Today on the site, Marc Sobel interviews Wizzywig creator Ed Piskor. Here’s an excerpt from their conversation:
MARC SOBEL: I know you went to the Kubert School for a year, but are you mostly self-taught?
ED PISKOR: Yeah.
MARC SOBEL: Talk to me about how you learned to draw. You started to touch on it when you mentioned all the free time you had, but can you give me a little more detail?
ED PISKOR: Yeah. I relate hip hop culture a lot with my learning to draw because… There’s this certain mind frame. All through school I was definitely one of the worst people at most things, but with drawing I could at least hold my own. There was no way I was going to be able to beat anybody in any kind of organized sport or anything like that but I was at least a contender in the drawing thing. And the hip hop mind frame helped because people would snap on my work. They’d say something like ‘That sucks, man. I can’t believe you drew that,’ or, ‘do you need glasses?’ Shit like that. We would just bust on each other for being able to draw. So that provided a natural incentive to do better work because I thought, ‘oh man, I have to blow these dudes’ minds next time.’ Of course that never happened. Even when I got to a point where I was reasonably sure that I was better than them, they could still cut me down, which was cool. It was character building.
MARC SOBEL: So you were putting drawings in front of all your friends on a regular basis?
ED PISKOR: Yeah, we all were. When I was in sixth grade, there was this weird period where comics were really popular with everybody. Even a lot of the jocks were into them. This was after the “Death of Superman” and the first coming of Image Comics.
Everyone was buying these things, even football players, but most people were never looking at them. A lot of dudes would have Comic Buyer’s Guides, the new ones, or their Wizard Magazines in class all the time and they would be calculating their wealth. <laughter> It was like, ‘oh man, I’m worth $15,000 this month.’ So the cool people were into this shit for a brief time and it was really a cool thing to do.
—Tom Spurgeon takes the initiative and interviews First Second senior editor Callista Brill, who wrote that online essay about when cartoonists should give up that got up so many people’s noses. They discuss that post and a lot of other First Second business as well.
—In another post that has spawned a lot of angry arguments, colorist Jordie Bellaire writes about an unnamed convention that refused to invite colorists. I’m not sure I understand her stated reason for not naming the convention, as I think they’re more likely to change their policy if public pressure is brought to bear, but it’s possible there are other factors I don’t get.
—The wonderful Same Hat blog has video and images from a televised jam-comic competition between Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino!
—Philip Nel talks about annotating Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby.
—Jeff Trexler is almost always worth reading on the Siegel/Shuster/DC legal battles.
—The great Bobsy Mindless is somewhat surprisingly disappointed with Grant Morrison’s latest Batman Incorporated.
—Stephen Bissette raves about a new history of post-’50s horror comics.
—Adam McGovern concisely explains Frank Miller.
—Adrian Tomine made a recent appearance at Skylight Books, which is now on YouTube:
—Not Comics: Today is the final day the PBS website is offering free streaming of a documentary about the artist and designer Wayne White, which may be of interest to readers of this site for its interviews with Gary Panter and Matt Groening: