My inner voice says 'You suck! : Adrian Tomine, New Yorker illustrator
Updated on: 01 Nov 2015
Brooklyn-based cartoonist Adrian Tomine has been drawing professionally since he was in high school. Now, at 41, he's an in-demand illustrator whose work regularly graces the covers of the New Yorker and classy Criterion Collection movie re-releases. But his first love remains comics, and his ongoing series Optic Nerve has thrived creatively even as many of his contemporaries shift their attentions away from periodicals and toward standalone books.
His new collection of short stories, Killing and Dying, is about as pure an expression of that love as an artist has produced during the recent boom in literary comics. Far more diverse in style than anything yet from the notoriously meticulous artist, Tomine's six stories about people striving and failing span four years of the author's life, and mark a significant change in the way he works.
They're also very funny.
This book is really experimental in a way I didn't see in your last collection of stories, Summer Blonde, or your graphic novel Shortcomings. What made you change the way you worked so radically?
Shortcomings. Even though it's a slim book, I spent several years working on it and by the end I was just cursing myself. I mean, not only is everything drawn very realistically but I, for God knows what reason, decided that all the locations had to be actual and accurate. Pretty much every place in every scene is a real location either in California or here in New York and also sort of proportionally correct, which is madness, because no one has ever noticed and no one even really cares once I explain it to them. When I finished that book I vowed that whatever I did next, I would have the freedom to approach portions of the book in different ways. If I'd had to do Shortcomings, part two, I wouldn't have made it to the end.