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Hope Larson, creator of Salamander Dream, lists favorite books – Page 2

Hope Larson lists some favorite books and recommends some comics…

READERSVOICE.COM: How do you make your minicomics, what do they look like, and where do you sell them?

HOPE LARSON: How I make them and what they look like varies. I’ve done offset-printed minis with little paper pockets and fold-out bits, and I’ve done very standard photocopied minis with a staple in the middle of the spine. Mostly I sell them at conventions and over the internet.

RV: When writing and drawing for comics anthologies like Flight Volume Two; True Porn Volume Two; and You Ain’t No Dancer, do you write for a different audience than, say, for Salamander Dream, and does this affect the way you write?; or do you just write to please yourself?

HL: Anthologies definitely make me more conscious of who’s going to be reading the book, so I do think more about that. I think this is one of the reasons (along with the fact that I’ve probably been bullied into contributing) that I’m usually unhappy with my anthology pieces.

RV: What was the situation where you were auctioning a piece of art for Hurricane Katrina relief and the auction was terminated?

HL: E-bay’s policy for charity auctions is that they have to go through E-bay-approved channels, but those aren’t open to anyone who lives outside the United States.

Since I live in Canada, there was no way for me to make my art auction legit, and they shut me down. Luckily, I managed to sell the piece to a private buyer and make a small contribution.

RV: Could you list four or five of some of your favorite books of all time, and any books people might not have heard of that you really enjoyed, and say why you liked them?

HL: Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude is perfect magical realism, and someday I hope to evoke the wonder of those first few chapters.

Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is an easy choice, I know, but it definitely helped shape my worldview during my late teens.
It’s hard for me to go back and read this book because it captures the selfishness and posing of youth so accurately, but that’s also what makes it so good.
Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales are hilarious and bawdy, even by today’s standards. Chaucer was no prude.
The poetry of Pablo Neruda is stunning, packed with beautiful imagery.
T. H. White’s The Once and Future King is an old, old favorite.
It’s a sad and beautiful retelling of the legend of King Arthur, and deals mostly with loss of innocence.

RV: What are some titles of your favorite comics, for people who might be interested in branching out and reading some comics, or for anyone just looking for comics they might not have heard of?

HL: David B’s Epileptic tells the story of his brother’s struggle with severe epilepsy, and the disease’s effect on his family.
It’s a fat graphic novel full of beautiful black-and-white art.
Dan Clowes’ Ghost World is still a favorite.
Vanessa Davis’s Spaniel Rage will make you wish she was your best friend.
Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series splices the wackiness of a manga comedy with brains and tons of heart.

RV: Can you talk a bit about Gray Horses, the book you’re working on for Oni Press?

HL: It’s very loosely based on the time I spent at art school in Chicago–not on actual events, but on the feeling of moving to a new place on your own.
It’s about standard stuff like making friends, but also the mysteries of old apartments and the public-transportation triumph that is the El (elevated train).
There are two stories: the “real” story, and a dream-story, and a lot of the book is in French with English subtitles.

See Hope Larson’s website at www.hopelarson.com .