BORING JUNE 1994 CBC RADIO INTERVIEW WITH THE AMERICAN DEVICES! REVIEW OF MONTREAL CARTOONIST HOWARD WHACKOWICZ'S MOM'S HOMEMADE MATZO BALL SOUP! INTERVIEW WITH MONTREAL CARTOONIST ERIC BRAUN! DICK DINO!
All contents © 2000-2001, Rick Trembles
UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION STRICTLY FORBIDDEN
October 24, 2001
BORING JUNE 1994 CBC RADIO INTERVIEW WITH THE AMERICAN DEVICES by Brave New Waves' Brent Banbury!
(Pictured right: blueprints described in the interview of Trembles' fleshy installation-peice doorway built in '88 for Foufounes Electrique's First International Shock Art Festival. Guests included GG Allin, Richard Kern & Nick Zedd).
Brent: Next on The Waves, plenty more than just another band... 14 years of The American Devices...
(American Devices song is played).
Brent: ...American Devices from a 7 inch split on En Guard records that's called Spacey Seasick & with me in the studio tonight, Rick Trembles & Dave Hill of The American Devices. Hello...
Brent: Good evening, how are you doing?
Rick: Pretty good, yourself?
Brent: I'm doing O.K. Umm... so, you were thirty-four when you wrote those lyrics.
Rick: Uh- me? ...I? ...No, those are Rob's (not present).
Brent: Oh, O.K.. But it's easier to rhyme 31 with something than it is with 34 so...
Rick: Umm... it's easier to what? Write?
Brent: To RHYME 31 with something.
Rick: Oh, O.K. ...yeah, yeah...
Brent: This is 14 years of American Devices now.
Rick: Yeah, so far, yeah...
Brent: Are you the only original member, Rick?
Rick: Me & Rob are the only original members left & umm... that's that.
Brent: Dave, when did you get involved?
Dave: Umm, I was trying to remember today. I think it was about 5 or 6 years ago, it's kind of hazy.
Brent: Do you remember when you met Rick?
Dave: Oh, I met Rick when he was in The Electric Vomit playing at The Hotel Nelson or some place like that. I used to work on a fanzine called Surfin' Bird & of course as soon as anybody put out a fanzine everybody else would wanna get written about so he probably turned up at the office there at some point, but he was just a pup, I think he was still in high school or on his first summer job. He was about 16 or 17 at the time, so I didn't quite know whether to take him seriously at that point.
Rick: Did you have trouble getting people to put stuff in the magazine back then?
Dave: No, but the name Electric Vomit kind of like turned people off, I think.
Rick: Off? (Laughter)
Dave: People were looking for a bit more of a new wave kind of feel to the thing.
Rick: That's right, you had Bruce Springsteen on the cover once.
Brent: You're kidding me.
Dave: That's right, just to get the first issue into stores. The next one was The Clash & then finally we gave up and put Heaven Seventeen. Remember them? The Montreal Heaven Seventeen.
Brent: Well what audience were you looking for then?
Dave: There was like 50 kids that went to these little shows in people's basements & lofts and photography studios, that kind of thing, we just thought it was the greatest thing in the world & we wanted to spread it around. Montreal's probably the last place in the world, well I don't know about the last place in the world but it wasn't like we were hearing a lot of American punk rock bands or British punk rock bands. It was pretty well developed in isolation, we were just so tired of the FM radio "classic rock" stuff.
Brent: You were making your own punk rock based on what... pictures in magazines or...
Dave: No, there was a bunch of bands around who were just ne'er-do-wells who just happened to play really nasty rock & roll, I guess, which is basically what you can say about any kind of punk rock. There was people like The Chromosomes & The Electric Vomit & The Ulterior Motive & The Normals & The 222's.
Brent: Was The Electric Vomit your idea, Rick, or did some friends come & say will you be in our band?
Rick: It started in high school when we were hearing about punk rock coming up & what more of a punk rock kind of a name for a band could you have than The Electric Vomit? So, that's it.
Brent: Did you play punk rock or was it sort of derived from punk rock or from an idea of punk rock?
Rick: Umm, it had a lot to do with the fact that I didn't know how to play, so just whatever came easiest to my fingers & how I'd slap them onto the guitar, you know? And if it sounded O.K., I mean, we'd make a song out of it. The first thing I'd learn that sounded like three cords going together, that would turn into a song.
Brent: Yeah, but did you listen to some other music that sounded like the musicians didn't know how to play but it still sounded good or was it a matter of listening to music where there really was people who knew how to play & thinking "this sounds lousy"?
Rick: Umm, well beforehand, I used to like stuff like Frank Zappa & Hendrix & all that, but it's really hard to try & play like that, but there's something to do with the noise factor in their music & the arrangements are sort of abnormal & all that, so it kind of encourages you to experiment a bit, you know? Not to imitate but experiment on your own. Know what your own limitations are & expand on that.
Brent: What were you like in high school?
Rick: In high school? Umm... A sullen virgin roaming around depressed & bored watching people wearing clogs & white painter's pants wondering if that's what you have to do to be popular in high school.
Brent: Did you know you wouldn't do that under any circumstances?
Rick: Clogs & white painter's pants?
Brent: Have you never in your life worn clogs?
Rick: No. But you could sure here them coming down the hallway from far away.
Brent: But was there a scene of a group of other sort of sullen people that you hung out with?
Rick: Umm... Yeah...
Brent: Like, you weren't antisocial, cuz you were in a band and stuff.
Rick: Antisocial... Not violently antisocial, but we just... I mean high school's just a complete blur, we just... It seems like a bunch of us skipped high school together & hung out in the woods right next to it & just uhh... had a laugh & uhh... didn't know what to do with ourselves & having a band sounded like a good idea, like a good career move, a band named The Electric Vomit, right? Fresh outta high school.
Brent: How long did The Electric Vomit Last?
Rick: About a year.
Brent: To what do you attribute the longevity of The American Devices? How come The American Devices have lasted for 14 years and your first band lasted for 12 months?
Rick: I haven't NOT been in a band since then, so it's all like one long band to me. Some of the same riffs are being played from The Electric Vomit, so it's just... I don't know... I don't know what it would be like not being in a band. We've been accused of being slowpokes with our stuff, but the most that's gone by without jamming is like a month or so... it's never not been a band, it's... I don't know, it's got to do with… some of the first riffs I came up with when I didn't know how to play, I still think are the best and it's like, the more you learn how to play almost, there's something missing there, you know? I still try and revive some of those old riffs because there's no pretensions trying to sound like anything else.
Brent: With The American Devices, were you always able to apply a visual art thing to the band, make costumes or masks or other kinds of visual art things & bring them into your performances or did that come later on?
Rick: Well I think there's this link with a lot of stuff like that, like with comics & a lot of low budget horror movies. There's this whole do it yourself attitude that goes hand in hand with a do it yourself band & do it yourself music. I think that's what the link is & I sort of, I just thought, I mean, it sounds like a good idea to put them all together. I draw comics & we also work on little movies & stuff like that & they all have to do with each other. Short movies that go with the music and stuff like that & I guess the main thing that links them together is the fact that they're low budget & it's like do it yourself, self taught kind of...
Brent: But there's an intricacy to your work. For people who've never seen your drawings, there's many, many panels, sometimes there's several characters per panel, sometimes it's very small really detailed bits of mayhem happening. It reminds me of the guy that used to do the stuff in Mad Magazine...
Rick: Sergio Argonnes?
Brent: Exactly, was he an influence on you, or did you like his stuff?
Rick: Yeah, I like it, but I think that comes from... it's an economical kind of a decision just to try & cram as much as you can into one page. I can't stand seeing comics, uhh... they're starting to cost a lot now, just to buy a comic, they used to be ten cents, now what are they, they're up to five bucks now. I don't like buying a comic & it's all sparse. I like it really dense. Another thing too, is that I always do everything so that it could be reprinted ultra-cheap, so you're not going to see any fine tones and stuff all over, it's always black and white, it looks like a coloring book almost. That can also be applied to the music. The music is done so that it can be played on really crappy systems cuz that's what we have, we have a really crappy set up where we practice, you know, the equipment sucks. In a way it's all done kind of linear and the riffing is just nonstop and stuff like that, there's not too much room for subtleties because it's an economic factor.
Brent: But, in your work I think there is, it's not subtle but there's enough detail that there's stuff that you have to, I mean you can look really closely at it for a long time and still get more stuff out of it. I mean I'm talking about the stuff that I've seen piecemeal here & there over the last ten years that's been published by you. But also, I saw, I think the thing that you did as a shock art installation which was enormously ambitious. This was work in, I don't know what medium you were using but this was like sculpture, basically.
Rick: Yeah, latex...
Brent: It looked expensive...
Rick: I made molds, I bought an electric dildo that was part of the budget, that's where most of the budget went. It was a doorway that you walk through & it was sort of rigged as a booby trap, you step on the floor & this big phallic looking insemination alien-type looking thing spurts in your face as you walk through. A light goes on & a buzzer goes on, and the whole wall was made up of wounds and sores. I wanted them to pulsate but I didn't have enough money in the budget for that. I would've had to rig up all kinds of air-bladders & stuff, but the dildo was attached with some kind of curly twisting mechanism & there was several appendages, you know, for more than one orifice. So there was all kinds of things moving around & twitching & it spurted at the same time, I inserted tubing there with a little pump, what kind of pump was it? I think it was from one of those electric toothbrush type things, you know, they spurt water, I don't know if they still exist...
Brent: Oh, yeah, like the "Water Pic."
Rick: "Water Pic," yeah, it was one of those attached to it.
Brent: What liquid did it actually spray?
Rick: It was just warm, stale water.
Brent: I find that hard to believe. Umm, you have a penis museum in your bathroom?
Rick: Yeah, but it's deteriorating. Some of this latex stuff unfortunately is perishable.
Brent: You're kidding, that's a scary thought...
Rick: As soon as there's a drop of grease applied onto latex it starts to rot.
Brent: Well how do your penises get grease on them?
Rick: I don't know, anything like bonding agents or if there's any bit of plastercine, like I'll sculpt the stuff in plastercine first if I don't make the molds from parts of my own body & sometimes plastercine gets to stay on. A tiny, tiny microscopic drop of plastercine can rot the thing like a disease.
Brent: Dave, when you first saw Rick's drawings which I assume you saw for the first time around the same time you met him for the first time, do you remember what your thoughts were about them or what it was they were trying to convey?
Dave: I thought they were great. I just thought, this guy is twisted & he's trying to get something out & he's not quite sure how he's doing it, but he's doing it, you know? That's really all I cared about from any kind of entertainment, really.
Brent: The twisted part of it still applies because, I don't know the rest of it, how you're gonna get it out, you know, whether the compulsion to create is still the same as when you met up with Dave but Robert Cumb saw some of your work and he kind of declared you to be one of the most twisted maniacs in the world, an enormously high-rated accolade from one of the greatest underground cartoonists.
Rick: I don't know if it was high-rated because he was kind of disgusted.
Dave: It was definitely a superlative, though... (Laughter).
Rick: Yeah, I'm using it. I was surprised at that because his first drawings did me some damage.
Brent: How old were you?
Rick: Oh, preteen or so. His depictions of genitals are the first I've ever seen and they're very exaggerated & detailed & kind of monstrous looking, you know? So, umm... it was kind of a kick to see him horrified by my stuff.
Brent: Is there an obsession with genitals in your stuff?
Rick: I don't know, it just comes naturally to me, I don't know how to explain it, I just figure everybody must feel the same kind of thing at one time or another, so I just decided to put it down on paper, you know?
Brent: Well, it's gotten you into some trouble though, right? I mean there has been some fuss.
Rick: Yeah, umm... well, I don't know what the fuss is.
Brent: Does that fuss carry over to the live performances of The American Devices? Do people get excited? I mean I think you listed the best & the worst gigs you ever had, & the best gig you ever had was at the Douglas Psychiatric Hospital.
Rick: Yeah, that's one of the best, cuz the sound was so good.
Brent: It had nothing to do with the audience or the people that were there to see you?
Rick: Yeah, that was definitely interesting. It was just something that we'll never forget, so...
Brent: Were the people who were there patients?
Rick: Yeah, there was a good portion of patients, people coming in, I think friends of theirs too. It was pretty loose.
Brent: Did they ask you before you began not to do certain things because it might upset people?
Rick: Mmm... they were talking about the music. I was worried about the music jolting them a little too much because it was kind of loud & it was fast and frantic & the people taking care of the whole building were saying "Don't worry, if anything, nothing will happen now, there might be repercussions later."
Brent: After you've left. What about the worst gig?
Rick: The worst gig... I don't wanna talk about that. It changes every time. (Laughter).
Brent: Have you ever been attacked by an audience member?
Dave: We usually get cornered by very passionate people afterwards who wanna give us a piece of their minds. Usually it's about a poster or something rather than the music or the lyrics themselves because usually you can't even here the lyrics at most of the places we play because the sound systems just aren't up to blasting out the voices, & we're pretty loud anyway.
Brent: But The Devices were a few years old when you joined the band, Dave.
Dave: Yeah, I'd always known the The Devices.
Rick: He was our best heckler.
Dave: Best heckler, best bottle thrower, whatever band I was in, we'd share practice places & usually equipment & usually sit around for each other's practices anyway because it was a sort of hangout clubhouse sort of thing, & they were my biggest drinking buddies & stuff like that, so I pretty much knew what I was getting into.
Brent: What was it that made you decide that you would get into it anyway?
Dave: Well, I needed a challenge & Rick was pretty persistent in his recruitment & it took me about a year to finally get persuaded & then that same day the drummer decided or realized he had a drug problem & went into a rehab & stayed there for about nine months so that gave me another nine months to think about it, but you know, I'm still here. No, it's very challenging music to play. I'd been in a band before & I sort of came to the conclusion that you can either play music for yourself or for other people or for yourself or for money & it's very rare that you can combine those two pursuits & I basically figured out that I was going keep playing music I had to do it for myself & forget about the fame and fortune stuff & The American Devices seemed to be well schooled in that...
Rick: Forgetting about the fame and fortune stuff?
Brent: Do you agree?
Rick: I don't know...
Dave: It rears its ugly head every once in a while.
Brent: The possibility of fame and fortune?
Dave: More as a conceptual sort of abstract than a real possibility.
Rick: It's got so much to do with right time, right place and fluke-ism. That's what bugs me so much about being in this "biz," if you wanna call it that.
Brent: Give me an example of a fluke success.
Rick: Well, whatever band becomes hugely successful has an element of that in it, no? There's so many good bands that don't.
Dave: O.K., here's one. Why does Nirvana get to sell 6 million or 10 million when they're the first ones to admit that they're just doing stuff that people have been doing for 15 years & everybody had been ignoring. They're extremely lucky & they had good management and they must've been fairly ambitious, obviously Kurt lived to regret it, but...
Brent: Well, somebody was ambitious on their behalf. But there's been one American Devices record in 14 years & some people would say, that's so cool, that's a sign of credibility, you know, they didn't put out an album every year because they felt they had to, & they didn't go out & do a concept rock opera album & then follow it with the acoustic unplugged album & then the sort of Rick Trembles album of suicidal love songs, you know, the fact that you only put out one album so far is a sign of credibility.
Rick: We didn't have a choice. No, it's not intentional. I'd be happy putting out a single a year. Two new songs a year.
Brent: Well; that sounds like it's doable, those are modest ambitions. There shouldn't be any trouble doing that.
Rick: Well, we just don't have the money for it.
October 18, 2001
REVIEW OF MONTREAL CARTOONIST HOWARD WHACKOWICZ'S MOM'S HOMEMADE MATZO BALL SOUP! (Pictured below: the precooked ball)
As promised, Howard scored for me a helping of his mom's latest batch of matzo ball soup & called me to come pick it up at the secondhand shop he works for (Welch's Books on The Main). He had it in a jar all taped up & wrapped in protective padding. I thanked him, threw it in my knapsack & bicycled back home. Apparently, all kosher chickens are free range & grain fed with no genetic engineering whatsoever. Then they're bled after having their throats slit & hung upside down, which is all supposed to make them taste better. So I was really looking forward to an explosion of poultry pungency on my taste buds but unfortunately there wasn't enough broth in the portion Howard gave me to cover the matzo ball. So I had to add water during cooking to what Mama Whackowicz warned was an already unusually bland mix because her customary kosher butcher had closed down forcing her lately to purchase what she considers substandard chickens from another one. Howard only gave me half a ball but it was 4 inches huge, so I had to cut it into bite-sized hunks to cook. Compared to the store-bought kind I usually make (see boxtop pictured in the September 27th Weekly Blather), this gradually boiling broth smelled much creamier, sweeter & mellower, I guess since there was genuine chicken fat in there (I could see little round bubbles of filmy oiliness). It also wasn't as bright yellow as the store-bought kind, which comes from a packet that's essentially run-of-the-mill powdered soup mix. The balls were chewier, eggier & much denser than store-bought & grayish as opposed to white. Much more hearty. I couldn't detect any evidence of onion despite Howard telling me it's part of the secret recipe. After a few minutes of finishing I let out a boisterous garlic-flavored burp which certainly wouldn't have happened with store-bought. All in all, I like them both. I'd really like to try Mama Whackowicz's with the intended dose of broth, but part of the fun for me is the preparation itself (all you need is a couple of eggs & some oil). I like kneading & rolling the balls from the matzo meal packet that comes in the box & then marveling as they swell 2 to 3 sizes before my eyes in boiling soup-stock. For anyone who's never bitten into a spoonful of matzo ball before, there's really nothing else quite like it. True, there's a blandness to it, but with this blandness comes a warm burst of softness that's quite reassuring. And it's common knowledge that chicken soup's good for what ails you.
By the way, wanna see Rick Trembles struck by lightning? Click here: Rez Pow
October 11, 2001
INTERVIEW WITH MONTREAL CARTOONIST ERIC BRAUN! (pictured right)
Eric Braun's been a permanent & prolific fixture at Montreal English & French comix functions for decades. He recently costarred in a short film that premiered at this summer's Fantasia fest, "Nous D'eux," as a buck naked madman who chops a man's head off & publicly pumps its gaping mouth with his erect cock in broad daylight to the broad delight of bystanders. He has a pantomime strip in French Montreal free weekly ICI & periodically publishes 106U, an anthology of cartoonists he likes worldwide (including yours truly). Various limited editions of 106U have been either custom-covered in fur or wrapped in heavy metal. Last year he got a 13 thousand dollar provincial subsistence grant from Quebec's Conseil Des Arts to do a 60 page full color comic for an Amsterdam based publisher. Within the pages of Braun's brand new offering, SERIAL KILLER, can be found the secret origins of the cuddly slice 'n' dice signature character that's been haunting his work for years. Get the gorgeous 52 page book from Fitchre.
SNUBDOM: I don't wanna know about your new book, I wanna know about your dick in the bogeyman movie.
BRAUN: Ah ha! Maybe I was the bogeyman, maybe I was cupid, like a little angel throwing the arrow of love. It's more abstract in director Martin Debreuil's own vision. It's a flash they had that they didn't question. It's spontaneous, automatist, left to the interpretation of the viewer.
SNUBDOM: How was the reaction at the Fantasia fest?
BRAUN: People were laughing their heads off. The audience was pretty much already sold to this madness. Not your regular audience. Not like if you screened it before Titanic or something.
SNUBDOM: You did all that out in the open in broad daylight. Did you need a fluffer?
BRAUN: Unfortunately I didn't have that luxury so I had to concentrate very hard & not think about the fact that I was going to walk down a stairway outside with a boner to a camera in a backyard. I had a cock-ring to maintain my erection which you don't see.
SNUBDOM: How long did you have to keep it up?
BRAUN: Not that long. As soon as I managed to have some nice memories triggering the required reaction, that was it.
SNUBDOM: You didn't have to cum did you?
BRAUN: No, the director would've liked that, but it was impossible because as soon as I started fucking the head it wasn't exciting.
SNUBDOM: It wasn't squishy enough in there?
BRAUN: Yeah, the cock-ring maintains the volume, but my penis wasn't that hard. It was impossible to cum.
SNUBDOM: Did they build the fake head with that in mind, that a cock was going to go inside it? Did they lube it?
BRAUN: Yeah, I told them to make a big hole (laughs). I didn't wanna scratch up my organ. It was just latex. Hollow inside. I put fake blood in it so it would splat out when I stuck it in. That managed to lubricate it but it's like tomato juice & syrup.
SNUBDOM: I guess what you thought of to give yourself the hard-on is top secret?
BRAUN: Oh, yeah. It was just your regular good sex memories out of the memory bank. They had a porno movie on but it didn't really work. Ginseng & erection cream too. The cream was weird, it makes your dick numb. It kind of burns your skin, so I had to wait until that wore off. The ginseng works, it gives you more circulation. I suggested they put a piece of steak in the chopped head so it would look meatier.
SNUBDOM: So the director has the head that you put your dick in somewhere on display in his house?
SNUBDOM: What influenced you to become a cartoonist?
BRAUN: When I was a kid I kept going back to a tiny dictionary picture of a B&W extract from a Bosch painting. Like a weird little person frying human parts in a pan, a picture of hell. And I used to get all the underground comix like Zap & Slow Death in the head-shops downtown, like at the Labyrinth.
SNUBDOM: Me too, my old undergrounds still have a lingering smell of incense on them from that shop. Sold right alongside the coke spoons, coke mirrors, superbongs & Rush (amyl nitrate).
BRAUN: Oh yeah, we used to do poppers.
SNUBDOM: Instant headache.
BRAUN: Instant rush, instant headache & instant nothing (laughs). I did my first comic at 6 though, I still have it. It's like a mix of King Kong & werewolf movies with an evil scientist's potion. Green ink on orange paper.
SNUBDOM: You have a fixation for evil scientists.
BRAUN: I had a phobia for werewolf movies. Couldn't watch them even in daylight. I'd put my legs up on the sofa so hairy hands wouldn't grab me from underneath. The Exorcist really scared me too. I saw it when I was 6. It fucked me up. I had nightmares all night long, my mother told me I'd be yelling all night. When I was alone in the house, I'd run up the stairs scared that Linda Blair was running after me.
SNUBDOM: You should do an adaptation.
BRAUN: I just did an adaptation of a book about the life of Ed Gein for a German based group Mogamobo.com where cartoonists do adaptations of books. Henriette Valium did a loose one of Sade's Justine. It's pretty funny. It's all in collage. He didn't have time to read it so I made a quick synopsis for him.
SNUBDOM: Did your parents always encourage you with your comics?
BRAUN: It took a while. My dad's always asking "why is it always monsters & sex, why can't you do nice things like a landscape painting?" Raw Comix brought a link to arty comix.
SNUBDOM: They had a Euro connection too. You & Valium kind of exemplify Montreal cartoonists having just as much of a Euro connection as an American one.
BRAUN: It's pretty important here. It's one of the advantages of Quebec, it's bastardized between French & English. I've been to Europe quite a few times & managed to scrape up some connections. The fact that my comix are all silent appeals to any language.
SNUBDOM: That's deliberate, right? For mass appeal?
BRAUN: A lot of reasons, but when I tried to sell one of my comix that had French in it in New York, they went "oh, wow, it looks great," but they couldn't take it because of the French. So I equated text with problems. But I also think it's nicer, like Egyptian hieroglyphics. All pictures & no words is more picturesque & at the same time international & more direct. No subtitles. Like when you watch a movie & there's no text, anybody can get it anywhere if you can relate to the culture.
SNUBDOM: And your comix are black & white too, just like silent movies.
BRAUN: That's more a question of budget.
SNUBDOM: How did Serial Killer originate & when?
BRAUN: In 1996. It was originally a one shot thing. The simple geometric cartoon style makes it very easy to digest the explicit violence. The same stories drawn realistically would be much more shocking. A realistic film depicting what I do in my comix would be much worse.
SNUBDOM: Like the film you were just in, fucking a severed head?
BRAUN: Well that's pretty funny too.
SNUBDOM: It has the same kind of punch-line as one of your Serial Killer strips.
BRAUN: It has the same irony I guess. I tried to explain why my Serial Killer is such a mess. He's part Jeffrey Dahmer mixed with Henry Lee Lucas & a bit of Ed Gein. He's all fucked up & rejected. He has an oedipal complex. He works at a post office. It's all a mishmash. All my characters are archetypes & icons.
SNUBDOM: A lot of the clichés of the serial killer persona. Serial killers are just as much part of pop culture as anything else. I remember back when Freddy Krueger was popular, I opened a bag of chips & they had a free collectable card with his face on it & I'm thinking, "hey, wait a minute, they're' giving this picture of a child molester in my bag of chips?"
BRAUN: Consumerism makes everything for sale, like the devil, god, etc…
SNUBDOM: Which cartoonists do you like?
BRAUN: Lately I like Ralph Steadman, Topor, George Grosz, Gary Panter, a French guy Rémi, who's gonna be in my next 106U book. I like Chris Ware. Hopital Brut has tons of shit. It's hard to say one cartoonist, it's more like these movements converging in the same direction after having the same influences for a long time, here & in Switzerland, France, the States. It's all coming together in this kind of very elaborate subversive aesthetic.
SNUBDOM: You optimistic about the Montreal scene?
BRAUN: Yeah, publishing avenues are starting to open up. But it's like anything else. If you wanna make money you have to invest money. People know our stuff. We're getting encrusted in the public iconography these days.
SNUBDOM: You had this theory a while back about people here being culturally colonized. If it isn't from Europe or if it isn't from the States it doesn't exist.
BRAUN: Well we've been flooded with superheroes & Asterix books from either side so people have gotten used to that & they know that & they look for that. It's not easy to penetrate that market. People like it because it's the only thing around. It's like a stupid dog biting its own tail. But the cycle can be broken. No one said it was easy. Here in Quebec it's a small market. Anywhere else it would be easier. It's like a military drill.
SNUBDOM: If you can make it here you can make it anywhere. On top of it we're not doing children's comix. It's a way of life.
BRAUN: I've accepted my curse.
Interview © 2001, Rick Trembles
October 4, 2001
DICK DINO! (Pictured right: New addition to the Trembles Gallery, a one-of-a-kind pink penisaurus sculpted a few years back out of Super Sculpey & baked rock-hard. Dick Dino was originally dickless because I was pitching my sculpting capabilities for a SPFX company working on a locally made straight-to-video Lost World rip-off (the resulting film was hideous). They told me the design had to take into consideration that an actor would be within the suit crawling on all fours. But they never hired me so I slapped a buncha boners all over it for fun. I never got paid for Dick Dino. Dick Dino is now for sale. (For enlarged color version, click on image)