Man-Size (man_size) wrote,
man_size Interview: Dean Haspiel Talks About "The Red Hook" and His Love For Brooklyn

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Chase Magnett interviewed me about my new/free webcomic series, THE RED HOOK, and the "New Brooklyn Universe" for


"I think what makes Brooklyn a force for manifesting superheroes comes from the fact that blue collar workers like Jack Kirby and Will Eisner, and a slew of other progenitors of the comix form, hailed from Kings County. Kinda like Neil Armstrong planting the American flag on the moon, they got there first and Brooklyn is where the genesis of many famous cartoonists created extraordinary characters to deal with extremely tough times dating as far back as Captain America punching out Adolph Hitler.

Lots of heroes were spawned from war and economic strife. In fact, The Red Hook and New Brooklyn is partially a response to my getting the proverbial boot from my own studio soon so that land developers can attempt to revamp a few more artist-friendly neighborhoods into expensive condominiums and co-worker hubs for those who won't blink at a $12 shot of bourbon. Rapidly dying are the affordable underground happenings that made NYC rich with experimentation."

"My exodus from Manhattan to Brooklyn became the basis for my graphic memoir, "Beef With Tomato" (published by Alternative Comics). I think I fell in love with how Brooklyn kept things "street." There were hardly any pretensions when I landed. What Manhattan abandoned for brighter lights and bigger signs and whiter noise, Brooklyn brandished in their water towers and stoops and trees and people. I felt a better sense of community in Brooklyn, even when I was getting the stink eye from indigenous locals. Hipsters came later. But, in the late '90s, I had to earn my way in. Brooklyn hazes you for your self-worth, especially in Red Hook. Ironically, since my Manhattan escape, Brooklyn has become more expensive. I can't win. Nobody put a gun to my head but I've given my life's blood and art to NYC and it sometimes treats me like an infection just because I'm economically (and esthetically) allergic to champagne and caviar while my veins proudly pump 70% cheap Chinese food takeout and 30% discounted peanut butter. Give me royalty checks or give me grape jelly."

"All good superhero stories express a healthy mix of science-fiction, romance, and crime, don't they? That's what makes superhero comics stand part from singular genres. If you've ever read any of my Billy Dogma comix or the occasional superhero stuff I've done for Marvel, DC and Archie/Dark Circle, you'll know that I've never been good at sticking to the trappings of a particular genre. Listening to Prince, Throbbing Gristle, The Clash, J.G. Thirlwell, Moby, Swans, Death Grips, The Chemical Brothers, and Run The Jewels while watching horror movies, spaghetti westerns, and AMC/HBO shows, has a way of influencing a mind and body. Like life, I'm influenced by a cacophony of diverse cultures, ideas and ambiance. I'm hard to peg. Dub me a one-stop-shop; a Renaissance cartoonist."

Read the entire interview here:

You can read THE RED HOOK here:

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