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05-03-11: A 2011 Interview with Charles Kruger



"I want to discover the theme..."

—Charles Kruger

Coming from the man who created the "Storming Bohemia" website, it's not all that surprising that Charles Kruger is not the sort of fellow who sits down with the intention of writing a certain sort of poem. You'd expect improvisation to play a part, and you'd be correct.

Kruger is the videographer for Litseen; I met him at a talk I hosted with Guillermo Del Toro last year. He's also an accomplished and published poet, so I had him read some poems that he had read at the Litseen gatherings called Quiet Lightning, a sort of moveable feast of literature, food and drink in San Francisco, hosted by Evan Karp.

There are no introductions at these gatherings. The poets simply get up and speak with work. This interview with Charles was performed at KUSP, shortly before he did the videography for my conversation with Diana Paxson. With no further introduction then, you can hear my conversation with Charles Kruger by following this link to the MP3 audio file.



05-02-11: A 2011 Interview with Daniel Clowes

Click image for audio link.

"...this character just started yelling at me from my sketchbook..."

—Daniel Clowes

Daniel Clowes strikes me as the sort of writer who might have made a great spy — or psychologist. He has a very low-key demeanor, but when he speaks he has an easy air of authority. It comes naturally to him because he knows his subjects well — the people he writes about in his graphic novels, from 'Daniel Boring' to 'Mister Wonderful.' But it's more than just knowing people that makes a writer worth reading. Clowes is one of the best of our writers, one who cares deeply about his characters, even when they're so flawed they make readers uncomfortable.

In a graphic novel, art allows the writer to be amazingly economical with storytelling technique. Clowes is a master of characterization and storytelling using both words and art, and we talked about the writing and the art he uses to create his characters, in particular Wilson as well as Marshall, the star of 'Mister Wonderful.'

Clowes is a generous artist when it comes to talking about what he does, and he told me lots of things he might have left unsaid. He talked about the differences in his writing process for graphic novels and his movie adaptations, in particular 'Ghost World,' which won him an Oscar. You can hear his acceptance speech by following this link to the MP3 audio file.



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