Something that is a recurrent theme in our conversations is the idea of the hustle and scamming. A segment of the population would use words like “earned” or “achieved.” Why do you think you phrase things that way?
Honestly, I just think it’s funny. I like to see how people react when I say, “I’m just grifting here.” But I’m also terrible at letting myself enjoy things. I think it’s a way for me to mentally distance myself from any idea of success, because I don’t want to let it slow me down.
Is success scary? How would you contrast the difference between the fear of success, and the fear of failure–because you’ve had both, yeah?
It is scary, because it feels ephemeral. But I also don’t think I’ve quite got it yet. I kind of let go of the idea, I think. I don’t set big goals any more, I just want to go as far as I possibly can with what I’ve got.
So getting into the new book–as an artist you’ve evolved rapidly in just the few years I’ve known you. How do you perceive the changes from Operation Margarine to My Pretty Vampire?
Lots of ways, really. I think it’s more stylistically accomplished on the whole. The drawing got better, the color adds so much more to the mood. The horror is right there at the forefront, you don’t really have to go digging around for it. My eye sort of gets wider for background and mise-en-scene.
Hey, on that note, New Yorkers: Go out to the Strand tonight and see Katie in conversation with Gary Panter and Leslie Stein, moderated by Nicole Rudick. Those are some great, great people.