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FOG! Chats With NICK BERTOZZI About Bringing ‘PERSIMMON CUP’ To Kickstarter

Conducted by Stefan Blitz

Nick Bertozzi loves comics.

He has since he was a kid.  Trust me, I know, because I was there. 

We went to elementary school together in Providence, RI and coincidentally, worked for the same comic book store in Philadelphia several years later.

What impresses me most about Mr. Bertozzi is not only his continuing evolution as a cartoonist, but more importantly, his evolution as a storyteller.  It’s something that I’ve witnessed in one capacity or another for over three decades, which is why his latest project, Persimmon Cup deserves your support on Kickstarter.

We chatted a bit about the project, which will bring the webcomic to print along with some of his influences and his upcoming work.

What’s Persimmon Cup about?

Persimmon Cup is a science fiction comic about a strange, vaguely familiar world in which Persimmon, a weaver–a sort of historian-judge– receives an illicit gift from a secret admirer.

The gift, a glowing cube, is from Garo, a cleaner of looms. When Persimmon’s hand begins to rot the two run off into the wilderness to look for a cure.

They meet pirates, living, globe-houses, and stone-encased mathematicians. It’s a strange and sometime daffy story.

You mentioned on Kickstarter that you never intended for the book to be self published; did you always plan on a print version?

I’d hoped to collect it one day as an e-book, but I think more readers will find it in print.

Are you self publishing versus going through a publisher as a matter of absolute control of your vision in it’s execution?

It’s a chance to make a book exactly as I want to see it– my voice, loud and clear. I haven’t done that in a long time.

You mentioned that Persimmon Cup is potentially part of a trilogy. Does part two hinge on the success of this Kickstarter?

It does. If I can’t convince people to help me out now I have no business asking them to help out on something they don’t want. If I can’t make the kickstarter I’ll just draw the other books for myself, Darger-style.

Beyond comics, what were the influences for this book?

Fantastic Planet (Planéte Sauvage), 2001: A Space Odyssey, Aguirre: The Wrath of God, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Planet of the Apes, David Park, Blue Velvet, Don Quixote, Giorgio de Chirico, Anselm Kiefer, Marisol and The Ramones.

What else are you working on?

I have new issues of Rubber Necker coming out in a couple weeks and another is set to debut at TCAF or MoCCA, and a mini comic: The Otter’s Alphabet.

In November, Diabetes & Me (Hill and Wang) a cartoon guidebook and in the Spring, Shackleton (First Second).  I’m also working on a story for Josh Neufeld and Sari Wilson’s Flash Fiction and I’m trying to find the time to put together e-sketchbooks

What are you currently geeking out over?

The Best Show on WFMU, Big Feminist But edited by Joan Reilly and Robyn Chapman, Copra by Michel Fiffe, It Will All Hurt by Farel Dalrymple, Hitched! by Tony Breed, The Fox by Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid, Snackies by Nick Sumida and No Straight Lines edited by Justin Hall
.

Photograph by Seth Kushner
Nick will be appearing this weekend at MICE (The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo) and you can support the Persimmon Cup Kickstarter HERE.

Be sure to check out Nick’s website at nickbertozzi.com
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