Bill Griffith on Inkstuds
To be honest, I had a pretty vague understanding of who Bill Griffith was before hearing this interview. I thought of Zippy. Arcade. Well, I guess I still think that? But after hearing him talk about his work and relate some stories from the underground.. I feel.. deeply fulfilled. Seriously motivated to check out his stuff and explore that era a little harder.
It was just nice to hear someone speak so eloquently and so personally about underground comics.. I feel like that rarely happens. Relating thoughts about the raw, unburdened art of Rory Hayes (probably the pure storytelling highlight of the interview.) The divide and frustration he felt around a lot of his cultural peers. The divide many cartoonists felt. Himself, Spiegelman, Crumb. Frustrations with the youth counter-culture, other cartoonists. Feeling very much like outsiders in their informal community and medium. How so many wonderful cartoonists of his era, that they were close to, had no real background in comics. At all. How that fresh perspective was such an asset. Totally pushing their own boundaries and the boundaries of the medium out of sheer interest. Personal interest. Feeling like what they were doing was in some way different than what had come before and subsequently worth it. How it was fun. Taxing. Fulfilling.
I don’t wanna push this too hard, but I feel like I relate. Or potentially relate. The desire to make comics that stand on their own.. in whatever way. Taking the steps to make that happen. And to be genuinely invested. “Underground” as a term that places artistic integrity over commercial viability ALWAYS. That’s the value. I feel like money and art (comics) are linked in so many ways now.. but it’s just something else to talk about.
Feel like this is one of the comics histories worth engaging in and understanding.
* The streaming audio seems like it’s not working. Download if you must.