Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Second Coming of Noah Van Sciver, an Interview: Part 2 of 3

Parts 1 Parts 3

Our conversation with the handsome young cartooning master Mr. Noah Van Sciver continues in this here Part 2:

Raighne Hogan: It is an interesting transition that the single issue torch has been passed from publisher's like Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly, Top Shelf to artists that self publish or smaller and smaller publishers like Sparkplug, I Will Destroy You, Koyama Press, Uncivilized Books, La Mano, and many many more.  With the advent of all these smaller publishers and self-publishers, how do you think this affects the comics buying public and the market?  Word of mouth travels slower than the growth of these up and coming small press comix publishers and sales seem to be ever more incestuous at shows and shops.  I'm ranting a little.  I apologize. Do you think about this stuff much?

Noah Van Sciver: I only think about this stuff when I talk to people like yourself! I think that there are still weirdo people who like single issue comics and will seek them out as long as they exist. People like myself. Maybe I'm naive, or just stupid. I have my readership still, though. I know that what I work on at home will be read by some one, somewhere.  I'm not really sure how this affects the market. I just hope that the stapled comic book will always exist in the same way that records exist.

RH: What are you reading these days?

NVS: I'm reading what people send me mostly. I just read all of the Good Minnesotans that you sent to me, I read these mini comics from england called Smoo that were sent to me, and I re-read ICE HAVEN in it's softcover form. Have you ever read that?

RH: I can't remember if I've read ICE HAVEN in soft cover or not.  You are talking about the version in EIGHTBALL right?  I do really enjoy that story.  My favorite story by Clowes is LIKE A VELVET GLOVE CAST IN IRON.

NVS: Yeah that's a classic.

RH: Man, every time I end up picking that book up I loose time as I end up sitting down and re-reading it.  There are certain comix/books/films/whatever that affect me in a similar manner. How about you, is there certain works that mesmerize you?

NVS: Hhhmm.. Ivan Brunetti's Schizo series from Fantagraphics definitely mesmerizes me.
I think of comics that I read in the collection 20th Century Eightball often. I'll be crossing a street and for no reason at all Shamrock Squid will enter my mind. All of that stuff has just burned itself into my brain.  When I first found that collection I took it to a coffee shop and read it and I just wanted to BE Dan Clowes after that. I still do.

RH: I've read that you grew up in a Mormon household...

NVS: Yup. I've been trying to figure out what the best way of translating my upbringing into comic form.

RH: That would be really interesting to read. I wasn't raised religiously until my sister's father entered my life.  There were some weird idea's floating in my head prior to this, but they seemed to multiply after his entrance into my life and continued well past his exit.  A lot of them are perhaps familiar one's like thinking every time I'd get a crazy intense migraine or motion sickness (which I used to get quite often) or horrible horrible stomach pains that they were the result of god punishing me for masturbating too much. Maybe not so familiar...  How do you think being raised religiously affects your outlook on life and art?  Do you have any embarrassingly personal anecdote's that you'd like to share?  I have a ton and I have a tendency to share them far too often for my wife's comfort.  ha ha.

NVS: I was definitely afraid of going to Hell growing up. I remember the very first time I said a curse word out loud, I got really dizzy. I was really scared that I had just purchased my lot in Hell for that.
I don't believe in the Mormon church, or even god anymore. I don't mind at all if others do, as long as they leave me alone. But, I still notice certain things in myself left over from that upbringing, as far as not feeling comfortable drawing sex scenes in my stories and stuff like that. I get freaked out by it. That's why Blammo will never truly be like other Underground comics.

RH: Did you get a chance to listen to that 2-hour Inkstuds special with Al Columbia?  That guy's comix and art are intense!  It's super interesting to hear how he was raised and see how he analyzes his past in context to his present.

NVS: I haven't had a chance yet, but I did hear his old one, and thought that he sounded like a really cool dude.

RH: Say, when is your Australian tour kicking off and how long will you be gone?

NVS: I'm leaving on the 24th and coming back March 7th. I have a gigantic fear of flying so this ought to be fun for me.

RH: Wow, that's soon.  Well, we'll conclude this on the 24th then! 

Parts 1 Parts 3

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