As part of the Sixth Annual Vegas Bookfest this past weekend, Kim Deitch was one of the guests. Saturday morning Deitch gave a presentation on his origins as a cartoonist accompanied by a slide show from some of his comic work. In this photo Kim is holding up a drawing he did of his character Alias the Cat, which I was happy to buy from him after his presentation.
Kim Deitch had parents who strongly felt that a creative pursuit was the strongest ideal a person could attain. His father worked for years in the early animation industry and was an aspiring comic strip artist himself. While growing up, Kim aquired an interest in early comic strips (he was born at the end of WWII) and through his brother's continuing interest in superhero comics, Kim was there at the beginning of the Lee, Kirby, and Ditko Marvel era. Kim never did have a desire to do superhero comics, but one day in the 1960's New York, he was introduced to an underground comic strip called Captain High and thus began his over three decades as an alternative cartoonist.
As an aside, Kim Deitch attended the Pratt Institue briefly after high school, but quickly didn't connect with what their ideas of what art was or is. On thing that stayed with him from Pratt that he shared with us at his presentation, was their motto: "Be true to your work and your work will be true to you". I think that is a great motto no matter what line of work a person does.
Kim Deitch, at my booth on First Friday, holding his graphic novel Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Kim's most recent graphic novel is Alias the Cat which is about his wife and his collecting of antique cat figures and the interesting people one meets in those circles. Kim's recent comics work deal with obsessions and fascinations with the past, specifically the 1920's and 1930's (also recommended is his Shadowland graphic novel from Fantagraphics).
This is an example of the crisp detailed line work that is typical of Kim Deitch's art (be sure to click on page on the right for an enlarged view). At his presentation Saturday, Kim recounted stories of doing what he calls "reality comics" for Details and Maxim of all places - I'll be looking for those and hope that someday they are collected.
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