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Fanbase Press Interviews Koren Shadmi, Writer of Top Shelf’s ‘Love Addict’

The following is an interview with acclaimed cartoonist Koren Shadmi (The Abaddon, In the Flesh) regarding his new graphic novel, Love Addict, from Top Shelf Productions. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Shadmi regarding the book’s commentary on modern dating, balancing the writing and artistic duties of the graphic novel, his experience at New York Comic Con, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of your graphic novel, Love Addict!  For those who may be unfamiliar with the book, how would you describe its premise, and what was your inspiration for the story?

Koren Shadmi: Love Addict is a semi-autobiographical comic about online dating. It’s loosely based on one year in my life where – after a tough breakup from a long-term girlfriend – I decided to join Okcupid. In retrospect, I thought the experience was very interesting. I felt like some people who are curious about online dating could enjoy a window into that year in my life. I also figured that people who have actually done online dating could identify with some of the situations. With online dating, reality is stranger than fiction.

BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from the book and its commentary of modern dating?

KS: I think at the end of the day, the book is a cautionary tale. Online dating can be great, and you can meet the love of your life there – I met my wife on Okcupid – but if you are not careful, you might find yourself forever dating new people, never committing in a type of limbo. The ease of meeting up and hooking up through Okcupid or Tinder has made people perceive other people as dispensable, and that’s not a good thing.

BD: How did you balance the writing and artistic duties for this graphic novel, and did you find that one aspect was more challenging than the other?

KS: I wrote a complete script for the book before drawing a single page. I think it really helped the book as a whole. I was able to better establish the major themes of addiction and the downward trajectory of the character. Drawing is usually easier for me, and is also more enjoyable. If you give me the option to choose between drawing and writing, I will always pick drawing. That being said, I think that a good story and strong dialogue are absolutely essential in comics, so I made sure not to neglect those aspects, even though they were more challenging to me.

BD: What was your experience in attending New York Comic Con this past week and sharing your work with readers?

KS: NY Comic Con is a fun event, and I like to see people get fired up over comics they love; however, it’s not the best place for alternative comics or bio comics. With recent years these conventions have become more about video games, toys, and TV shows, and sometimes it’s hard to get heard over that noise. I feel more at home at conventions like Mocca, SPX, or CAB with less bells and whistles, and more alternative comics.

BD: What makes Top Shelf a great home for Love Addict?

KS: I think Top Shelf is the best possible place for the book. Editor-in-Chief Chris Staros was able to look beyond the explicit content of the book and see that there’s a bigger message here and an honest story. There’s something really intimate about the medium of comics, and I think nobody understands it better than Chris, who gave a home to people like Jeffrey Brown and Craig Thompson who have impeccable talent for telling personal stories without worrying too much about showing the full spectrum of their characters.

BD: Would you consider adapting the graphic novel to other entertainment mediums, and, if so, which do you feel would be most fitting for the story?

KS: People keep mentioning that Love Addict would make a great Netflix series. I would have no objection to that happening. It would be cool to see it as an animated show for adults. I think that could really set it apart from other shows about love and dating. I don’t think anyone has approached the subject from the same point as Love Addict yet.

BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?

KS: Yes, I just finished work on Rise of the Dungeon Master – a book about the creation of Dungeons & Dragons. The book is based on a famous WIRED article by David Kushner who was able to meet and interview Gary Gygax, the creator of the game. The comic will be a non-fiction account of the rise of D&D and the story of Gygax. As a former D&D gamer, it was a total dream project to draw this book, lots of dice and monsters (as well as aging geeks)

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Love Addict and your other work?

KS: You can either go to my website at 
or follow me on Facebook or instagram: @korenshadmi.Top Shelf also has some sample pages from Love Addict up on their site.

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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