And, surprise surprise, his dying mother has a twinner of her own: Queen Laura DeLoessian who is loved and adored by everybody, and has fallen into a deep sleep she cannot be roused from.
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Speedy's twinner, a gunslinger named Parkus, tells Jack all about a Talisman that can heal his mother, and so begins a fantasy novel fetch quest. And make no mistake: this is very definitely fantasy. The two horror novelists wrote something with very few moments of conventional horror. They included werewolves sort of but made them friendly. There's a moment in the novel where Jack goes to watch Lord of the Rings: not a coincidence.
And there's another major theme, which also sounds through much fantasy fiction: friendship. Here, though, the primary influence is Huckleberry Finn : that book's story of friendship is echoed strongly in Jack Sawyer's relationships with both Wolf and Richard Sloat. As Straub has said, "Twain was on our minds at the start". The themes are strong; the world is strong; the characters are strong.
It's well written. It's long, and maybe a little over-egged in places — some of the novel's mid-section sags — but the things that they were paying tribute to come through, and the story is a good one.
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So: why didn't I remember it? I don't know. I've thought about it the past few days, as I've come across moments in the book I love, now — Wolf in our world; the Blasted Lands; the Black Hotel — and I just don't understand it. It's not quite top-tier, but it's a really enjoyable novel, worthy of both writers' bibliographies.
So now I'm tempted to blame it on my teenage distaste for fantasy. But in many ways, I'm really pleased I didn't remember it. I got to read a King novel from the s with fresh eyes, and experience an adventure that had, somehow, pretty much passed me by. Oh ho, this is a curious one. So, when it was written, there were a few connections to other things in King's oeuvre and, no doubt, Straub's, though I cannot help with those : there's a reference to Pet Sematary by way of The Wizard of Oz , with The Talisman echoing that book's reference to "Oz the gweat and tewwible"; there is a reference to Rainbird, from Firestarter ; and the references to Gunslingers and the phrase "do ya ken" both come from the early parts of the Dark Tower series.
However, at this point popular myth has it , the book wasn't intended to be a part of that series. It was Straub who wrote in those connections, and King just neatened the corners as he wrote more novels. And, when they came to revisit this world and these characters in 's Black House, they would bind the two universes completely …. I enjoy writing, I enjoy creating, but the actual drawing is grueling and horrible.
There is something wrong with me. It was a learning experience, it was a young, youthful indiscretion. Did something change after Girl Mountain , or is it just a question of self-confidence? A few months ago, I had a big artistic crisis, and just thought all the Megg, Mogg and Owl was shit and just like garbage. But you know, it was a good tool, and Instagram now is a good tool for just, like you said, throwing out sketches and different shit.
I like to try and post something everyday, if I can, just to keep people interested. I wanna do what I wanna do, and the rest of the world can just fuck off laugh. So, you know.
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This applies to anything, just like being an electrician, or being in the Navy or whatever. So there is this idea that art is not something you make, but something you live. From what you show on your tumblr and what you publish, there is also this aspect in your work. You know, trash is worth something.
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But listen, this is the art world, you know. I mean, if you can play that game, you know — awesome! Like to me, comics is just about the story, and just readability. You want to read it, to be out there very quickly and easily identify. I just want it to be smooth, and fluid. I used to use an eight grid… Yeah, I use the fifteen quite often.
See, I just want to read fast, I want — I think comics should read like real life. You know? But you know, yeah, I mean, I work so much, so constantly, and sometimes I do feel trapped, and I do wanna do something else. So I went back to Vice. All these formats — pfff! But mostly I just like books. And then, the stories branch out into all sorts of surprising directions….
I find them really easy to write for. I did do this, like, science-fiction story with like human characters a couple of months ago, where Megg, Mogg and Owl look like something completely different and I hated it. I can write these characters, I know these characters, I love these characters. I plan on doing this — I want them to grow up in real time, I want them to, like — just like life.
You learn things, you change, you evolve.
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But life is always full of horror and strife and problems. So you will see what happens to them over the next twenty years. Werewolf Jones does die. And it reminded me of the Freudian trio of Ego who would be Megg , Id Mogg, animal and undeniably the most sexual of the three and Superego with Owl, who tries to be relatively clean and tries to get things working, but who always ends up being carried away by the other two. Considering how the comic is also ripe with autobiographical elements, I was wondering if that made sense for you. I do think of them as different parts of my personality.
And I just put it all out on paper. I remember another cover in a similar style…. And she had no intention telling me about this. Comiket, in Tokyo, they sell them. It was like the best thing that happened to be last year. Yeah, I like more sort of alternative manga, the weird, sort of 70s shit. Yeah, I learn. But I try, yeah. It looks pretty, a lot of it. I mean, that cover for One More Year , I ripped that off. The overall kind of design, is ripped off a Japanese graphic designer, who was I think born in and then died in the s, it was an apparently really famous Japanese graphic designer, so.
Very much? Why do you ask me then?
Yeah, I try with the manga. What else do I like? It definitely shows the versatility of these characters, which constitute a true narrative platform for you. Yeah, they are very versatile, they can just sit there and talk about comics, and I can expose my values and my opinions through them. I stopped doing that for a couple of years, but I started doing it again.
You know, the sort of very opinionated jerk, like I feel very strongly about certain types of comics and the way things should be done. As if they existed even when you stop drawing them. But yeah, Lingerie Witches was, like a pornographic magazine. I had the idea that Megg, kind of at some point, would have done some sort of softcore pornography for money, when she needed drug money. So I set about making a big pornographic magazine — she was only on one page, but yeah, I just wanted that magazine to exist.
I shrink-wrapped it, I was working at a bookstore at the time, I snuck in on the week-end and shrink-wrapped all the magazines, so it did just look like a real pornographic witch magazine. I wanted to like sneak around shops and like put them on shelves next to pornographic magazines, but — they were very expensive to print, they were big and full color. I grew up very poor, and I never had a computer until like, or something? A friend gave me one. So I went into the cupboard, and there was food coloring for cakes, for icing.
So I stumbled onto it. All of my pinks and yellows and blues derive from the food coloring. I used some American food coloring, it was waxy, it sucked in all the other colors, it was garbage, so you know… yeah, I recommend Queen Food Colouring. If you could write to the food coloring people… And yeah, fuck Photoshop and fuck Wacom tablets! My work is very honest. What you see on the page is what exists in real life.
Erm, there was gonna be a second issue, we… HTML Flowers, my friend and writing partner, he came to Seattle for a month or so last year, and we drew most of it, but we just never released it.
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