Photo by Abigail Huller, via Oakland Museum of California
Do you still work the same way you did 25 years ago, drawing by hand at a table?
Yes. I was just at an antiquarian book fair, and I picked up this catalog for a cartooning correspondence course from 1921. There was a photo of all the tools you need to use for cartooning in 1921, and it could be a photo of my drawing board: T-square, a watercolor brush, some ink, a pen, an eraser and a pencil. I do the coloring on a computer, but for the drawing I need to not have any screens around me at all.
Ben Sisario chats to the artist about Eightball
And also, more tantalizingly, Patience, which turns out to be a full on SF story that “Energized” the artist.
Your new book, “Patience,” is a time-travel story, a very common comic-book trope. How did you come to that theme?
At a certain point I realized that the time-travel story, as many times as it’s been done, is an archetype that can go off in any direction. I didn’t want it to be about science of time travel. It’s more about the psychological aspect of what that would mean. I feel like a lot of my work is about time travel in other ways, about memory and living multiple lives at the same time.
“Patience” is sort of about chasing after a relationship to make it perfect. That’s a poignant topic regardless of the sci-fi aspect.
It had a lot to it, which is why is why I made it as long as it is. One of the main rules I have for working is that as soon as it becomes boring I either get rid of what I have and start over, or go in a completely new direction. And I have to say this one was never boring. It was really energizing to work on from start to finish, even though it was five years.