

Richard: Why do this as a mini comic?

Josh: Because I like mini-comics and I think they are very accessible. Candy or Medicine is only a buck and it can fit into your pocket, so itís easy to carry with you and read on a bus.

Richard: Do you think you will ever go to a colored "Candy or Medicine"?

Josh: No, I like black and white.

Richard: Where do you see the place of a mini comic in the comic market place?

Josh: I see mini-comics as an important facet of the comic market place because they offer people an alternative to what is out there. They also offer those same people a medium to produce comics. I remember being in middle school and really wanting to draw like Jim Lee or whoever was popular at the time, yet I was not a talented artist. When I first discovered mini-comics and zines, I though, ďHey, I can do this.Ē Mini-comics show people that comics donít have to look, feel or smell a certain way. They can be whatever you want them to be.

Richard: Why would you recommend this comic?

Josh: First, because of all the amazing talent in the book. There are a lot of great and diverse artists in each issue, and I think people will find a new favorite artist or two by picking up each issue. When an artist promotes his or her own book, I think people can be skeptical, thinking, ďOf course you think itís great; itís your book.Ē But with Candy or Medicine, because in most cases Iím talking about other peopleís work (with the exception of the first issue, I only have work in two issues for a total of three pages), I can objectively say that these are great comics.

And itís not about the money either. I donít make a lot off of this, nor do I intend to, so when I tell someone they should buy a copy and that theyíll enjoy it, I have their best intentions at heart because I truly believe they will enjoy it.

Richard: What other comics would you recommend?

Josh: This might sound lame, but I would say any mini/self-published/hand-made comic because each one is a labor of love and you wonít find another one like it. I do a lot of trading, but I try to buy at least one new mini-comic, self-published comic or zine a month. If fans of and publishers of mini-comics/zines did the same, then that would be a boon for the self-publishing economy, if you will. Itís always nice checking my e-mail and seeing that someone Paypaled me for an issue or purchased one on Etsy. It really makes my day, and Iím sure it does for others too. I donít purchase too many mainstream comics anymore, but when I do, and if itís something that wasnít very good, I think, ďI could have spent the three bucks on a mini-comic that I would have really enjoyed.Ē

Richard: What is most important in your life now?

Josh: My children.

Richard: Do you have any hobbies or interests outside comics?

Josh: I have three children, so I visit libraries, parks and museums often. Iíd like to write childrenís books some day, and have actually submitted a manuscript before, but thatís a tough market to get into, especially now.

Richard: How can someone contact you?

Josh: At http://www.candyormedicine.com and/or visit the blog at http://candyormedicine.blogspot.com . Iím also on Myspace, Comicspace, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Etsy and We Make Zines, so you can find links to all those sites on the Web site.


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