An Artist With Spunk

“You’ve got spunk,” Lou Grant told Mary Richards upon first meeting her. “I hate spunk.”

Unlike the fictional TV news boss from The Mary Tyler Moore show, I love spunk. And comic book illustrator and writer Colleen Doran — author of the graphic novel series “A Distant Soil” and illustrator for The Sandman, Spider-Man and other popular series — could be listed under “spunk” in the dictionary.

I interviewed Colleen last summer on her remote farm in central Virginia during my cross-country U.S. road trip. Her video, pasted below, is a must-watch. I am not exaggerating, you must watch it, to see Colleen’s humor, her passion, and her smarts.

Before meeting Colleen I was struck by her artistic and writing talent, which I saw on her web site and her A Distant Soil site, and in a copy of the first volume of A Distant Soil owned by my teenage daughter. (My daughter, an aspiring artist herself, accompanied me on this part of the road trip, and thus was able to meet one of her favorite artists.) But I had no idea we were about to meet one of the most passionate artists I’ve ever come across.

Colleen has been a fighter her whole career. She fought her way into a male-dominated industry in her teens. She fought when her first publisher tried to, pardon the French, screw her out of A Distant Soil, her own creation. And she’s fighting now, fighting online pirates who are profiting from her own hard work without her permission or compensation. She’s taken that fight to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where a bipartisan group of U.S. senators are pursuing legislation to address her concerns. They’ll hear testimony from author Scott Turow at a hearing Wednesday to learn how important the issue is to individual creatives.

There’s no debating that Colleen’s got spunk. And that spunk has propelled her to artistic and commercial success.

Now you can take the opportunity to spend about five minutes with Colleen. I know you’ll enjoy it.

About Patrick Ross

I'm the author of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road.

6 Responses to “An Artist With Spunk”

  1. Love it!! You go, girl!! I love a little spunkiness in a person. And she is dead on with regards to the amount of work involved in artistic endeavors. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat so long my hips hurt when I get up, or started at a computer screen so long (doing marketing) that my eyes are bugging from strain. I like someone who just tells it like it is. 🙂

  2. I enjoyed this blog post; especially the personal quality of the interview. Felt like I was right there.
    thanks, Karen

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention An Artist With Spunk « The Artist's Road -- Topsy.com - February 14, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by quantummitchel, Ted Bilich and Patrick Ross, Patrick Ross. Patrick Ross said: Meet an artist with spunk: short video interview w/ #comic book #illustrator Colleen Doran http://bit.ly/gk4zIy very funny! […]

  2. 4 Steps to Breaking Out Your Creativity « The Artist's Road - August 16, 2011

    […] materials she uses when combining prose with scrapbooking. Graphic novel illustrator and author Colleen Doran has several flat-drawer lateral files that break out all of her various writing projects, with a […]

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