Page 2 of 7
kurt wolfgang: From the time
I was born, I wanted to be a cartoonist,
once I found out there was
a thing called a cartoonist and he drew pictures and got paid for it.
And I think I just kind of gave up
on that somewhere along the way,
it just kind of faded out. To me,
you did Garfield or superheroes
and that was it. It was at that point,
my early 20s, when I decided that I
wanted to be a cartoonist. I wanted
to do this, I wanted to do it well,
work at it. And then gradually I
learned about different comics,
started looking into the past and
realizing that there was this amazing
wealth from years and years
gary groth: You said you started
sending your minis out in '96; to
whom would you send them?
kw: Oh, I sent them to Pete Bagge
and Dan Clowes, just different
people I was reading and enjoying.
Then they all sent very nice, polite
encouraging letters back. And I
look back, and I just feel so foolish
[laughs], when I think about what
I sent them. [Groth laughs.]
I started a lot later than other
people to actually just sit down
and draw several hours at a time.
I think I did a lot of my really embarrassing
stuff in my 20s when I
think a lot of people had knocked
that out of the way in their teens.
You go through this period, I think
a lot of people do, where their comics,
especially when you do humorbased
things, or at least humortinted
things, you have a whole lot
of stuff you're trying to get out at
once. You're trying to show how
clever you are to the point where
you make these comics where it's
just some guy running around narrating
everything you hate in the
world. You know what I'm saying?
These clever wise-assy rant things,
where it's like you have all these
good ideas, but you just want to get
them out there to show the world
how fucking clever you are, and I
think I had to work through a lot
of that before I could...
One day I actually just stopped
and said, "Is this the kind of work
I want to do?" And don't get me
wrong, I look back at a lot of that
work and I enjoy some of it, but I
really started to look at it. I looked
at the kind of work I was enjoying,
and seeing something meaningful,
more substantial, I wasn't making
comics like that. I was making silly
comics about how I feel about this,
how I feel about that; silly mundane
From Noe-Fie #6
gg: What year did you start publishing
kw: That would have been around,
I'm guessing, '95, '96. I don't know.
I should probably have some of
this material, on hand.
gg: I don't have the first four issues.
The fifth one is '97.
kw: Oh goodness, you have that,
huh? You know, most of the drawing
that I had done through my 20s
would be like drunk bar napkins
and whatnot. And the first few issues
of No-Fie were nothing more
than, I would take illustrations that
I was particularly fond of and I
would loosely string them together
with text to make up a kind of story.
Like that's how lame it was. But I
think everybody has to go through
that whole thing. Luckily, I didn't
go through it too publicly.
gg: [Laughs.] Right. What prompted
you to publish your own comic?
kw: First I made it for my friends.