Interesting interview by Sean T. Collins at Rolling Stone with the stalwarts of 1990s alternative comics Chris Ware, Dan Clowes and Jamie and Gilbert Hernandez. I particularly enjoyed the following comments on recent interest in Heavy Metal:
Clowes: I have to say I have a recently rediscovered fondness for Heavy Metal. That was a big deal when it came out: “Wow, you can draw robots with tits!” It has a certain charm to it, especially the really weird, unpleasant stuff in it. All that Richard Corben stuff was so disturbing.
Gilbert: You can tell the difference between artists: Who’s the madman, and who’s the guy just doin’ it? That’s why guys like [Joe] Kubert and [John] Buscema and John Romita, who were really amazingly skilled artists, there’s just nothing there other than they’re just really skilled artists. Then you see Crumb, who was just a complete nut.
Clowes: Or [Jack] Kirby, who was the opposite.
Gilbert: Or [Steve] Ditko. They’re crazy men. “Who let them do this?” [Laughter]
Ware: When you talk about a pantheon . . . When I went to art school and I went to the art history classes, we were taught this very specific progression of where art came from and where it supposedly was going. It was almost like these pills you had to swallow that had been established by art critics and art writers. One of the things that appealed to me most about comics was that you can pick the ones you like and build your own personal pantheon. I’ve never met these younger kids who are more interested in – I just said “younger kids.” I can’t believe that. [Laughter] Younger artists are interested in Heavy Metal – that’s great. That’s something else completely to start from.
Gilbert: That’s what was missing from alternative comics after us: The art got less and less good.
Jaime: Less and less important.
Gilbert: It was more about the writing. Eventually people are gonna rebel and say, “Where’s the good drawings?” It’s in Heavy Metal! I think that’s what’s happened – a backlash against blandness.
For the rest of the interview, follow the link.