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Tuesday, February 10, 2004


Jason Marcy -- I love Jason Marcy's autobiographical
comics. Like no other cartoonist I can think of, he puts his
full and uncensored id out on the line in almost every story
he does, inviting your disgust, and sometimes your admiration.
No surprise at all that he'd answer the Five Questions.

Like my other favourite web cartoonist, you recently
had a child. Tell me how your son's membership in the Marcy
Family has affected your creativity?

Well, he's certainly added a whole new angle to it!
It's become really more about finding the time to be
creative, so most of my work gets done, well, at work,
while waiting for the pasta dough to mix. He's
certainly added a little more spice to my daily
journal strip, as he's become quite active and into
everything. If nothing else though, he's made me
realize I need to be far more creative, and start
bringing in more money from the cartooning. It's now a
real job to me, in a lot of ways, adding to the
household income. Only Xander could make me see the
benefits of that!

You're currently working on your third graphic novel
collecting your Jay's Days stories. Tell me how you see your
autobiographical work developing over the years you've been
doing it.

Hmmm...I see it as far more polished over the years. I
actually handed over the pages of the main story in
Jay's Days 3 to inker Joe Meyer, and he was amazed at
how well written and drawn it all was, calling it my
"best work to date" though I never know, though I do
get a feeling it's good. I think I've really grown in
both art and story. A lot of that comes from simply
studying the works of other autobio guys, and just
plain experience at knocking the stuff out, the whole
"just get down to brass tacks" thing of telling the

It's also a more refined process, involving full
scripting, then going over it as I draw to make sure
the essentials of what happened are there. Before I'd
just start with panel one and go until whenever. Now I
wanna make sure I get it as right and as real as it
happened, so the reader can feel he or she was there!!

How would you like to see the industry change to
make it a more hospitable environment for independent and
alternative creators and publishers?

The hot button topic!! I think the industry has to
have a far more fair process to allow indie guys in. I
hear a lot of bull coming from the major distributor
when it comes to the huge support they give indies,
and in some ways it's true, yet behind the scenes
there are a lot of talented people being turned away. I
see guys putting out work of such high calibre not in
the ditributor's catalogue because they can't afford
the ad space often required to get listed.

Obviously, we need a better system of distribution,
and that means we need good old fashioned real
competition again for the creator's revenues. Back when
there was more choice, I think there was a more open
door policy to indies, because who knew if the one
distributor didn't take a project and the other did
and it made money who would have that egg on their
faces? Wouldn't someone be made to answer for failing
to take a possible money generating book? Now it's a
lot of guys becoming comic critics instead of
distributors because they're the only game in town
taken seriously, and they often make decisions on a
project without any of the comic buying public's
input, in my view the final voice on what is "good" or
"bad." I think things should be listed and then judged
based on how orders go, not with shadowy "you buy this
ad, we'll carry you" backroom garbage. And I've heard
the horror stories from enough creators to know this
is how it works.

Tell me who your five favourite cartoonists are and
a little something about each one.

1. JAMES KOCHALKA: Pure genius. Very stylized, always
able to bring magic out of things I'd never see the
same way. He simply can find joy in everything the
world offers. Amazing. Owns the daily cartoon journal
format all the kids is imitatin' these days (yep, me
too). Made me call myself a "Kochalkaholic"!! And his
music is rockin' great stuff!! I will love to meet him
one day, though I'll probably be a fanboy geek...

2. JOE SACCO: Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde and The
Fixer should be required reading in every high school
or University, or both. Brings a brilliant art style to
report on stuff in the world most people barely get a
glimpse of in the news. Never flinches or pulls his
punches in any of his awesome works. Autobio that
really matters.

3. JOHN PORCELLINO: Like Kochalka, a genius in the
field. Everything he does looks so simple, yet it has
a complexity and poignancy way beyond its appearance.
Made me cry with one sentence in an issue of King Cat
Comics #60: "Jon...she's going to leave me." Should
have more trade collections than a hundred other

4. JOE MEYER: Without his inks, a lot of my work would
not have the power it does. His own stuff continues to
amaze me as well, with his upcoming "Slammin' Bunneez"
likely going to be a masterpiece, and his daily
journal work better steadily day by day. Truly my
right arm, and my best friend.

5. STEVE "THE DUDE" RUDE: Every artist should look to
this guy simply for his professionalism even if they
don't dig his art. Saw him do three straight days at a
con meeting and greeting, left the table only once or
twice and he was the most gracious guy in the world,
no matter who you were. As an artist has few peers,
his work on Nexus unsurpassed, and I'll say firmly
he's one of the few true masters of dynamic
storytelling in the field, yet also capable of making
those heroes very human and real. There's a story that
Jack Kirby (another favorite, right beneath Rude)
could draw the Thing battling it out with some beasty
and then equally have him sipping coffee and reading
the sports page like any average joe and make it
believeable. Rude has that in spades.

You once did a story about asking your wife to check
your ass for hemorrhoids. Is there anything that you've left out
of a strip because it was too personal, disgusting or embarrassing?

God yeah. Most of the time, it's based on my wife's
request (as in, "don't show us having sex!!"), though
I plan on doing a ton of embarrassing and even
disgusting stories, because a lot of them are funny to
people. I wanted to have a few stories in the upcoming
Volume 3 that showed my male pervert side, to me an
embarrassing thing, and even then I felt like I was
passing the buck so to speak. They likely don't go far
enough. I know I'll start crossing some bizarro fences
as time passes though, and I sort of stop giving a
damn. There's been stuff in all three trades I NEVER
would've shown in my early work, so I'm already
working out my taboo stuff.

Jason Marcy's all over the web. Read his Live Journal,
weblog and daily diary strips.


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