We spoke to cartoonist, Michael DeForge about his new comic, what he’s working on next and who he’d cast as his lead character. You can catch DeForge in St. Catharines for a free event with fellow comics creator, Kean Soo!
IFOA: What inspired you to create a story about an arrogant self-obsessed Canadian in the wilderness?
DeForge: I like writing about city-dwelling Canadians and their awkward relationship with nature. We all have some idea of what the Canadian landscape or Canadian wilderness is in our heads that never quite syncs up with reality.
IFOA: When you start creating a comic, what comes to you first? The words or the visuals?
DeForge: One doesn’t really come before the other. I script pages using thumbnails where I break down what’s going on in each panel at the same time as I’m hashing out dialogue. I’d have a hard time working off of a “screenplay”, I think.
IFOA: Which Canadian would you like to play Angelica if your comic was turned into a CBC miniseries?
DeForge: That’s tough since I’d sort of imagine it being claymation. Catherine O’Hara would play a good Sticks, I think.
IFOA: What are you working on next?
DeForge: I draw a daily comic called Leaving Richard’s Valley that I serialize online. I have a short story collection coming out from Koyama Press in 2018 that I’ve just put the finishing touches on as well.
IFOA: What are you reading now?
DeForge: I just finished Exit by Nelly Arcan, which I loved, and I’m in the middle of How To Kill a City by Peter Moskowitz.
Michael DeForge was born in 1987 and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. He has published the books Very Casual, Dressing, A Body Beneath, Big Kids, Ant Colony, First Year Healthy and Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero. His strip Leaving Richards Valley is serialized daily, and his illustrations have been published in The New York Times, Bloomberg View, The Believer and Maisonneuve.