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“I Wish I Could Do It All”: Jaime Hernandez Speaks to Katie Skelly

I met up with Jaime Hernandez in Chelsea on Thursday, March 7, the night before he was being interviewed at The Strand. He was in town on his second tour stop (after a talk at Indiana University) to promote his new collection of Maggie and Hopey stories, Is This How You See Me?.

Jaime and I have a sort of unusual but natural friendship. We first met at the comics convention Heroes in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2014, and I remember texting a friend afterwards that I’d felt so comfortable around him that I completely forgot to be intimidated. It’s only when he shows me his originals, and I’m struck with a sort of dumb awe, that I remember I’m talking to the greatest living cartoonist. But I still continue to defer being intimidated, which is why I asked to bother him for an interview that lasted about three hours over a six pack of Pacificos, which follows here. -Katie Skelly

SKELLY: Welcome back to New York, Jaime.

HERNANDEZ: Thank you! I really love your city. I hate coming in to your city. Of all the places I’ve been in the world, this is the hardest place to get to.

Really? I guess I’m just used to it…

I have to learn a new lesson every time I come because rules change, like cabs, or transportation… there’s always something new I’m not ready for. I always look like the dumb hick from California.

It takes forever to get anywhere from JFK. And then you’re committed to a $60 cab ride. This is a great interview!

I like the flat fee for the cabs, but they’ll change the rules again.

You're in the middle of a mini-tour right now.

Yeah, I'm doing a tour for Is This How You See Me? For some reason, this book is important. I guess I should play it up, not down...

Play it up.

It's the current Maggie-and-Hopey-get-together story. But this time there's a few twists that I didn't expect when I did it, and hopefully the reader won't expect either.

How did it surprise you? When did the twists jump out at you?

When certain characters did a reversal.

Something that I always like about you is that you talk about your characters like they're separate entities that exist outside your head... they're always surprising you or sneaking up on you.

A friend of mine told me recently, "I talked to this one artist, and he tells me all these plans he's going to do with his characters, and I talk to you, and it's like they already did it. You're just reporting it."

What jumped out at me in this particular collection of stories is the amount of love and understanding you have for your characters. And there's so much love between them. They rib each other, but they don't hurt each other. And the characters that are damaged to the point of becoming harmful, as a reader you can pick up on it right away.

Thank you. I'm not sure what to say!

Another thing I like about you personally Jaime is that whenever someone walks up to you at a show or a bar or whatever to compliment you, you just stare straight ahead and nod until they go away.

[Laughs] Does that mean it's a fake?

No! I feel like it's a genuine -- I mean, you tell me -- but it's a genuine loss for words moment.

Yeah. Sometimes it's that. Sometimes, I've got this thing... if I'm looking a person in the eye who’s telling me something, I can't hear them. I listen better when I’m focusing on something else.

You told me you just got published in Korea for the first time.

Yeah! That was good because every other young buck cartoonist gets to be published by countries with sort of off the beaten path comics markets, and I never had that til now.

Are you still going to punk shows?

Only if my brother’s band is playing, and that’s rare.

I could relate to the new stories about trying to go out and trying to see a punk show now — even though I’m not Maggie’s age — and I could relate to that feeling of restlessness and impatience with waiting for a set to start and being tired and having to keep looking for my friends who vanish.

[Laughs] And then you look up in the balcony where there’s people sitting, and you’re like how are they able to do that? I don’t get out to shows much, even if I have like a favorite band and they come to LA once a year, I miss it every time because I’m just not with it.

Are you just too busy?

I’m busy and I’m lazy.

I wanted to ask you about the old repertory movie theater in the new stories. It read like such a specific, vivid experience, where you have a well-meaning, maybe too eager group of people trying to get something off the ground and they just don’t have their shit together and the projector explodes.

I had been to old theaters that tried to start a thing, where they make their thing showing old foreign movies, and they last for three months. But those three months are cool! It’s cool for you and the twenty-five other people who are supporting this thing.

The owner pouring out free wine raised my antennae. You can’t do that!

Every time I start a story, I think it’s going to go one way and then it turns into something else. Maggie swallows it up and runs with it without my say so, but it was basically going to be a story about Maggie and Hopey going out to a punk reunion, and they go to this movie theater as kind of these old ladies — “Wine! Oh, wonderful!” — and that’s kind of what the whole story was going to be about. The characters always take it and turn it into something else.

Do you like talking about the writing process?

In the way that we are talking about it, yes. I can’t get technical because I’m not that person. It rarely turns out the way I expected it. But for the good.

Eugene is an interesting character for you. He’s just like that archetypal big, nonverbal guy that exists in every scene, like comics, film, music…

At first when it was just the two old ladies having a night out, he was kind of their running joke.

It feels like more of a malevolent presence than I’ve seen in your comics for a minute.

Yeah, I kind of never had Maggie and Hopey as non-straight women getting shit for it. I mean directly, to their face. And which, I don’t wish harm on these characters, but there are certain realities — especially right now, with the way the world is — and I just wanted to show that my characters are not as safe as they think they are in their Love and Rockets world. Just when you think everything is hunky dory, some stupid shit happens.

Who in your cast of characters would you say is the most antithetical to Maggie and Hopey? I feel like it’s Frog Mouth, who is my favorite.

She’s my favorite to write. Well, I like drawing her too. But I love a character that has no boundaries. She can go to the far end of the galaxy with her personality. Maggie and Hopey can’t because they’re fixed characters. Frog Mouth can do anything, can say the stupidest stuff, and it works. She’s starting to have limits the older she gets, and I’m trying to figure out, do I keep her a crazy young person? Or does she change?

She seems eternal to me.

I haven’t figured out how to age her til she’s like, 40. She’s not there yet. The only way I can describe her is she’s just wrong [laughs]. Everything about her is wrong, and that’s what I love about writing her. She has so much where people just hate her, and exclude her, and so what? Here she is blowing it again.

She has more access to the world. Maggie could never go to the country club and try to scam old men and go home and do some gun play — which is my favorite storyline of yours. It’s perfect.

[Laughs] Thank you.

Have you ever had a period of doubt? Like a moment in time where you were like, "fuck this, I’m getting a job"?

Oh, hell no. I thought you were gonna say, like “fuck these lovable characters.”

Have you ever felt that way?

That’s how I created the Frog Mouth and Tonta. I love Tonta, she just wants to belong.

Do you feel like there’s ever been anything you missed out in your life, choosing this as your occupation?

Sometimes I think about that. Sometimes I think I wish I had a place to go to every day at the same time of day, and was social with a bunch of people, and then someone who does that always shoots me down and says “no, you don’t want to do that!”

[Laughs] In my experience having people rely on you for things that aren’t 100% creative isn’t a bad thing… it’s frustrating, but it’s helped me learned how to navigate the real world things that come up outside the work — how do you handle a mistake, how do you negotiate for yourself, whatever. Like I learned how to communicate in way that doesn’t make me sound like I’m completely insane. I feel like there’s a type of cartoonist that the more they squirrel away, and only do comics, the more bitter and reactionary they become because they’re not engaging with the world and there’s a god complex. But I don’t see that sort of extremism with you, as someone who only does comics for a living.

I take the dog out [laughs]. I go out on the street and I know not one single person knows who I am. It’s that reality that I faced a long time ago; I get to go home to my secret little comics, and my secret fanbase, that the rest of the world doesn’t know about.

But you’ve been recognized before.

You mean on the street? In L.A., yes. Not in my neighborhood [laughs]. But it’s a good reality kick in the head. I remember early on going to the San Diego Con, before it got so huge and Hollywood, and I got so many fans talking to me and I was in this world of people who liked the same things I did, and it was really cool. And I would come home afterwards and I’d walk down the street and go, not a single person here knows what the fuck I do, or what the fuck I’m into, these people are so fucking stupid! And I must have been really buying into that shit, and it kind of affected me where it was hard coming down.

Have you ever had that feeling for a sustained period?

No. Maybe like a day or two.

You’ve never had a year where you’re like, I’m the shit and everyone knows it.

[Laughs] No. I have an ego through the roof, but I know if I walk through this door, 99% of the people outside don’t know and don’t care. And it doesn’t hurt my feelings because then I get to go and do my work, and that’s my reward.

Are you sensitive to the reception of your work?

It’s almost like denial. “Oh, this issue’s gonna be so good!” I’m not thinking about the response, because it’s like, why do I want to hurt my own feelings?

If I were you I’d expect people to just send me roses every day.

They do.

Okayyy…

No, they don’t. I get to get up in the morning and do exactly what I want to, and not do what I don’t want to if I don’t feel like it. I know so many people can’t do that. It’s dumb and corny but I’m the luckiest man in the world. I work really hard and I get rewarded for it. People have come up to me and told me that I saved their lives, that they went through a really tough time in their young age and Love and Rockets put them through it. Whether that’s true or not, that’s the best feeling. I mean, how can you not like that? I’m making this the dullest interview…

No!

I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m so humbled and pleased with how things turned out. I should be pissed off all the time.

There’s always more things that you could have. But it doesn’t sound like to me that you feel like you’ve missed out on anything.

No. This is exactly what I want to do.

Okay, let’s get serious --

I’m on my third beer!

 -- family stuff, interpersonal stuff, you don’t feel like you missed anything?

I’m sure there’s something. It’s just not as important as what’s in front of me right now. I don’t have dreams of changing things as much as other people.

It sounds to me like getting to express the talent that you have is enough.

It is for me. How about for you?

For me? Who cares.

In the new collection, the panels where Maggie is lying on the bed with Ray and you have that wonderful foreshortening of her leg, you can see exactly where her weight is shifted to, and how she’s existing in space -- in one hundred thousand years, I could never get something down where people would be able to parse that line. And that’s a very easy visual vocabulary for you at this point. Do you ever feel awestruck by that? Do you ever search your work for places you could improve?

Well, say the panel you’re talking about -- I probably went like, that’s the ticket. This is exactly what I wanted to portray here. It’s not always, but there’s certain images where I just know that’s the one. I didn’t need any words for it. When I was 16 I was drawing and then I sat back and looked at it, I realized I’d gotten to the point where I can draw anything I want. And of course there were a few more years where I had more to learn, and how to polish it up and get things right, and I’m still doing that. But I guess that’s another reason I wouldn’t trade this for something else is because I can get the exact moment -- not always -- but I can get that exact moment of exactly what I’m thinking. It’s kind of like -- this could go in a different direction, but what the fuck -- it’s kind of like people with fetishes. People have to go to stores to buy that, people have to look at DVDs, they have to seek that out. I get to draw exactly what I’m thinking.

There’s something -- I think it’s something Duchamp wrote -- that’s about how executing what’s in your mind to an object in space is never a perfect translation… creation is never really a one-to-one correlation. But it sounds to me like what you have in your mind’s eye is coming out as a pretty good translation.

Yes, for the most part that’s true. But there are some times I’ll never be able to capture it, because it’s far too real. Lines on paper cannot -- as many tricks as I’ve learned to make lines on paper seem real, there are certain things that will never be real. And that’s where words come in. Or sometimes I have to go look something up on the internet [laughs]. It’s really interesting that you brought this up, because I’ve never thought of this but, in my drawing I’m constantly looking to get closer and closer to the reality -- or fantasy -- but I can only go so far, and I compromise a lot. The whole thing of cartooning is compromise, like I’ve always pictured my characters doing things in real life. But I know lines on paper can only give you the illusion of that. And that’s why I’ve spent so much time trying to perfect making those lines become human.

If capturing the reality of a character has become second nature, is capturing a character’s interior life more difficult?

Yeah, I would think that’s totally fair. I steal a lot from facial expressions in film to get across my point. Sometimes I catch myself using the same expression too many times and think I have to come up with a different way. I didn’t know I was an observer until someone told me. I didn’t know that I watch people, the way they slump, the way they express a feeling. I didn’t know this whole time that I was watching them! One time someone was like, “my friend is so cool, what did you think of them?” And I said, “she’s okay, she seems a little fake, like she’s trying to be cool.” And I regretted speaking so candidly, but later that person said, “you’re a really good judge of character, you can just read people” -- because I think that person iced her out or something. So I’m a good observer, so I’m going to take advantage of that for my work. I’m going to notice things but I don’t need to stare at you or study your face as you’re telling me something.

You can capture naked motivation to an insane, genius degree. I can tell just by Maggie’s body language exactly who she wants attention from and exactly what insecurity she’s going to use that attention to get over in that moment. I don’t know that that’s something I would have noticed as strongly in earlier stories.

The older I get, I’m running out of the old tricks, so I’m creating new tricks. New ways to make my stuff work better. So I work really hard on the panel progression of a person going from one emotion to the next, and right in the middle of it somebody else is entering. And I’ve noticed that’s the way my storytelling is going now, and balloons go back and forth, because the movement is creating a different flow. And so I go, “Oh shit, well they have to say this bit of information, where can they say this bit of information? Maybe they don’t say it at all, but this person’s expression tells it.” I use that because the younger me would have taken a long time giving you a very detailed description in the drawing, and now, fuck that, I’m old [laughs]. I’m using fewer lines and expressions to get it across.

If I could do a quarter of what you do I’d be such an unbearable asshole.

How do you know I’m not?

Because you have to take the dog out! [laughs] Admittedly I’m not a punk rock person -- I grew up going to hardcore shows but it was really more of a placeholder until I figured out what I was into later in life -- but to me it sounds like you came up in an environment where art was aggressive and assertive.

And before punk I came up in a very aggressive lowrider movement, where posing was huge, and if you didn’t you were a dork, man. And not that I was going out and posing and trying to cause trouble, but I saw this world of you either get it right or you don’t. And part of me was like, fuck this, but at the same time it was like, there’s something exciting going on here. And it was the same with punk. There were many parts of punk I didn’t like because of violence and things like that, but I go back and forth -- like when the young kids from Orange County came and made L.A. punk violent and like a football game -- first I said, wow they ruined this cool friendly, art scene, but at the same time I’m like, hey they fucking changed the world, what did you do? I’m hot and cold with the whole thing. And I use all sides of it, because it all works even if it doesn’t agree with itself.

How are those movements still with you now?

In different ways. I’m making my revolution by still trying to give you the best storytelling you’ve ever seen. It still drives me in that old way of goddammit, I’m going to show you how it’s going to be done. And this broken down body has to sit in a chair to do it [laughs].

You told me recently -- and it was sort of shocking because it was so frank -- that you can see the end of the road. You’re starting to count down the years.

I can count down the days.

Oh my god, stop!

Okay, the years. I can count the decades.

But you can see yourself winding down. How does that feel?

I’m growing old with me. I don’t know if that makes sense.

Yeah. It’s like your characters aging with you.

We’re all going to a different place. But God in his infinite wisdom and cruelty gave us twenty year-old minds for the rest of our lives. It’s a curse and a blessing. You know how old people say, youth is wasted on the young, but I don’t know. I think you can be eighty years old and have something to rebel against. Even if you’re rebelling against your children! The funniest part is watching me and my generation try to keep it in check -- why are we trying to keep it in check?

On the other side, is there anything exciting about the new generation of cartoonists to you? Are you looking at anybody new, or are you done?

I skim. I keep an eye out because I don’t want to be too old and crabby. But sometimes I go, god, you young people are so stupid. But I guess that’s what they thought about me.

I personally think you’re peerless -- except of course for Gilbert --

Good move [laughs].

-- but is there anyone of your generation that you check in with? Do you keep tabs on anyone?

It’s so few and far between. Gilbert and I seem to be the only old guys who are doing a regular comic. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Of course there’s a bit of competition but I was raised not to mention it…

I find that artists of my generation, when they get mad at something a critic says, they’ll be the first person to tweet about it or write to that person and make an argument.

It’s funny you mention that because my generation would never be the first to launch out. If they did, they were ridiculed by us, by peers. Like, oh that guy’s mad that he got a bad review [puke sound].

You came up with a little more structure, even though everything was new, and those institutions had a different resonance than they might now. The Comics Journal to my generation has a completely different meaning that it did to your generation. We might eye institutions with a little less… is reverence the word?

 It does seem to me that 99% of reviews are because the writer likes the work anyway.

Well when I write about comics I write about what is interesting that I enjoy, because it doesn’t make sense to bust my ass for a few days researching and writing to get paid fifty bucks and have someone yell at me on twitter for a week.

I get that too. But it’s also like, if you get a bad review, get back to work and show ‘em.

But it’s like, if the labor isn’t valued on either side of that equation, what’s the point in showing ‘em? Of course someone should be taken to task if they write something incomprehensibly stupid, but it’s not a sustainable system. I think my generation has a lot of energy in regards to fixing these kinds of thing so everyone can get a fair shake, but we can short circuit and burn out too. We need money.

Yeah. It’s a different ballgame.

As a boomer you are my sworn enemy, is what I’m saying.

That’s fair. I’m on the tail end of the boomers, according to one chart. Another one said I was gen x.

All we can say with absolute certainty is that you’re a Libra sun, Virgo rising, Aquarius moon.

I know! I wrote down my birth time and everything [laughs]. You know, we’re going down avenues I’ve never gone down before. I have a set of ten answers usually, and I’m tired of hearing them.

I’m about to start asking what kind of pens you use.

I’m turning sixty next year. Isn’t that awful?

No. Why is that awful? Sixty is fucking dope. To be peak career at sixty?

And I still do comics that are in black and white.

It sounds like you want to start interviewing yourself now.

[Laughs] I still don’t do it on a computer! One time I drew on a tablet at Jordan Crane’s house. I drew on it and it had a delayed line, and I said “just give me a piece of paper and a pen.” Now that’s an old person thing. And then it’s like, “...no, not that pen.”

What do you feel like -- personally, to you -- has been the most exciting part of your career so far?

I see the bad things and I see the good things. I remember feeling indestructible in the mid- to late ‘80s when me and a bunch of friends were just pounding out this work that nobody else was doing. (I’m sure there’s factions of the comics industry that don’t agree with that.) I was very proud that me and Gilbert hung out with Dan Clowes, Peter Bagge, Charles Burns, Mary Fleener, and people like that, people who we just felt so good about their putting work out. And just being able to hang out and get drunk about it. And not even talk about the work, but just hang out. The funny thing was, every single person I mentioned, we all lived in different states, so we would only see each other at a weird comic book convention or something, it wasn’t common. That was just a really fun time. But when I think back it’s like, all we did was just stand around with beers [laughs]. But I just felt really good. We all came fresh off the tail of the mainstream, and we wanted to do our thing, and it was a real high. I won’t go so far to say, “that was the best time, you have no idea what that was like!” Because everyone has their time.

Can you remember a singular moment where it felt like you’d arrived?

The first issue. I realized there was this piece of work that was ours, that possibly someone would see and like. And I think people should think that way, because I hear a lot of bellyaching, oh nobody likes my comic. But you made a comic! That’s more than you could hope for. But there’s different rules as time changes, as I found out.

I was explaining to someone who doesn’t read comics what is so brilliant about your work, and I started by showing him any panel where people were playing music, because you can have a sonic experience just looking at those panels. Anybody else that tries to draw a band playing something is going to look like a fucking goober, because it would be a fantasy of what a “cool band” should be or whatever. Yours are so real.

I draw it from the perspective of the person in the audience. Most people look at it as, I am the rock star. I don’t give a shit about a band being successful. The secret is being the guy in the audience getting the experience, watching through the crowd. You’re the person looking between the heads. Maybe because I was never in a band that made it, I can’t experience what it’s like to control an audience, or something like that.

That’s what I think is special about the Love and Rockets universe… nobody is really the rock star. They’re all participating in some greater thing.

Yeah.

Except Frog Mouth, my personal role model.

Good! Good. I know people who hate the Frog Mouth.

They sound like squares.

The first thing I ask them is, “is she done badly? Is her character done badly?” And they say, no, she’s written very well, but I just hate her, it’s personal. You’re smarter than the Frog Mouth though.

No, not really. I have a low IQ.

So do I! I’m the dumbest person on the earth.

Any new comics you like?

There is, but if I mention one name I’ll forget ten. I really like your work. Can I talk about it?

No!

I really like your work because your work is what I wish I could have freed myself to make. I am trapped in a certain path that takes me to what I want to say. I don’t have many rivers and streams heading to the end.

You have a lot more empathy than I do.

Okay, but, there are times I wish I had the other thing. I wish I could do it all. There’s some things I can’t do because the sensible side of me takes over to make it make sense and communicate. I’m not saying your stuff doesn’t communicate, but there’s a certain freedom your work has that mine struggles to get back to. And sometimes I get there, sometimes it’s hard. I’m thinking the reason you like the Frog Mouth is because it’s one of the things that gets closest to your style. Right?

Right. If she were my character, she would never fail or face consequences.

I’ll tell you where Frog Mouth came from. There’s a Sam Fuller movie, Pickup on South Street, do you know it?

Yep.

Okay, you know Jean Peters, who played Candy -- Jean Peters was never an A-list actress. In this movie, Candy can’t get a break. She’s gorgeous, she’s this and that, and she just fucks everything up. But she has this swagger, of like, I know what I’m doing, and she fucks it up. She fucks it up by being pickpocketed for the microfilm. She can’t even lie to the police! She does this swagger to the police, and they don’t buy it from the word go. She’s trying to be the cool gun moll that outwits everybody, and she gets socked by Richard Widmark! And in the end they just brutalize her in her apartment, and I’m like, this is cruel, I’m rooting for Candy! And so I wanted to do a character like Candy because I’d never seen one like this. Her character is never, ever talked about. But she made such an impact on me.

I guess it just tells my whole story of my characters, they’re the losers who are just trying, trying to be cool. Trying to get one-upmanship on the next person and they can’t, they just fail every time. And that’s why I created the Frog Mouth. She’s like, I’m sexy, I talk shit, I control my boyfriends, and then someone’s just gonna treat her like shit.

There could be a part of evilness in me that likes to see her tortured, likes to see Maggie tortured, but I see it more as like, you’re gonna get knocked down, but you’re gonna survive and come out as the good guy. I just hope I don’t wake up one day and somebody says, you fuckin’ misogynist.

Is that something you worry about?

Only because I think I’m a fair person but you can’t control your demons sometimes, and I wonder when my demons come out, and I won’t find out til ten years later.

I don’t know that just because a character experiences hardship it makes an entire work misogynist. There’s a lot more to sort through before you come to that conclusion.

Sure.

I’m at the point where I don’t even know if I care if a story is misogynist anymore. There is a level of naked truth in some crackpot showing their understanding of women as opposed to a person writing some cynical, performative “strong female lead” thing.

I agree with that.

Not that I’m giving you a pass, whenever your crimes come to light.

[Laughs] When they hang my ass.

Sometimes I get shit because I either don’t write men, or when I do, they’re horrible.

They wear cool clothes though. Cool threads.

They do. Every man that I draw is based off one Sears portrait of my dad from the ‘70s. He has a bowl cut and aviator glasses and it’s dope.

Really? Getting back to that -- I think “misogynist” is maybe too literal. Every once and awhile I think, why do I put Maggie through the ringer? I ask myself that, and then I get back to work and put her through the ringer [laughs]. I sometimes wonder, am I controlling women, because I can’t in real life? Because it’s so organic, would it be something I would rather hide, but it came out so naturally?

Hm. I don’t know if I can answer that, but it doesn’t read as cruel to me. You’re not a Guido Crepax, where all roads lead to a lady getting her bare ass whipped by an old timey Victorian machine. I feel like you end up in different places.

[Laughs] But he did it so well!

Every artist has one story to tell, I guess! Also he was a slice, which nobody talks about.

Really? I’ve never seen a picture. Go Guido!

But I think everybody could stand to do an internal audit in that way. I only ever draw women that would be considered beautiful, like, commercially. So am I not fucking up on my end?

That’s a good way of putting it.

But I’m also distrustful of anyone that tells me how I should or shouldn’t express femininity.

It’s funny you mention that because that explains a lot of what I like about your work. You’re doing it unapologetically, which is the biggest rebellion. You’re doing it because you like it. There’s no apology there. There’s no, oh maybe I shouldn’t do this because I won’t be liked in the right circles, or something. It’s hard to say because of course I like what you do because it’s sexy, but the more important part is that you didn’t let someone else tell you if you could or not.

Thank you.

[Laughs] I feel like I keep defending you because I want to make what you’re making!

Do it! But I have to say, there have been some icky moments, but on the whole I do think comics has been really nice to me. Do you feel that way about your experience? You don’t seem like you carry any bitterness.

Yeah. The bitterness is outweighed by the rewards. I just spoke at Indiana University and people looked me in the eye and said, what you do is so special to me, and I can tell that they can’t put into words what they really want to say, and so it’s bigger than that, and you can’t beat that for me. Someone else would say, well give me money then, make me rich, and I can’t think that way. I grew up a Mexican kid, I got out of my poor little world, and I know I talked about this about eight times in this interview, but I’m just grateful.

Does it make your life special?

It makes my life special because I have what other people don’t have. I think everyone should have it, and that’s kind of sad to me. I think a lot about friends I knew in school and wonder what they grew up to do. I hope that they grew up and they had a family and that was good enough.

I guess at a certain point you just think about what you leave on earth when you’re not here anymore. You will always be here.

If I died in my sleep tonight people would read that I died at the Chelsea Inn and would think it was the Chelsea Hotel, and that would be the whole story.

Stop!! I’m out of questions. Anything else you got?

I’m done. Thanks Katie.

Thanks Jaime.

 

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5 Responses to “I Wish I Could Do It All”: Jaime Hernandez Speaks to Katie Skelly

  1. BradC says:

    I like how self-psychoanalytical this one got made possible by how engaging and Katie is and how much Jaime rightfully respected her work.

    I’m here all day for Frog Mouth love. Viv is the only comic character I’ve interacted with in a dream as an adult.

  2. An illuminating and interesting discussion. My favorite kinds of interviews are those performed by fellow artists (TCJ 300, Hitchcock/Truffaut, etc.), and Skelly’s a great interviewer in addition to being a talented cartoonist.

    It’s always fascinating to read Jaime’s insights and approach. I saw Jaime interviewed in DC a few days after this interview was conducted, and there was very little overlap in what he talked about.

    I think he puts Maggie through the wringer because that’s what makes for emotionally compelling stories. He’s ruthless with her to better serve his readers. And it works! “To be peak career at sixty” – so true.

  3. Christopher Duffy says:

    Love this interview

  4. Agreed; this is the best interview I’ve read in ages. Thanks to both Katie S. and Jaime H.!

  5. Scott Gray says:

    That was a fantastic read, much thanks to Jaime and Katie! I’d like to see more cartoonists interviewing each other.

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