Personal and engaging, Dean Haspiel returns to his comic book roots with his new work Beef With Tomato, published by Alternative Comics and available September 2015. A man with many talents, Haspiel showcases his ability to tell poignant stories of life through stunning and relatable illustrations. Comic Book Resources sat down with Haspiel on July 30th to talk about the autobiographical work, including where he gets inspiration and the importance of creating personal work.
In the interview, Haspiel discussed his penchant for creating stories about “what happens when you step out of your comfort zone and mingle with strangers.” This is one of his favorite things to do, which is no surprise considering how touching and diverse his stories are. Though Beef With Tomato is specifically about New York, the themes of trying to capture the gestalt of a city that no longer exists while struggling to make ends meet and dealing with heartbreak are universally felt. Haspiel’s observant nature makes him a born storyteller, with everyday interactions informing the stories in this semi-autobiographical work.
Though Haspiel has won an Emmy and other awards for his talent, he remained modest in talking about his accomplishments. He explained that he still struggles like any other freelancer, though he is thankful to have the means through which to invest in his “personal sensibilities.” Haspiel feeds his creativity with a combination of solo and collaborative projects, and he works with both large and small presses like Alternative Comics, understanding the importance of small presses in terms of their risk-taking abilities and the community they create. Equal parts entertaining and poignant, Beef With Tomato illuminates Haspiel’s life while identifying common themes everyone can connect to.