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No Finished Pieces

March 24, 2009

So I finally finished reading the book of interviews with the cartoonist Art Spiegelman
who is best known for his comic Maus and that’s what 90% of the
interviews are about. I guess it’s fair to concentrate on Maus since he
did win a Pulitzer for it and it took him thirteen years to finish, but
I was hoping the people would ask more about what his daily drawing
routine was like and how it’s changed over twenty years and there was
hardly anything like that in there. I guess I should have known that
since the interviewers weren’t comics literate then they wouldn’t have
known to ask questions like how are you making comics these days and
instead ask some really high level questions like what’s it like being
the guy who made Maus.  However, there were some cool things he talked
about to more comics literate interviewers like in the beginning
talking about photocopying your comics and passing them out on the
street. He also talked about page setups and stuff like that. The most interesting interview was in 2006 when he said that he didn’t have any
finished pieces or something to that effect then noted his Wacom
tablet, scanner and computer. I find this very interesting and it
clearly means that he either drafts things on paper and finishes them
up on computer now or does entire pieces on computer from start to
finish. It’s interesting because Spiegelman’s and old schooler from way back where everything was boards and pens and ink.
Back then you either had to allot for the word balloons or paste them
over by hand, analogly speaking, no Photoshoping or layers. It’s all
quite interesting since he did a comic a long time ago called Acehole
Private Detective where each character was rendered in a different tool
like brush, dip pen , and technical pen, so maybe he’ll do an Acehole
part two where a new character is render via Wacom tablet, but who knows.
At the end of the interviews he concludes by saying that his now
collection of early work Breakdowns is forwarded by 30 pages of
introductory new comic strips. That’s pretty cool. I have Breakdowns so
I’ll go back and check it out and compare the work he was doing today
against the work he was doing in the 70’s.

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