Even before his recent - and much deserved - Ignatz award win for Outstanding Series with Ganges, Kevin Huizenga was a creator with no shortage of acclaim. Numerous reviewers and commentators have projected the idea that, a few years from now, he will be seen as one of this generation of creators’ finest, and, speaking from a personal perspective, it certainly seems hard to refute. Behind his "stylised, friendly art" (as NPR's Glen Weldon described it) often lies a complex layering of meaning that gives his work a real weight and value, and has won him favourable comparisons with Chris Ware, amongst other equally deific names.
His latest Glenn Ganges collection, The Wild Kingdom, might initially seem like somewhat of a departure from his best known works. Primarily made up of material found in earlier releases, it still holds all the hallmarks readers may expect from his comics, yet this arrangement of stories takes a slightly more oblique and fractured narrative route. Here, the reader is rewarded with a slow-burning curation of scenes that converge thematically and intensely over time. One of the most enchanting graphic novels this year, you'll understand that it was with some excitement that we approached the creator for an interview.
Filled with his characteristic humour and intelligence, read on for Huizenga's insights into the book; the creation of the comic's non-traditional story structure; his influences; and talks about how he is absolutely, positively not Glenn Ganges for the millionth time.
Congratulations on your much-deserved Ignatz win! How did you celebrate?
We'd like to extend our very sincere gratitude to Kevin for giving us his time in order to take part in this interview. Due to the global shortage of Hot New Things in retail outlets currently, readers are directed to purchase the next best thing by visiting the Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, and USS Catastrophie webstores (links below) for Huizenga's comics and graphic novels. By way of happy coincidence, Chris Mautner of Robot 6 has just penned a great introductory guide to Huizenga's work; so none of you have an excuse. Well, except you completionists who already have everything, but you can always buy extras as gifts for others. Go!