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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.

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Murder

An anthology of comics written by Sean T. Collins
Art by Matt Wiegle, Matt Rota, and Josiah Leighton
Designed by Matt Wiegle


Elfworld

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



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


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


Pornography
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
(bibliography)


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)
PDF

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

Phobophobia

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


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2-5-2004
The ADDTF Interview: Craig Thompson:
Welcome back to what I hope will be an ongoing series of interviews with great cartoonists here at Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat. Once again I have the privilege of being able to publish an interview with a gifted writer/artist for the first time anywhere: This time around, the subject is Craig Thompson. As was the case with my interview with Phoebe Gloeckner, this piece was originally intended for publication (after much editing for space) in the now-defunct Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly. It was conducted on July 18, 2003, over lunch at the San Diego Comic-Con.

My introduction to Craig’s work came in the form of his debut graphic novel Goodbye, Chunky Rice, a funny-animal parable about friendship and loss. I was impressed both by the confident skill of Craig’s art and his willingness to harness this talent to a nakedly emotional and touching story.

These storytelling strains reached something of an apotheosis in his follow-up, the massive autobiographical novel Blankets. Though I was initially off-put by the potentially maudlin and self-indulgent subject matter--a sensitive teenager finds and loses both love and faith in the snowy fields of the rural Midwest--I was rapidly won over by the book’s rapturously involving pace, sensitive and non-judgmental characterizations, and truly breathtaking art. Blankets has weathered something of an “Emperor-has-no-clothes” backlash to become one of the most popular, acclaimed, and beloved comics of the past year, and for good reason: It’s an intelligent and personal work that actualizes the potential of the comics page to a moving degree. Its ability to win over an audience outside of the traditional comics-fan circles is just one indicator of its artistic success.

As was the case with the Gloeckner interview, production difficulties at the A&F Quarterly kept this piece from being published in its intended forum, and when that forum was cancelled altogether, that was that. Craig has graciously given me permission to publish the full interview here. (The transcription was provided by Amanda.)

I’d also like to reiterate some notes about my interviewing style: A&F Quarterly pieces were much bigger than blurbs, but also much shorter than Comics Journal-–style 40-page behemoths. In cases like Craig’s, they were also intended for an audience that probably never had heard of the interview subject before. My interviews, therefore, were always a weird amalgam of entry-level questions that I knew would make it into the truncated, edited version, and specialist questions asked for the benefit and enjoyment of myself (and, hopefully, the subject). They also tended to be quite conversational, although since Craig and I were pressed for time, we managed to keep chit-chat and digression to a minimum. Finally, since in many cases I was encouraged to seek out interview subjects of my own choosing, there’s an fannish overtone to many of my pieces. My interview with Craig was no exception.

-----
Craig Thompson
interviewed by Sean T. Collins
18 July 2003


Sean T. Collins: Let’s start by talking about the ballsiness of doing an autobiography. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there like that. How did you make the decision to do a relatively straightforward autobiography about such intensely personal subjects?

Craig Thompson: Reluctantly. I didn’t want to do an autobio. I was reluctant about it. I had my theme first, and my theme was what it’s like to sleep next to someone for the first time. I didn’t have a plot, I didn’t have a story: I didn’t want to focus on a plot or story. I wanted to focus on an emotional experience, and just have it be very believable. And when I started thinking about that in my own life--the first girl that I slept in the same bed with--it started to unravel, this sort of coming-of-age story. Instantly, I was like “Oh, that’s not bad.” And then once I realized that I’d slept with my brother since early childhood, and it’s a totally different thread--the romantic relationship versus the sibling relationship with my brother...Suddenly, there was a story, and I couldn’t resist it.

When you discovered that there was a story there, did you first think “…and it’s going to take me 570 pages to tell it”? At what point did you realize what a massive undertaking it was?

I thought it would be about 250 pages. Then it doubled--same as with Goodbye, Chunky Rice. But, right away, I wanted it to be a big book. All these crappy, mainstream comics that are like, 24 pages, and entire epics unfold in a handful of pages…worlds are created and destroyed…all these explosions, and action, and drama…I just wanted to make a big, huge-ass book where barely anything happens. It’s an emotional experience rather than action.

How long did it end up taking you? What kind of hours were you putting in on it? Because I just think that, when people look at this book (particularly people who don’t read comics), one of the first things that will strike them about it is that it’s the size of the last Harry Potter book. It’s real big! How long did it take to achieve that?

More than three years. But I wasn’t doing it full time. I had to pay the bills doing lots of illustration and comics for mainstream publishers. But when I was working on the Blankets, I was drawing two pages a day, and finishing them, but there’d be three-month stretches where I wouldn’t touch the book. So, it was pretty chaotic.

At the graphic novel panel here at Comic-Con, you were talking about how a lot of comics are claustrophobic. And your art is really open in this book: There are a lot of splash pages, there are a lot of pages with just two or three images on them, etc. Did you decide on that very early on?

Yes. I agree with non-comics readers that comics are claustrophobic. If different people write and draw the book, it’s really hard for me to get comfortable with it and get into it, because I can feel the two different people almost conflicting. And then--just comics in general--they have this claustrophobia. It’s not aesthetically pleasing on the eyes to look at a page of comics. Most often, there are too many images squeezed into one space. Except for the fact that putting one panel per page would be really expensive for both the publisher and the consumer, I do like that experience of having less. Less is more in comics.

Do you think that that applies not just to layout, but the style of art that you use as well? A&F’s audience probably doesn’t read a whole lot of comics. They’re going to see it and say “oh, it’s cartoony.” Does your style--just the way you draw people and things--try to break through that claustrophobia too? Have you ever encountered people who have trouble taking it seriously because it doesn’t look “real”? Or is that just a bias of superhero fans?

I think it’s a bias of superhero people. You tell me, but I don’t think it exists as much outside of comics. I think regular people like “cartoony.” I think cartoons have a real broad appeal, whereas comic book art is a more sheltered form. While working on the book, I really got caught up in a lot of older American cartoonists like Milton Caniff and Alex Toth. Even those guys were simplistic in their day. I think it’s the most accessible form.

That’s a perfect jumping-off point, because what’s striking about this book is how accessible it is to people who aren’t into comics. My wife, for example, had read comics that I’d handed her before, but rarely (if ever) would she seek out a book that she saw sitting around. She wouldn’t just grab something and say, “Oh, this looks interesting.” And that’s what happened with Blankets. She saw it sitting on the kitchen table, opened it up, and she was hooked. She practically snuggles it to sleep at this point, she loves it so much. Do you get the sense that it is something that people who don’t normally read comics are attracted to in some way?

Yes. I think the size is almost a gimmick. It is big, and people are curious, like “what is that thing?” And then, if they flip through it (since most people won’t even bother to flip through a comic) because of the size, they see that it’s not about the traditional things they associate with comics. I think it’s different from what those people have ever seen before. Chris Ware, I’m sure, has the same experience. Not that I’m saying I’m on the same level as him, but that he has the same experience that once people get a hold of an Acme Novelty Library or a Jimmy Corrigan, they’re pretty intrigued because it’s unique and because the haven’t seen anything like that before. And the story is pretty universal.

Was it painful for you to revisit the whole “first love” issue?

No. It wasn’t painful to look at the past--it’s painful to look at the present, and that this story was still continuing. Not the romance-- but a lot of the religious issues were still continuing in my life and in my relationship with my parents. That was the painful part.

There really is a twin narrative in Blankets with the romance and the religion, but the religious aspect was the more difficult of the two for you to tackle?

Yes. The romantic aspect was fueled by things that were happening in the present-day too--I was involved in a relationship that helped me deal with those issues related to the relationship [in Blankets]. That part was therapeutic. The other part was a struggle up until the end.

When you put the pen down for the last time, did it feel like you had gotten a 570 pound weight off of your shoulders? Was it cathartic just to do it?

I think that, upon initially finishing it, I was just terrified that it wouldn’t work once I sat down and read it. It wasn’t instant relief. But I went back and I read it, and I liked it, which is rare. I have problems with it at certain points, but I like the end. It comes together for me.

You’ve talked about how people were bugging you to serialize the book, and how, instead, you waited to release it until the whole thing was done. I know quite a few people--myself included--who would read a sample of it online and think that it seemed kind of inconsequential when taken out of context. Then when I read the whole thing, I realized that it worked once I saw the whole progression. Did you realize that going in?

Yeah. I knew that it wouldn’t work in twenty-, even forty-page installments. And as a comics buyer, I never buy serialized comics, because I don’t like them. I have no place for them. They’re kind of crumpled up in the closet in paper bags, whereas graphic novels can go on the bookshelf. I just thought it would turn people off if they were only able to read one chapter here and there versus sitting down and reading the story. That’s how it was meant to be read. I guess other cartoonists have a point that they have to make a living, but they’re artists, goddammit. They have to make some sacrifices for their art.

I think a good example is Dave Cooper’s Ripple. I think a lot of people were disappointed when the fifth issue came out, because they felt that nothing happened and that it didn’t end. It really ended in the fourth issue, and this is sort of the postscript to it. But, because it was serialized, there were a lot of people who were disappointed with that last installment. Now that it’s in one collection, and you can read the whole thing, you’re not sitting around waiting for “the fifth and final chapter.” It’s there, and you’re able to process it all as a whole. That’s what I thought was remarkable about Blankets--it really does draw you in, and you want to complete it. You want to get to the end of the book.

I want to talk about some of the consequences of doing this sort of material in your life and in the lives of the people who are in the book. How did your family react to this tale of how you came to reject the fundamentalist upbringing that you had?

I don’t have a very communicative family. I called them after I had sent them Blankets, and we had talked for about fifteen minutes before I said “You should be getting the book any day now--I mailed it about a week ago.” My parents said “Yeah, we got it.” There was quiet on the line. So I said “Oh, did you get a chance to read it?” And my mom was like “Well, I read half of it, and your father has read the whole thing already.” More quiet. So I had to really probe them. I’m like “well, there’s a lot to talk about, huh?” And they still kind of avoided it. There’s this big avoidance thing in my family--I don’t have an intimate relationship with them in terms of conversation. It’s never been a thing in my family--to discuss things. It’s very midwestern, very stoic…you can talk about things, but only on the most surface of levels. There’s not a lot of exploration of anything, which accounts for the really conservative religious views. People aren’t allowed to question or discuss that stuff.

So was Blankets, in a way, your one-sided conversation with them?

Yeah, in a way. I like to think of it as an initiation, as something to kick things off. I didn’t know any other way to do it. I cut my sister out of the book entirely. There are more elements than not that are edited out. Nothing was fictionalized to make it more exciting--it was fictionalized to make it more boring. There’s just too much stuff. But my sister thought that it did a really good job of capturing how angry and controlling our father was when we were kids. She is just now learning how to have self-confidence and how to interact with people because, in our family environment, there was never opportunity to speak your own opinion. So this is my way of establishing my view, my opinion, and they can do with it as they please. I hope that doesn’t sound mean!

What about your brother? I have a brother who is three years younger, too, and the end left me feeling that things may or may not be resolved with your brother. I have a lot of those same sort of guilt issues. How did your brother react to it?

He hasn’t seen it yet, but I’m pretty confident that he’ll like it. We have a closer relationship now.

He’s a cartoonist too, right?

Yeah--He’s a cartoonist and a graphic designer in Minneapolis.

I loved the “Eyebrow Fairy” strip that you reprinted in Blankets. That is funny!

Then you’d like his stuff! His website is www.urbansub.com.

One of the other things that I think made the book work, in terms of the way that you tackled the religious aspects, was that you weren’t judgemental about it. I rejected a lot of my Catholic upbringing, but now I’m married to a woman who doesn’t ascribe to a particular denomination, but she’s still a Christian, and it’s a very important part of her life. Jesus is an important part of her life, but not in the Pat Robertson sense that people associate with Christianity. I think that cartoonists in particular tend to be an iconoclastic bunch--or, at least, that’s how they try to portray themselves. There’s a lot of baseless nastiness towards Christians amongst alt-cartoonists, and I really didn’t see that in the book. I thought that you must be remarkably well-adjusted not to be more bitter than you are. How do you see your take on Christianity in that light?

(laughs) Well, I’m not a Christian. I’m very spiritual, I believe in God, and I still totally agree with the teachings of Jesus. I’m interested in biblical history, and I think that the basic teachings of Jesus are that God is within everybody and that you shouldn’t be judgmental. Those are the two biggest things he’s trying to communicate. I think there’s probably a handful of believers that focus on that---that’s what they’ve studied and grabbed onto.

I think my wife said in that letter to you that she and I and, from our perception of the book, you, all pretty much believe the same thing, when you take away the nomenclature. When you try to “name” what you are, that’s where the trouble starts. I really appreciated that aspect of the book because you said what needed to be said without malice or becoming judgmental yourself in reaction.

I read in another interview that you did that you hadn’t spoken with Raina.

That part is literal. I cut off contact with her. Maybe she’ll see the book, though. I wouldn’t mind be back in contact--the main reason I cut off contact is that I was an immature high schooler, and I didn’t know how to handle being friends with somebody that I had dated. And now, that’s not a big deal. One of my closest friends is an ex-girlfriend.

How does your current girlfriend feel about the giant paean to an ex-girlfriend?

Well, there’s so much of our relationship projected onto this relationship, especially because at the time I started the book we weren’t together, and I was focusing all that longing for her into the production of the book. Especially for her, there are so many obvious elements that have to do with our relationship, so she’s not jealous. And she shouldn’t be anyway, because, at the end of this book, the boy doesn’t stay with the girl. It’s not an “eternal love,” “happily every after” sort of thing.

What kind of stuff were you reading or watching or listening to while you were writing Blankets? What were the touchstones that you had in mind as you were working on it?

My big comics inspiration was Piero by the French cartoonist Baudoin. I can barely read French, but can stumble along with a dictionary's help. That book was tremendously inspirational. Everything that he has done has an expressionist sexiness to it.

I’ve been listening to music that is all over the board. When the book was being finished, Sea Change by Beck had just come out, and that was good fuel. That’s probably the best Beck album ever…I was getting into world music, too, at the time--Rokia Traoré--and reading books on world religions.

So you’re not someone who tries to shut down and avoid influences when you’re working on something?

Not at all.

I think another interesting aspect of the book, for someone who has read Chunky Rice, is that this book is sort of the “extended remix” or it. There are elements that recur literally (such as the blanket) and figuratively. You can just feel that you are commenting on the same things.

They are--they touch on very similar subjects -- making friends, losing them, life changes, connections, loss... It’s like I didn’t do a thorough job with Chunky Rice, so I revisited the themes. I might be doing that for a while--repeating myself. I know there’s stuff with the next book I’m starting that elaborates on those same themes, too. Hopefully it won’t get redundant, but it’ll just get more in-depth.

I think it’s rewarding for an audience of a particular artist’s work to watch that kind of progression when they’re dealing with similar material or similar themes. This may seem like an odd example, but just watching the different things that Frank Miller did with Daredevil and Batman throughout his career gives you an easy way to compare things he’s done at different stages in his life, and you can see the development of his ideas and of his work as an artist/writer. I thought that was really neat about Blankets--it is almost like The Lord of the Rings is to The Hobbit--

I like The Hobbit!

No, I love The Hobbit too, but it is much simpler, obviously. And all of a sudden it blossoms. Tolkien is talking about the same basic things, but he’s saying it in a new way. I just thought that was a neat aspect of the book.

I also wanted to talk about the rural midwest, which is almost a character in the book. Having never really been there--except for one speech and debate tournament in Oshkosh, Wisconsin…

But that’s like “the big city” compared to where I grew up. I remember visiting Oshkosh when I was little, and I thought it was the biggest city ever. In high school, too. Sad, huh?

I don’t think so… (laughs) But how did where you raised affect you…

It affected everything. I feel really blessed at this point in my life to have had that kind of upbringing, because it creates so many nice stories, and it’s made the rest of my life so easy. Everything just gets progressively easier because I came from such a pit of human existence. There are so many beautiful things about where I grew up in terms of nature--I think I always had this intimate connection with nature. But in terms of culture, it was the most deprived environment you could grow up with--yet very American. I didn't grow up in Texas, and yet I witnessed distinct All-American culture: the cowboy hats and the cowboy boots, the pickup trucks, being chased through the woods by guys in pickup trucks, and getting beat up all the time. I think that’s part of the American experience. (laughs)

A French publisher picked up Blankets before the American edition was released -- Casterman, and they're known for 48-page, full color, French albums. I was really surprised--why would some French publisher publish a 600-page black and white comic by an American cartoonist? But, apparently they find it really fascinating, and maybe this will help them understand where we’re coming from with our ridiculous, sheltered, fundamentalist views of the world.

So it’s cultural anthropology in a way?

In a way!

I’m glad you brought up nature, because the way you draw it is so evocative. The winter scenes are tremendously involving, and, at the risk of sounding cheesy, spiritual. It’s interesting to me that that is sort of an integral part of the book: It being wintertime, and being cold, or--in that one scene--when you were really hot in the summer.

Like Chunky Rice has the ocean…Yeah, nature is as much a character as the people are, or even more so. On the cover, the characters are kind of small in relation to the rest of the image--that’s kind of how I feel about the world in general. We’re just tiny specks and…I don’t know…I’ve always been “nature boy.” (laughs)

As you said earlier, your next book will be a further elaboration on the things that you were talking about in Chunky Rice and Blankets. What is your next book going to be like?

It’s fantastical. At a certain point, after drawing all these midwestern buildings, and cars and trucks and boring interiors of midwestern ranch homes, I really wanted to make up a world and make it really fun and visually lavish. In comics, there is no reason not to work in some sort of fantastical genres, because that just makes it more visually appealing. It’s not going to affect “special effects” costs.

It’s not going to be “fantasy”--because, obviously, the stories that I want to tell aren’t about adventures or epics or fantastical elves and sorcerers, but it’ll be fun to draw. It’s about drought. Chunky has the ocean, Blankets has snow, and the third one has drought. The next big crisis in the universe will be lack of water in the earth, so that’s the big nature element in the next book. The two main characters are child slaves--so there’s child slavery and drought. In a fantastical world.

Blankets is an autobiography, but it’s also about the other people other people involved--in particular, Raina’s father. His story was very moving to me. How did you decide that you needed to tell his side of the tale, and how did you do it?

I didn’t decide to--it just happened. It was the same with Chunky Rice. It wasn’t like the other characters were necessarily equally important to me, especially when I created them. But by the end of the story, their personal stories emerged. They force it on me. I can’t just focus on one character for so many pages--not because I get bored, but because everything is connected. This sounds kind of preachy, but it’s there no matter what. The nature, the other people…it’s all one thing.


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