Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Sina Grace is the gained notice around the industry with his work on his autobiographical SELF-OBSESSED, and NOT MY BAG, which he wrote and illustrated. He's gone on to work with many of the major publishers since then working in many different capacities.
Over the past couple of years he has written a beloved run on ICEMAN. He had the tough job of writing Iceman after he "came out", and he did it masterfully. He gave us a reason to be excited about an Iceman book. The book was so well received that even after it got cancelled, it was revived do to fan support.
Sin Grace is a unique voice in this medium. He's got a slew of new projects in the works. I for one recommend going out and grabbing his ICEMAN run, the latest TPB came out this past Wednesday, you won't be disappointed.
COMIC LOUNGE: When did you first discover comic books?
SINA GRACE: My first distinct memory is grabbing a Ninja Turtles adaptation at a grocery store. That, or a DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL. Also at a grocery store.
COMIC LOUNGE: When did you decide you wanted to make comics professionally?
SG: No joke: I knew I wanted to do comics professionally when I was like nine years old. It’s in my fifth grade yearbook as a dream job. I had a one track mind! All through high school and college, too! I interned at Top Cow, self-published zines, apprenticed for Howard Chaykin… all before I was 21.
COMIC LOUNGE: What was your first professional work?
SG: I believe my first professional work is tied between art duties on THE LI’L DEPRESSED BOY, and doing illustrations for Amber Benson’s middle-grade book, AMONG THE GHOSTS. I was working for bands and had my first comic distributed through Diamond by then… but none of that was paid. Oh, wait, I may have had illustrations in a professor’s book- I Hotel- before those. It’s all a blur now.
COMIC LOUNGE: You've written for most of the major publishers, what was your first work for hire project?
SG: As an artist, my first work-for-hire project was Amber’s book, AMONG THE GHOSTS. That was so cool to get a contract that was like “we pay you once, you get a box of books, and that’s that.” I immediately went and bought myself a fancy Missoni cardigan on sale, a la Carrie Bradshaw every time she got a paycheck. Those days are gone. As a writer, I believe my first WFH piece was an ADVENTURE TIME back-up from Boom. I wrote and drew a story called Opposite Day, where Princess Bubblegum “agrees” to marry the Ice King.
COMIC LOUNGE: Over at Marvel you have been writing ICEMAN. What about the character appeals to you the most?
SG: I love Bobby Drake’s relentless optimism. He’s a wise-ass, he’s ultra-powerful, he’s seen half his friends die, and he still wants to make you smile. I also love that he’s still got so much work to do on his soul.
COMIC LOUNGE: When Marvel "outed" Iceman, what were your feelings about it? Did it feel natural, in your opinion?
SG: I remember a friend telling me the news about Iceman coming out had leaked… I can remember reading the issue and being like, “Okay, cool.” But I think I was honestly more interested in how the internet was going to react! Haha.
COMIC LOUNGE: You also introduced a new character, Darkveil. Can you talk about the inspiration behind her?
SG: Darkveil started out as my way of taking an unused character I had in my drawer and using her powerset all for the “throwing shade” pun. Her debut happens during a Mutant Pride parade, so it felt incredibly appropriate to have a drag queen as an emcee. Visually, I wanted her outfit to celebrate a bunch of different X-Lewks, and I was vibing really hard with Dax, Shea Coulee, the Vixen etc as makeup/ attitude inspirations.
COMIC LOUNGE: What are your longterm plans for the book?
SG: My plans with Iceman have always been to leave Bobby in a better spot than when I got him. With the first arc, it was about not being ashamed of any aspect of his identity. The second arc was all about him trying to find his space in more of a leadership position. The third arc was more of a celebration, and about him being forced to use all of the tools he got in the two arcs prior to save the day.
COMIC LOUNGE: Are there any other projects you're working on, that you can talk about?
SG: At present, I’ve got a handful of awesome projects that sing to my soul. As a writer, I’m working on a HAUNTED MANSION graphic novel, an original series at Boom called GHOSTED IN LA, and JUGHEAD’S TIME POLICE over at Archie Comics. Those all start coming out over the summer, with Juggie first in June. I’m also co-writing GO GO POWER RANGERS with Ryan Parrott. He’s a rad dude. Artist-me is doing flashbacks for GHOSTED IN LA and a bunch of cool art for Jenny Lewis’ roll-out in support of her new album, On The Line.
COMIC LOUNGE: As a creator, how refreshing is it to you, to have such a diverse group of creators with so many unique voices being pushed to the forefront of the industry, in a way that hasn't been done before?
SG: I’m always nervous that rubber bands snap back, so I take every moment as a win. What’s more important than unique creators being given platforms to shine is not necessarily the platform, but the editor’s guidance to tell stories that will land with readers. It can’t just be “this name” on “that book.” I worked as an editor for Robert Kirkman’s Skybound imprint, and I took a lot of pride in being able to work with the writers who had a TV background and show them how to make sequential storytelling special. It’s the same with someone who may have a YA background, and not immediately know to throw in epic splash pages or insane double page spread.