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gg: I thought one of the best stories
you did was in Scheherazade, "One
gb: Yeah. That's my favorite story.
gg: You said it was based on a story
by Kate Chopin. Who is that?
gb: She wrote The Awakening, if
you know The Awakening. I don't
know much about her. I think she... I don't want to say anything
about her because I really have
no biographical knowledge about
her. It was a very, very short story.
It was maybe half a page long. It
was a story about a woman whose... she has a very weak heart and
she's told that her husband has
been killed in a train wreck. And
of course she's very despondent.
But then she realizes that she's
free from her husband and she
can live her own life now. I think
her husband was very wealthy,
so she's liberated financially and
she's sort of liberated emotionally.
But then she finds out that it was a
mistake. Her husband didn't die.
And she was so sad by it that she
gg: So, loosely taken from that.
gb: Yeah. And then I threw in this
adultery and this alienation to
sort of... Anyway, she doesn't die
at the end. She has to just go on
living in an unhappy marriage.
gg: Which is a kind of death.
gb: Yeah. I was pretty excited
about that story. I just wish that I
hadn't stolen it from anyone.
gg: But it looks like you actually
enhanced it quite a bit.
gb: Yeah. I think it was probably
one of my first really serious
gg: Well, you certainly upped the
isolation quotient by having two
isolated people instead of merely
one. Is your story in Kramer's
Ergot the first color work you did?
gg: What medium was that?
gb: It was gouache. I did that as
a short, one-page color comic
for a Shout Magazine. But it got
gg: How was it working in color
from black and white?
gb: It was hard. It took me four
or five months to do that comic. I
was working full time at the time,
saving up. I would come home and
I would just do one panel and that was it. After I finished the whole
comic it would take me just one
panel a day of coloring. And I was
constantly tweaking it. And then
the color got really screwed up
when I scanned it and it printed
gg: Oh, it did?
gb: Yeah. The originals are so
much better. I mean, I spent
so much time trying to get this
perfect yellow for the walls. I had
this yellow in mind. I would make
the yellow and then I'd run out
of the yellow and then I'd have
to spend time making the yellow
again. And then when it came
out in the book it was all washed
[out]. It was just like this ugly
banana yellow that I didn't really
want. It didn't work.
gg: Another thing that's very
important in your stories is the
fantasy element, where your stories
often start off realistically and then
veer into a kind of magic realism,
which can be somewhat jarring.
gb: Is it jarring? Really? When she
turns into a chair, that's pretty
gg: They're jarring because your
work is otherwise so naturalistic
and mundane. Suddenly someone
will turn into a chair.
gb: Well, that's one of the strengths
gg: How important do you think
gb: It's incidental for me. I'm more
interested in real life, I think, and
real stories. As far as fantasy goes,
I mean they're flights of fancy in a
way. I know that, for example, the
chair story was not really my story.
My friend who was staying with
me, who is the star of that story,
had this idea that she wanted to
turn into a chair and be taken
home by somebody. So I stole her
story. She gave it to me.
gg: I wonder if you didn't enhance
that, too, because it's a really
powerful metaphor for someone
who considers herself invisible or
receding into the background.
gb: Yeah. It was a really... I mean,
I was definitely going for the
metaphor of — well — feeling like