Interview: Liz Baillie Pt. 3 [of 3]

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Two-thirds of the way into my interview with Liz Baillie, a shouting match broke out in the Holiday Cocktail Lounge on St. Mark’s St. in Manhattan’s East Village. After 15 minutes, the incessant sound of the woman sitting directly behind us, banging a pair of wooden drumsticks against her table was enough to make a man seated nearby snap. Naturally, we both stopped the conversation for moment.

After a beat, Baillie turned to me and smile, “It’s a perfect environment for an interview with Liz Baillie.”

Fair enough.

In this final part of our interview with the Sing Along Forever author, we discuss the impetus for Baillie’s Mini Comic of the Month Club, the author’s inability to write a short story, and oh yeah, there’s also some talk about a punk band from New Brunswick, New Jersey, whose name currently escapes me.

[Part One][Part Two]

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Interview: Liz Baillie Pt. 2 [of 3]

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In the second part of our interview with My Brain Hurts creator Liz Baillie, we explore the parallels between the artist’s life that her protagonist Kate, whom the artist readily admits is a thinly-veiled stand-in for herself. The chronological end of the series (which Baillie has recently wrapped up) parallels her own post-high school move from New York to Boston, where, while at school, she first entertained thoughts of pursuing a career as a professional cartoonist.

Oh, and we also talk about the Bouncing Souls a little bit as well, because, well, some things just can’t be helped…

[Part One]
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Interview: Liz Baillie Pt. 1

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After threatening for months to conduct and interview with her for my comics blog, Liz Baillie and I finally settled on a time, just after work on a snow night just after in late-January. As for a location? I suggest a bar, an old favorite just north of Houston st. in Manhattan, only to concede that it, arguably that last punk bar standing on the island, might be a bit too noisy for our needs during happy hour on a Friday night.  I search for the name of a café in the area, but come up short, not much of  experienced coffee drinker myself.

“We could try the Holiday Cocktail Lounge,” she suggests. She had been there a week prior and the place had been suitably quiet, at least so far as east village bars go—and, she adds quickly, “it’s the namesake of a Bouncing Souls record.”

It’s the 12th track off the band third, self-titled album. “I’m staying here where I can get a song free with my drink, to smooth thing’s along. The bartender he looks kind of sauced, but he always knows what’s going down.” It’s snowing lightly outside on St. Mark’s Place.

Inside, said free songs are largely old Bruce Springsteen tracks, as though someone had just hit Play on the boss’s greatest hits. When “Born to Run” starts, the minute the interview ends, Baillie pauses and her eyes light up. It’s the same song, she explains, that customarily blares out of the PA when the Bouncing Souls take the stage at the top of a show.

“Obsession” might be too strong a word, but Baillie is quick to discuss the various locales she’s traveled to see the band, including most recently, in another piece of Jersey band synchronicity, Asbury Park for a handful of dates the month before in the seaside town the boss put on the rock and roll map. And, of course, there’s Sing Along Forever, the one-off followup to her long-running My Brain Hurts, which carried the telling subtitle, “A Love Letter to the Bouncing Souls.”

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Guest Strip: Liz Baillie, Josh Eiserike

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SPX isn’t so far away. In fact, it’s coming up this weekend. However, it’s an out-of-the-way affair for most of its participants – so I asked the artists, “How are you getting to SPX?” You can expect to read their responses here daily on the Cross Hatch until the big day arrives.

Today’s participants: Liz Baillie! Josh Eiserike!

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While You Were Out: Dispatches from Beyond SDCC 2008

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Chalk it up to the sophomore jinx, but the Second Annual Astoria Comic Con isn’t going quite so well as I had hoped. Sure there will be naysayers who insist that it has something to do with the fact that once again I stubbornly insisted on holding it the same weekend as the San Diego Comic Con. And then there’s the fact that I didn’t advertise or really mention it to anybody. And, of course, nitpickers will likely point out that I held the thing in my tiny backyard in Astoria, Queens.

Honestly, though, I think the whole thing is just a matter of building proper buzz, and that sort of thing takes at least three years of unsuccessful backyard conventions to build. Maybe next year J. Scott Campbell will return my phone calls…

We’ve still got another day-and-a-half to turn this whole thing around. And believe me, once word gets out about those discount-priced hugs, attendees will be fleeing the San Diego convention center like rats from a sinking Watchmen sneak previewing ship. At least it didn’t rain this year–yet…

In the meantime, we put out the word to some of our cartoonist pals and asked them why the hell they weren’t at SDCC either, this weekend. Check out responses from Jeff Smith, Evan Dorkin, Renee French, Tony Millionaire, Tom Hart, and many, many more, after the jump.

Bonus: almost certainly the most adorable picture in the history of The Hatch.

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