You've most likely met or seen Justin Hall at a Prism Comics booth at any of the Californian comic conventions or you might know his work from Hard to Swallow and Glamazonia.
JUSTIN HALL: An Insight
OK. First things first. Most people love to travel. I'm one of 'em.
But you've backpacked through over 60 countries?!
"Yup. I became obsessed with travel fairly early on in my life, and pursued it relentlessly, usually taking off every year or two for at least three months."
Is there a favorite place to visit?
"Different places for different reasons: Thailand for the food, Bolivia for the landscapes, Egypt for the culture, and Germany for the nasty sex."
Do you have any other talents outside of art/writing?
"I'm an excellent massage therapist, speak decent Spanish, make fantastic French toast, and can deep throat most cocks."
If you had to replace your talent with another one, what would it be?
"I wish I could speak fluent Arabic, make a kick-ass mole, and get fucked."
What trait do you like most about yourself?
"I'm pretty open to most people and situations, and can roll with most anything."
Which living person do you most admire?
I also deeply admire the president, which some folks might find strange in the midst of Obama-backlash. To be a mixed-race child of African heritage raised by a relatively poor single mother and to still make it to the presidency through ambition, skill, and intellect is truly remarkable. And I think he's achieved incredible things in these first two years, including historic health-care and financial reforms (as hamstrung as they were by political realities), and in the midst of the worst economic crisis of a generation and two wars. Wow."
Favorite guilty pleasure:
"A tie between trashy superhero comics and checking out the muscle magazines at airport bookstores while waiting for a flight."
JUSTIN HALL: Comics
Which do you have more fun with - writing or drawing?
"Writing comes more easily to me, but when I pull off a good illustration, the extra challenge of that makes it all the sweeter."
Do you have a favorite genre to write in?
"I've done some of my best work in biography and autobiography, and I find working with "real life" events really liberating, as I can pay full attention to the craft of the story as opposed to the bones of it (ie. what actually happened to whom). But I'm trying to push myself to write more convincing fiction."
Who were/are some of the biggest influences on your artistic style?"The Hernandez Brothers are top of the list. A lot of the early women underground cartoonist like Dori Seda, Phoebe Gloeckner, Mary Fleener, etc. were hugely influential in showing me how to create good, juicy autobio comics. The bara (gay male Japanese) cartoonist are my favorite erotic artist in the world right now, and I get tons of inspiration from Gengoroh Tagame and Jiraiya. I also feel lucky enough to have a community of like-minded creators around me now from whom I draw a lot of inspiration, advice, and support, such as Dave Davenport, Steve MacIsaac, Robert Kirby, Jon Macy, etc."
What is your favorite part about writing?
"I love writing people."
What is your favorite part about drawing?
"I love drawing people... I'm a people person!"
What part of writing do you struggle with the most?
"Plotting (especially the ending), which is why fiction is harder for me than non-fiction."
How do you get over blocks in creativity?
"I never feel like I don't know what to create... I have a serious backlog of creative projects in my mind that I'll probably never have time to get to. I do of course run into times where I'm not as productive as I'd like, but those are mostly problems with time management, not inspiration."
What projects are you currently working on?
"A book with Fantagraphics called No Straight Lines: Four decades of Queer Comics, which is a comprehensive history and collection of LGBT cartooning. I'm also making a documentary film on the same theme. Plus, I'm writing a comic series about the pot industry called Harvest, and trying to finish up my graphic novel, The Liar."
JUSTIN HALL: Sex
Top or Bottom:
"A top, though as I mentioned before, I can deep throat with the best of them :)"
What would be the circumstances for you to flip?
"I really don't get fucked, unfortunately."
Fictional character you'd most like to fuck:
"Wolverine, of course. He's a hot, nasty fucker, and you wouldn't have to worry about hurting him."
Have you ever done Porn?
"Yup. I did around a dozen films over a couple of years with several studios."
What was your porn name?
"My porn name was Steve Trevor, which was the name of Wonder Woman's boyfriend back in the day, and my little in-joke for the comic geeks in the audience."
Are you still doing porn?
"Not really. I would never say never, but I feel like I had a good run with it and I'm done for now at least."
Most embarassing sexual experience:
"I did one shoot with Mustang/Falcon where they paired me by accident with someone I wasn't in the least attracted to. He was a sweet kid, but was a young, thin, hairless twink with gelled hair, and I couldn't get it up for the life of me. It was torturous.
Luckily, another director who was a buddy of mine was on the set, and he was a hot, hairy daddy. He fluffed me enough so I could finish the scene, but it remains the only scene I've done that I've never actually watched as I'm too embarrassed about my performance."
Justin, I haven't laughed so much at an 'embarrassing sexual experience' response since imagining 6'2" - Sean-Z repeatedly sliding off some smoothie onto the floor.
Thank you for a very entertaining and even more insightful interview.
Justin Hall, Folks!
If you're as curious as I was, there are still a few photos of 'Steve Trevor' floatin' around. ;)
Those of you who've seen him in his Green Lantern costume, will be happy to know the tights don't lie.
Catch Justin in the flesh at these upcoming conventions: WonderCon and the Alertnative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco, ComicCon in San Diego, and BentCon in Los Angeles.
Until my next revealing interview, love yourself this week.