The following is an interview with comedian Danny Lobell on new comic book series, Fair Enough. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Lobell about the inspiration behind the series, his work with illustrator Amy Hay, what he hopes that readers will take away from the series, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of your debut comic book, Fair Enough! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the comic’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Danny Lobell: My whole life, I’ve been making comic books. I started off when I was a kid and sold them at the Jewish day school I attended in New York. I never did it on the level I wanted to. My first comics were very homemade and then I just did strips for my college newspaper. This is the first time I finally got to publish a “professional” comic book, which has always been my dream. The comic book follows me as a kid, up to the point where I am now: a stand-up comedian living in Los Angeles with my wife. It shows my relationship with Harvey Pekar (American Splendor) and the profound impact he had on my life. He inspired me and told me to follow my dreams. It changed everything for me.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in writing and illustrating Fair Enough, and what have been some of your creative influences?
DL: My first creative influence was Stan Lee. When I was a kid, I idolized him. Then, as I got older, I became a big fan of the comedians I’d see in the movies, specifically Leslie Nielsen, Jim Carrey, Eddie Murphy, and Adam Sandler. I didn’t learn about standup comedy until Seinfeld hit the air. I learned that this art form existed from the segments of him doing standup in between scenes. I thought he invented it. When I started doing standup at 15 years old, I thought I was the second person ever to do it. But I was also influenced by other great comedians like Billy Connolly, George Carlin, and Mort Sahl. Then, of course, Harvey came around, and he remains my biggest influence.
I wrote it, brought it to illustrator Amy Hay, and had several meetings with her over the course of a year. We did sketches and outlines, then the inking, and then the final edit. Amy is an incredible artist in Culver City. I self-published the comic book and am selling them on FairEnoughComic.com.
BD: As a comedian venturing into the comic book industry, what can you share about how your work in both mediums may be similar or vastly different?
DL: They are similar in that I became a great storyteller because of standup comedy. One of the things you learn as a standup is to “trim the fat” from a bit, which means take away any superfluous language and get right to the punchline. They are different in that standup requires a punchline pretty often, whereas you have more freedom with comic books to just let the story breathe. There doesn’t have to be a laugh every 15 seconds in order for it to be good.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
DL: I hope it’s inspirational, funny, interesting, and touching. I hope I can share Harvey’s message that had a great effect on me with other people and that it will do similar wonders for them.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
DL: I run a comedy and philosophy podcast called Modern Day Philosophers, and we are entering season nine. I’ve had on Bill Burr, Marc Maron, Aisha Tyler, Fred Armisen, and many other great comedians. I’m excited for people to hear the new season. Plus, I’m putting out issue two of my comic book in the summer. People should stay tuned and follow me on Twitter to find out more information.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Fair Enough?