MOME Interview 3: Kurt Wolfgang


gg: And that was No-Fie?

kw: No, that was like one-shot weirdo things that were not… They were no good. Sometimes they were just drawings, pictures, whatever, do these little ‘zines and stuff with other people. Around No-Fie I moved back to New Jersey and moved in with the woman who became my wife, and we led this somewhat isolated existence, so I would sit and draw. When my children were born, strangely enough, that’s when I really got into making comics. [Laughter.] Seriously. But what was really neat about it was, when you have kids, I started doing No-Fie just prior to my kids being born, but you learn — do you have children?

gg: Yeah.

kw: You learn how to budget your time in this amazing way. It used to be, I would draw, I had to feel in the mood and have a pot of coffee on and the fucking moons had to align before you would actually sit down and do it when you’ve got all the time in the world. When suddenly your time is budgeted so tightly, because my two sons are a year apart, so I had two kids in diapers at the same time and you have to do things like, “OK, I have six minutes here, I can ink that line.” And instead of dismissing it, “Oh, I won’t get anything done in those six minutes,” you just fill up those six minutes.

gg: You really value every goddamn moment.

kw: Right, right. You can turn it on and turn it off. There was a fast rate of improvement [laughs] in everything I did in a three-year period where I just was spending so much time drawing. I also had the benefit of, I had a night-shift job where I could just draw for hours at a time.

gg: I was going to ask what you did, because you must have had a job.

kw: Yeah, I had a full-time job, I worked the night shift for five years. In fact, I drew just about, I would say, 70 percent of Where Hats Go, let’s fast forward a bit, that was drawn at work. I used to draw much smaller, too, so I would just take the top of a cardboard box, have it there, my supervisor would come by, I would just cover it up to hide what I was doing, because I was at work.

gg: What were you ostensibly hired to do?

kw: [Laughs.] I was running digital printers then. Like big huge industrial Xerox machines.

gg: At a printing company?

{mosimage}kw: At the printing division of an insurance company, [which] did all their printing. So I had access to state-of-the-art copy machines. You can imagine what happened [laughter] when I had that. There was a three-year period where I was probably personally responsible for printing most of the minicomics in the world, because I could print anything for any of my friends for small window of time. We took great advantage of that.

gg: That sounds like the perfect job.

kw: It was nice.

gg: Not for your employer, but…

kw: No, no. And this is not a rationalization, by no means a justification, but what I printed, what we print in a day, you know, millions and millions of images, so for me to run off a thousand copies of Low Jinx or something is hardly a drop in the bucket.

gg: My impression of No-Fie was basically that it was just a proving ground where you could rant and rave for a while.

kw: Right, exactly.