Meet a Visiting Cartoonist: A Chat with Shaenon Garrity
Shaenon Garrity has made a name for herself in the web comics world. Living in California, she's been the artist for two successful online comic strips. She also writes a column for The Comics Journal, edits manga for Viz Media, and volunteers at the Cartoon Art Museum where her husband Andrew Farago works as a curator (Andrew's interview will appear later today).
Washington City Paper: Why will you be in Washington?
Shaenon Garrity: I'm a guest at Intervention, a comic convention in the D.C. area.
WCP: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?
SG: I write and draw a daily online comic strip called Skin Horse with my cowriter, Jeff Wells, who is also a guest at the convention. I draw some other comics as well, but Skin Horse is my main project at the moment.
WCP: How do you do it?
SG: Pen on paper, old-school.
WCP: When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?
SG: Pittsburgh, 1978.
WCP: What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
SG: Not much. I studied English in college and doodled for fun.
WCP: Who are your influences?
WCP: If you could, what in your career would you do over or change?
SG: Nothing. I've had a pretty good time so far.
WCP: What work are you best known for?
SG: Probably my first daily strip, Narbonic.
WCP: What work are you most proud of?
SG: A short story I wrote in which scientists develop a way of generating electricity from hate, and I'm able to power the entire western seaboard on my hatred of my neighbor's dog. I'm still looking for a publisher. I really hated that dog.
WCP: What would you like to do or work on in the future?
SG: I'm working on a couple of graphic novels and a children's book right now.
WCP: What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
SG: Sit and wait for an idea. It just takes patience.
WCP: What do you think will be the future of your field?
SG: Hopefully more and better comics all the time.
WCP: Why do you keep attending Intervention? This will be your third year—what makes it special for you?
SG: It's a great convention. I've had a lot of fun every time I've been there, and I always discover new comics and artists.
WCP: You participated in Team Cul de Sac, the Parkinson's disease fundraiser in the name of local cartoonist Richard Thompson. How and why did you get involved with that?
SG: I'm a huge fan of Cul de Sac, so of course I was thrilled to contribute. I drew a Ripley's Believe It Or Not-style comic about the Cul de Sac character Ernesto, who may or may not be real. My husband, Andrew Farago, inked and colored it. We loved doing it and getting to be in a book for Richard.
WCP: What's your favorite thing about D.C.?
SG: All the museums.
WCP: Least favorite?
SG: Mosquitoes dig this town.
WCP: What monument or museum do like to or wish to visit when you're in town?
SG: I love to visit any of the Smithsonian museums.
WCP: Do you have a website or blog?
SG: I do! It's www.shaenon.com.