Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dan Clowes on freedom vs. constraint in cartooning

There's a fine new interview with Dan Clowes over at McSweeney's (Mike Sacks asked the questions, in boldface; DC answered in roman). Among many choice tidbits, the following exchange stands out for rule-bound cartoonists like Isaac and myself (you know, for those times when we actually bother to do any cartooning):

Can you have too much freedom as a comic-book writer and artist? If so, can this freedom become debilitating?

The number of choices you have to make is incredible, endless. It's almost too much freedom. Any time I'm working on an assignment and an editor says, "You can only use two colors," I'm just thrilled; it makes life a lot simpler for me.

I can just imagine Isaac nodding in agreement; we didn't contrive the incredibly-constrained Satisfactory Comics #8 for nothing, you know. And one of these days, we'll share our fuller thoughts on rules-based cartooning, constraints, jams, and the like when we post an online version of our Treatise on the Jam...but it is not this day.

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