Metaphrog talks to TCJ

Published On September 30, 2011 | By Joe Gordon | Comics, Interviews

Over on The Comics Journal Gavin Lees has posted up a good, long interview with a pair of my favourite creators, John and Sandra of Glasgow-based Metaphrog:

(a beautiful dream sequence from Louis: Night Salad by and (c) Metaphrog)

LEES: What was your impetus to make narrative art? Is storytelling something you always wanted to do, but you found that drawing and illustrating didn’t fulfill that in and of themselves, so comics were a better outlet for that aspect?

MARRS: I don’t think so. I’m not sure. I did try to write a book with my friend at school when I was a kid. And, obviously, as with most children, there were a few attempts at making comics as well… probably because I was enjoying reading them. Mainly I just liked drawing and I just wanted to draw. My two main interests were books and drawing but I don’t remember ever seeing myself doing anything else in my life than doing that. I seem to remember when I thought what job I would do when I was older: I was just seeing just drawing. I didn’t know exactly what it would involve, whether it would be drawing clothes, or painting. At one point I veered towards painting. And I guess making comics is the result of my love of painting, literature and the movies. It’s also an urge to create something. But I think John is more of a storyteller than I am.

CHALMERS: Totally yeah. Just in order to communicate really, and probably more from the need to communicate than anything else … the stories that we made when we started were more experimentation, and just naturally developed, we would just play, and of course there was the pleasure of creating and telling stories but the desire to communicate wasn’t coming through there particularly; we were just experimenting telling stories. Probably that need reveals itself more with the longer Strange Weather Lately narrative. It was cathartic. Looking back you don’t always know where things have come from. I think that’s one of those cases. There’s a certain awareness of storytelling tradition, which certainly isn’t only a Scottish thing — the oral tradition is quite human.

Most people, if you ask them what they’d like to be, they say a writer. Which is quite strange; apparently that’s the choice job of most people.

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Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

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