Page 2 of 6
gg: What contemporary authors
do you like? Or have you liked
gb: Well, I just finished Jonathan
Safran Foer's new book, Extremely
Loud and Incredibly Close. Very,
very good. And I just read Life of
Pi by Yann Martel, which is also a
very, very good book.
gg: I just gave that to my kid.
gb: Oh, it's so good. It's so sweet.
The fi rst part of it is really kind
of boring, but the middle and the
end really makes up for it. It's such
a really sweet book, especially for
gg: [Seagull noises can be heard.]
Well, it's interesting that you should
say that. Are there seagulls floating
gb: [Apologetic] Yes.
gg: We're going to have to make an
MP3 out of this and maybe we'll
include it in the next MOME. It's
interesting that you said that there
are so few comics that come up to
the level of the kinds of novels you
like, because we were saying that in
the early '80s and then alternative
comics got a foothold. I think there's
a general consensus that now
comics are starting to achieve that
level of artistry.
gb: Yeah. That's true.
gg: It's also interesting that you're a
cartoonist and yet you're still more seduced by novels than you are by
gb: Yeah. That's kind of confusing
because I draw so much. I can't
not draw. I read a lot, in the best
way I can. But I don't spend a
lot of time looking at pictures or
looking at graphic novels. But I
don't spend a great deal of time
writing. I try to.
gg: You mean writing prose?
gb: Writing even for comics.
I mean, when you're drawing
comics, when you're making
comics, it seems like 90 percent of
the work is drawing. Which isn't
so good, because it makes you
very strong as an artist and not so
strong as a storyteller.
gg: That's the danger. Right.
gb: But I've heard other... Like
for example Ben Katchor. I've
heard him say that he'll spend
a week writing the story and an
afternoon or something drawing
gg: I think that must be unusual.
gb: Yeah. I go for a nice balance
gg: You say you draw all of the
time. I assume you don't mean you
draw comics all of the time?
gb: I kind of am. Yeah. It's not as
satisfying any more just to draw.
It's much more satisfying to draw
in a comics form.
gg: Is that because you're so
oriented toward narrative?
gb: Yes. I think so. And also
because I have a lot of comics to
draw now. I don't really have time
to just draw.
gg: Does that mean you've suddenly
sprouted with lots of stories that
you didn't have previously?
gb: No. I just have...
gg: So many commitments?
gb: Commitments. Yeah.
gg: Are you making your living
gb: Not really.
gg: So how do you make your
gb: Well, right now I'm living on
savings. I saved up a lot of money
last year and I'm just living off
of it right now, just living very
frugally. But I'm making a little money from comics as well. I don't
think I would be able to live off of
it without supplementing it with
savings. But I don't know what's
going to happen in the future.
Ew, Gross, drawn in 2003