Art Comics Meathaus

Farel Dalyrmple at Work

If you’ve ever had the chance to sit down and draw in the same room as Farel Dalrymple, or work with him in any sort of creative capacity, you know that one of the greatest things about him is how encouraging and inspiring he can be. Once, a few years back, Farel gave me the best creative advice I’ve ever received, which was basically to finish it. In this instance, “it” was some dumb drawing I was working on, and that I was about to tear up and start from scratch on, but Farel insisted that it’s far more important to finish what you start than to get it absolutely right. Your creative muscles get better through the act of completion. 

It helps, of course, if what you end up completing is work like Farel’s; an outpouring of comics that are beautiful, emotionally-compelling, and full of mystery.  As a reader, the past few months have seen Farel’s work in the reboot of Prophet and on Study Group’s online comics repository, where his science fiction adventure serial, It Will All Hurt, appears every Wednesday. With a host of other projects in the works, it seemed like a good time to do a virtual visit to Farel’s Portland, Oregon home, and ask him some innocuous questions about his work habits, work area, and general worky-workmanisms.

Here’s Farel’s workspace, followed by a little Q & A with the man himself.

How long have you been using this space? Is it in your home or a studio?

I just moved into it after having my studio in the too-low-of-a-ceiling-attic-space. It’s in my home, which I am about to be evicted from. Sad but true. Hopefully, I will have an even awesomer studio space for the summer.

If you could change one thing about your work environment, what would it be?

Bigger and more open. also a proper work desk would be swell too. 

A quick “work habits” question–nights or mornings?

It switches around a lot, but I guess more nights than mornings.

What are you reading these days (comics or otherwise)?

I just read the entire Akira series, as well as the entire Nausicaa series. Vincent Stall’s (King Mini) new book, “Things You Carry,” was amazing. I got a bunch of good stuff at Stumptown, including two Malachi Ward books that were great, “Utu” and “Real Life.” I am also finishing up Wallace Shawn’s essays, which is pretty great.

I know you’re a comedy record/podcast fan–any recommendations in that world we might’ve missed?

John Mulaney’s New in Town is a great album. I also dig the new Norm McDonald album, Me Doing Stand Up. As far as podcasts go, I love Comedy Bang Bang, Superego, and our pals Jasen Lex and Jim Rugg’s new one, Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.

Will you be at any events this summer/fall?

Nah, I would have loved to do do TCAF and SPX, but I need to try to get my book [“The Wrenchies,” for First Second Books] finished. 

Tell us about the YA graphic novel you’re working on.

It is a third of the way done, (only 60 pages) and is written by MK Reed with editorial orchestrations by Greg Means of Tugboat Press. It is a fun project that I have been picking at while working on “The Wrenchies” and Prophet.

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