Sunday’s here and that means it’s time once more for What Are You Reading. Our guest this week is the incredibly talented cartoonist Rick Geary. Geary has two books out this fall, his latest entry in his ongoing XXth Century Murder series, Famous Players, and a biography of Leon Trotsky that should be coming out from Hill and Wang any day now.
Look for an interview with Mr. Geary appearing on this blog in the coming weeks. For now though, let’s just see what he’s currently reading …
This John Kerschbaum interview is long overdue. After I interviewed John Arcudi back in January 2009, he suggested I interview John Kerschbaum. In fact, he mentioned Kerschbaum in the course of our interview: “Petey and Pussy creator John Kerschbaum is the best cartoonist working in funnybooks right now. And he’s not working nearly enough.” My apologies to Kerschbaum for the time it took to make this interview happen (he agreed to it back in late January, but I was unable to get questions to him until May), so I am really glad to run this finally. Kerschbaum, who was a 2008 Eisner nominee in the Best Humor Publication category for Petey and Pussy, was kind enough to discuss this most recent Fantagraphics book as well as the work he has self-published through his own Fontanelle Press. Enjoy.
Tim O’Shea: Looking at your work to date, is there any line of comedy that you are afraid to cross?
John Kerschbaum: I don’t know if I’m motivated by fear, per se, but I tend to shy away from specifically offending people. That is, I avoid ethnic, political or religious humor, that type of stuff. I like to think I’m more of an equal-opportunity offender.
But that’s not to say I think any of those topics are taboo. There are talented cartoonists, humorists and comedians that mine those territories for humor whose work I really enjoy. It’s all about the context in which it’s being done and the abilities of the cartoonist doing it. Just because something CAN be funny doesn’t mean is always IS. There’s a time and place for everything.
The 2009 San Diego Comic-Con is less than a month away, with preview night kicking things off on Wednesday, July 22. If you are a publisher, creator, retailer or any other kind of exhibitor who would like to let folks know about any special plans you have for the show (panels, signing schedules, exclusives, debuts, etc.) drop me an email and I’ll run it here.
Also, to the right is the 40th anniversary souvenir book cover, featuring art by the great Rick Geary. Comic-Con debuted it on their Twitter feed, where they’ve also been announcing panels and auctions for membership badges.
Publishers | Red 5 Comics will be at booth S-9 in the small press area, with the creators of We Kill Monsters, Neozoic, Atomic Robo and Afterburn available for signings.
Books | Scott Morse says he’ll have about 100 copies of The Ancient Book of Sex and Science, which sold out before its release after being mentioned on BoingBoing. He’s also taking orders for a signed and numbered edition, which he’ll bring to the con if you order one.
Exclusives | Becky Cloonan will have a set of four silkscreen prints at the con, limited to 100 “signed, numbered, stamped and enveloped” copies.
I asked if she and the 5/Pixu crew had another book planned for this year, but she said they’ve all been so busy they haven’t been able to do one. She also said she’ll have a big announcement at the con, and she’ll have a table with with Brian Wood, Cliff Chiang and Jill Thompson.
Mini-comics | According to Ben Towle, J Chris Campbell of Wide Awake Press is putting together a Michael Jackson memorial mini-comic to sell at the con, which will feature stories and pin-ups of the King of Pop.