But there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Brown’s comics. His sketchbook-style graphic novels are not all about parodies of eighties cartoons like “The Transformers.” His autobiographical works exhibit a raw, intimate look at his relationships through anecdotes from his everyday life.
I will just say that to say this is the best convention I could have imagined is an understatement. Lucca is a medieval walled city and the convention is literally everywhere – tents are set up in every main street, in every piazza, and in beautiful ancient churches and you stroll around as you please. It’s the most beautiful location ever, and combined with the European outlook on the art of comics and an espresso bar every 50 meters, I never want to leave. Even the worst of the cosplay feels elegant. 25,000 people visited the con today, and they are hoping for a total for the 4 days of over 100k. Lucca is the largest European con next to Angoulême.
When do we get to go to Lucca? (frowny face.)
§ Can comic books stop terrorism? Gee, we sure hope so!
§ They’re making comic books in Scotland! Is there no end to the miracle of this so-called “universal language”?
DW: “Comics culture” has always been a little bit tough for me to grapple with, partly because I’m looking at it from the inside. It’s a culture that’s immersed in comics and their history and economics and formal conventions, to the point where it can be difficult to read comics casually: you almost have to adopt (or work around) a certain cultural mode to pick up something with words and pictures and read it for pleasure, and that’s annoying. On the other hand, the culture of comics-readers does privilege deep knowledge, and in its eccentric way it’s deeply committed to being hospitable to newcomers; we care about this stuff a lot, and we like the feeling of being a community.
When you come up with those cartoons, do you get an image in your head first? What’s your starting point?
It really varies. Probably most of the time I have a more verbal idea, like something that’s funny, or something I’ve heard, or some funny thing that happened to me, gives me an idea for something else and that’s a verbal kind of thing. But sometimes I’m just doodling, and I’ll draw one of those end-of-the-world old men, and then suddenly I’ll see an idea for a cartoon once a picture is sort of there.