The Elsewhere: Asian American Writers’ Workshop interviews Michael DeForge

Now here’s a more innocuous example of separating the art from the artist: we can rest easy now knowing that Michael DeForge really, definitely is not a devil-may-care urethra-needling madman.

Snag-grabbing subheadline aside, this interview is really on point and just makes me more excited to get a chance to dive into DeForge’s catalog. I’m just now, particularly in Lose #2, seeing the Junji Ito, which (being a tremendous fan of Uzumaki) I can’t believe I had overlooked. The distinction the interviewer makes between “discriminate” and “indiscriminate” weirdness also resounds hard. It’s the difference between making art for the shock value, or using shock as a tool to probe something deeper.

Here are some more choice excerpts for quotable reference (or for those who want to save precious few seconds by clicking offsite–though, frankly, AAWW is awesome and could use the hits):

“I hope when I do show violence that there is some weight to it, because I do have a lot of sort of body-horror stuff, but it’s usually reacting to people’s bodies transforming. I am trying to make it more transformative.”

“…my job thankfully doesn’t care if I spend all day drawing dicks as long as I meet my deadlines.”

“[Tumblr] fed into my most narcissistic tendencies–being able to compulsively check comics for notes or reblogs so quickly after finishing them.”

” I feel like being Canadian I have some affinity towards nature that’s purely just based on weird historical stuff I read as a kid or landscape art I had to look at in art class.”

And, lastly and possibly-most-ly:

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine the opposing pectorals of the two men on the Jiraiya sweatshirt crushing a human face, forever.”