Interview: Noah Van Sciver

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noahvscivAs a reviewer, I’ve taken a real interest in the career of Noah Van Sciver – not just for his promising work, but for his letters.  He sends the most heartbreaking updates with each review copy, all about how he’s giving everything to comics, how he barely has food to eat, and why he’s putting every ounce of energy into the page.  The usual fare for any cartoonist, really, but he’s the only guy around being so honest.

More importantly, he’s in this mess because of his agenda: with indie fans in mind, he’s printing semi-quarterly issues of his series Blammo, just to give them something regular to look forward to like their mainstream counterparts.  Boy’s got a dream!  Don’t you just want to send him $20 and some dry pasta?

Since I’m rooting for him, it was heartening to learn that he’s been accepted in an upcoming issue of MOME, and soon will be published with the rest of indie comics’ innovative young talent.  Proof that sometimes, kids, hard work and persistence pay off.

Sadly, a few weeks ago, his girlfriend Robin (whom he often writes about in his comics) went the hospital for serious migraines only to find something more serious behind the pain.  Can’t this guy get a break? Before that, however, he was upbeat and took the time to email a few responses about his work, his forthcoming Abe Lincoln story arc, and the general trajectory for his series Blammo.

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MOMEntum

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podiumer

Last week, Eric Reynolds was in town for the opening of MOMEntum, a retrospective of comic artwork from the MOME anthology he edits. He also curated the show, which is on display in the MCAD Concourse Gallery now through April 19th. For the opening, Reynolds enjoyed the usual rigors of being a guest of the MCAD comics program, which include an incredibly busy day of critiquing student work, lecturing a hall full of students and the public, and drinking the night away at Grumpy’s. You can read more about his experiences HERE. For some very nice photos of the MOMEntum gallery opening, check out Tom Kaczynski‘s set on flickr HERE.

I sat in on the lecture with the intent of posting brief quotes and highlights from the talk.  However, this was the first time I recorded a talk I planned to cover for the Cross Hatch rather than scribbling quotes as they came.  As a result, I found myself typing up…pretty much all of it.  This is why, only today do you get what you should have received a week ago.

Reynolds talked primarily about the recent history of comic books, with a focus on how today’s “graphic novel big shots” first cut their teeth by serializing their work, how today’s cartoonists might be at a disadvantage if they leap right into long-format stories, and concludes with a smart explanation of how MOME is filling a need for young cartoonists.  Mixing art with commerce can be an ugly thing, but Reynolds did a good job talking live on the issue.  As a result, I did very little editing, but it should be noted that I did some.  Mostly adding words or punctuation to transform run-on ideas into readable sentences. Also, I chunked the information into bits that seemed to convey an especially similar block of ideas, so you on the internet will have an easier time reading it.

I recommend that you take your time with some of the information, particularly if the phenomenon of “the rise of the graphic novel” interests you, and particularly if you’re an upstart cartoonist looking to jump right onto the graphic novel gravy train.

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Interview: Lilli Carre Pt. 3 [of 3]

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lillicarrewoodsmanwakeup

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.

[Part One][Part Two]
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Interview: Lilli Carre Pt. 1 [of 3]

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lillicarrethelagoonwater

For a book so invested in the poetry of sound, The Lagoon seems somehow quiet. Siren songs and metronomes and the whooshing of wind fill the its pages, but the book’s important moments, more often than not, seem to exist in the spaces in between, those quiet panels when its cacophonies have been temporarily extinguished.

It’s fitting then, in a sense, that when I first approach the book’s author, Lilli Carre, about doing an interview, she was a bit hesitant. She soon admitted that she had never actually done one via phone, and while I finally convinced her to give it a shot, I largely expected that, like The Lagoon, Carre would keep many of her answers to herself.

As it turns out, however, for all of her fears of coming across as muddled, Carre had plenty to say with regards to her methods and works, from The Lagoon to its predecessor Woodsman Pete, to the more sporadic work she’s done in the field of animation.

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