Thursday, March 27, 2008

You are precisely... my cup of tea

1. Who are you, anyway?

Oh, hi. I'm Hillary Brown. I live in Athens, Georgia. Google me or something. I have at least one other blog (here), and I do a bunch of freelance writing as well, although none of it about comics yet.

2. What's your history with comics?

I grew up reading Asterix and Obelix and Tintin but didn't really think about the form that much. You know, kids' books have pictures. That's how it is. At my elementary school, each classroom had a library, and there was one in particular (maybe fourth grade) that had a lot of neat little compilations of old comics: Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Wonder Woman. I don't remember much about them, but I definitely enjoyed them. Around that same time, I bought a lot of Archie comics and Richie Rich and other stuff of the sort at yard sales and the Lakewood Antiques Market, but I don't know what happened to these. Over the past year or so, I've gotten much more into comics. I still don't buy the individual issues as they come out (except the new one of All-Star Superman, which I bought today because we're going to cover it on here), but I like buying the trades. Where did this interest come from? Partially my husband (his blog is here) and partially, most likely, because reading comics is such a relief after all the other stuff I've been reading for some years now. I'm working, very slowly, on my PhD in English, with a specialty in Renaissance literature, which means that I read a lot of fat books full of rhetoric. I love those too. But the speed of comics appeals to me, and I like the fact that they're often driven by plot. Also, there's art. I like art a ton.

3. First comic you can remember reading?

Other than the couple mentioned above, I remember reading Beccassine when I was pretty young. It's a French comic book for children about an absent-minded maid. Picture a younger Amelia Bedelia but more countrified. She puts curling papers in the leaves of the lettuce to make them take on the correct shape and so on. Sadly, I can't find any images online, but I'm sure the broad, simple, colorful drawings helped shape my sensibility.

4. Favorite writer?

You know, these are dumb questions. There are loads of people I like who both write and draw. But I'm going to say Brian K. Vaughn because he generally doesn't disappoint, and, while he has his own style, he doesn't have any tics that get on my nerves. He also knows both how to explore interesting themes and keep the pace fairly quick. Plus, great dialogue.

5. Favorite artist?

I would love to get a page of Charles Burns's. Hard to find, though. I'm also nuts about Tony Harris's covers, with their art nouveau swoopiness and highly patterned look.

6. What comic books would you like to hear God say he reads?

If he could read David Yoder's stuff, that would say good things about him and his capacity to be amused by us.

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