Comic wunderkind Chris Gooch is the creator of 51%, an ongoing series filled with amazing illustrations, and lots of thoughts and feels – the stories are awkward, dark, strange, unexpected and everything in between. Chris kindly let ANDY HUANG badger him with some questions about comics and other stuff he’s working on.
When/where/how did you come across zines?
Not until an embarrassingly late age. In early second year I had a huge panic about having no idea what to do about an assessment, art, life, etc. and inflicted all of this on an RMIT lecturer. One of the nice things that came out of this was the unnamed staff member showing me a collection of zines from an old comic class they ran before the art faculty budget got slashed.
First zine you ever bought?
Man, I have no idea. Probably one of the zines I mentioned above. Katie Parrish had one in there. So that one? Probably.
Tell us about 51%…
51% is a collection of short-ish comic stories ranging from 15 pages to 40. The story that spans the two issues is about a bunch of kids who, still in that phase of life where the parameters of the world have yet to be fully defined, believe they have psychic powers.
What’s your work process like?
I draw mostly during the afternoon/evening. Generally I stop when I feel like I’ve done enough for the day, otherwise there’s just this annoying guilt that hangs around afterwards which puts a damper on everything.
Music or no music?
Only when I’m filling in blacks or doing spot colour – I can’t concentrate properly with music so the drawings turn out pretty crappy.
As a young comic star/person what advice do you have for other young people starting out? Or, what’s the best bit of advice you’ve gotten so far?
I really like this thing that Melina Gebbie said about embracing the faults within your artwork. It was her belief, I think, that these inadequacies and fuck ups are what separate our drawings from others and make them our own. Like, they make them into an expression of the artist, or something like that.
All-time zine/comic artist heroes?
Probably Taiyou Matsumoto, nobody’s ever going to be better than that guy.
I like Thomas Tung’s stuff a lot. Everything he puts out is super entertaining. Has a nice TV vibe to it.
Best thing about zines/making 51%?
Lets me think I’m not wasting my life.
What are you working on now/next?
I’m working on a comic and accompanying exhibition called Gasoline Eye Drops, which’ll be finished by the time this interview gets out. The whole thing will be up on Tumblr.
Gasoline Eye Drops, pp. 1-2 – excerpt courtesy of Chris Gooch. You can check out the rest of the comic at gasoline-eyedrops.tumblr.com
Who: Chris Gooch
Featured image: courtesy of Chris Gooch