One of the things your audience should be able to do in order to take the job seriously is to understand what you’re going to draw. You have to draw characters, and they have to draw themselves. If one has a tendency to do that, then you might have bad drawing. You have to draw characters who make their own decisions for themselves. That gives the comic an authenticity. That’s exactly what I want to avoid: an authenticity in the comic that isn’t grounded in the character. That may be the worst possible thing I can do. Because the character will always have an interest in what the other person’s thoughts are. And so I have to come down very strongly on that. Otherwise, they have to draw what they like. As I said before, I don’t like them to draw what they want. I’d be worried about the character making their own decisions. The character would have to be the person making their own decision.
You don’t see that with the superhero comics. How often do you find yourself drawing that person’s actions?
That’s almost always the same. That is what I tell a lot of the people who’re going to be working on the comics. ‘How can you possibly change and grow in a way that is not based on the person who’s drawn?’ The way you change in a comic is by drawing yourself. You just have to stay away from the traditional way that you would do things. If you are drawing from a character, you could be making the comic as you are. But when you are drawing yourself you are drawing the character who you are. He is a fictional character. He should be in some way a reflection of himself. And that is part of the problem that I’ve seen in so many other comics.
I remember once I did a story in which I drew an imaginary comic strip, in which I had some very interesting stuff in the middle. And one day I saw a new cartoonist drawing one of the characters in it. And I said, ‘You are the person drawing this. You’ve just drawn yourself.’ And then he said, ‘No, not really. It is more of where I think you need to go with this. I want to do something original here.’ So then I told him, ‘If you are going to show me what you are going to do, then I will show you how it is you are gonna do it so you know that you can work off that.’ And that was the way I handled the