Why is it when you sign books its an autograph but when I do its destruction of property?
That’s a really hard one, and may need a lot of explaining. Let’s start at the beginning: When a person loves another person they give each other a very special kind of hug, and some months later they might well have a baby. This baby will either grow up to a) write books or b) not write books. In the former case, if the baby (now grown up) signs the book she or he has written it is considered a gesture of connection between the author and the reader. In the latter case, if the not-an-author signs a book written by someone else, it is regarded as an act of defacement.
Of course, sometimes things turn upside down. Joe Orton went to prison for defacing library books and THEN became a famous playwright, so the library books he defaced were, it was then realised, rare art and they eventually went onto display in the library that had originally reported him to the police. So these things change.
Hello! I was wondering if you have anything to say about the creation of gregory at all? It's one of my favorite comics
Thank you, nice anon! Okay, then, The Gregory Story …
It was ca. 1988 and I was the regular penciler on Comico’s Jonny Quest comic, which was a lot of fun until it wasn’t. I had been a big fan of the original, prime time TV series, but after a couple years of working on the title, the novelty had worn off … and, importantly, drawing Jonny (as “on model” as I could manage) didn’t allow me to express who I was as a person or creator. Well, back in 1986 I had done this one-off humor strip that I really liked called “It’s Spring!” for Honk! (Fantagraphics); it was the same story that later appeared in Gregory, but the unnamed, straitjacketed character was ganglier and more adult-like. So, when Jonny ended, I fully immersed myself in developing this loony, lovable guy … named him (well, he sorta named himself), made him smaller and cuter, added supporting characters, and wrote lots of new material of varying story lengths. It was a joyful explosion of creativity that enabled me to fully be myself on the comics page – a much appreciated opportunity after working as a collaborator on Jonny and other titles for several years. Well, at some point I had forty-plus pages of Gregory strips, so I shopped it around as a book. While Fantagraphics and others were interested, I ended up going with DC Comics and their new Piranha Press imprint, mostly because they were paying an advance, and I thought that the title would get better publicity. Fast forward: Two printings sold out, the book was nominated for Harvey and Eisner Awards, I did three more volumes, and there’s been some Hollywood interest off and on over the years. Personally, I’m just grateful that Gregory is still fondly remembered after two and a half decades!
Interesting story: Hoping to get a foreword written for the book, I sent material to (one of my heroes and major influences) Charles Schulz. He wrote back saying, essentially, that he didn’t get it, and that I should try doing something in a more realistic vein. Oh, well!