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.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.