Anyhow, today on the site we have two of our great cartoonists in conversation: Phoebe Gloeckner and Julia Gfrörer. The two spoke on the occasion of the release of Gfrörer’s recent book, Laid Waste. Here’s a teaser:
PG: You just said that you’re working on the drawings; you have it all written. Is that your typical process? Do you write the whole thing out? Do you script it? What do you do?
JG: I thumbnail and script it at the same time. And then pencil it and ink it, so it’s all penciled now, and I’m just inking.
You generally do it in different passes. It general, you have the whole thing worked out, and then you return to the beginning, and start inking, and so on?
Yeah. Usually I’ll kind of jump around. I won’t do it straight from beginning to end, but I’ll do whatever part I feel like doing. If I’m feeling not super into it, I’ll ink a page or draw a page that I feel like is going to be fun or easy — when there’s not a lot happening in it. In this Flesh and Bone sequel, yesterday, I was feeling unmotivated, and there’s a page where the witch is spinning with a drop spindle. And then the thread gets tangled, it does that thing where it twists in on itself and makes a tangle. That was really easy to draw, it was just several panels of thread spinning and then tangling up. It went really quick, and I was like, this is really motivational. It was like: BAM, I finished a page.
You got into the swing of things.
Another question I had is about collaboration. Amongst your collaborations — and I don’t know all of them — I’m thinking of the work you did with Sean, and they were adaptations of Poe stories. That was just something I would just expect you to do on your own. I would totally trust whatever you would come up with, your interpretation. I’m wondering: why the collaboration, and how did that change your work?
The porn adaptations of Poe, that was Sean’s idea. He sent me the script for the first one before we really had a relationship, he just knew my work.
[Laughs.] That’s very seductive.
I know. [Laughter.] I read it, and when I realized what was going to happen in it — at first I was like, “Who does this guy think he is?” To try to improve on Poe seems like a gutsy move. When I finished reading it, I was like, “This is amazing.” I was really into it. I did end up drawing it. Then, it just became a thing we do for fun. I don’t usually collaborate with people. I drew some stuff for Anne Elizabeth Moore for a magazine but she hired me to do it. With Sean, I really like his writing, I think he as a good sense of what is going to be good for me to draw: what I’m going to enjoy drawing, and what’s going to look good drawn by me. We’ve done a couple Poe/porn books. We did a comic called Hiders, which was just a 4 page one about these two young women who turn into werewolves together. But they don’t talk about it when they’re both human.
Hooo wee, look at that great Kim Deitch drawing from the 1970s in our little window.
Podcast updates: Tucker Stone (who hangs out with Tim much more than me, which makes me secretly sad but I’ll get over it) talked Punisher over here. At Comic Books Are Burning in Hell, Joe McCulloch and Katie Skelly talk Insufficient Direction and then Joe and Chris Mautner discuss Pretending Is Lying.
Reminder: The Women in Illustration Tumblr is on quite a roll lately, especially with the always amazing Margaret Brundage.
Over at the New Yorker, Paul LaFarge details the true life of one of a character in his new novel about H.P. Lovecraft. Salient line: “Who keeps track of the lives of fans.” One of my favorite things is to track certain strains of fandom… I love the fandom that seeded underground comics, the fandom that resulted in so much commerce in the 1970s and 80s and the fandom that birthed this magazine and Fantagraphics. And now the fandom that keeps a thousand zine and comics fairs in bloom.