Today on the site, Alex Dueben returns to interview webcomics creator and CCS graduate Sophie Goldstein, author of the new graphic novel The Oven. Here is an excerpt:
In The Oven, I would argue that most of the story could have been set in the present and done in a realistic fashion with only a few changes.
It’s funny—I had the thumb-nailed script for the whole book and I asked Jason Lutes to take a look at it. He had some feedback and then he asked me, why is this science fiction at all? It doesn’t have to be. You could set this in the contemporary world.
I didn’t really have a good answer for that except that I like science fiction. It feels right to me. Once you set things in the real world you have limits—settings need to be accurate and plausible. I’m just not interested in that. I like to be able to make shit up.
For instance there’s a lot of drug use in the comic but instead of having the characters smoke pot or shoot heroin they’re eating these weird butterfly-like bugs. That, for me, was way more fun to draw and a much richer visual metaphor for the comic. I remember reading a Jason (the Norwegian cartoonist, not Lutes) comic where instead of having cars all the characters were peddling around on unicycles. For no real reason, he just didn’t want to draw cars, I assume. That’s just brilliant.
—News. Of course the big news this weekend mostly came in the form of Star Wars rumors and superhero movie trailers at Comic-Con. The event also saw the announcement of the Eisner award winners. The Tamaki cousins’ This One Summer won best graphic album, Saga and Lumberjanes did extremely well, Raina Telgemeier is having a very good year.
Berkeley Breathed announced on Facebook that he is going to be making new Bloom County strips.
—Interviews. Tom Spurgeon talks to Sammy Harkham about the Kramers Ergot announcement.
—Reviews & Commentary. Sheila Heti writes about Tove Jansson.
At the New York Times, Faith Erin Hicks has nothing but good things to say about Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona.
—Misc. Lithub shares an early example of “terrible writing” by Daniel Clowes, along with his commentary on creating it.