How Does an Independent Comics Artist Work?

Benjamin Frisch talks about scripting, drawing, coloring, and lettering his own stories.

Benjamin Frisch.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Ellis Rosen.


In recent episodes of Working, we’ve taken you through the creative pipeline of Batman comics, talking with a writer, penciler, inker, letterer, and colorist. While most mainstream superhero comics follow a similarly distributed production model, others follow a different path. For this episode, which you can listen to via the player above, we talked to an artist who fills all those roles, and does more besides, when he makes his own comics: Benjamin Frisch.


Frisch—who, as it happens, also produces Working and several other Slate podcasts—is the author of the comic book The Fun Family, an elaborate and beautifully rendered parody of Bil Keane’s classic Family Circus newspaper cartoons. Though his work isn’t autobiographical, he nevertheless describes it as deeply personal. To help us understand why he’s so connected to it, he leads us through the three-plus-year process that took him from original conception of the book to its final execution. Along the way, he delves into the ins and outs of scripting; explains how, when, and why he digitizes his art after he’s begun to draw; discusses his feelings about word balloons; and much more. 


A page from The Fun Family.

Benjamin Frisch

To learn more about Frisch’s work, visit

Then, in a Slate Plus extra, Frisch explores the surprising relationship between making comics and producing podcasts. If you’re a member, enjoy bonus segments and interview transcripts from Working, plus other great podcast exclusives. Start your two-week free trial at