Episode 441 – Andi Watson

Virtual Memories Show 441:
Andi Watson

“The stories that don’t work out are the ones that don’t have a decent central character, or an environment or a unique way of drawing or approach or style you want to experiment with. The Book Tour was one where it all worked out.”

With The Book Tour (Top Shelf Productions), cartoonist Andi Watson makes his triumphant return to ‘grown-up’ comics, spinning a tale more Waugh than Kafka about a midlist British author on a book tour from hell. We get into the book’s path to publication, the new drawing style he developed for this one, why he’s shifted genres & styles over the course of his career, and how this book’s visual setting was inspired by Atget’s early-morning photos of Paris. We talk about the YA and middle-reader comics he’s made in recent years, the quirks of writing for different age-tiers, how comics publishing has changed since he got into the field in the ’90s, how Love & Rockets bent his brain at 18 & sent him on this wayward path, and why he’s looking forward to going on a real book tour for The Book Tour someday! Give it a listen! And go read The Book Tour!

“After all the years I’ve been making comics, the joy is still sitting down with a blank page, with a new project, the possibility of bringing something new into the world. There’s nothing in this world that I want to do.”

“Comics is so demanding of space. You can’t adapt a novel faithfully into a graphic novel, or it’d be a thousand pages. You’re always looking for the most concise way to compress time, or show emotion, or get a scene across.”


Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

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About our Guest

Andi Watson is a British cartoonist, writer and illustrator who has been nominated for two Eisners, a Harvey and a British Comics Award. He has written and drawn graphic novels in a wide variety of genres and for different age groups for publishers as diverse as Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, Walker books, First Second and Random House. His books have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian and German. He lives in Worcester with his wife and daughter.

Follow Andi on Twitter and Instagram, subscribe to his e-mail and support his work via Patreon.

Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr. I used a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of Andi by Clara Watson. It’s on my instagram.

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