Episode 219: Frank Santoro

19Jun

When I hit up cartoonist Jim Rugg before a quick three day trip to Pittsburgh, he sent his apologies. He was leaving town the same night I arrived, but helpfully sent along a list of fellow cartoonists in the city. The city’s comics community is a diverse but tight knit one, and the artists will champion their fellow Pittsburghers any chance they get. I’d totally forgotten that Frank Santoro lived there. He’d moved away from the city for a while, publishing his first works in the mid-90s, as part of the San Francisco comics community. But unlike the Bay, his hometown is actually livable for an artist. In fact, he own two houses on the same street.  The second, a mirror image of his own residence, is the headquarters of the Rowhouse Residency, an off-shoot of his long standing comics correspondence course that he likens to “a dojo for students much like a martial arts academy.” It’s an immersive school from which Santoro broadcasts lessons and publishes the work of the artist in residence, fueled by home cooked meals prepared by his mother who lives up the street. Santoro and I met up at his row house to discuss Pittsburgh comics, self-publishing and the shadow of Andy Warhol.

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