Carl Antonowicz is the one of three creatives profiled in a series featuring artists from Archer Studios. All three profiles may be found here on the TCC Connection website.
On June 3, for the first time since March 2020, the Tulsa Artist Fellowship (TAF) Archer Studios opened its doors to the public as part of the First Friday Art Crawl. TAF invited the public to walk around the various artists’ studios and converse with the artists.
Walking through the hallway in the Archer Studios building, Carl Antonowicz , an indie comic book and multidisciplinary artist, stood by a display of his horror and fantasy comic books. Across the room on the bookshelf were Mecha robots action figures. Behind him, an ink covered table. On the table was a cup filled with colorful pencils, and the walls taped over with inked comic illustrations.
Antonowicz described the space, “I’m lucky enough to have gotten a studio with a nice big window that lets in lots of natural light, which is helpful for working on color pages. It brightens the room up quite a bit. The window also reminds me to go outside…to get…fresh air. I also like that there’s a little sink in there, so I don’t have to go far to wash my pens and brushes.”
Antonowicz explained that the studio gives him a chance to reach more potential readers and engage with his audience. He continued, “Doing comics is a solitary and isolating practice. Sometimes I can spend years working on a project and nobody will see it till it’s completed and printed, and even then, only those few people interested in indie comics will even get the chance!” Antonowicz’s invites the public to browse his self-published graphic novel, a zine, and a debut tape.
The comics focus on telling stories set in Roodlands, a dark medieval fantasy world. Inspired by various medieval historical events, the work explores how humanity’s problems “[have] been the same since the dawn of civilization and will likely remain the same at its end.” Based on the comics, Antonowicz has created stage adaptations with multiple voice actors and live sound effects.
Antonowicz explained, “I’m mostly focused on creating dark, blown-out proto-dub soundscapes with synths and scrap metal percussion. I was lucky enough to put out a tape on Peyote Tapes last year and have a digital/zine release coming up on The Jewel Garden [a Tulsa music label created by Brad Rose] later this month, and will hopefully be able to have a little performance/release party for that.”
One difficulty in having studio be opened to the public, Antonowicz remarked, is “sometimes studio visitors say whatever pops into their heads,” and may discredit what he feels is a legitimate art form in comics. The discreditation, Antonowicz explains, “is a continuous battle for indie comics creators.”
He appreciates that TAF allows him to focus on his artwork, without having to find a second job to support himself. He believes having the opportunity to concentrate on his work permits him to create artwork for wider audiences.
When asked what he is excited about, Antonowicz explained, he was preparing for the debut of a new performance for the next Open Studios tour.