CBC talks to Canadian cartoonists: Seth, Michel Rabagliati, Jillian Tamaki, Chester Brown

Seth - clyde fans

CBC kicks off a new series of interviews with Canadian cartoonists under their Canada Writes banner:

Canada Writes is talking to some of Canada’s best known cartoonists and graphic novelists on the different techniques, challenges, and advantages of working with both text and drawings.

Make art…make more art” – An interview with Seth

Cartoonist Seth talks about reading Mad Magazine, following in the footsteps of trailblazers like Robert Crumb and Art Spiegelman, and the serious attention currently given to comics.

I’ve been a big fan of Seth‘s work since about 2004. Clyde Fans is a fantastic work of comics and belongs on your shelf with graphic novel by Art Spiegelman, Will Eisner, Chris  Ware, and the Hernandez Brothers.

An excerpt from the interview:

D+Q-Seth-himselfBy the time I had grown up and realized I didn’t want to draw Spiderman, or work at MAD, it was too late. I was a cartoonist. The problem then was trying to figure out what a young adult interested in art and literature could do with the comics medium.

Strangely for a variety of reasons I still don’t fully  understand, comics have made a major comeback and have gained a lot of legitimacy in the last ten years. When I started out in the eighties, the idea of creating serious comics for adults was pretty laughable to most folks and for the longest time it was hard to even explain what alternative comics or graphic novels were. Nobody seemed to understand or care. Not so, any longer.

 Comics are given serious attention now and I’m quite surprised. You see them reviewed in major newspapers and exhibited in serious museums. I wouldn’t have predicted it.

Jill Tamaki is one on this list whose work I’m not familiar with. She co-created the graphic novel, Skim, with her cousin Mariko Tamaki to wide acclaim including the Ignatz Award (2008), and in 2009 a Joe Shuster Award (Mariko as writer) and a Doug Wright Award for Best Book. It also earned four Eisner nominations that year. Originally from Calgary, Jill produces the webcomic SuperMutant Magic Academy. She and Mariko have a new book, Awago Beach, coming out in 2014.

jilltamaki-selfJust start making things and don’t stop! The barrier to entry in comics is extremely low. The materials can be extremely cheap. You don’t need a lot of space. You don’t necessarily need to be able to draw well. It’s easier than ever to publish your comics online. The only thing you need is a point of view and something to say.

The interview is a bit thin, but you can read the rest of it here.

michelrabagliati-selfFinally, check out a slideshow of Michel Rabagliati‘s workshop. Michel won Best Book at this year’s Doug Wright Awards for The Song of Roland. I first came across Rabagliati in 2005 with Paul Moves Out. He has such excellent storytelling skills. Solid any way you slice it. You can’t get go wrong with any of his books.

(UPDATE: May 29)

Chester Brown – Advice for people considering a profession in cartooning

chesterbrown2-selfWhat would you tell an aspiring comics artist who is starting out today? 

Don’t get married. Oh, you wanted a “writing/drawing/creating tip”. Don’t rely too heavily on narrative captions. Dialogue is more involving for readers.
But really, don’t get married.

I ran that one for the laughs, but Brown offers some insightful answers to some decent questions. You should check out the full interview.

While my plan is to keep this story updated with links to all the interviews as they come out, we’ll see how long before I lapse.


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Filed under Aritsts and writers, Comic News

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