The Next Big Thing is a global blog tour, started in Australia, to showcase authors and illustrators and their current work. I was tagged by my friend, cartoonist, illustrator and Hollywood insider, Joshua Kemble. After I answer the interview questions, I’ll pass the Q&A along to some others who’ll pick up the tour and have their Next Big Things posted by September 6th, 2013.
My Next Big Thing is a collection of all my abstract and asemic pieces. It'll be 96+ pages, some in black and white, others in color and it'll be the last book in a series of seven (also including Eyeballs: A Year of Dailies, Eyeballs 1-3, Lightbeam and Twentyfourinone). It covers the years 2001-2010 and features work which was instrumental in the earliest discussions about abstract comics, as well as many pieces never before seen.
1) What is the working title of your next book?
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
I really wanted to go somewhere new but in spirit, it kind of took me back to the time I was a sick kid growing up in a small town surrounded by real nature, then watching it destroyed by development or whatever, along with witnessing a giant natural event like the eruption of Mt. St. Helens falling down on us and turning everything gray. Making this work did eventually take me to new places though, just through the internet so far, meeting and writing with people from countries all over who are into this kind of work. I'd love to do more traveling and meet them all.
3) In what genre does your book fall?
When I started it, there wasn't a genre category for it, but hey, we made abstract comics a new genre, at least according to those critics from NY Times, LA Weekly, etc., quite a few academics, and most importantly, all the new artists that are making them now. Having said that, I'm not sure all of my work in this collection fits the definition of abstract comics either. I've never been one to care much about strict genre rules.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Maybe the Yip-Yips from Sesame Street, if they're still available.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
There is no synopsis.
6) Who is publishing your book?
It's funny because I've had publishers like First Second and Scholastic express interest in The Green Kid, my autobio graphic novel but with this book, I just got blank stares or no reply from every publisher who's seen it, or even better, they opened it and then shut it immediately. I guess they were personally offended that it didn't fit within their marketing constraints. Anyway, screw it, I'll do it myself.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Usually I make lots of notes and write different drafts with numerous edits before I get to the final but for all the work in this book, I just went at it.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I'm trying to think of something but I don't know. On the individual pieces, there are all kinds of influences (from Schulz to Kirby, Van Gogh to Mondrian) but as a whole, with all the variety, besides our abstract comics anthology, there hasn't been any book like it.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I was always really excited when I found some time and could work on another page. I had developed stress fractures in my hands from hanging sheet rock in the cold that kept me from drawing for a while, so when they healed, I just wanted to draw and paint without restriction. Also, I had to have eye surgery, so with that as well, when I could see again - wow! It's true, you never know what you have until you lose it. I've been very fortunate to recover and be able to do this. (Although now I'm in physical therapy for a shoulder problem but at least it doesn't keep me from making art like the other injuries.) btw, if you want to buy my book purely out of sympathy, I'm totally okay with that!
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It'll be printed on paper!
You can find updates on the book here: http://www.getsivizion.com/publications.htm
Thanks for reading!