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Your source for free-form Collins


Sean T. Collins has written about comics and popular culture professionally since 2001 and on this very blog since 2003. He has written for Maxim, The Comics Journal, Stuff, Wizard, A&F Quarterly, Comic Book Resources, Giant, ToyFare, The Onion, The Comics Reporter and more. His comics have been published by Top Shelf, Partyka, and Family Style. He blogs here and at Robot 6.




(Provided that I deem them suitably fabulous, your name and message will be considered eligible for publication unless you specify otherwise.)
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An anthology of comics written by Sean T. Collins
Art by Matt Wiegle, Matt Rota, and Josiah Leighton
Designed by Matt Wiegle


An indie fantasy anthology
Featuring a comic by Sean T. Collins & Matt Wiegle


Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More

The Sean Collins Media Empire
Destructor Comes to Croc Town
story: Sean T. Collins
art: Matt Wiegle

1995 (NSFW)
script: Sean T. Collins
art: Raymond Suzuhara

script: Sean T. Collins
art: Matt Wiegle

It Brought Me Some Peace of Mind
script: Sean T. Collins
art: Matt Rota
edit: Brett Warnock

A Real Gentle Knife
script: Sean T. Collins
art: Josiah Leighton
lyrics: "Rippin Kittin" by Golden Boy & Miss Kittin

The Real Killers Are Still Out There
script: Sean T. Collins
art: Matt Wiegle

Destructor in: Prison Break
story: Sean T. Collins
art: Matt Wiegle

Cage Variations: Kitchen Sink
script: Sean T. Collins
art: Matt Rota

Cage Variations: 1998 High Street
script: Sean T. Collins
art: Matt Rota

Cage Variations: We Had No Idea
script: Sean T. Collins
art: Matt Rota

The Side Effects of the Cocaine
script: Sean T. Collins
art: Isaac Moylan

Cage Variations: No
script: Sean T. Collins
art: Matt Rota

Best Of
The Amazing! Incredible! Uncanny Oral History of Marvel Comics

The Outbreak: An Autobiographical Horror Blog

Where the Monsters Go: A 31-Day Horrorblogging Marathon, October 2003

Blog of Blood: A Marathon Examination of Clive Barker's Books of Blood, October 2005

The Blogslinger: Blogging Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, October-November 2007

The Things That Should Not Be: The Monumental Horror-Image and Its Relation to the Contemporary Horror Film (introduction)

My 35 Favorite Horror Films of All Time (at the moment)

My David Bowie Sketchbook

The Manly Movie Mamajama

Presidential Milkshakes

Horror and Certainty I

Horror and Certainty II

En Garde--I'll Let You Try My New Dumb Avant Garde Style, Part I
Part II

Evil for Thee, Not Me


The 7 Best Horror Movies of the Past 7 Years (give or take a few films)

Keep Horror NSFW, Part I
Part II

Meet the New Boss: The Politics of Killing, Part I
Part II

130 Things I Loved About The Sopranos

In Defense of "Torture Porn," Part I
Part II

At a Loss: Lost fandom and its discontents

I Got Dem Ol' Konfuzin' Event-Komik Blues Again, Mama

Losing My Edge (DFADDTF Comix Remix)

GusGus, the Universe, and Everything

"I'd Rather Die Than Give You Control" (or Adolf Hitler, Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth, and Trent Reznor walk into a blog)

The 11 Most Awful Songs from Geek Movie Soundtracks

The 11 Most Awesome Songs from Geek Movie Soundtracks

11 More Awesome Songs from Geek Movie Soundtracks

The 15 Greatest Science Fiction-Based Pop/Rock/Hip-Hop Songs

My Loch Ness Adventure

The Best Comics of 2003

The Best Albums of 2003

The Best Albums of 2004

The Best Comics of 2005

The Best Comics of 2006

The Best Comics, Films, Albums, Songs, and Television Programs of 2007

The Best Comics of 2008

The Best Comics of 2009

The Best Songs of 2009

80 Great Tracks from the 1990s

Interviews with Sean
Interviews by Sean
Movie Reviews
Avatar (Cameron, 2009)

Barton Fink (Coen, 1991)

Batman Begins (Nolan, 2005)

Battlestar Galactica: Razor (Alcala/Rose, 2007)

Battlestar Galactica: "Revelations" (Rymer, 2008)

Battlestar Galactica Season 4.5 (Moore et al, 2009)

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan (Olmos, 2009)

Beowulf (Zemeckis, 2007)

The Birds (Hitchcock, 1963)

The Blair Witch Project (Myrick & Sanchez, 1999)

The Bourne Identity (Liman, 2002)

The Bourne Supremacy (Greengrass, 2004)

The Bourne Ultimatum (Greengrass, 2007)

Casino Royale (Campbell, 2006)

Caprica: "Pilot" (Reiner, 2009)

Caprica S1 E1-6 (Moore et al, 2010)

Children of Men (Cuaron, 2006)

Cigarette Burns (Carpenter, 2005)

Clash of the Titans (Leterrier, 2010)

Cloverfield (Reeves, 2008), Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

Crank: High Voltage (Neveldine/Taylor, 2009)

Daredevil (Johnson, 2003)

The Dark Knight (Nolan, 2008)

Dawn of the Dead (Snyder, 2004)

Della'morte, Dell'amore [Cemetery Man] (Soavi, 1994)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl: The Play (Eckerling & Sunde, 2010)

District 9 (Blomkamp, 2009)

Doomsday (Marshall, 2008)

Dragon Wars [D-War] (Shim, 2007)

Eastern Promises (Cronenberg, 2007)

The Exorcist (Friedkin, 1973)

The Expendables (Stallone, 2010)

Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick, 1999)

Eyes Wide Shut revisited, Part I
Part II
Part III

Garden State (Braff, 2004)

Gossip Girl Seasons 1-2 (Savage, Schwartz et al, 2007-08)

Gossip Girl Season Three (Savage, Schwartz et al, 2009-2010)

Grindhouse [Planet Terror/Death Proof] (Rodriguez & Tarantino, 2007)

Heavenly Creatures (Jackson, 1994)

Hellboy (Del Toro, 2004)

Hellraiser (Barker, 1987)

A History of Violence (Cronenberg, 2005), Part I
Part II

The Host (Bong, 2006)

Hostel (Roth, 2005)

Hostel: Part II (Roth, 2007)

Hulk (Lee, 2003)

The Hurt Locker (Bigelow, 2009)

I Am Legend (Lawrence, 2007)

The Incredible Hulk (Leterrier, 2008)

Inglourious Basterds (Tarantino, 2009)

Inside (Maury & Bustillo, 2007)

Iron Man (Favreau, 2008)

Iron Man II (Favreau, 2010)

It (Wallace, 1990)

Jeepers Creepers (Salva, 2001)

King Kong (Jackson, 2005), Part I
Part II
Part III

Land of the Dead (Romero, 2005)

Let the Right One In (Alfredson, 2008)

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Jackson, 2003)

Lost: the first five episodes (Abrams, Lindelof et al, 2004)

Lost Season Five (Lindelof, Cuse, Bender et al, 2009)

Lost Season Six (Lindelof, Cuse, Bender et al, 2010)

Lost Highway (Lynch, 1997)

The Lovely Bones (Jackson, 2009)

Match Point (Allen, 2006)

The Matrix Revolutions (Wachowski, 2003)

Metropolis (Lang, 1927)

The Mist (Darabont, 2007), Part I
Part II

Moon (Jones, 2009)

Mulholland Drive (Lynch, 2001)

My Bloody Valentine 3D (Lussier, 2009)

The Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange #1 (various, 2010)

Night of the Living Dead (Romero, 1968)

Pan's Labyrinth (Del Toro, 2006)

Paperhouse (Rose, 1988)

Paranormal Activity (Peli, 2009)

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (Verbinski, 2007) Part I
Part II

Poltergeist (Hooper/Spielberg, 1982)

Quantum of Solace (Forster, 2008)

Rambo (Stallone, 2008)

[REC] (Balaguero & Plaza, 2007)

The Ring (Verbinski, 2002)

The Road (Hillcoat, 2009)

The Ruins (Smith, 2008)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Wright, 2010)

Secretary (Shainberg, 2002)

A Serious Man (Coen, 2009)

The Shining (Kubrick, 1980)

Shoot 'Em Up (Davis, 2007)

Shutter Island (Scorses, 2010)

The Silence of the Lambs (Demme, 1991)

The Sopranos (Chase et al, 1999-2007)

Speed Racer (Wachowski, 2008)

The Stand (Garris, 1994), Part I
Part II

The Terminator (Cameron, 1984) Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Cameron, 1991)

Terminator Salvation (McG, 2009)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Hooper, 1974)

There Will Be Blood (Anderson, 2007)

The Thing (Carpenter, 1983)

300 (Snyder, 2007)

"Thriller" (Jackson & Landis, 1984)

28 Days Later (Boyle, 2002)

28 Weeks Later (Fresnadillo, 2007)Part I
Part II

Twilight (Hardwicke, 2008)

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Slade, 2010)

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Weitz, 2009)

Up in the Air (J. Reitman, 2009)

War of the Worlds (Spielberg, 2005)

Watchmen (Snyder, 2009) Part I
Part II

The Wicker Man (Hardy, 1973)

The Wire (Simon et al, 2002-2008)

Zombi 2 [Zombie] (Fulci, 1980)

Zombieland (Fleischer, 2009)

Book Reviews
Music Reviews
Comics Reviews
Abe Sapien: The Drowning (Mignola & Alexander, 2008)

Abstract Comics (various, 2009)

The ACME Novelty Library #18 (Ware, 2007)

The ACME Novelty Library #19 (Ware, 2008)

Across the Universe: The DC Universe Stories of Alan Moore (Moore et al, 2003)

Action Comics #870 (Johns & Frank, 2008)

The Adventures of Tintin: The Seven Crystal Balls (Herge, 1975)

Afrodisiac (Rugg & Maruca, 2010)

Against Pain (Rege Jr., 2008)

Agents of Atlas #10 (Parker, Hardman, Rivoche, 2009)

The Airy Tales (Volozova, 2008)

Al Burian Goes to Hell (Burian, 1993)

Alan's War (Guibert, 2008)

Alex Robinson's Lower Regions (Robinson, 2007)

Aline and the Others (Delisle, 2006)

All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder Vol. 1 (Miller & Lee, 2009)

All-Star Superman (Morrison & Quitely, 2008-2010)

American Splendor: The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar (Pekar et al, 2003)

An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons and True Stories (Brunetti et al, 2006)

An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons and True Stories Vol. 2 (Brunetti et al, 2008)

Aqua Leung Vol. 1 (Smith & Maybury, 2008)

Archaeology (McShane, 2009)

The Arrival (Tan, 2006)

Artichoke Tales (Kelso, 2010)

Asterios Polyp (Mazzucchelli, 2009)

The Aviary (Tanner, 2007)

The Awake Field (Rege Jr., 2006)

Axe Cop (Nicolle & Nicolle, 2009-2010)

Bacter-Area (Keith Jones, 2005)

Bald Knob (Hankiewicz, 2007)

Batman (Simmons, 2007)

Batman #664-669, 672-675 (Morrison et al, 2007-2008)

Batman #681 (Morrison & Daniel, 2008)

Batman and the Monster Men (Wagner, 2006)

Batman and Robin #1 (Morrison & Quitely, 2009)

Batman and Robin #9 (Morrison & Stewart, 2010)

Batman: Hush (Loeb & Lee, 2002-03)

Batman: Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat (Dixon, Moench, Aparo, Balent, Breyfogle, Nolan, 1993)

Batman R.I.P. (Morrison, Daniel, Garbett, 2010)

Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight (Cosentino, 2008)

Batman Year 100 (Pope, 2007)

Battlestack Galacti-crap (Chippendale, 2005)

The Beast Mother (Davis, 2006)

The Best American Comics 2006 (A.E. Moore, Pekar et al, 2006)

The Best of the Spirit (Eisner, 2005)

Between Four Walls/The Room (Mattotti, 2003)

Big Questions #10 (Nilsen, 2007)

Big Questions #11: Sweetness and Light (Nilsen, 2008)

Big Questions #12: A Young Crow's Guide to Hunting (Nilsen, 2009)

Big Questions #13: A House That Floats (Nilsen, 2009)

Big Questions #14: Title and Deed (Nilsen, 2010)

The Black Diamond Detective Agency (E. Campbell & Mitchell, 2007)

Black Ghost Apple Factory (Tinder, 2006)

Black Hole (Burns, 2005) Giant Magazine version

Black Hole (Burns, 2005) Savage Critics version, Part I
Part II

Blackest Night #0-2 (Johns & Reis, 2009)

Blankets (Thompson, 2003)

Blankets revisited

Blar (Weing, 2005)

Bone (Smith, 2005)

Bonus ? Comics (Huizenga, 2009)

The Book of Genesis Illustrated (Crumb, 2009)

Bottomless Bellybutton (Shaw, 2008)

Boy's Club (Furie, 2006)

Boy's Club 2 (Furie, 2008)

Boy's Club 3 (Furie, 2009)

B.P.R.D. Vol. 9: 1946 (Mignola, Dysart, Azaceta, 2008)

B.P.R.D.: War on Frogs #4 (Arcudi & Snejbjerg, 2009)

Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! (Spiegelman, 2008)

Brilliantly Ham-fisted (Neely, 2008)

Burma Chronicles (Delisle, 2008)

Capacity (Ellsworth, 2008)

Captain America (Brubaker, Epting, Perkins et al, 2004-2008)

Captain America #33-34 (Brubaker & Epting, 2007-08)

Captain America: Reborn #4 (Brubaker & Hitch, 2009)

Captain Britain & MI:13 #5 (Cornell & Oliffe, 2008)

Cartoon Dialectics Vol. 1 (Kaczynski, 2007)

Chance in Hell (G. Hernandez, 2007)

Chester 5000 XYV (Fink, 2008-2009)

Chrome Fetus Comics #7 (Rickheit, 2009)

City-Hunter Magazine #1 (C.F., 2009)

Clive Barker's Seduth (Barker, Monfette, Rodriguez, Zone, 2009)

Clive Barker's The Thief of Always (Oprisko & Hernandez, 2005)

Closed Caption Comics #8 (various, 2009)

Cockbone (Simmons, 2009)

Cold Heat #1 (BJ & Santoro, 2006)

Cold Heat #2 (BJ & Santoro, 2006)

Cold Heat #4 (BJ & Santoro, 2007)

Cold Heat #5/6 (BJ & Santoro, 2009)

Cold Heat #7/8 (BJ & Santoro, 2009)

Cold Heat Special #2: The Chunky Gnars (Cornwell, 2007)

Cold Heat Special #3 (Santoro & Shaw, 2008)

Cold Heat Special #5 (Santoro & Smith, 2008)

Cold Heat Special #6 (Cornwell, 2009)

Cold Heat Special #7 (DeForge, 2009)

Cold Heat Special #8 (Santoro & Milburn, 2008)

Cold Heat Special #9 (Santoro & Milburn, 2009)

Comics Are For Idiots!: Blecky Yuckerella Vol. 3 (Ryan, 2008)

The Complete Persepolis (Satrapi, 2007)

Core of Caligula (C.F., 2008)

Crossing the Empty Quarter and Other Stories (Swain, 2009)

Cry Yourself to Sleep (Tinder, 2006)

Curio Cabinet (Brodowski, 2010)

Cyclone Bill & the Tall Tales (Dougherty, 2006)

Daredevil #103-104 (Brubaker & Lark, 2007-08)

Daredevil #110 (Brubaker, Rucka, Lark, Gaudiano, 2008)

The Dark Knight Strikes Again (Miller & Varley, 2003)

Dark Reign: The List #7--Wolverine (Aaron & Ribic, 2009)

Daybreak Episode Three (Ralph, 2008)

DC Universe #0 (Morrison, Johns et al, 2008)

The Death of Superman (Jurgens et al, 1993)

Death Note Vol. 1 (Ohba & Obata, 2005)

Death Note Vol. 2 (Ohba & Obata, 2005)

Death Trap (Milburn, 2010)

Detective Comics #854-860 (Rucka & Williams III, 2009-2010)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Gloeckner, 2002)

Dirtbags, Mallchicks & Motorbikes (Kiersh, 2009)

Don't Go Where I Can't Follow (Nilsen & Weaver, 2006)

Doom Force #1 (Morrison et al, 1992)

Doomwar #1 (Maberry & Eaton, 2010)

Dr. Seuss Goes to War (Seuss/Minear, 2001)

Dragon Head Vols. 1-5 (Mochizuki, 2005-2007)

A Drifting Life (Tatsumi, 2009)

Driven by Lemons (Cotter, 2009)

Eightball #23 (Clowes, 2004)

Ex Machina Vols. 1-9 (Vaughan, Harris et al, 2005-2010)

Exit Wounds (Modan, 2007)

The Exterminators Vol. 1: Bug Brothers (Oliver & Moore, 2006)

Fallen Angel (Robel, 2006)

Fandancer (Grogan, 2010)

Fatal Faux-Pas (Gaskin, 2008)

FCHS (Delsante & Freire, 2010)

Feeble Minded Funnies/My Best Pet (Milburn/Freibert, 2009)

Fight or Run: Shadow of the Chopper (Huizenga, 2008)

Final Crisis #1 (Morrison & Jones, 2008)

Final Crisis #1-7 (Morrison, Jones, Pacheco, Rudy, Mahnke et al, 2008-2009)

Fires (Mattotti, 1991)

First Time (Sibylline et al, 2009)

Flash: Rebirth #4 (Johns & Van Sciver, 2009)

Follow Me (Moynihan, 2009)

Footnotes in Gaza (Sacco, 2009)

Forbidden Worlds #114: "A Little Fat Nothing Named Herbie!" (O'Shea [Hughes] & Whitney, 1963)

Forlorn Funnies #5 (Hornschemeier, 2004)

Forming (Moynihan, 2009-2010)

Fox Bunny Funny (Hartzell, 2007)

Funny Misshapen Body (Brown, 2009)

Gags (DeForge)

Galactikrap 2 (Chippendale, 2007)

Ganges #2 (Huizenga, 2008)

Ganges #3 (Huizenga, 2009)

Gangsta Rap Posse #1 (Marra, 2009)

The Gigantic Robot (Gauld, 2009)

Giraffes in My Hair: A Rock 'n' Roll Life (Paley & Swain, 2009)

A God Somewhere (Arcudi & Snejbjerg, 2010)

Goddess Head (Shaw, 2006)

The Goddess of War, Vol. 1 (Weinstein, 2008)

GoGo Monster (Matsumoto, 2009)

The Goon Vols. 0-2 (Powell, 2003-2004)

Green Lantern #43-51 (Johns, Mahnke, Benes, 2009-2010)

Held Sinister (Stechschulte, 2009)

Hellboy Junior (Mignola, Wray et al, 2004)

Hellboy Vol. 8: Darkness Calls (Mignola & Fegredo, 2008)

Henry & Glenn Forever (Neely et al, 2010)

High Moon Vol. 1 (Gallaher & Ellis, 2009)

Ho! (Brunetti, 2009)

How We Sleep (Davis, 2006)

I Killed Adolf Hitler (Jason, 2007)

I Live Here (Kirshner, MacKinnon, Shoebridge, Simons et al, 2008)

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! (Hanks, Karasik, 2007)

Image United #1 (Kirkman, Liefeld et al, 2009)

The Immortal Iron Fist #12 (Brubaker, Fraction, Aja, Kano, Pulido, 2008)

The Immortal Iron Fist #21 (Swierczynski & Green, 2008)

Immortal Weapons #1 (Aaron, Swierczynski et al, 2009)

In a Land of Magic (Simmons, 2009)

In the Flesh: Stories (Shadmi, 2009)

Incanto (Santoro, 2006)

Incredible Change-Bots (Brown, 2007)

The Incredible Hercules #114-115 (Pak, Van Lente, Pham, 2008)

Inkweed (Wright, 2008)

Invincible Vols. 1-9 (Kirkman, Walker, Ottley, 2003-2008)

Invincible Iron Man #1-4 (Fraction & Larroca, 2008)

Invincible Iron Man #8 (Fraction & Larroca, 2008)

Invincible Iron Man #19 (Fraction & Larroca, 2009)

It Was the War of the Trenches (Tardi, 2010)

It's Sexy When People Know Your Name (Hannawalt, 2007)

Jessica Farm Vol. 1 (Simmons, 2008)

Jin & Jam #1 (Jo, 2009)

JLA Classified: Ultramarine Corps (Morrison & McGuinness, 2002)

Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer (Katchor, 1996)

Jumbly Junkery #8-9 (Nichols, 2009-2010)

Just a Man #1 (Mitchell & White, 2009)

Justice League: The New Frontier Special (Cooke, Bone, Bullock, 2008)

Keeping Two (Crane, 2001-)

Kick-Ass #1-4 (Millar & Romita Jr., 2008)

Kid Eternity (Morrison & Fegredo, 1991)

Kill Your Boyfriend (Morrison & Bond, 1995)

King-Cat Comics and Stories #69 (Porcellino, 2008)

Kramers Ergot 4 (Harkham et al, 2003)

Kramers Ergot 5 (Harkham et al, 2004)

Kramers Ergot 6 (Harkham et al, 2006)

Kramers Ergot 7 (Harkham et al, 2008)

The Lagoon (Carre, 2008)

The Last Call Vol. 1 (Lolos, 2007)

The Last Lonely Saturday (Crane, 2000)

The Last Musketeer (Jason, 2008)

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier (Moore & O'Neill, 2007)

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 3: Century #1: 1910 (Moore & O'Neill, 2009)

Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga (Levitz, Giffen, Mahlstedt, Bruning, 1991)

Little Things (Brown, 2008)

Look Out!! Monsters #1 (Grogan, 2008)

Lose #1-2 (DeForge, 2009-2010)

Lost Kisses #9 & 10 (Mitchell, 2009)

Love and Rockets: New Stories #1 (Los Bros Hernandez, 2008)

Low Moon (Jason, 2009)

The Mage's Tower (Milburn, 2008)

Maggots (Chippendale, 2007)

The Man with the Getaway Face (Cooke, 2010)

Mattie & Dodi (Davis, 2006)

McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #13 (Ware et al, 2004)

Mercury (Larson, 2010)

Mesmo Delivery (Grampa, 2008)

Micrographica (French, 2007)

Mister Wonderful (Clowes, 2007-2008)

Mome Vol. 4: Spring/Summer 2006 (various, 2006)

Mome Vol. 9: Fall 2007 (various, 2007)

Mome Vol. 10: Winter/Spring 2008 (various, 2008)

Mome Vol. 11: Summer 2008 (various, 2008)

Mome Vol. 12: Fall 2008 (various, 2008)

Mome Vol. 13: Winter 2009 (various, 2008)

Mome Vol. 14: Spring 2009 (various, 2009)

Mome Vol. 15: Summer 2009 (various, 2009)

Mome Vol. 16: Fall 2009 (various, 2009)

Mome Vol. 17: Winter 2010 (various, 2009)

Mome Vol. 18: Spring 2010 (various, 2010)

Mome Vol. 19: Summer 2010 (various, 2010)

Monkey & Spoon (Lia, 2004)

Monster Men Bureiko Lullaby (Nemoto, 2008)

Monsters (Dahl, 2009)

Monsters & Condiments (Wiegle, 2009)

Monstrosity Mini (Diaz, 2010)

Mother, Come Home (Hornschemeier, 2003)

The Mourning Star Vols. 1 & 2 (Strzepek, 2006 & 2009)

Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 (Petersen, 2008)

Mr. Cellar's Attic (Freibert, 2010)

Multiforce (Brinkman, 2009)

Multiple Warheads #1 (Graham, 2007)

My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Heatley, 2008)

The Mystery of Woolverine Woo-Bait (Coleman, 2004)

Naoki Urasawa's Monster Vols. 1-3 (Urasawa, 2006)

Naoki Urasawa's Monster Vols. 4-5 (Urasawa, 2006)

Naoki Urasawa's Monster Vols. 6-18 (Urasawa, 2006-2008)

Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys Vols. 1-3 (Urasawa, 2009)

Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys Vols. 4 & 5 (Urasawa, 2009)

Neely Covers Comics to Give You the Creeps! (Neely, 2010)

Neighbourhood Sacrifice (Davidson, DeForge, Gill, 2009)

Never Ending Summer (Cole, 2004)

Never Learn Anything from History (Beaton, 2009)

Neverland (Kiersh, 2008)

New Avengers #44 (Bendis & Tan, 2008)

New Construction #2 (Huizenga, May, Zettwoch, 2008)

New Engineering (Yokoyama, 2007)

New Painting and Drawing (Jones, 2008)

New X-Men Vol. 6: Planet X (Morrison & Jimenez, 2004)

New X-Men Vol. 7: Here Comes Tomorrow (Morrison & Silvestri, 2004)

Nicolas (Girard, 2008)

Night Business #1 & 2 (Marra, 2008 & 2009)

Night Business #3 (Marra, 2010)

Nil: A Land Beyond Belief (Turner, 2007)

Ninja (Chippendale, 2006)

Nocturnal Conspiracies (David B., 2008)

not simple (Ono, 2010)

The Numbers of the Beasts (Cheng, 2010)

Ojingogo (Forsythe, 2008)

Olde Tales Vol. II (Milburn, 2007)

One Model Nation (Taylor, Leitch, Rugg, Porter, 2009)

Or Else #5 (Huizenga, 2008)

The Other Side #1-2 (Aaron & Stewart, 2005)

Owly Vol. 4: A Time to Be Brave (Runton, 2007)

Owly Vol. 5: Tiny Tales (Runton, 2008)

Paper Blog Update Supplemental Postcard Set Sticker Pack (Nilsen, 2009)

Paradise Kiss Vols. 1-5 (Yazawa, 2002-2004)

The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack (Gurewitch, 2009)

Peter's Muscle (DeForge, 2010)

Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days (Columbia, 2009)

Pixu I (Ba, Cloonan, Lolos, Moon, 2008)

Pizzeria Kamikaze (Keret & A. Hanuka, 2006)

Plague Hero (Adebimpe, 2009)

Planetary Book 3: Leaving the 20th Century (Ellis & Cassaday, 2005)

Planetes Vols. 1-3 (Yukimura, 2003-2004)

The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (Eisner, 2005)

Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka Vols. 1-3 (Urasawa, Nagasaki, Tezuka, 2009)

Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka Vols. 1-8 (Urasawa, Nagasaki, Tezuka, 2009-2010)

Pocket Full of Rain and Other Stories (Jason, 2008)

pood #1 (various, 2010)

Powr Mastrs Vol. 1 (C.F., 2007)

Powr Mastrs Vol. 2 (C.F., 2008)

Prison Pit: Book 1 (Ryan, 2009)

Prison Pit: Book 2 (Ryan, 2010)

Real Stuff (Eichhorn et al, 2004)

Red Riding Hood Redux (Krug, 2009)

Refresh, Refresh (Novgorodoff, Ponsoldt, Pierce, 2009)

Remake (Abrams, 2009)

Reykjavik (Rehr, 2009)

Ronin (Miller, 1984)

Rumbling Chapter Two (Huizenga, 2009)

The San Francisco Panorama Comics Section (various, 2010)

Scott Pilgrim Full-Colour Odds & Ends 2008 (O'Malley, 2008)

Scott Pilgrim Vol. 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together (O'Malley, 2007)

Scott Piglrim Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe (O'Malley, 2009)

Scott Pilgrim Vol. 6: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour (O'Malley, 2010)

Second Thoughts (Asker, 2009)

Service Industry (Bak, 2007)

Set to Sea (Weing, 2010)

Seven Soldiers of Victory Vols. 1-4 (Morrison et al, 2004)

Shenzhen (Delisle, 2008)

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 (Hickman & Weaver, 2010)

Shitbeams on the Loose #2 (various, 2010)

Show Off (Burrier, 2009)

Siege (Bendis & Coipel, 2010)

Siberia (Maslov, 2008)

Skim (Tamaki & Tamaki, 2008)

Skyscrapers of the Midwest (Cotter, 2008)

Skyscrapers of the Midwest #4 (Cotter, 2007)

Sleeper Car (Ellsworth, 2009)

Sloe Black (DeForge)

Slow Storm (Novgorodoff, 2008)

Snake 'n' Bacon's Cartoon Cabaret (Kupperman, 2000)

Snake Oil #5: Wolf (Forsman, 2009)

Snow Time (Krug, 2010)

Solanin (Asano, 2008)

Soldier X #1-8 (Macan & Kordey, 2002-2003)

Speak of the Devil (G. Hernandez, 2008)

Spider-Man: Fever #1 (McCarthy, 2010)

Split Lip Vol. 1 (Costello et al, 2009)

Squadron Supreme (Gruenwald et al, 1986)

The Squirrel Machine (Rickheit, 2009)

Stay Away from Other People (Hannawalt, 2008)

Storeyville (Santoro, 2007)

Strangeways: Murder Moon (Maxwell, Garagna, Gervasio, Jok, 2008)

Studio Visit (McShane, 2010)

Stuffed! (Eichler & Bertozzi, 2009)

Sulk Vol. 1: Bighead & Friends (J. Brown, 2009)

Sulk Vol. 2: Deadly Awesome (J. Brown, 2009)

Sulk Vol. 3: The Kind of Strength That Comes from Madness (Brown, 2009)

Superman #677-680 (Robinson & Guedes, 2008)

Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 (Sadowski et al, 2009)

Sweet Tooth #1 (Lemire, 2009)

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #4 (Kupperman, 2008)

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5 (Kupperman, 2009)

Tales Designed to Thrizzle #6 (Kupperman, 2010)

Tales of Woodsman Pete (Carre, 2006)

Tekkon Kinkreet: Black and White (Matsumoto, 2007)

Teratoid Heights (Brinkman, 2003) ADDTF version

Teratoid Heights (Brinkman, 2003) TCJ version

They Moved My Bowl (Barsotti, 2007)

Thor: Ages of Thunder (Fraction, Zircher, Evans, 2008)

Three Shadows (Pedrosa, 2008)

Tokyo Tribes Vols. 1 & 2 (Inoue, 2005)

Top 10: The Forty-Niners (Moore & Ha, 2005)

Travel (Yokoyama, 2008)

Trigger #1 (Bertino, 2010)

The Troll King (Karlsson, 2010)

Two Eyes of the Beautiful (Smith, 2010)

Ultimate Comics Avengers #1 (Millar & Pacheco, 2009)

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 (Bendis & LaFuente, 2009)

Ultimate Spider-Man #131 (Bendis & Immonen, 2009)

The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite (Way & Ba, 2008)

Uptight #3 (Crane, 2009)

Wally Gropius (Hensley, 2010)

Watchmen (Moore & Gibbons, 1987) Part I
Part II

Water Baby (R. Campbell, 2008)

Weathercraft (Woodring, 2010)

Werewolves of Montpellier (Jason, 2010)

Wednesday Comics #1 (various, 2009)

West Coast Blues (Tardi & Manchette, 2009)

Wet Moon, Book 1: Feeble Wanderings (Campbell, 2004)

Wet Moon, Book 2: Unseen Feet (Campbell, 2006)

Weird Schmeird #2 (Smith, 2010)

What Had Happened Was... (Collardey, 2009)

Where Demented Wented (Hayes, 2008)

Where's Waldo? The Fantastic Journey (Handford, 2007)

Whiskey Jack & Kid Coyote Meet the King of Stink (Cheng, 2009)

Wiegle for Tarzan (Wiegle, 2010)

Wilson (Clowes, 2010)

The Winter Men (Lewis & Leon, 2010)

The Witness (Hob, 2008)

Wormdye (Espey, 2008)

Worms #4 (Mitchell & Traub, 2009)

Worn Tuff Elbow (Marc Bell, 2004)

The Would-Be Bridegrooms (Cheng, 2007)

XO #5 (Mitchell & Gardner, 2009)

You Are There (Forest & Tardi, 2009)

You'll Never Know Book One: A Good and Decent Man (Tyler, 2009)

Young Lions (Larmee, 2010)

Your Disease Spread Quick (Neely, 2008)

The Trouble with The Comics Journal's News Watch, Part I
Part II



I CAN HAS COMIX?: Jordan Crane (Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat)

July 10, 2008

I CAN HAS COMIX?: Jordan Crane

[Editor's note: This is one of a series of interviews I'll be posting that were rescued from's now-defunct archives. Originally posted on August 31, 2007.]


SUB: The writer-artist of the all-ages adventure 'The Clouds Above' and the grown-up series 'Uptight' on why he loves short stories, ghost stories and Geof Darrow--and why he hates animation, puns and 'The Walking Dead'

By Sean T. Collins

If it weren't for Jordan Crane, I wouldn't be here.

At the same time as Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's New X-Men reignited my love affair with superheroes, an impulse purchase of Crane's gorgeous, wistful graphic novella The Last Lonely Saturday was my ticket to a world beyond the spandex set. From there it was a short trip to Crane's meticulously designed anthology series NON, a clearinghouse for undiscovered or underappreciated indie talents like Nick Bertozzi, Brian Ralph, Paul Pope and Ron Rege Jr.--starting a journey that deepened my love for the sequential art medium, changed my career trajectory and landed me here at Wizard.

So it's no exaggeration to say that Crane's work literally changed my life, even while it rapidly changed in and of itself. Crane has careened from whimsical children's projects like The Clouds Above--Wizard's Best All-Ages Comic of 2006--to brutal ghost stories like his Western short story "The Hand of Gold" to lending his talented design hand to Fantagraphics' anthology series Mome. His current focus is Uptight, a one-man pamphlet-format comic he'd like to see last as long as Love and Rockets.

Crane peeled himself away from his pet project to reveal his animation-industry origin story, tout the value of making beautiful things on the cheap, explain why winning the prestigious Xeric Grant hurt more than helped, and explore the one thing all comics must do (aside from changing lives, of course).

WIZARD: How did you get interested in comics?

CRANE: I read lots of comics as a kid and as a teenager. I think that's pretty standard. I swore them off a number of times, trying to be an adult, then always went back to them. At first it was kind of like exploring, like, "Oh, what's this? What's that?" Then I started looking for things that personally resonated with me and got into more non-mainstream stuff. The first thing that really clicked for me was when I got the first couple of issues of [Steve Purcell's] Sam & Max. I was like, "What the f--- is this?" I loved how cartoony it was. Then I found [Marc Hansen's] Ralph Snart, which is another weirdo comic, and [Dave Stevens'] The Rocketeer. That's when I started going into the world of weirdo comics. It was something that kind of just naturally evolved.

But in college I studied a lot of animation. I really wanted to go into animation because I thought that it would be really cool. I made a couple of short movies, then I went out into the real world and started showing the movies I had made to some people at different animation houses around town. I went to Film Roman, the people that do "The Simpsons," and Nickelodeon, and Klasky-Csupo, and a guy at Film Roman was like, "Wow, look at this reel! You could really get a good job--in China." I had no idea that no animation is done here; it's all key frames. I had these dreams of getting hired by Nickelodeon--"All right, come up with awesome stories and you'll animate them and we're just this big animation-loving world"--when in fact you would be lucky if you got to key-frame someone else's story, and then maybe, if you're really good at that and outgoing and have the wherewithal to write stories on your own, then maybe 10 years later you can actually write the animation or select the key frames. I basically thought that the animators were also the people that made the stories. That's how guileless I was. So going into the real world was like a big f---ing crap on my birthday cake when I realized that those two things didn't go together like I thought they did.

That was when I turned back to comics, because I was like, "I can actually write and draw everything I want." I had been doing animation for about 3 years, but I still drew comics and was the comics editor at the school newspaper, so I was still drawing comics every day. It was really terrible because I really liked gag strips, but at the same time I was going through a really big existentialism phase. So the strips were supposed to be funny but were extremely unfunny. They had a bunch of puns in them and were about ennui: Imagine Godard's retarded brother doing really bad puns. Puns are like the lowest form of humor. But to do a story in animation it takes about a year, so I come back to comics thinking "I'm going to do comic stories now instead of 4-panel gags." I thought that I could just sit down and write all this stuff out. Having a little more room, I could start to mess around with things. I wasn't tied down with it having to be funny in 4 panels, so I could go for a different kind of funny and a different kind of setup, a more long-term or ongoing story that wasn't necessarily funny, but stories that would build. And I could do a story fast because it would take only 4 months instead of a year. So that was pretty much it. As soon as I figured out that animation was bullsh--, it was comics all the way.

What came first? Was it your anthology comic, NON?

CRANE: Yeah, that was the very first time that I ever did long comics. I had made a couple of aborted attempts. There was one when I was 17 and I had tried to do a post-apocalyptic comic about all the coolest sh-- ever. It had hovercrafts and hotrods, you name it. Then in college I tried to do some kind of pretentious poetry thing that didn't work out either. Both of those were abortive attempts; NON was the first time that I finished an actual comic story. I made the decision to start publishing because at the time there was all this Internet money floating around; I was making a lot of money.

What were you doing?

CRANE: I was a designer. This was about '96 or '97, and the Web thing was starting to gain momentum and I was making good money, which was certainly enough to publish. So I started that and was able to get a really good boost and not have to worry about making my money back. I think I priced everything really cavalierly [laughs], because I could, and I thought that I should. Because my whole intention with publishing was to make work that people could read. And I think that it still remains that way. It was to get people to read it first and worry about making money later.

Even today, your series Uptight is comparatively inexpensive for that format. The few pamphlet-format alternative comic books that exist tend to be not as cheap.

CRANE: My intention with Uptight was slightly different. I really got sick of waiting for 2 or 3 years between books. It was also brought on by the fact that I had kids, and my working time, while they were young, was cut down for a couple of years. I was having trouble getting in as much work as I could, so it took a long time to get pages done. The Clouds Above took a long time to get out, and that's what I was working on when they were babies. All I had done up to that point was books: I had The Last Lonely Saturday and Col-Dee and then Clouds Above, and I was working on Keeping Two, too. I was like, "God, I've been working this whole f---ing time and nothing's come out." Every time I would see people I'd be like, "Oh yeah, I'm working," but I wanted to be around and be like, "Yeah, I've got a new thing--here it is." And I was getting sick of doing webcomics, because even though it was nice to have the deadline, I f---ing hate reading online. I just hate it. I don't even like reading newspapers online. I do, but I only skim them at best.

And I also wanted to finish something, because when you're working on books it's every 4 or 5 years that you finish something; other than that you're not finishing anything. The whole thing about finishing something is that you learn things, because you're able to look back at it and go, "Well, that didn't work" or "I should have been more adventurous with that part" or "I should have put more thought into that." You're able to look at it and see how you're telling a story and see how your drawing or lettering worked and see how everything fit together, because it's done and it's a whole thing. I was only getting that every so often and I just didn't feel as if I was growing at all; if I was, it was just glacially. So I really wanted to do short stories because I get to finish things. And I just really love the short-story form and reading short stories.

I think that actually ties back in to comic books. I really like comic books as opposed to graphic novels because it's just a quick thing as opposed to sitting down and devoting yourself to something. The other thing is that if you don't like it, it's over. You can get a taste for something and know if you're going to like it or not. If you do, you can get a nice little taste and you don't need to have this giant meal all at once.

[For example,] I was just reading online about this comic book called The Walking Dead, and I was like, "F---, man, it's a comic book about zombies and it's called The Walking Dead. How could this be anything but f---ing awesome?" Then I go to the store and it's on issue #40, and I'm like, "Wow. Well, maybe I should start at the beginning." And of course they don't have single issues and I have to buy a $10 graphic novel. Then I get home and read it and I'm like, "F--- this!" and I just threw it into the trash. So there's 10 bucks gone for this totally hackneyed comic book. It's just so bad, formulaic and dull. I was disappointed just because it was called Walking Dead and that's a great title, and I just didn't understand how it could be bad. But if it was just a single issue I wouldn't have been so pissed off because I'd just be like, "Ahh, you know, it's not my thing." With just 30 pages and 4 bucks I'm not going to be super-bummed-out about it.

The short form is nice. I just really like the short, quick thing. And maybe that's just a function of my life right now, because I don't have tons of time to devote to any one specific thing. But I wanted to do a comic so that I would have something that would come out regularly. I wanted a regular deadline, something that I could keep pace by. If I wanted those things, I figured the most important thing would be that I get to do those things. So I'm printing it as cheaply as possible until the numbers get up and it can support itself, so Fantagraphics doesn't go, "You know, we can't afford to give you your own vanity project." I want to do it so that they can afford to do it and it not be a money-losing situation for them. I'd love to make it fancier, but that's going to require numbers--and maybe I won't even do it once I get numbers because I do like how simple it is. It's almost like a minicomic. It will be nice to have the option of doing something different, like a full-color pullout, if I have the numbers there, but I don't know. Maybe I won't even do that. It might be nice to just have it be profitable instead of breaking even. But the most important thing is to just be able to do it. The book is really where you can go all fancy, whereas this is straightforward, read-it-here, no frills.

But it's not as though you're a stranger to frills. Take the very elaborate NON #5, for example--it's a die-cut cardboard container holding three separate graphic novels wrapped within a hand-silkscreened cover. Why is design so important to your work?

CRANE: NON #5 is definitely a little different than all the rest of them. NON #5 took that shape because it had to. That was the only way to collect it all together. I was originally going to have Col-Dee and [Kurt Wolfgang's graphic novella] Where Hats Go in the [main NON] book. That was the original plan. But then Kurt and I got Xeric Grants to print them and we were able to overlap projects, which theoretically would save me money. It would've been a hell of a lot cheaper just to print the book as one big book, now that I look back on the whole thing. Those Xeric Grants were actually a hindrance. I was like, "Thanks for the $8,000 that ended up costing me $5,000." [Laughs] Since those were Xeric Grant books, I wanted them to be a part of the package, but they had to work separately because they were going to be sold separately as well.

So that was my solution to that problem: I looked at the budget constraints of the book and tried to figure out how to make it as cheaply as possible. "How can we make it and still turn a profit?" It was just accepting the constraints and not being like, "I'm going to push my publisher to spend money that they don't have." In one way the form isn't the point. In the biggest way the form isn't the point. It's about working within those constraints and creating the most high-quality work that is possible. It's giving the proper attention to creating a book. That's pretty much the problem that I'm trying to solve every time that I approach a book. I'm like, "How can I make this as nice as possible?" That's one of the things that I love about old stuff: I don't love the fact that it's old necessarily, I love that there's a doorknob that somebody looked at and said, "Okay, this is a handle that needs to be turned in order to open a door. How can I make this as nice as possible--as beautiful as possible?" Not just, "How can I make this functional?" If it's in a public place, somebody is going to be touching that doorknob 1,000 times a day, and at least half of those people are going to look at it. It would be nice if when they looked at the doorknob, it lifted them rather than it just being there. I like making something that doesn't have to be beautiful, beautiful. I appreciate it when other people do it, so I try to do it myself.

When I got into comics after graduating from college, NON was the first anthology I'd come across. But we're now in a heavily anthologized era: Kramers Ergot, Mome, Drawn & Quarterly Showcase...

CRANE: I know. Now I don't have to do NON anymore! It's great! I love it! [Laughs] That's why I was doing NON: There was all this great work and none of it was published, and I wanted to publish my own work and this other stuff too. It wasn't that I necessarily set out to do an anthology, it was that I just wanted to put all this other stuff into this book that I'm paying to print. But now there are so many damn anthologies that there's practically no one that isn't getting printed. I'm glad that I'm not publishing an anthology right now. And in a way, NON was really easy. It was a bunch of very obvious choices, because all these great guys were not being published. I was like a kid in a candy store. It was not a hard anthology to edit. [Laughs]

You've told stories in a wide variety of contrasting tones. For example, The Last Lonely Saturday is about an elderly couple and how they're reunited after death, and it's an incredibly sweet and romantic all-ages tale. But in Uptight #2, your story "Take Me Home" takes almost the exact same idea and spins it into this brutally grim, EC-flavored morality play. How do you handle this aspect of storytelling?

CRANE: Whenever a story occurs to me, I just want to do it. I don't have one particular type of story that I'm interested in doing. If a story is exciting to me, then I work on it; if that story gets finished, then I can put it out. I don't really have a filter, because with comics you can do anything that you want! That's the great thing about comics. Anything that strikes my fancy is what I follow until the fancy has been stricken to death [laughs], or it actually winds up going somewhere.

So with The Clouds Above, you didn't sit down and decide to do a children's book?

CRANE: No. I love children's books. And it's not a children's book--I was trying to do a children's book, and they're f---ing hard. I like fantastical stories with kids and I wanted to do an adventure story. There was a certain mood that I wanted to create in the story. It wasn't that I was thinking that I wanted to hit a certain age group. If anything, Clouds Above isn't malicious and f---ed-up enough. It needs to be way more malicious--which would remove it from the age group that it's about and make it practically unreadable for kids. But there are plenty of kids' stories that are totally f--ed up, and kids read them. I just wanted to create something that struck a certain emotional tone. That's how I tried to go about it.

Who are your artistic influences?

CRANE: I could trace influences, but I don't really look at anybody to see how to draw so much as I really like the way something makes me feel. At the very beginning I really liked Geof Darrow. Some of the basic things about the way I wanted to draw are that I don't want to do half-toning and I don't want to do cross-hatching. I want a straightforward black or white line. But apparently, somewhere along the line, it's become okay for me to do washes [laughs], which seems to be completely against anything that I initially wanted to do. But I just love the way it looks. So washes are okay, apparently. As far as the line art, it's always been clean-line art. No cross-hatching--it's either black or white, and trying to make an image out of black and white. So to that end Geof Darrow really hit on something that I wanted, and I looked to him for a while. Then his influence fell off after a while, as I was trying to do less lines and trying to hit the actual thing without a lot of wrinkles and junk. But there are people whose art I feel a certain kinship with. For example, I like what Hank Ketcham does with black and whites. It's amazing. He does a lot of cross-hatching and I don't want to do that, but the things that he does with spaces of black and white is insane. And José Munoz draws so messy but it all makes sense, and he doesn't give a f--- where he puts black. He's crazy. He just throws it on the paper and it's really exciting. There's just such life to his drawings. It's the same with Jaime Hernandez--there's so much expressiveness and he just lays down the black. It's crazy. And then there's Hergé, who practically doesn't lay down any black. He does, but it's very selective and there's a lot of life to these apparently simple drawings. They really bounce, and they have a lot of heft and roll to them.

I think that covers the spectrum. You can see why I feel a kinship to those people, because it feels like there are similar aims, at least drawing-wise. Those are people that I feel are doing the drawing right. I agree with some aspect of their drawings and it makes me excited to feel this kinship with it. And it's not like that's the only kind of artwork that I like. I love John Porcellino and Kevin Huizenga. Kevin is another one that I feel a kinship with because of the simplicity and cleanliness of the way he draws. And Sammy Harkham, who I share a studio with--there are definitely things that he does that I really like. It's mainly cartoony stuff, like the way he draws a puff of smoke coming out of someone's eye.

Is E.C. Segar an influence on you? I see him mainly in your character designs, I think.

CRANE: I'd love to say yes, but I don't think that I could draw anything as crazy as Segar. I really like how crazy he gets, but I guess I haven't looked at enough Segar to say that he's somebody I really pore over. I love his work. Frank King as well: I haven't read enough of him to cite him as an influence. I like a lot of the old-time cartooning where it's very simple, and there are areas of black and white and it's very clear, and the character design doesn't overwhelm the pacing. It all reads along at the same pace. I guess I'm trying to get away from the super-detailed.

And when you ask about influences, I don't cite anybody outside of comics because I think the art for comics is very different than the art for illustration. A finished panel for a comic is an incomplete thing because it's attached to the thing before it and the thing after it. If it's complete then you're at a kind of a standstill, so it needs to be incomplete. It needs to be not a full statement, and it's kind of a very hard thing to do. Jaime does it really well. If you isolate any one of his panels, they just don't work on their own. There are a couple which are intended to be complete statements, but by and large they don't work on their own. Even some that you'd think would work when you're isolating them don't work. I'm doing a screen print with him soon, and I was going through a lot of his comics and trying to isolate panels that I thought would be awesome prints, and it took a lot longer than I initially thought. You'd think that you could take anything from Jaime because it's all brilliant and amazing, but it actually doesn't work on its own. So that's why I'm citing only cartoonists, because I think it's a very different style of drawing.

You're also not mentioning any animators.

CRANE: It's true. I don't like animation anymore. [Laughs] The love affair is over. I had a really big appreciation for the early Max Fleischer stuff, but it's not like I want to draw like that. It definitely is something that did not have an influence on me.

What are you working on now?

CRANE: Uptight #3!

Is Uptight the plan for the foreseeable future?

CRANE: Yeah--for the rest of the future, as far as I can tell. I just want to do Uptight. I'm obviously going to collect them, but it's a place for everything that I'm working on so that I can have something regular come out. Short stories are necessary because you want there to be a finished thing in it. But I can also catch all the incomplete sh-- that I'm working on too, because comic books do that as well. That's what DC and Marvel are all about, because all that they have are incomplete stories. I'm working on some stories for the next issue of that, and possibly some new Simon & Jack stories. And also the usual terrifying and f---ed-up ghost stories. I keep on doing ghost stories because I still haven't read a good one, so I want to try and write a good ghost story.

I'm always happy when people whose work I enjoy come out with comics on a regular basis. I think that some cartoonists have benefited from working in the long form--like the impact that Craig Thompson's Blankets had just from being this giant phone-book-sized graphic novel--but it's fun to get short-form comics as a fan.

CRANE: I think the short form keeps you engaging. That's the most important thing for a comic to do, to be engaging--for it to demand that as a reader you give something to it, and you give it. To do that, each part should be complete--not just each story, but each part, each page, each row of panels. It's subdividable. I mean, being utterly leadenly serialized is bad too, but…If you look at a novel, it's made up of paragraphs and sentences, but each one of those is complete. When I look back at something like Col-Dee, which I worked on in long form, I see that parts of it are incomplete--not by design, but just because I didn't see it.

So from now on, I don't care if I never learn anything more about drawing. [Laughs] I just care about writing, and being engaging as a writer. I mean, that's your f---ing job. Whether you look at someone like Stephen King or someone supposedly "good" like Flannery O'Connor, both of them, aside from their numerous differences, are engaging. That's the hardest thing to be, the most important thing to be. If you can be engaging, f---! [Laughs]

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