Interview: Eddie Campbell Discusses THE LOVELY HORRIBLE STUFF

“Money, it’s a gas…grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.” It’s time to talk money, folks, and the book all about it, Eddie Campbell’s The Lovely Horrible Stuff. This original graphic novel chronicles Eddie Campbell’s dealings with the horrible stuff itself: money. The highs, the lows, they are all in here and in class Eddie Campbell style. Eddie recently took time to discuss money, the book, and just what he thinks about The Lovely Horrible Stuff.

Aaron Long: First things first: can you discuss how The Lovely Horrible Stuff came to be? How would you describe the book to a new reader?

Eddie Campbell: I have no idea any more. I find myself so completely dissociated now from the world of comics that I have no idea what readers regard as attractive features. Except to say that I dearly hope things are not so bad as they look from a distance. To judge by what sells i should have to boast that this book has nothing original about it whatsoever. the reader should not be alarmed by the thought that they might be surprised by something they have never encountered before. But alas I cannot lie. There is nothing else I can relate it to. You’ll have to buy it on trust. :)

AL: Economics is a tough subject to keep visually stimulating. Did you find it difficult to keep the art visually dynamic for some of the concepts you discuss in the book?

EC: In fact, The concepts spurred me to creative flights, to come up with some very fresh imagery. Economics doesn’t really interest me. I thought it would make a subject that would provide the kind of abstraction and complexity that I thrive on. There were many times in the making of the book I had to go away and think over how on earth I was going illustrate this or that. Right at the end I came up with this idea to explain the whole muddle using bubblegum trading cards. So I created these theoretical cards, one or two of which are kind of based on actual series that existed, but I made them all look a bit yellowed and worn. And that was a lot of fun. I bet some readers think i just scanned them from actual cards.

AL: What was the most shocking thing you found during your investigation of money?

EC: Obviously I was pretty shocked when I found that my flight to Tuscany might be off because the manager of the travel agency had embezzled all the money. That had never happened before.

AL: Much of your autobiographical work has been black & white, was there a specific reason you went with coloured pages for this book?

EC: My last six or seven books have been in colour, and it’s been an evolving process. I’ve been trying more and more to make things vivid and beautiful because I’m down on regular comic book colouring. nowadays they make it so dark and horrible. It’s all purply brown, and they seem to think this is more realistic than the gorgeous bright comic books of yesterday.

AL: Any final words you’d like to pass on to Comicosity’s readers about The Lovely Horrible Stuff?

EC: I don’t think my book will help you invest your wealth or anything like that, but It will make you laugh and you’ll never think about money in quite the same way ever again.

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