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gg: Visually your approach is very
theatrical. There's almost always
this proscenium arch to your panel
gg: You don't vary camera shots
gb: I was told in my earlier work
that I varied them more.
gg: That's true.
gb: I guess that comes from...
Maybe it comes from my — not
lack of interest — but my less than
enthusiastic interest in comics
and more interest in literature.
gg: But you're also interested in
gb: Yeah, that's true. But I don't
want to write a comic that looks like a film. My favorite filmmakers
are very theatrical and very... The
best films are often plays or done
by playwrights. So I guess I'm
more interested in the drama.
gg: What are the films or filmmakers
who are also playwrights that you
gb: Well, David Mamet comes to
mind. I just recently saw... What
I was thinking of was this movie
called You Can Count on Me. Have
you seen this movie?
Tree, from sketchbook
gg: Yeah. Great film.
gb: It was done by a playwright.
And I was also thinking of the
gg: Of course. Lars Von Trier.
gb: Yes. Which is pretty much like
gg: Yes. Very stagey.
gb: But it was so intense. It was
like almost all done in the mind.
gg: Where you have to enhance
upon the sets in your mind because
there are so little of them.
gb: But what was interesting was
the psychology of the characters
and the drama of it.
gg: And you also like [Roman]
Polanski, don't you?
gb: Polanski? Yeah. Just because I
did that comics movie adaptation?
Yeah. I loved Repulsion.
gg: But oddly, the films don't really
affect your comics much. You're
more affected by prose?
gb: No, the films do affect
my comics. I found that I'm
influenced by certain filmmakers,
not as far as camera shots but
more as storytelling.
gg: One of the themes or at least
facets of your stories that I noticed
repeated throughout is the sense of
gb: Ennui? Yes.
gg: You know our friend ennui,
gb: Uh-huh. Can you define that
gg: People just sort of drifting,
passively, consumed by disinterest.
How much of your expression is
conscious and deliberate do you
think, and how much of it is just
something that you're not conscious
of? I'm assuming you're aware
that your characters are somewhat
gb: It could be because my
characters are... Well, they're
not really interested in anything
because that's my problem. I
pretty much spent my entire life
trying to be a cartoonist, so I don't
really know anything except being
a cartoonist and doing comics
about doing comics or trying to
be a cartoonist — self-referential.
So I have these characters that
are left hanging. They're not even
cartoonists. They're just kind of
drifting around at some point. Do
you understand what I'm saying?
gg: I do. Do you think that's a
strength or a weakness or...
gb: I think it's a weakness, but
yeah... I mean, it'd be nice if I
were into more things but I do
think it has to do also with my
upbringing and my isolation in a
gg: You once said that one of the
qualities you most appreciate is
gb: I don't remember saying that.
I admire empathy. I do think it's
important in story because the
reader has to empathize with the
gg: And presumably the artist
has to empathize with his own
gb: Yeah. I guess it's sort of loving
your characters in a way.