Interview - Dov Torbin

Dov Torbin is a young go-getter. The type of creator that's thriving right now thanks to sites and tools to get his work out there. His newest work, The Revolution Will Be Televised, is available at the ACT-I-VATE website. He's also working on a Kickstarter project that gives fans the chance to by shirts screened with strips from some of the finest artists around.

Torbin was awesome and decided to sit down with Omnicomic to talk about his works, the Kickstarter project and a few other things.

Omnicomic: What can you tell us about ACT-I-VATE?

Dov Torbin: ACT-I-VATE is a comic collective started 6 years ago by cartoonist, Dean Haspiel. The site features free graphic novels by some of the top indie cartoonists in the country.

Omnicomic: There's a lot of talent on ACT-I-VATE. Is there a particular type of creator the site goes for?

Torbin: I am not in charge of choosing the cartoonists who get to contribute, but the site features cartoonists of various styles and comics of every type of genre. From sci-fi to comedy to autobiography. The only consistency amongst the artists is that we all do our best to deliver top quality comics.

Omnicomic: You're working on The Revolution Will Be Televised about the Egyptian revolution on the site. Why that as a topic?

Torbin: In the summer of 2010 I left New York City to backpack around the world for 6 months by myself. In early 2011 my best friend moved to Cairo to study Arabic and so I decided to visit him. Two days later the revolution broke out.

We were there for the first week of the revolution before being evacuated out of the country. I had wanted to write a graphic novel for a long time, but was having trouble coming up with a story. I realized that I could use my story of witnessing the Egyptian revolution as a vessel to talk about certain topics I had been wanting to express for a long time. Topics such as passion/apathy, perspective, and love.

Omnicomic: Is that your first work for ACT-I-VATE?

Torbin: This is my first work on ACT-I-VATE. I started posting the comic onto the site in April of 2011 (less than 2 months after the revolution had ended) and I update it every Thursday. There are 85 pages posted right now and I hope to have the book finished in about 2 months.

Omnicomic: You're part of launching a new site next month called Comic Strip Tees. What's the focus of the site going to be?

Torbin: Comic Strip Tees is a new site that will feature a one page comic by a different cartoonist every day. Viewers will have the option to purchase that comic printed on a t-shirt. Each shirt will be sold for 7 days and artists will receive $2 for every one that's sold.

The site will let people discover the work of artists they may not know about and also bring some money back to the cartoonist community. I believe the platform of the site will also attract a wide audience and appeal to people who are only just discovering comics.

Omnicomic: Where did you come up with the idea to to sell T-shirts with webcomics on them?

Torbin: I actually came up with the idea while I was in Egypt; while walking amongst the pyramids. I had always wanted to be an editor of comics. For a period I thought about starting my own comics magazine or newspaper. Print is getting harder to get off the ground these days, so I came up with the idea of creating a website instead.

Omnicomic: Is the plan to eventually expand beyond T-shirts?

Torbin: Right now the plan is to stick with t-shirts. It's hard for me to say what's installed for the future. I'll figure it out when I get there.

Omnicomic: Who are some of the artists contributing to the site?

Torbin: Some artists who will be contributing comics include: Shannon Wheeler, Roger Langridge, Rick Parker, John Martz, Ben Towle, Jennifer Hayden, Michael DeForge, and many more of today's top indie cartoonists. I'm very excited about the talent that will be on the site.

Omnicomic: The first month of site sales you'll be donating money to the Gary Friedrich Fund started by Steve Niles. How did that plan come about?

Torbin: For the first month of the site, Comic Stip Tees will be donating $1 for every shirt sold to the fund Steve Niles started for Gary Friedrich ( One of the goals of the site is to give back to the comic community.

I can't think of a better way of doing this than by helping Gary. It's tough out there for many cartoonists. Something I know about first hand. Hopefully this site will help out a little.

Omnicomic: What conventions do you plan on attending this year?

Torbin: I hope to be back at MoCCA Fest and SPX this year. I haven't been in a few years now, but I might attend New York Comic Con this year as well.

Omnicomic: Anything you want to plug while you have the floor?

Torbin: I'd like to plug the Kickstarter campaign for Comic Strip Tees. It has passed the 50% marker with 22 days to go.

"The Revolution Will be Televised" can be read here:

My earlier comic work can be read here: which I share with my good friend and sometime collaborator, Ben Granoff.