Nowhere Near Savannah returns next week, but before then, I am going to introduce you to the quirky humour, down to earth and absurdly modest personality of Anna Brown, in this interview we did.
I have known Anna for close to two years now, ever since she was introduced to me by Kaaron Warren, when I was looking for an artist to do work for 26lies. It's strange, but until this moment, it didn't feel as if I've known her for two years, and I certainly didn't think that I haven't met her once in this time; nor does it feel like I've worked with her for two years, on and off. Perhaps this is because of the nature of our work together, perhaps not. What Anna and I have is a partnership, of sorts, in which I do my thing, and she does her thing, and the two things come together in a natural fashion, in which neither of us question it once it's done. In fact, in truth, there's never been huge debates, hassles, or death threats, and except for that one time when I went to Wollongong but got lost, there's nothing but good and fine things I could say about Anna Brown.
Anyhow, here we go:
Ben: Anna, whatcha name your new boy?
Woo! Now, lets have some Anna life background, please?
I've lived in Newcastle, Melbourne and travelled about in the back of a troop carrier for a while.
Currently living in Port Kembla, Wollongong... Living the dream.
Studied photomedia at art school in Canberra and then joined the elite group of trained artists making a living in a totally unrelated area as public servants... More living the dream.
I started drawing comics in art school. I have published solo comics and contributed to many compilations. I edited and published a compilation of comics by artists from Canberra called Northbourne and Glory Bound. I continue to draw comics when life doesn't get in the way
and hope to publish more in the future.
Currently on maternity leave with second child--two kids is crazy business. I got my first smile today thought so all is on the up and up!
Children! Wasn't one enough?
What was the early influence of comics, then?
I reckon, just having a look through that list, that I can see a bit of Hutchings' influence on your work. A fair enough call, or would you go elsewhere?
Ben is also the funniest person on the face of the planet.
How long did it take for you to get your particular voice down in your work?
I think I have really chopped and changed in my style over the years. I've unconsciously mimicked people before, so I'm pretty hopeful that my work will settle into a style of it's own sometime soon.
Yeah, I remember doing the same early on in my stuff. I've found as I go on, though, that I tend to read less because I worry about that--and in fact, I tend to stop reading when I'm writing to cut out the influence factor. You get the same vibe from art?
Still, regardless, I'd have to say you have developed quite the Anna Brown style. It was that which drew me to your stuff back when we did 26Lies. How'd working on that go for you?
Is it me, or do we always end doing things when you have a kid?
Maybe motherhood and childbirth just isn't that time consuming any more. Kaaron Warren tells me that all the time. Where'd you meet her?
Still, I don't know if I'd call what we do sci fi. In fact, one of the things I like about what we get to do is that it stretches a whole lot of new muscles for me. Indeed, in many ways, I'd call what we do the autobiographical stuff. How's your take on it?
How frustrating is it, incidentally, to work with me, with all the last minute changes, complete rewriting of dialogue, and so on and so forth?
Okay, I'm figuring we should finish up. You ever seen that guy on the Actor's Studio stealing those questions from a French guy? I love them. They're how I end my interviews. So, imagine you died. Imagine that you were coming home one day, and a gang of angry midgets from the 'Gong had unleashed a virus that made all tall people explode. It was a travelling red cloud and you walked straight into it. Your kids are fine, but you're dead and you've popped up in Heaven. Surprise!
Now, what's the first thing you say to God?