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Interview

Phil McAndrew p1

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. Comics artist and animator Phil McAndrew has thousands of books. His own mini-comics will be collected and published by Grimalkin with 100 pages of new material in a book to be released later this year. He will be appearing at the Crazy Rattlesnake Treehouse Gang live comics reading on July 12 for the San Diego Comics-con. Check out his comics at philintheblanks.com.

READERSVOICE.COM: When you moved from Syracuse, New York, to San Diego, CA, you took a lot of books. If you had to condense the collection down to the essentials, which are the main books you would keep?

PHIL McANDREW: I did have to do quite a bit of condensing when I moved across the country. I left tons of books in New York, but of course there were four or five hundred essentials that I couldn’t leave behind. But if I had to condense even further, let’s say down to ten books, here’s what I’d choose:

Your Body Is Changing by Jack Pendarvis; Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger; Chuck Dugan Is AWOL by Eric Chase Anderson;
Vampire Loves by Joann Sfar; Tales of Woodsman Pete by Lilli Carré; Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson; Gus & His Gang by Chris Blain; Cruddy by Lynda Barry; From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
…and any one of the several books I’ve got that are filled with Ronald Searle‘s illustrations.

RV: In one interview you said your favorite non-comics reading was short story collections, which you also like to write and draw. What are some stand-out short story collections for you?

PMcA: If we’re talking strictly non-comics collections, my favorites are Your Body Is Changing by Jack Pendarvis, The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure also by Jack Pendarvis, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders, Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris and The Roald Dahl Omnibus.
I’ve got an old collection of stories that Alfred Hitchcock edited that I like a lot too, Sinister Spies. There are some great stories in there.
I’ve read some really terrific stuff in some of the McSweeney’s books too. There are a few stories in McSweeney’s #20 that I revisit often, Statement of Purpose by Kevin Moffett and The Big Dud by Jack Pendarvis.

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-copyright Simon Sandall.

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