Age, occupation, where are you from, where do you live now, and how long have you lived in New York?
I'm 26, I am from West Palm Beach, Florida, and I've been living in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, for 3 years or so. I work as an editor in a museum's publications department. It's awesome, let me tell you.
Your book, Spaniel Rage, has several daily sketches/cartoons. How did it go from being a personal diary of sorts to a book?
Well, I used to self-publish them and sell them at small press fairs and conventions and stuff. So Alvin, my publisher, liked my self-published stuff and thought it would be a cool project. I mean basically, I began it with the idea that it was personal, but that was just so I wouldnt be intimidated. I'd never drawn comics before really, so I thought it would be a good exercise.
Was there difficulty in deciding what to include and what not to include?
Not really. Every day throughout the day there are these moments I want to remember, or tell people, so that's usually what I end up drawing. There are SO many things that I never even get to draw, and I mourn the loss of their recording for the rest of my days, that is until I forget about them. That's why I have to draw stuff, because I forget stuff.
In the book, you have a strange clown fantasy, care to explain that at all?
I just wondered, do clowns do EVERYTHING with that big red nose on?
How long have you been drawing? Do you consider it a profession now, or still a hobby?
I've been drawing since I was little, and went to art school and stuff. I used to be a painter so it made me very haughty about drawing and so I never thought of it as a hobby. Maybe I dont believe in hobbies. I've been thinking about it a lot lately, but I haven't come to any conclusions. I wish drawing was my sole profession, but maybe when I grow up it can be.
Why did you choose to draw about your life instead of doing a more traditional written diary?
Because no one wants to read my diary! It would be incredibly annoying. My diaries are blood-curdlingly horrible to read. Comics are kind of amazing, in the way they can transform your own personal type of communication. In real life I talk way too much and say too many words. Somehow in comics everything is pared down to just the right stuff. It's a way to acknowledge things that would be irritating to call attention to if you were talking, or something.
What's the process you go through for each sketch? Have you perfected drawing certain things like yourself or perhaps that spotted pair of underwear you seem to have 10 pairs of?
I'm pretty easy on myself. When I first started the diary I made myself draw every day, because I was trying to establish a precedent. Now the strips are more intermittent, as I am working on longer pieces. I just draw them in my sketchbook. I can't set rules or anything about where and when and all that. The whole point of doing comics this way for me is so that I don't get bogged down by rules. I HATE RULES! No. That's just how it works for me. And I have 12 pairs of those underwear, I got them at this underwear bodega near the Flatiron building that sells packs of underwear, 12 for $10. There were two pairs each, of black, purple, blue, red, pink, and green. It's time for a new pack. I hope that place is still there.
Are you still doing daily drawings and are their plans for a follow-up book?
Yes! Spaniel Rage 2 is gonna have a bunch of other diary comics, with more skin and cuter boys. Aw, I am just kdding. But yeah, it's scheduled to come out sometime next spring.
Best/worst Brooklyn gentrification trend?
Panini places: worst. That bread rips up the roof of my mouth!
What place or thing would you declare a landmark?
In Brooklyn? Junior's, right? I don't know, I am not good at this stuff. When I was little there was this giant American flag at a Buick dealership near my house that for some reason I understood was Big Ben.
What advice, if any, would you give Mayor Bloomberg?
Reading the newspaper makes me feel like the world is rotting. Who is Mayor Bloomberg?
When you just need to get away from it all, where is your favorite place in NYC to be alone?
I like drinking cold beers in a hot shower. But I always am afraid I'll drop the bottle and cut myself, or fall from being drunk and hit my head, and then my new roommate, Sondaggie, would find me in there. That would be so embarrassing!
Spaniel Rage is available for purchase from Buenaventura Press