Tuesday, 19 October 2010

One Question Interview #11: T.J. Kirsch

Back when we interviewed T.J. Kirsch as part of the She Died in Terrebonne team last month, we were all ears as the Oni Press-affiliated artist enthusiastically cited his comic influences. Although, at the time it would have been more than a touch rude to his collaborator, Kevin Church, we could have listened all day. Taking full advantage of the One Question Interview feature, we decided it was the perfect time to corner Kirsch for a more in-depth look at his life as a comics fan.

It's no secret that we're big fans of T.J.'s style here, and marvel at its strange mutant-like ability to evoke both 1990s indie comics and classic American humour comic looks all at once. With this in mind, we decided to ask a question that really tapped into his preferences as a reader as well as a creator.

What's your favourite graphic novel of all time?

"My favorite graphic novel of all time would have to be The Playboy by Chester Brown. It was one of the first books I picked up from the library at SCAD, if I remember correctly, and I'd never seen or read anything like it. It's a really deeply personal story, and very engaging. The artwork felt very honest, but exaggerated, with a certain crudeness to it that made it accessible.

At that point I'd just started school, and I'd sort of chosen my Sequential Art major on sort of a whim, really. It was between that and Illustration. All of my favorite artists were cartoonists, so based on that alone, I chose Sequential Art. So, I was pretty aimless and lost at first, and really getting back into drawing seriously in a long time. When I picked up that book and started to read, it was one of those life-changing moments. I remember feeling the hair on the back of my neck stand up... maybe there was a choir singing behind me, I can't remember. I realized what I was going to do for the rest of my life, and that was ten years ago. It's been really rewarding getting to do something I'm passionate about, and I hope I can continue to do it for a long, long time.

Number two on my list would have to be a tie between Clowes' David Boring and Chester Brown's I Never Liked You." 

Thank you to T.J. coming back for this follow up. A man of good taste and charismatic illustration, you should head over to his blog now, as well as subscribing to his Twitter feed, to hear about his latest projects as they happen. Stay tuned (or should that be "logged on"?) for a full-length solo interview with the man himself some point before the year is through. Also, just how awesome is that header image? Swoon!

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