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UNDERWORLD comic creator Kaz interviewed (Page 2)

Kaz talks about his magazine reading, and his art student days in Manhattan...

READERSVOICE.COM: What drives you and makes you get out of bed in the mornings?

KAZ: I get great joy out of creating something (a cartoon, a story, whatever).

And I want to be successful. Honestly, it’s an ego thing.

Of course I have to be successful on my terms with what I’m good at otherwise life will seem empty and boring.

RV: Why do you create comics?

KAZ: At first, I chose comics because it was the cheapest way to create a story with pictures (filmmaking was too expensive).

I didn’t go into writing books or scripts when I was younger because my vocabulary and grammar skills were so poor.

As my writing and verbal skills get stronger I find myself branching out into writing for animation.

All those years studying and drawing has left me with a very strong visual imagination.

RV: If you could take a look and describe your apartment, what sort of pop culture things do you have around the room and what kind of books are on the shelves?

KAZ: I’m a typical cartoonist in that I have cartoon character toys.

Lots of art books, and comics, film books, some porn, and some books on metaphysics.

My apartment, which I share with my wife, Linda Marotta, is also filled with all kinds of books on horror.

My wife reviews horror novels for Fangoria magazine.

RV: What sort of art magazines, and newspapers and magazines in general do you like to read?

KAZ: Well, I read all kinds of junk.

Script Magazine, Creative Screenwriter, Entertainment Weekly, Comic Art Magazine, Animation Blast, The New Yorker, Mojo.

I sometimes dip into Scientific American, Artforum, New York Times, The New York Post, Variety, and various fanzines.

RV: Can you describe your time as a student at the New York School of Visual Arts in Manhattan?

What were the students like, and what did you learn from Art Spiegelman (creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic MAUS)?

KAZ: It was pretty heady for me.

It was the first time I was surrounded by so much creativity and it turned me on and gave me a place in the world.

I commuted from Rahway, New Jersey where I lived with my parents at the time.

Commuting left me feeling a bit unconnected with the school (the campus was the streets of New York).

But the energy made me want to get right out and peddle my work right away.

There were all kinds of students.

The alpha students were busy making work and showing it right away.

There were the lazy types who sat back and just commented on pop culture of the day.

And then there were the rich kids who were too stupid to get into any other kind of school.

I hung out with all of them. Classes during the day, rock and roll shows at night.

Sleep during the weekends.

Spiegelman was the best and most intense teacher I ever had.

He made us all look outside the comics world for our inspiration.

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