Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sailing takes me away

Right? I mean, who doesn't love Christopher Cross? Ok, quick update and some thoughts. The first is, I completed my interview with Jeffrey Brown and it was really good. Jeff's a super nice guy, who really works his butt off and believes in his work. I did a second interview with Joe Chiappetta, and that was ALSO great. Joe's a super nice guy who's been doing comics as long as John P. (they were old college buddies).

One of the big things that has been circling my brain, vis-a-vis this whole project, is the notion of quality. All of the cartoonists I've been talking to are really focused on putting out the highest quality work. I know this seems to be a no brainer, but if you consider that we're talking about zines and/or minicomics -- a field where someone can draw, copy, and staple an issue in a day if so inclined -- then quality really does matter.

Not to mention that we're talking about a small small market. I'm really starting to think I need to talk to some of the business insiders. Obviously, the Drawn and Quarterly folks who put out John's books (hopefully going to rock a Montreal trip this summer), but also would be good to meet with some folks from bigger publishing houses.

I got some good feedback on directions for the film/villains/etc. both from emails and comments. All of it's super helpful. One of the neat parts of this whole thing is sort of unwinding the story I'm going to tell about John P. and King Cat, and which corners we'll duck down and which we'll walk by. So keep the suggestions coming! Click on the profile section to contact me.

We (Crystal and I) are in Michigan right now, taking a short break for a Casiotone show, and headed back to Chicago today, where I'll have more time to do some editing/transferring of tapes, and I'll have some neat Jeffrey Brown and Joe C. clips to put up by Monday.


  1. I must admit, I'm much more into John's relatively early work - say, 1990-1999. I loved his funny stuff, mixed with the more reflective material. As his comics got more zen (for lack of a better phrase) they became less interesting to me. I got the same feeling I get when I read a haiku, like I'm just being given the barest suggestions of a scene (trees... rocks... a stream...) and somehow that's supposed to make me feel something. I'm not just talking about his artwork (which was always sketchy) but his writing and characterization too. His early work just felt more plugged in to a world I could recognize, but when I pick up an issue these days it reflects a sensibility that it's harder for me to relate to.

    I say all this because Porcellino's work does have (at least) two very distinct stages, and it could be interesting to include people who were into his early work but gave up as the tone changed.

  2. And having said all that, now I feel like a real butthole. I've been reading Porcellino for so long that speaking ill of the guy feels like insulting an old pal. But hey, just because I don't enjoy his new work as much, that doesn't mean it ain't good! (A lot of folks like haikus, too.)

  3. Hey Greg -- I say no worries on the 'butthole' factor. The reality is that if you read ANY cartoonist over a period of time, you're going to have preferences, thinks you love, things that are so-so, and things you just don't like.

    As for the original content (older stuff is better, etc.) yeah, I think there's something there. I may not agree about the relative quality of the work, but I DO agree that you can see a change, and link that back to his life. One funny thing about John P. is that he really DOESNT do auto bio comics, despite being known for that.

    Hopefully, I'm capturing some of that in this film project. We'll see!

    Thanks for reading!