Robot 6

Interview of the day: Art Spiegelman gets the Graphic NYC treatment

Art Spiegelman (photo by Seth Kushner)

Christopher Irving has a long, juicy interview with Art Spiegelman at the Graphic NYC blog, illuminated by Seth Kushner’s moody photos.

Spiegelman talks about his early comics reading and the freedom of working on comics in the 1970s, when the entire medium was caving in and there was plenty of space to create something new. He intersperses broad reflections on the medium with arresting moments, such as falling asleep in a basement full of old Happy Hooligan comics and dreaming about the iconic character (whom he later morphed in to a self-portrait, Hapless Hooligan).

The most enticing bit comes at the end:

Art’s next potential research project is into the cartoonists of lurid ‘40s and ‘50s crime comics: Charlie Biro and Bob Wood. Biro was the publisher, and Wood was his editor—guilty of killing a girlfriend with an iron in a drunken rage.

“I found the Bob Wood murder confession when he killed his girlfriend: it’s a twelve-day drunk barely coherent version of what happened. I got it right before it was turned to the landfill. It was literally in a box of documents that were about to become landfill in Staten Island.”

Spiegelman briefly considered turning this story into musical theater (!) but abandoned that notion; hopefuly he will find the right format for it—or better yet, invent a new one.

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