I mentioned in the last post that I interviewed Bridgett Spicer, the creator of Squid Row. I enjoyed interviewing her and learning more about her. Bridgett is a wonderful person full of creativity and awesomness.
Me: What inspired you to become a cartoonist?
I had always been, as far back as I can remember, into drawing. I had coloring books as a wee person; I always had paper and pencils… and so I was always drawing. It wasn’t until jr. high, when I began to read Garfield, that I started to cartoon. I found that I had a particular interest in drawing funny things… and was good at replicating Garfield and Odie, etc. This was beneficial as I made paper buttons and handed them out to promote my running for student council… I attribute the Garfield buttons to my winning. I probably broke some copyright laws there.
Me: How did you come up with the characters for Squid Row? Is Randie like you?
I was living in Pacific Grove and so WHERE I was living inspired the characters. Randie lives in a place that is not unlike Monterey and the surrounding areas. The peninsula has a strong art vibe… and since I was (am) an artist, you should draw what you know. I asked myself, who would I want to hang out with? ….Artsy, bohemian types who enjoy drinking coffee. So I created a group of “Randie pals” who were artists, musicians, and writers.
Randie is a lot like me. But I take a goodly amount of artistic license with her. For instance, she loves horror movies… and I, vehemently, do not! She can scarf down Pop’n Tarts and Nutella and not gain weight… I cannot.
Me: What are the pros and cons of being a cartoonist?
Hmmm…. Well, the job of being a cartoonist doesn’t make one a millionaire, unless you reach Snoopy & Garfield status. It means a lot of hard work, whether it’s in the constant drawing or the business end of getting your stuff out there via conventions and submissions… that sort of thing. HOWEVER, I absolutely love what I do! I love going to “the office” everyday. I’m truly blessed to be able to do this thing!
Me: When did you start drawing/writing?
Pre-kindergarten… I really took to writing in high school. I actually wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a writer or an artist… I did both!
Me: How did you come up with the title, Squid Row?
Again, where I was living was Pacific Grove… not far from Cannery Row (So that’s the “Row” part). My character is constantly finding herself short on money… and I wanted to play up the “starving artist” aspect of her being an artist. This was something I was familiar with, myself. So it’s a play on “Skid Row” … and there’s the tie in with the sardine/fishing aspect of the Row, as well.
Also, too, there is an EXTREMELY short street in Santa Cruz called Squid Row. I don’t think that had anything to do with my title, though.
Me: What were you like as a child/teen?
I was a chubby kid. I wasn’t very athletic (probably because I was more interested in drawing and playing with my Star Wars figures). I was obsessed with Star Wars, when it first came out (the first 3 movies starting in 1977)… I was creative with scissors and construction paper and enjoyed making spaceships, apartment buildings, and amusement parks for my Smurfs (and Star Wars figures). I loved to glue and paste and so that was fun.
As a teen, I became rather depressed. We moved around a lot as my dad was in the military. Each time we moved, I gained weight… and so this brought me down. I think this helped me develop a sense of humor later on. It’s funny where things come from.
Me: Do you plan on ever writing and illustrating a graphic novel?
Funny you should ask… yes, I am working on a graphic novel right now! It’s involving Squid Row… and is focused on Randie and a particular dream she has… and a troublesome relationship.
What I am finding out is… that it is a LONG process… fun… but long.
Me: If you could have any job in the world besides a cartoonist, what would it be?
I know it’s funnier to say like “a rodeo clown”… but, I think I would write novels… fiction is fun! I enjoy making stuff up.
Thank you so much, Bridgett!
I hope you all enjoyed my interview with Brig. Head on over to her website, squidrowcomics.com
, to read her comic strip and find more cool things! Soon, I hope to interview an author and family friend.