Q&A with SETH in Newcity

“Sketchbook Sentiments” / Newcity / Ray Pride / January 3, 2006

Seth and Adrian Tomine appeared at Quimby's in November. We talked beforehand.

Q: Your new book, "Wimbledon Green," with its postage-stamp frames filling each page, is credited as "a story from the sketchbook," so does that mean we're to take it as an extended noodle you've done for yourself and gussied up to work as a book?


A: Exactly. It is a long story I did in my sketchbook. And surprisingly, it does read as a complete story and, also surprisingly, I actually think it came out all right. The biggest point of difference from my regular work is that the art is less polished and more spontaneous. It is very gussied up though.

Q: The complete "Peanuts" project you're art-directing is lovely. What does it mean to you to pay tribute to older artists who've influenced you?

A: It means a lot to me. Charles Schulz was, without a doubt, my premiere influence in cartooning and probably the reason I even became a cartoonist. It's an honor to try and present his work with some of the dignity it so deeply deserves.

Q: Chris Ware's done his appreciation of George Harriman with the Krazy Kat retrospectives, and Adrian's involved with getting Yoshihiro Tatsumi's work ("The Push Man and Other Stories") published in America, and it seems somehow more generous, more interesting, than how filmmakers often appropriate the imagery of the filmmakers they admire. I suppose that to be the different nature of each medium.

A: I guess if I were appropriating another cartoonist's work into my own stories I might be as selfish as any filmmaker. However, trying to republish and get the work out for others to read is a different response. I just want to present it clearly and respectfully. I want the work to be seen again with clear eyes. This is tough with a comic as ubiquitous as Peanuts. I imagine that Martin Scorsese feels this way too when he's trying to get great films re-shown. Tarantino... well... that's perhaps another story.

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