April 4, 2008 at 10:55 am (1)

Oh Jeez…

In this interview we find Gary Panter elegantly responding to awkward stumbles of questions, responding to such great parries as:

How do you approach the actual making of comics—both in terms of writing and drawing—and do you think there are some “universal” rules of comic creation? Some musicians (e.g.) write the lyrics first, then find a tune; others the other way around; some jot down random ideas and then assemble them into a coherent whole later; others have one core thought that they then elaborate to the whole story… how do you do it?

with concise responses remarkably stripped of multimedia analogies:

“There are many ways and I don’t have one way. I make a lot of notes and erase a lot. I make a lot more paintings and sculptural models and prints than comics. I comics, I am usually looking for the big moments i want to draw and finding the story that leads to those moments. Of I make characters with strong characteristics and then watch what they do. My monthly comic for RIDDIM, the Japanese reggae magazine is always four panels and reads from right to left. Things like that, that are part of a routine, help.”

And then there are other great, less extracurricular interviewer thrusts:

“What is it that draws you to comics, and their marriage of text and pictures? Do you ever see the comic form as a hindrance? For example, maybe you have the story completely formed in your head, but now come five weeks of drawing: a short story writer just leaps to the end product. Or perhaps you have a visual in mind but the story won’t come. Does the comic form sometimes hinder you?

If Panter can get over the hindrances of that question, the media of comics should be no problem (“luckily,” he responds, “I work in a lot of mediums”). This is all besides the first gem of a question:

“I’m fascinated by how the reading public still approaches comics with skepticism. Comics tend to be ghettoized (just as science fiction, horror fiction, crime fiction, and fantasy are) rather than just read.”

Are comics really so “ghettoized” that they demand an apology at the beginning of an art and design magazine (their ghettoization fascinates the interviewer, by the way), and then continual references outside of comics to describe the process of making them? And these overwrought analogies introduce Panter? Who would read Panter as their gateway comic?

But I’m being a little too harsh. Any Panter Press is good news, and now we know what kind of pens and paper he uses! (And, if fingertips were C-Notes, I would gladly part with two pinkies…)

(Also, the site has a blurb for Alex Robinson’s New Graphic Novel, “riding off the wave of acclaim from his stunning Graphic Novel Box Office Poison” which will celebrate its 8th anniversary of vertebrate publication this year. Coincidentally, they may be referring to its French publication, because it did win the Prix du Premier Album at Angoulême in ’05, but be quick: that link is hot, and the line in question is not in the actual news item!)

A Little More Unrelated, but:

Top 5 Ignatz Releases (Equivocation: I can’t/couldn’t find Chimera, and Ganges #2 hasn’t come out yet, at least to my stores);

1) Ganges #1

2) Babel #2

3) Grotesque #1

4) Interiorae #2

5) Baobab #2

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1 Comment

  1. Miizzzard said,

    I started reading thru that interview but couldn’t finish because the questions were so inane. I felt like the interviewer barely knew what Gary Panter was about and was just asking all this asinine generic comix questions that would’ve been slightly more relevant and interesting ten years ago. Except for the one hilarious part where the interviewer tells Panter about how he ripped one of Panter’s drawings out of a library book and Panter’s response is something like “you shouldn’t rip pages out of library books.”

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