Books, Features November 10, 2010 By Jesse Montgomery

charlesburns page4 Charles Burns Interviewfiller186 Charles Burns Interview So what I started doing was putting together a story that followed two threads: one is an almost fantasy world, that has this unnamed character, who looks like he fits into a more cartoony sort of world. That comes out of the Franco-Belgian cartoon style that Hergé popularized. And the other thread is more in line with the way that I would draw and work, and deals with this damaged kid, Doug, who is telling his story in a very elliptical way. He’s kind of broken, and the storytelling mirrors his thought process as he looks back on his recent past and examines it.

The Washington Post once praised your “particular genius for the grotesque.” Do you ever feel the need to take a compliment like that with a grain of salt?
There are plenty of comments I try to take with lots of grains of salt. But yeah, I have in interest in grotesque imagery. I couldn’t point exactly to why that is. I can speculate and think about things I grew up with and looked at and was drawn to. My dad had a book that had Daumier prints of headless corpses and I looked that that a lot. I probably shouldn’t have been looking at that, I was in preschool. But that’s what I did; I sat around the house looking at books. So I’m looking at Daumier. So its his fault. It’s a lot of people’s fault… There’s a kind of vitality there [in the grotesque] that I’m attracted to, as hard as it is to express.

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