Today on the site, Alex Dueben talks to Kevin Pyle.
You mentioned you edited a prison issue [of WWIII Illustrated] in the 1990s and Prison Town is about a decade old now. How did you get interested in these issues?
In some ways it has to do with the story told in Take What You Can Carry. When I got caught shoplifting, my dad had the idea that we should spend an hour or two in the jail before we left. [laughs] That experience may have made me think about those issues as I feel I’ve been pretty aware of my own white privilege and what the influence of that on my own trajectory was versus what it might have been for someone else under different economic and racial circumstances. It’s something I was always aware of. A theme that runs through all my work is that of the individual versus society and the I think prison is the ultimate expression of that. Lab USA gets at that. Society has certain rules they need to enforce and they do it in a very clumsy manner – at times in a very unfair manner. How individuals get ground up by institutions has been a focus of a lot of my work and I think prison is a real expression of that.
Meanwhile, elsewhere, sickness and other emergencies are making this a short one:
—The incredibly destructive California wildfires have affected many in the cartooning community, and burnt down the home of Charles Schulz.
Brian Fies has drawn a comic about the fires.
— Douglas Wolk is still insane.