I did a short newsletter interview for BIG PLANET COMICS' chain of stores as conducted [via email] by my buddy, Ian Sattler.
1) Tell us a bit about The Quitter and what people can expect from it.
THE QUITTER is the origin of Harvey Pekar. Fans of AMERICAN SPLENDOR, will come to learn what made Harvey the cranky mensch he became famous for and why he quit knocking people out with his fists and started writing jazz reviews and comix, instead. All readers, hep and new, will come to enjoy one of the very best autobiographical graphic novels produced to date.
2) What were your thoughts on Harvey Pekar before you started work on the book and had they changed at all
by the time you were finished with the project?
Harvey Pekar is a generous collaborator. He's always trusted my narrative judgement and artistic sensibilities. Working on THE QUITTER was a mighty challenge that made our relationship stronger and a force to be reckoned with. I often make the joke that Harvey and I are the equivalent of what would happen if Raymond Carver and Jack Kirby made comix together.
3) The Quitter deals with how tough life can be in high school and the messed-up situations you can find
yourself in. Was high school good or bad for you? Personally, I really enjoyed high school and would go
back toady in a second. I'm an especially big fan of high school girls I might add.
For a native New Yorker who grew up in the melting pot of the public school system and street codes of Manhattan, I was your typical comix nerd and sports geek that occasionally got mugged and persecuted by mean bullies and sassy girls. Not the best student, I managed to squeak by with passing grades while daydreaming about science fiction, romance, and monsters. I remember running home after school to read THE FANTASTIC FOUR or SHAZAM, watch the 4:30 MOVIE, listen to original hip-hop, and/or play ATARI games with my friends before MTV launched. It wasn't until girls started to sprout in the way that they do that my attention was divided elsewhere. Once high school started it was a whole other ball game toggling between creating characters and drawing their stories, playing tag-no-touch, chasing comets, and winning at spin-the-bottle with any girl that would dare.
4) You'll be in town for both SPX and the Baltimore Comic Con this year...got any convention horror stories you want to share?
Lucky for me, I have no serious comic convention horror stories to share. After all, I was one of the grunts that put the "X" in SPX, and I aim to keep it that way.
5) Who are you picking to go to the Super Bowl this year? I feel that Pittsburgh and Carolina have strong
chances to take advantage of teams in Philly and New England that are in flux...
As impossible as it may seem for a whiskey swilling ink-stud like me to admit, I hardly follow sports anymore. Last time I watched football, Tony Dorsett was running back for the Dallas Cowboys. If I had to make a wild, uneducated guess which team might win the Superbowl trophy in 2005, I'd pick the Steelers, only because the team will forever hold a dear place in my heart for Terry Bradshaw's 1972 playoff throw to Franco Harris manifesting the "immaculate reception," and that ain't no joke!