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Interview with Rick Geary

How would you describe your drawing style? It's hard for me to describe my own style. That should best be left to others. The most I can say is that I try for a certain texture to my linework. It's a constant search, always inspired by those great early 20th century pen-and-ink illustrators like Charles Dana Gibson, Windsor McCay and Franklin Booth. Can you tell us about your career? I can't say that my career has proceeded by any kind of plan or foresight. I started out as cartoonist for a weekly newspaper, then did comic stories for National Lampoon. I've always alternated between illustration (MAD, The New York Times), and graphic stories (Marvel, DC, Dark Horse), and moved into graphic novels with "A Treasury of Victorian Murder" (nine volumes) and "A Treasury of 20th Century Murder" (seven volumes).

What is the difference between graphic novels and comics? I'm not sure that there is much difference any more. It used to be one of format and presentation: Comics flimsy and pulpy, graphic novels bound like real books. Further, I always thought of "comics" as telling fantastic tales involving superheroes, elves and the like, appealing to a male adolescent readership, while graphic novels tell stories of all kinds -- personal, historical, political -- aimed more for a grown-up sensibility. But over the years, I believe, these distinctions have ceased to apply. What aspect of visual storytelling do you like best? I very much enjoy doing graphic novels with historical or true-life subjects. In these, I try to be as clear and accurate as possible, and to this end I make use of maps and charts and overhead views. Amidst detailed, close-in storytelling, cutting away to an overview is very satisfying and much fun. . What contemporary artists should get more attention? I can't really answer this because I don't feel I'm in touch with what new artists are out there.

'If you like Rick Geary you may also like' (Amazon would say) Morgan-Pielli

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