They Called Her Viking

Today at TCJ, we've got an interview for ya: a doozy it is. We've had such a good time as of late smashing two cartoonists together and letting them get into it, we thought we'd do it again. And this time around, it's Michel Fiffe and Chuck Forsman.

Forsman: That’s something we bonded over, the work ethic. And that ties into how critical we are of ourselves. If I stop working for too long, I’ll convince myself that all my work is shit and I shouldn’t be doing this stuff. I won’t be able to move again. I think that part of it is wanting to keep a monthly deadline, always producing work. That’s one of the reasons I do it, because I’m scared of stopping. I mean, you get that momentum and you don’t wanna stop. You know what it feels like when you’re not working.

Fiffe: Are we covering up for something?

Forsman: On the flipside, I’ve recently been thinking that all my stuff is getting bad because I’m sticking to the schedule and I keep pumping out work, I feel like I’m not taking enough care in my work. Part of me wants to pull back and take a break and start on something completely new that I’ll work on in a vacuum. That’s super counter to the mode I’m been working in. Basically, I can find a way to insult myself in any scenario.

Fiffe: I’ve come to discover that while we like those old comics and the breakneck speed they were produced at, we don’t necessarily have to operate that way. We can channel that energy and that spirit, but we’re not factories. We don’t have to churn this stuff out. We can self-motivate, but quality control is important, too.

Not enough? Hungry for more? We've got you covered on that front as well, with a TCJ Review. In the dubiously named (you'll have to click through to find out why) Algeria Is Beautiful Like America, Keith Silva found himself with praise and complaint...but were they in equal measure?

Algeria is Beautiful like America is autobio comics at their autobio-i-est, with Olivia (she omits her surname throughout the narrative) on a hyper-personal existential quest to interrogate her family’s Algerian past for herself. The word ‘Algeria’ in the title is arguably circumstantial to the text itself (ditto for the word ‘America,’ more on that later). Yes, this is a story about a white French women of some means searching for her family history -- specifically on her maternal grandmother’s side -- in an African country, so yes, Algeria is important to the story, however; what Olivia craves is the one treasure left in our current culture, authenticity. She doesn’t want memories or recollections. She wants to put her finger in the holes left by the nails; she wants the facts, the truth—nowadays that’s as seditious and rebellious as it gets.

While Olivia does the work to unfold her past, she can only go as far as her arms can reach or her itinerary takes her. Issues of immigration, colonialism, xenophobia, social and religious tolerance are all filtered through her lens. She provides snapshots, misses the bigger picture and leaves it for the reader to piece it all together.

Ah, but you need more reviews, you've got a taste for them now. Fine! Head over to Publishers Weekly and take a look at their starred one for Young Frances, by Hartley Lin.

What? Another one? Sure. Here's one by Robin Enrico at Broken Frontier, on that Box Brown biography of Andy Kaufman, Is This Guy For Real? 

Ah, but there's also this: they're gonna start selling comic books at Gamestop? Based off this article, they're attempting to paper over lost video game sales with the top Diamond sellers. I'm sure it'll work out well.