Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Just When I Thought I Was Out


So my graphic novels have been out of print for five or so years now, but there's still no shortage of folks who see me as a cartoonist.

My love affair with comics has been powerful and painful, and yeah, maybe it broke my heart. But it seems that when it comes down to it, I'll still rush to their defense...

You can read the interview here. :)

15 comments:

Angie said...

Good interview. :)

Loved the shout-out to Larry Gonick. I used to have the original floppy-version comic book issues of Cartoon History of the Universe, before they were (finally!) collected into a book and then he kept going. His Cartoon Guides run the gamut from great to merely okay, though. The Cartoon Guide to Genetics is awesome because you can just read it and get all the concepts. Chemistry is more problematic, though; there's so much math, so many formulas and variables and constants to remember, that it's tough to just sit down and read it through. I found myself constantly flipping back to remind myself of what this constant was, or what the formula was that he just used to derive another formula.... :/ Physics had a similar problem, while Sex worked really well. :) There's a reason why chemistry and physics books have pages of problems to do, though, to anchor the formulas and such in your mind before you go on to the next thing.

The Pulitzer Prize winner was Maus, right? I don't remember, and am too lazy to Google it. [hides under keyboard]

Good advice at the end too.

Angie

etain_lavena said...

Guess its a passion that only "comics" feel:)

Charles Gramlich said...

In the last couple of years I've begun to develop a greater appreciation for graphic novels. It's something I had not paid much attention to since my teenage years, but there is some very fine stuff out there that I've missed.

HemlockMan said...

What do you do for a living now that you're not a full-time cartoonist?

Bernita said...

I'm glad the terms have changed from "comics" and "funny books" to "graphic novels." When I saw discussions of graphic novels, it took me a while to understand they were at heart more or less the same beloved thing.
I loved finding graphic versions of classic novels for my kids, too.

Avery DeBow said...

That was a great interview. As I said before, you definitely swayed my thinking with it.

Lana Gramlich said...

Great interview! I agree with you on that YA books & graphic novels aren't taken seriously. That's probably a GOOD thing, really! I can spend hours looking through a graphic novel, JUST enjoying the artwork, y'know?

cs harris said...

Interesting and informative interview, Steve. I'll admit I know zip about graphic novels. I certainly didn't know about the Pulitzer Prize winner.

You made a lot of good points--I especially the one about the worst examples in the genre being the ones used for comparison. I've noticed the romance genre suffers from the same problem. And once a romance author, always a romance author.

Steve Malley said...

Angie, I so love Harry Gonick's guides. And that he admitted in an interview that doing the comics is quite a bit harder than writing regular textbooks.

ANd yeah, Maus won the Pulitzer. :)

Etain, you laughin' at me? You sayin' I'm a joke or somethin? ;)

Charles, it's a common situation. I'm kind of going through it now, but for very different reasons...

Steve Malley said...

Hemlockman, I write novels, own a tattoo shop and do a fair amount of public speaking. From time to time I take in illustration jobs. Keeps me busy and keeps the rent paid. :)

One thing I found about graphic novels was that they really were terribly time consuming. In prose I can create a waterfront warehouse with a few bold strokes: stacked crates, the smells of oil and wood and rot, the skitter of rats and the sound of water lapping against pilings. Your brain fills in the rest.

In a comic I have to actually sit down and DRAW the whole damn warehouse, again and again, in every shot, without screwing up any details from panel to panel. AND it's devilishly hard to layer in other senses...

Steve Malley said...

Bernita, 'graphic novel' was a term coined by Will Eisner to describe his collection of short stories (?!) A Contract with God. It's an effort to legitimize a medium that still seems kinda happy with all its old ways and not really too incliin3ed to change.

Or maybe that's just how I'm seeing it this morning.

Steve Malley said...

Avery, I think you'd like Love and Rockets and probably also get a kick out of Lenore.

Lana, I've got this whole thing I swiped off of William Gibson about the importance of protected bohemias in the arts... maybe I'll go into it sometime!

Candy, it's hard out here in the genres!

Riss said...

I'll add my voice to this mix. I have to admit, I never grew up reading graphic novels and the only one I've successfully "finished" was V For Vendetta...because it was awesome...and they made a movie that actually made me want to go read the novel....anyway-cool interview! I'm glad that you're not falling under the radar totally as a cartoonist/graphic novelist/professional scribbler. (c:

Bernita said...

Steve, the link is broken to your web page - at least Internet Explorer couldn't find it - so I'm posting here, off-topic.
Regarding the serial killer at the Chicago World Fair of 1893, the book is "The Devil in the White City" - serial killer Dr. H.H. Holmes.It's on Amazon. Blogger Sylvia found it.

Lana Gramlich said...

I knew I hadn't seen you in a while, but...surgery? What the heck happened? What'd I miss? I hope you're feeling much better!