Sammy at work. Photo by Cheryl Dunn.
Sammy Harkham is one of our favorite bearded guys in LA, and definitely our favorite one who draws. It’s been a good while since someone in the comics world has been able to pull off existential ruminating without it devolving into one big humorless precious-fest, but Sammy’s been hitting it pretty much clean on the head for the past few years. His comic Crickets is sort of like an immaculately drawn comic version of that movie Dead Man, but without all Jarmusch’s wanky pontification. He also helms the annual comics anthology Kramer’s Ergot, which is easily one of the best comic collections to come out of the west coast in a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.
Page from Crickets #1
Cover of the most recent Kramer’s Ergo
You have a really big beard. Who do people mistake you for more often, Osama Bin Laden or the fiddler from Kansas?
You know, surprisingly neither. Usually they mistake me for the naked “vow of silence” guy from
Life of Brian
or Boner from TV.
You’ve been editing Kramer’s Ergot for a good six years now. Do you like putting these anthology things together?
Not really, but I like the idea of a good anthology and nobody else is doing it right. Comics is a horrible world to exist in since it’s more insular and “chummy” thanporcelain-dolldressing or noise music. You see a lot of anthologies where it’s obvious who is friends with the editor, who goes to the same weekly drawing club as the editor, etc. If someone were doing a good anthology I wouldn’t make
I just saw a new one called
that I thought was pretty awesome though…
One of Sammy’s watercolor paintings that he sells through his website, kramersergot.com. This one’s called Pussyfooting (yes, we realize you get it.
When was the first time your comic got you laid?
Comics have only gotten me anal, and she was Catholic so it doesn’t count.
I thought Crickets was a real breakthrough for you. You’ve started incorporating a lot more horror elements and violence than in your previous work, what happened?
How do you think being a Christ-killer gives your work attitude?
We created the comics industry, we created humor, and, come to think of it, everything that’s ever been great on this planet ever (no joke). What you call “attitude” is actually a deep level of awesomeness that is slowly disappearing thanks to Jews willfully being swallowed up by boring, bland goy culture and pussy. There will never be another Milton Berle.
INTERVIEW BY JOHNNY RYAN
Sammy’s been working on a book/record collaboration with Will Oldham for what seems like fucking ages. It’ll eventually be put out by Buenaventura Press, who also do
. Until that happens you can check out Drawn & Quarterly for his recent stuff, like