When I first moved to attend The Ohio State University in 1999 I was kind of a morose guy. The culture of the campus area seemed specifically geared toward the football/party lifestyle, and what little pockets of cultural revolt that existed tended to involve subscribing to a lifestyle of emo, straightedge or vegan mentality. I mean, it wasn’t that bad. I found other people who liked The Replacements and wanted to play R.B.I. Baseball. But I felt like I existed between the gears somehow, and that there wasn’t a lot of local art being created that was, for lack of a better term, quirky.
I didn’t feel that way about Paul Hornschemeier‘s work. OSU had this awful student newspaper that people had to read because we didn’t have the internet everywhere yet, and there were strips in the Culture section called “Mini-Biker Chicks” and “Fishtank!” that leapt out at you. They mostly involved pint-sized mutated children committing acts of violence for things like candy and comic books, stuff that made many of the political science classes in the dead of winter way more bearable.
Pretty soon the strips began popping up at comic shops in the form of a Kinko’s-made comic called Sequential. I ran into Paul on occasion around town, and made sure to let him know that I was a fan. As always, he was humble and low-key about his work, and remains that way today, even when he has made The New York Times best seller list.
I’m as proud to have been a Paul Hornschemeier fan back then as I am now, and I hope you will be able to share in that oddball pride with me. His postcard book So-So Heroes premieres at the San Diego Comic Con this week and he will be releasing Forlorn Funnies, a return to his more eclectic style, this fall. Check out his work and online shop at ForlornFunnies.com.
Interview by Lee Keeler
Shot by The Boyers
Edited by Robbe Rees
Thank You: Wei-tzu Sang Keeler, Emily Hornschemeier, Craig Boyer