ABOUT THE DRIVE TO FINISH MAKING COMICS
I like sitting down to a page and just finishing it. When the page is half finished, I have this positive irritation, like itching. But if I wait too long, the itching will go away (along with the drive to ever finish the page).
Then, the only way I can finish [a story] is to find a couple pages I’m attracted to, and work out from there. I start in the middle — the beginning is usually the last pages I do.
IF YOU’RE FROM MINNESOTA, WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO PORTLAND?
I was drawn to the rain and how cheap it is — the summer is my least favorite part of being here. I was friends with Jason Overby and Blaise Larmee, and Austin English had told me about Dylan Williams so that was a draw too.
One of the nice things about Portland is that people don’t get upset if you hide out, if you want to draw all the time, the same way they don’t get upset if you want to camp every weekend… and I like that once you’re done [drawing] you can leave your cave and walk around in the rain.
ON THE MULTIPLE GIANT PENISES IN LAST YEAR’S PORTLAND FREE COMIC
[laughing] I didn’t do that dick, that was Overby and he will delight in explaining that to you. It was like a jam comic by people who were never in the same room together… I just drew a man in a wheelchair with a Sharpie marker! I think willful confusion was a part of [that comic] for sure…
WHY DO YOU MAKE COMICS?
I do it because it’s healthy, it’s extremely healthy. I think it’s a good humanistic practice, mentally, philosophically, to be able to cycle through ideas like that… it gives you objectivity about your internal world if you are able to put it down and LOOK at it.
ABOUT OOF TAH
For the show I’m reading a book I drew 3 years ago called Oof Tah, which is a Midwestern thing, I drew it when I went home to Minnesota.
Oof Tah is a funny comic because usually I digest [the ideas/feelings in a comic] after it’s finished, but I keep going back to this one…I drew it in six weeks and it was the hardest I ever worked on something, and the feelings that come through it are not comfortable. The feelings actually come through in this one — you can sit down and read it and it totally puts me back where I was when I did it — though not everyone [else] wants to be in that place! [laughs]
I had no job, no prospects, I was at my mom’s house and the feeling of being there was heavy. The comic seemed like my only door out… I was on the top floor of my mom’s house, the room where I made all my high school comics was across the hall, and I’d sit in this makeshift studio imagining the other room but never looking at it… [and Oof Tah is all set in that room], the hallway, the downstairs kitchen and the grass outside, but no further, because I wasn’t leaving and I wasn’t allowed to imagine beyond that line… it took six weeks of twelve-hour-day drawing madness…
I just felt like a giddy insane person at the end of it because I’d had that focus. The best feeling is to sit down in a place that kind of denied the real world. Then the feeling at the end of that six weeks — my mom drove me around the neighborhood and I was just cracking up at the feeling of everything around me… that’s the way that [making comics] is healthy, that you stand up and you see the shapes of things suddenly — it helps you laugh at everything — it makes responsibility fun instead of terrifying.
IN THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS, WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO GET FROM YOUR COMICS?
I hope they have fun. I hope they feel scared, grossed out and anxious, but I hope that’s part of the fun.
@10 months ago with 27 notes
#jesse mcmanus #maria sputnik #austin english #portland #blaise larmee #oof tah #free comics