Just finished an interview
- I got up at 7 this morning to do an interview for a book that
shoud be out around the end of the year. Here's an excerpt:
Interviewer: What's with the gothic graphic atmosphere of
"Fetus-X"--the killer kittens, the "Night of the Living Dead"
paranoia? Are you cartooning's Rob Zombie or are you trying to
convey something deeper than an aesthetic sensibility you
happen to find appealing?
ME: The gothic atmosphere is coming from a few different
directions. First I've always been into horror movies and stories. I
grew up in the late '80s with taking girls out on first dates to see
slasher movies ... But I think political horror comics are perfect
for what's going on right now. Everything our government does is
based on fear: "If you don't elect me, terrorists will kill you" ... And
of course horror has always had an element of social and
political commentary to it, whether it's the Frankenstein fear of
scientific progress, or the Dracula fear of sexuality, or even just
the general horror concept of "those that are different from us
must be destroyed." That was what I always like about the 70s
zombie movies like "Night of the Living Dead" -- they took the
horror genre's typical conformist "The outsider must be
destroyed" theme and turned it into the opposite, where it was
instead the majority of people that were zombies, and so we
were cheering on the minority struggle. ... I could go on and on.
"The Communist Manifesto" starts out as a ghost story: "The
spectre of communism is haunting Europe."
End of excerpt -- I think that's some god shit. But interviews can
be fucking weird, man. This one seemed to go awesome, but in
In a lot of ways you are at the mercy of the interviewer. They ask
you questions about topics that they want to talk about, and they
can edit out anything that they didn't want you to talk about , and
so often the interview ends up saying more about the interviewer
than it does about the person being interviewed. Which is, of
course, so not the point.
I've been on the receiving end of a few of those. There was a
newspaper that dropped my comic (short version of that story:
editor was a coward), and then about a year later they ran an
article about other newspapers picking my comic up and what
experiences they were having with it. The reporter wrote the story
like a pretty straight news piece, but then his editors tried to put
in things to try to make it look like, I don't know, they maybe had a
few guts left in their digestive tract. Instead of being an article,
like the reporter rintended, about me and my comic. it ended up
being an article about how they made a really good decision to
stop running my comic a year ago. None of this which I'd even
know if they hadn't accidently posted the unedited, reporter's
version on the paper's web site. So I'm getting e-mail from
readers who picked up the newspaper saying "they wrote some
shit about you in the newspaper today," and then I go to the
website and I'm all "This isn't bad; this is pretty damn good."
Then someone sends me a scan of the story from the paper
and I'm all like "What a bunch of censorshits."
Then there've been the waste of time interviews where some
writer calls you up because he wants to talk about something
like how nobody can make any money drawing comics and then
I tell them I'm making a decent amount of money as an artist and
fuck momey anyway and so then the article runs and they don't
use my quotes. Name the comics topic, I've probabaly been
interviewed on it, expressed a minority viewpoint, and then
magically none of my quotes appeared in the actual article.
Wouldn't want the facts to get in the way of a good story, would
And then there's the misquotes. When I do phone interviews, I
always record them, then when my quotes appear butchered in
the article I can always go back and listen to the tape and go
"No, I really didn't say anything that stupid." And then there's just
the silly little things. I've done interviews where people ask me
about censorship in general or self-censorship specifically and
then I say, "I just do whatever the fuck I want." Which they then
dutifully run as, "I just do whatever the **** I want." Sweet, I'm the
fearless comics artist that can't say naughty words without
asterisks in them.
But anyway, that's my bitch, which is really a good problem to
have I guess, at least some people want to interview me, even if
their editors fuck it up in the end or whatever. Which brings me
back to this latest interview ....
I've read other interviews this guy has done, and they're good. He
doesn't seem to pull punches, doesn't seem to edit the fuck out
of what you've got to say, doesn't seem like the type to
lobotomize your quotes so it looks like you've got no personality
whatsoever. I wouldn't have gotten my nocturnal ass up at 7 this
morning if I thought he would (fucking time zones). He asked
good questions, I think I said some good shit, and the interview's
going into a book that ought to be really sweet.
More info on this book later, not sure how much I'm supposed to
be spilling just now ...