Interview: Kevin Huizenga Pt. 2 [of 2]

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Kevin Huizenga is a difficult artist to pin down, and the cartoonist, it seems, wouldn’t have it any other way. At any one moment, Huizenga is in the middle of a handful of a series for a handful of publishers. The combination of artist’s talent and seemingly endless output have made him one of the most visible indie cartoonists working today.

His creative restlessness, however, has assured that, while he’s got any number of on-going projects serialized at the same time, there’s little conceptual overlap from one to the next, even when—as is often the case—they star Huizenga’s empty vessel protagonist, Glenn Ganges.

In this second and final part of our interview with Huizenga, we discuss the magic of zines, writing about religion, and why you can’t please all the people, all the time.

[Part One]

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Skitzy by Don Freeman

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By Don Freeman
Drawn & Quarterly

donfreemanskitzycoverFor comics fans, there’s little revelation to be had in the story a cartoonist’s dual life. Many of the creators of our best-loved children’s books have made their share of adult-themed work, whether as an attempt at a secondary career, or merely to feed the creative process through means that can’t always be satiated in all age works. Don Freeman, it seems, fits into the former category.

The artist, best known today as the author of Corduroy, the adventures of an overall-wearing teddy bear, also spent time focusing on far more adult subjects, like New York City street life. Skitzy, reissued by Drawn & Quarterly as a “pre-modern-era graphic novel,” falls somewhere between the two, as a decidedly adult affair with only a touch of moral ambiguity.

As much as the book’s title can seemingly be applied to the author’s dual existences as both an adult and children’s author, the schizophrenic drive refers to another aspect that the author no doubt shares with his protogonist—the internal war between the desire to create art and the need to make a living. So strong are these two facets in Mr. Skitzafroid, in fact, that they literally split the character in two, the left and right sides of his brain pursuing divergent paths, one the manifestation of a seemingly repressed bohemian artist, and the other a continuation of the working man day-to-day pencil pushing existence.

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