In Part Two, Pekar rates world literature, discusses how different artists interpret his writing and generally champions the underdog.
This interview is reprinted from TCJ #162, October 1993, the autobio-cartoonist issue. In this interview, Groth and Pekar talk about literary values, evaluate other autobio cartoonists, and ponder how to grow a lit-comics readership.
Upcoming: Gary Groth’s 1985 interview with Harvey Pekar.
I met Frank Frazetta in the summer of â71 when he and his wife Ellie drove to a convention I organized in Washington, DC, to exhibit his paintings. This was something of a coup at the time, since Frazetta rarely appeared publicly and even more rarely exhibited his original paintings; no one to this day, including myself, quite knows how I pulled it off. I only remember having the chutzpah to call him up and invite him, and that he accepted on the spot.
In the second portion of a three-part interview, Giordano discusses cartoonists’ attempts to organize, Neal Adams, Alex Toth, inking, and “that prostitution mentality.”
tcj.com reprints Gary Groth’s 1980 interview with editor, inker and penciler Dick Giordano â who passed away March, 27, 2010 â from TCJ #62. At the time of the interview, Giordano had been editor in chief at Charlton, and would become an executive editor and vice president at DC.
In June, Fantagraphics Books will publish a collection of Norman Pettingillâs work. Comic fans may remember that Robert Crumb published some of Pettingillâs cartoon drawings in Weirdo in the mid-â80s. The idea of publishing an entire book collecting Pettingillâs work was first broached to me by Johnny Ryan, a Pettingill fan (and the cartoonist behind Angry Youth Comics and Prison Pit), a few years ago. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, is the repository for most of Pettingillâs work, and agreed to help us put together a book. Johnny wrote a brief appreciation; R. Crumb loved Pettingillâs work and wrote a brief introduction. But, so little is known about Pettingill himself that I felt the book required a short biography of the man â so I wrote one.
There has been very little written about Pettingill, making it difficult to put together a story of his life. I had only previously read âA Visit with Norman Pettingillâ by Rodney Shroeter from Comic Art # 3 (2003), which was useful but also problematic: it charted the broad arc of Pettingillâs life in desultory fashion, but also contained inaccuracies and internal discrepancies. I was able to separate fact from fiction by interviewing Pettingillâs sons, Bud and Jack, and by consulting a lifelong friend of Pettingillâs, Jim Pink, all of whom proved generous with their time and helpful.
*This is the latest draft, which may be slightly revised for publication.
The Journal began publishing almost the same month that Art Spiegelman and Bill Griffithâs underground comix anthology Arcade ended â as good an event as any to signal the last whimper of the underground movement.
The writer Benjamin Peret once raged that the United States represented âthe most emphatic garbage, the ignoble sense of money, the indigence of ideas, the savage hypocrisy in morals, and altogether … a loathsome swinishness pushed to the point of paroxysm.â