There’s a little bit of the future and the past in this quick final installment of our interview with The Lagoon author. We discuss the ways in which Lilli Caree’s fascination with sound has affected her comics, the power of a resolution-free ending, and why Hans Christian Andersen’s short story about a sad little Christmas tree is good fodder for a comic.
I guess I’ve never thought of it as such. I don’t really see a connection between my initial interest in that and The Lagoon, but I guess it does create an environment, and it’s an interesting thing to play with, both in sound mixing and visually.
I brought The Lagoon to a panel I was on and found that people tended to interpret it in very different ways. That seems to keep with the thematic openness of Woodsman Pete. How important is the general lack of resolution to your books?
It definitely doesn’t offer that kind of ‘aha!’ ending, which a lot of people look for in a book—and I look for, sometimes. But I guess that’s just not the kind of book it is. I’m not interested in giving it a clear resolution like that. I was thinking of it more as a poem. I don’t want people to walk away with the same interpretation of it. I want people to have different readings on the whole thing.
What drew you to the Hans Christian Andersen story that you’re working on?
That was asked of me. I got to choose from several stories and I chose that one. But I love that story. It’s just so ridiculously dismal. I was kind of surprised that that was an option, and I leapt for it. it’s really interesting—I’ve never illustrated another person’s story, let alone a genius like Hans Christian Andersen. So well see.
What’s the project?
I don’t know much about publishing or what’s okay to talk about yet.
What drew you to the most dismal option available?
I wasn’t drawn to it because it was so bad. I just love that story and was surprised that they included it. in essence, this little tree is just waiting to be taken in. and then he does get cut down and taken into the home for Christmas, and he’s loving every minute of it. he overhears the Humpty Dumpty story and gets put in the attic and tells all of the mice the Humpty Dumpty story over and over again. They get kind of sick of it, and he’s just waiting to get dressed up for Christmas again. And they finally come up, and he gets excited to go down, but they just take him down to the alley and cut him up. The end! Although much more eloquently told. I was also living in the moment. I don’t know why I got so excited about it…