what is your name?
how would you describe what you do?
Autobiographical comic books.
what are you currently working on?
A book about the last 6 years of my life, since moving from Toronto to LA.
what has had the greatest influence on your work?
Maus and the autobiographical work of Robert Crumb.
what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
That I’m lazy and/or a creep. Also, I think many people have the misconception that making comics is easy. Good comics, that is.
what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
The main strength of comics is control. The cartoonist controls everything and the challenges can be overwhelming.
And I don’t think the medium has any weaknesses, other than the limits of language and communication.
Also, a weakness of comics may be its perception as a juvenile medium, but I consider that more a failing of people, as opposed to the medium. The same can be said for The Academy Awards looking down at comedies. It’s snobbery, plain and simple.
how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
I’ve chosen to ignore computers completely, as far as producing comic pages goes. Ink on paper is the only road I want to travel on.
From a publisher’s point of view though, I’m certain computers are an invaluable aid. So, I’m grateful for that.
what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
From a technical standpoint, my advice on comics could fill a book.
But basically, it might boil down to simply: dig as deep as you can.
My second piece of advice to all cartoonists would be: study the masters!
We’re extremely fortunate to be living in a Golden Age of comic strip reprints. And I urge EVERYONE to support such fine projects as: Walt & Skeezix, Little Orphan Annie, Popeye, Dick Tracy, Peanuts, Captain Easy, as well as countless others.
where can we find you online?
Friends can find me on Facebook; everyone else on MySpace.
Also, I don’t have the Internet at home, so my emailing is sparse.
what are you reading at the moment?
Conversations with Art Spiegelman
what are you listening to at the moment?
THE BEST SHOW ON WFMU!!! Hosted by Tom Sharpling!!
A friend burns mp3 discs for me from the archives at: www.friendsoftom.com
anything else we should know?
I am actually working, believe it or not.
Also, please buy my books. Comics are my sole source of income and I’m DYING out here in LA!
Today, I spent a whole $1.10 on a small coffee. And that was it.
I did, however, manage to drop $80 the day before on two volumes of DICK TRACY. So, don’t worry…my priorities are still in order.
SO LONG, SUCKERS!!! ~Joe