I had a long conversation about interviews last weekend. At some point I suggested that, if the interviewee says something along the lines of “this is going to sound crazy” or “I shouldn’t be saying this,” you’re probably doing something right. It’s not about tripping someone up so much as witnessing the on-the-spot formation of thoughts.
Canned answers are for politicians and movie stars. Good interviews are organic, and sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can witness a person rethink an idea they’ve clearly been over a million times in their brain.
You’re lucky if you can get that out of a John Porcellino—not because he’s not thinking, of course, but rather because he’s clearly examined his own motives ad nauseam, since launching King-Cat Comics in the late-80s. But what began as a casual conversation in front of an intimate crowd at last weekend’s Minneapolis Indie Expo, ended in some fascinating revelations about everything from factory work to Zen Buddhism.
The interview began, fittingly enough, rather casually, the audience still chatting, largely unaware that we had begun—that probably doesn’t come across in this recording, since the mics are so close to Porcellino and myself, but I think it’s an important to point out.
The full audio of the interview is available as a stream or download, just click the linked title below. Special thanks to Sarah M. for recording us. More interviews from MIX will be available in the coming weeks.
John Porcellino in conversation with Brian Heater