In the world of
THREE CREATORS, AN INTERVIEWER, the PIANO MAN,
AND RASPBERRY SODA
ORIGINALLY FEATURED IN 1996- by Andrew Goletz
known Patty Breen and Karl Christian since before I began putting Gray
Haven together ages ago. I discovered their work by walking into Showcase
Comics on South Street in Philadelphia where Karl turned me onto Pattyís
fabulous Kiss and Tell (and also managed a few plugs for his own Angst
Boy. They also informed me about a great little mini-comic called Mad
Curry by another local Philly guy, Robert Wertz. Recently, I met with all
three of them for an interview in a little cafť on South Street known as
the Rhino. We sat at our familiar table where we could watch the people on
the streets and get inspirations for more stories good. Our glasses were
filled with raspberry soda, ears taken by the sounds of our own piano man,
and hands occupied with cigarettes.
AG: We might as well start by having you guys introduce yourselves.
Iím Patty Breen.
Karl Christian. I do Angst Boy.
Robert Wertz, publisher of the mini-comic Mad Curry.
AG: Who was the first to get into all this?
AG: How long ago was this?
KC: In fact,
Rhino appears in the first issue.
AG: And Rob, you had the idea for your book before collaborating with Patty?
RW: I was
doing Mad Curry before Kiss and Tell, but I hadnít printed any of it
yet. I decided that I was either going to do the comic or best working in
a restaurant my entire life.
AG: And self publishing was always the preferred way to go? No desire to send out to a major company?
PB: Oh, no.
I was trying to send material to publishers, but readers seemed to be
giving me more of a response than the companies. While the rejection
letters came from the companies, I was building up my own little fan base.
Dave Sim sort of forced me into self publishing.
AG: Howís that?
continues to tell her story, the piano player ends his first set and the
place goes wild with clapping and cheering; well, mainly from our table.
Player: Whatís going on over there?
doing an interview.
KC: And now
youíre a part of it.
AG: Introduce yourself.
PP: My name
is Kenny Gates!
remember that the 10 oíclock show is different from the 8 oíclock one.
AG: So, PattyÖyou were pushed into this by Dave?
AG: What is Kiss and Tell about?
PB: Itís a
collection of stories, semi autobiographical in nature. I try to include
different narration and subject matter to keep the story interesting. I
didnít want to cover mundane things like ĎI walk down the street and
get a burgerí. I also refuse to cover anything to do with relationships
because I think itís been overdone.
I want to get a niche outside of the comic industry, so women pick
it up. I realize though, that the majority of the people who are going to
read the book are comic readers and 99% of those are men.
AG: But you just did an interview with Sassy,
AG: What do you the three of you think about the
industry right now?
people think that comic books are for kids. You have to do something to
get people into stores and reading books like Cerebus and Sandman and let
them realize that there is other stuff out there.
arenít encouraged to read in general and thatís a problem. Book sales
are down, not just comics, and that has a big effect.
KC: A lot of
times, this is what will happen. A couple will come into the store. The
boyfriend gets his X-Men fix and the girlfriend is waiting inside, totally
lost. So what we do is give
her an issue of Sandman or Strangers in Paradise to look through. They
become totally hooked, never realizing that comic books could be like
AG: Rob, tell us about Mad Curry.
cannibals, the whole flesh eating thing, but itís done in a humorous
way. Itís really a fractured version on my personality. There are events
in my life that will be part of the book, and weird things that go through
then, Kenny finishes a few more songs and takes a look over at us. A
waitress is clearing our huge mound of ashes from the tables and giving us
a clean ashtray.
KG: You have
to interview the waitress, too.
already have enough voices in this.
KG: What are
you all talking about?
KG: I see.
Are you all fans of comic books?
KG: So you
all make comic books?
PB: Thereís a lot of talent here.
comes over, inspects the work of Patty, Karl and Rob and takes some
complimentary copies. He then asks for an autograph on his new books,
which seems more difficult than it should be.
these writers and no one has a pen?
finally come up with a pen for Kenny and the creators autograph his books.
He manages to bum a couple a cigarettes and one of the raspberry sodas
while heís at it, before going back to the piano.
AG: And KarlÖwhatís your story?
Itís the story of a guy working in a comic store and how he deals with
customers and the dark horror of his own life.
AG: The third semi-autobiographical work at this table.
Robís book; a fractured version of my life. Patty gave the book a
preview in the second issue of Kiss and Tell and that was the kick in the
ass to really get out and do this.
AG: Itís safe to say that your books are not the typical super hero saving the world type stories. Which type of readers do you think would enjoy your books the most, if you were to stereotype?
who read Peepshow or Drawn and Quarterly.
Labor or Vertigo fans. People who like Evan Dorkan or Kyle Baker.
much sick people.
AG: What advice would you give to other, aspiring creators out there?
prepared to do a lot of drawing.
prepared to spend a lot of time honing what you are doing.
RW: You have
to be critical of your work.
donít be afraid to be critiqued yourself. Do your own stories, donít
rehash other peopleís ideas.
take it personally.
evening ends with Kenny playing us off into the night as we debate issues
ranging from Boba Fett to Spider-Clone and Karl accurately predicts both
the death of Ben Reilly and the return of Norman Osborn in the Spider-Man
books by the time all is said and done.
Copyright©2000 Andrew Goletz