Women in Comics Month: Interview with Carol Zara
Feb 28, 2018
In honor of Women in Comics Month this March, PREVIEWSworld talks with editor and Omnimorphic co-founder, Carol Zara
PREVIEWSworld: Who is your current comics employer?
Carol Zara: Omnimorphic.
PREVIEWSworld: What is your primary job title? In a quick phrase or two, could you define your job’s key responsibility?
Carol Zara: I’m the Co-founder of Omnimorphic, and the Editor and Co-creator of ALIEN TOILET MONSTERS®.
PREVIEWSworld: Could you please explain how your work helps make comics a reality? (Connect the dots for us. Where are you in the flow of getting a book into reader hands?)
Carol Zara: The first book was a challenge because we knew from the beginning that we would be establishing not just a new IP (and all the work that it entails), but also publishing and initially distributing ALIEN TOILET MONSTERS® ourselves. There are so many moving parts in the process, from securing the trademarks to sourcing manufacturers for our merchandise, and most importantly, ensuring a quality product itself, that we had to budget our time effectively. Self-distribution is a massive undertaking, and though we had an incredible response, many retailers were firm in that they preferred the ease and simplicity of ordering through Diamond. So, I reached out, and now here we are! Starting with book two, I'll have more time to devote to the creative work itself. Beyond my role as Editor, I'll also be our Letterer, and write more of the dialogue; after all, (spoiler alert!) I'm the main human character in A.T.M.™!
PREVIEWSworld: What’s the part of your job you enjoy the most?
Carol Zara: Right now, I'm very invested in the development of our toys! Seeing our little creatures and characters come to life is amazing. I'm all about the details, so looking at materials and samples is really exciting. It's all been great, but at the end of the day, nothing beats meeting our fans at conventions and hearing what they have to say! Oh, and fan art, I LOVE fan art!
PREVIEWSworld: What comic titles have you worked on?
Carol Zara: ALIEN TOILET MONSTERS®, is our first born, so to speak, but we're planning a spinoff series that follows The Flying Cockroaches with Werewolf Teeth™ (FCWWT™) themselves. I might even draw it myself!
PREVIEWSworld: While there are loads of professionals in the comics industry, there are only so many folks who get to do what you do! How did you get started? How did you learn all the skills you needed for your position?
Carol Zara: I’ve always been very entrepreneurial, so a lot of it was on-the-job training, particularly with manufacturing. I also researched anything I didn’t already know. I found the book “The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics” exceptionally helpful.
PREVIEWsworld: Talk to us about the heroic people in your comics life. Who do you admire? Who inspires you? Why?
Carol Zara: I love unique ideas, or outside the box thinking. I've been reading White Knight and absolutely love the way Sean Gordon Murphy has handled that book. I’m a big fan of creators like Todd McFarlane, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and especially Warren Ellis. Honestly, I was very nervous to get Warren's take. I really didn’t know if he would like ALIEN TOILET MONSTERS®. I admire his work so much, I was reluctant to give him a copy. I also couldn’t have a better partner than Eric. I wouldn’t have a great product to sell if it wasn’t for him, so he’s definitely my hero.
PREVIEWSworld: Please tell us about the coolest experience you’ve ever had thanks to your job!
Carol Zara: It's easily the response from little kids at conventions. The book might be a bit too mature for them still, but the look on their faces when they hear the words "Alien Toilet Monsters" is priceless; their eyes go wide, smiles erupt, and the begging begins! "Can I please have this?" It's like magic!
PREVIEWSworld: Every industry professional has something they absolutely love about comics. Whether it’s a particular title or format, audience or tradition, or something else, we’re all hooked. What’s special about comics for you? Would you be willing to share a treasured memory about it?
Carol Zara: Comic books are special to me because they’re accessible and fun. I wish more parents and schools today would be supportive of children reading comics. Personally, there's something really wonderful about curling up with a hot cocoa, a great big stack of singles, and completely losing yourself in another world. A.T.M.™ posits that the Multiverse is real, and full of alternate worlds you can "trip" through, which is really just a metaphor for comics themselves. The medium is so elastic and ethereal. I just love it!
PREVIEWSworld: If you had one comics-related wish—no limits—what would it be?
Carol Zara: Only one? That's tough! Well, I think ALIEN TOILET MONSTERS®: The Movie would be up there, but if I had to just pick one, it would be to work with a major publisher. That would be a dream!
PREVIEWSworld: Do you have an online presence we can link to and share with our readers?
Carol Zara: Comic fans can follow my personal profile on Facebook at facebook.com/thisiscarolzara.