Adam Buccafusco is an artist and podcaster based from our own North Carolina. Saturday AM publisher Frederick Jones had the pleasure of being featured on Adam’s No Big Two Comic Review. Adam has not one but two podcasts featured on Oak City Hustle. Besides podcasting, Adam works as a graphic designer for a production company. We caught up with Adam Buccafusco to talk about he turned his passion for comics into a creative outlet.
Saturday AM: How did No Big Comic Review come about? Where did you come up with the name? How did the partnership with NC’s Oak City Hustle come about?
Adam Buccafusco: Joe Bruno, co-creator of Oak City Hustle, works with me at a video production studio in Raleigh. He'd been developing Oak City Hustle on his off time alongside artist and designer, Sean Kernick. Joe had approached me about contributing to the new site. He would say, “If it’s important to you, then it’s important to Raleigh”. I agreed and decided I would write about comics, with the angle of not writing about Marvel or DC books, hence the “No Big Two” Comic Review (NB2CR). I wanted to showcase independent titles, artists, and writers. To ease up some of the pressures of seeking out good indie titles, I allowed myself to write about Image and Dark Horse titles, as well. These publishers allow established creative teams to stretch their abilities.
Saturday AM: How would you describe the NC comic scene?
Adam Buccafusco: I am not a native North Carolinian, so I can only speak for the last decade. It would seem as though there is a great divide in regions of NC comic-dom. In some areas, you see shops and fans that have really embraced technology and how the media has evolved. Comic shops are tweeting, interacting, having events, sharing what they love with the people that also share that love, they are listening to what the people want and responding in turn. On the other side of the coin, you have shops that are just stuck in the old ways. These shops have established themselves in the community when they were the only show in town and survive solely due to customer loyalty and nostalgia. Older shops know how much it takes to stay barely floating, and they never want to upset the balance with new ideas. Both styles of stores can be found between Raleigh and Durham. I for one am of the Animal Man mindset “Evolve or Die”.
Saturday AM: In addition to the NB2CR podcast, you do another podcast—Damn Art Major. What is this one about? Is it hard to juggle the two?
Adam Buccafusco: Damn Art Majors (DAM) is an art-based variety show that I put on with my best friends from college. Aaron Earley, is a painter, sculptor, man of knowledge and insight; and James “Dudders” Duddley is a sculptor and fabricator who is not only hilarious, but as real as it gets. We have a combination of segments, games, and guests that are general and fun enough for everyone to enjoy.
The weekly schedule can be difficult to do; luckily, I have help on that front with Damn Art Majors. We all take turns hosting the recording sessions, cooking dinner for the group, and promoting the show. Unfortunately, I have had to restructure how I do NB2 a bit to make time for DAM and my full time actual job, portfolio work, as well as freelance gigs. I’m really enjoying tackling it all, and try to keep it all balanced the best I can. The readers and listeners are amazingly supportive and encouraging.
Saturday AM: Who would be your dream podcast guest? Would it be different if I said dead or alive?
Adam Buccafusco: Living—Steven Spielberg. His body of work influenced and inspired me from the start and continues to do so. I would love to learn more about his process, and his views of the world would be awe-inspiring.
Dead—my best childhood friend Russel Horodecki. The world was robbed of a comedic genius. When we were in 6th grade, we’d put on a show during lunch called the “Russel and Adam Show”. We would entertain our classmates with characters, segments, and jokes all super crude in nature. I believe if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today.
Saturday AM: What property are you the ultimate fanboy for?
Adam Buccafusco: It’s difficult to just say which property is my number one favorite. I could go on for hours about “Who shot first” or “Which Robin is the best”. I’ll spare everyone and just say this; my apartment is covered in idols from the properties I love. The walls are lined with DC merchandise, Buffy, Firefly, and LEGO. I have shelves filled with Star Wars, Marvel, and even a small collection of oddities we have collected. We are surrounded by art that inspires and motivates.
Saturday AM: What is your favorite past and present comic book? Favorite era?
Adam Buccafusco: I find a lot of the drama and darkness came out of the 70’s and 80’s—the Bronze Age. These are the eras we are pulling from for today’s audience. Books like The Dark Knight Rises, or as I call it “The Catcher in the Rye of Comics”, and Watchmen presented the sequential art form in a way that would forever shape the way the world sees this medium. Comics finally grew up with their fan base. I look at the time with the same admiration as a little kid looks to their really cool older siblings.
Saturday AM: East or West?
Adam Buccafusco: Why not both?! Food, comics, movies, TV, music, all of it is better when we mix it up! If you want a perfect example of that, may I refer you to East of West from Jonathan Hickman and Image Comics, or even better yet Firefly from Joss Whedon!
Saturday AM: Do you read/watch any manga/anime?
Adam Buccafusco: I won’t begin to say “I’m a fan” per se, mainly because I know fans can be protective of the things they covet and can smell a poser a mile away. With that being said, I enjoyed Evangelion around the age most folks really connect with it (16-20). From time-to-time, I’ll throw on an anime or pick up a manga to see if it hooks me.
Saturday AM: You also are a graphic artist and animator. What would be your dream gig?
Adam Buccafusco: The artist in me wants to experiment as much as possible and try a little bit of everything, while the designer wants that steady 9-to-5 with dental. My dream gig would be something that fulfills both of those traits. I would love to be involved with an animation and effects house, doing concept art or character design. Any and all of it!
I would also love to continue building my own brand by podding, blogging, networking, and connecting. So much to do and only one life to do it, it can be really hard to buckle down sometimes.
Saturday AM: There is some really cool digital fan art and sketches on your site; my favorite is a real toss up between the portrait of Walter from Fringe and the Firefly poster. Do you have a favorite character to create and depict?
Adam Buccafusco: Thanks for digging my work! I don’t have a favorite character or theme to draw, but I go through phases with style. I was really into vector poster style a couple of years ago, which allowed me to actually finish pieces quickly, that in turn allowed me to pay homage to many more shows and movies. More recently, I have been doing digital paintings that focus on details, lighting, and textures. These works take more time so I have to be a little picky about what characters I want to do.
Saturday AM: Have you thought about creating your own webcomic or comic?
Adam Buccafusco: If the right story came to me coupled with the right sense of work ethic and ability to promote the project, then absolutely! I’ll sit at home with the girlfriend, watch shows and just start illustrating pages. These pages aren’t always parts of larger stories; they are just a way of practicing visual storytelling—keeping my skill sharp.
Saturday AM: What is your take on the future of comics in the digital era?
Adam Buccafusco: The accessibility of comics has become instantly gratifying. I remember being a kid in the 90’s; comic shops were few and far between. In the days before Google, you had to get in the car and look out the window and hopefully you’d find a small store in the middle of a plaza. You could call my mom’s car the original “Search Engine”. Now, a few clicks or taps and BOOM you get all the juicy comics your eyes can feast upon! It’s really amazing! I think digital comics are introducing new readers to the media and adding new levels of interaction with the fans. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Saturday AM: Podcasting has become quite the trend over the past few years, even attracting some huge names. Would you recommend starting a podcast to upcoming artists as a creative outlet? Is podcasting the new version of a YouTube channel?
Adam Buccafusco: Everyone that has grown up with radio has dreamed of being a DJ, even for a moment. You get an open platform to just talk about whatever you want and know that the masses are listening. Podcasts have taken that ability to broadcast out of the studios and into your living room. As a podcaster, you can share your ideas, stories, and dreams with anyone who cares to listen. As an artist, podcasting is a great way of self-expression and self-promotion. Broadcasting opens you up; it lets admirers get inside of your head a bit while reaching a whole new audience.
Oak City Hustle
No Big Two Comic Review
Damn Art Majors
Facebook: damn art majors
iTunes: “Damn Art Majors”
James “Dudders” Dudley