Some exciting news to announce: I’ve got a new podcast and it’s hosted at The Comics Journal! It’s called TCJ Talkies, which is a goofy name that I happen to love.
The inaugural episode went up today, and I was honored to have Evan Dorkin on as my first guest. As we discuss, a talk that Evan gave to a club I was a part of in college had a big impact on me in terms of broadening my awareness of different kinds of comics. I am a huge fan of Evan’s work, especially his run of Dork! comics in the late 90′s and early aughts.
Also, we discuss a letter Evan sent me in 2003 in response to a Gabagool! mini-comic I either mailed him or handed him at a convention. For those who are interested, here’s what he sent me:
My apologies for the long delay in replying to your letter — unfortunately, due to my heavy workload, the fairly large volume of mail I’m receiving nowadays and the occasional failed attempt to “have a life”, I’ve had very little “spare time” to reply to my reader mail, which is why it’s taken me weeks or even months to get back to you. I truly appreciate hearing from you regarding my work, and I thank you for your patience and support. And now that the annoying form letter part of this show is over, I’ll try to reply to what you actually wrote. Whew…
(Add to that my modem getting fried recently. )
ANYWAY — I have to admit I haven’t had the time to check out the webcomics, sorry, it’s just that I get sent a lot of links and don’t have the tiem to surf to everyone’s site. But, I did finally get to read through the Gabagool #1 you sent me eighty years ago in my pathetic attempt to get some of my snail mail answered. Wish I had time for a lengthy critique, sorry, I don’t — however, from the hip, I thought it read okay, dialogue was smooth and read decently, most folks write such dead dialogue it is noticeable when characters in minis sound anything like people. I didn’t really laugh, sorry to say, I have to say I’m kind of numb to pop culture gags/dialogue/references in comics these days because of how much I deal with that stuff in my own comics. Also, I’ve read a LOT of what I call “roommate comics” in my time, which Gabagool #1 falls into — slice of life, episodic, McJob, slacker, junk culture, booze, mooning over girls, etc , it’s a real staple in minis as well as “pro” comics, and even if done better than most it still feels like I’ve read it before. Art-wise, liked the body language and the simple, loose feel of the characters/linework. Didn’t like the sameness to it all, same line weight throughout to foreground and background, the lack of spotted black areas didn;t allow anything to “pop”, or any page to look different from another. Overall it produces a blurring effect, a monotonous effect. I thought pg 17 was the most succesful in the book, writing and layouit-wise, although, again, the monotonous line sets up a coloring book-like look that feels empty after a succesion of pages. You get points for putting the firggin’ Human Fly on page 3. Huh? Wish I didn’t know who that was.
Anyway, a breezy book, no surprises, but not drek like most minis people send me, which I can’t even get through and comment on. Of course, #1 was done a year and a half ago, so for all I know you’ve been working like fiends on honing your attack/material. Punch up the jokes, bring something to this material people haven’t seen before, work on backgrounds and line weights and varying visual approaches, and of course work on all sorts of stories and try different things out so you don’t fall into a rut. If I had the time I’d run thru the site, honest, but I barely have time to comment on what you actually sent me, a year and half later, and I have a box of mail and a long list of e-mail to burrow through. So, sorry for the late reply on dated material, hope this is of some help anyway, if not, mea culpa. I tried!
Also, in case anybody is wondering, the intro/outro music is sampled from a song called “You Are Boring the Sh!t Out of Me”, by The Hanslick Rebellion.