[On his schooling] Very broad, very general. Design courses, fundamental courses, plus just me getting stoned and drawing on my own time. That was its own education. But you gotta understand, I think this is still true in art departments, but especially then in the mid- to late-‘80s, if you were a comic book fan and you made that known in the art department, in any classes, painting classes, illustration classes, whatever, boy that was frowned upon. That was so not a legitimate form of art. It’s funny, I always thought that when and if comics broke into the college scene, it would be through the art department and it’s not, it’s been through the lit department, and that’s been a surprise for me. Looking back, it makes sense, because it’s about stories and storytelling, not making pictures, per se.
§ Tim O’Neil at Pop Matters looks at the impact of Todd Hignite’s Comic Art magazine:
In this respect, Comics Art was actually ahead of its time, proposing as it did a much more holistic vision of the medium. Admittedly, I doubt at this point that it’s had much of an influence beyond the small market of “art”-comics aficionados, but within that supposedly monolithic group there is actually a far more accepting middle ground than most believed existed. It’s far more healthy for the art form that the supposed divisions between “high” and “low” art remain as pliable as possible.
That is an episode from the comic book Deviant Execution by Marico, a newcomer to the world of comics. It was his first comic, printed in 2007. His lack of experience, however, is not evident in the comic, which has a unique storyline. Deviant is a profession that is a product of graphic designer Marico’s imagination. A profession that will exist in the 28th century, according to Marico, a skinny guy who has a penchant for hats.
Drawn & Quarterly publisher Chris Oliveros has been impressed by her post-comic career: “It’s really funny to see how she keeps on progressing,” he says. “She certainly has not stayed in one place.”
But had she stayed in one place — comics — it’s likely she would be as well known as some of her Canadian contemporaries, such as Chester Brown and Seth. Oliveros remarks that “had she done a graphic novel now, she probably would have had maybe some more mainstream acceptance.” Birkemoe calls her “very much ahead of her time.”
Doucet, though, doesn’t feel like she missed a gold rush.
“Oh, I really don’t care about that. I felt so trapped,” she says. “You know, when you’re a cartoonist it’s like being a priest: If you quit, everybody around you goes crazy I mean, when you’re a cartoonist you’re supposed to be doing the same thing over and over again until you die. And I didn’t want that. It was very frustrating and I needed to try a different thing.”