We go so far back with Marc Bell we can remember when he didn’t have pubes. He used to do stuff during Voice of Montreal days a million years ago and made so much money doing that he was not able to eat or pay any rent at all to anyone. Interviewing him is like interviewing your twin sister. Let’s give it a try…
Vice: Are you still a homeless muck crashing on couches and living out of one of those hobo things where you have a handkerchief wrapped around the end of a stick that you carry over your shoulder (I think it’s called a bindle)?
Marc: That was ten years ago, guy. That was when I was broke and all lovesick and like a lost dog. I’m past that tired routine, dig? I’ve lived in Vancouver for almost six years now. I only moved once and it was in the same building, but I stuck to my vagabond roots and moved everything by hand. The problem in an easy move like that is you don’t pack up as thoroughly and then it takes forever to move out all those odds and ends.
Why is it spelled Marc? That’s a fag spelling.
That’s a French spelling, asshole. But seriously, I have a twin sister named Marcie. Marc and Marcie. My parents thought it would be cute, so go fuck yourself.
How do you get along with her? Isn’t she a born again or something? Does she disapprove of your comicy ways?
My mom is a sweet person. When she was a girl and lived on the farm she would see Gypsy folk traveling down the (then) gravel road in front of the house. She has more sweetness in her pinky than you have in the entire run of your silly cool-person magazines.
You must get a lot of girls drawing such cute stuff. I remember when we were living in Montreal all the girls had a crush on the guy who drew Shrimpy and Paul. They didn’t even know what you looked like!
I have a girlfriend and she is standing behind me. The other day I was standing around wearing jeans and no shirt and she asked me if I was going to going out to beat up dogs. And the day before that she took a diaper (clean) and stuck it on the little guy’s head she was babysitting. That’s the way she rolls and that’s what she thinks is funny and that’s the kind of lady Shrimpy and Paul likes.
You don’t really do comics anymore, eh? They’re more big drawings or something.
I hate drawing comics. What a pain in the arse. All that penciling and planning and fussing. They should kick me out of comics. Why am I in this issue?
But yeah, I do have to buckle down at some point and rule out some panel borders (comics speak for setting up a comics page). I am mainly doing art stuff now.
Did you hate being called cubby?
Oh, it probably bugged me. Like it was too cute a name or something.
Was art school good for you?
So-so. A good way to waste time. I liked living in Sackville. Traveling to Montreal was like culture shock.
What do you think of Lloyd Dangle?
Dangle is one of my favorite comic books. I love that cover of the first one where he built the papier-maché sculpture of himself at Coney Island.
You said something once about the Voice of Montreal cover that was covered in flames. I forget what it was exactly, but it pissed me off. I mean, in retrospect the cover was pretty lame, but you said something like, “Rendering the unendurable, eh guys?” as we were getting off the bus. Do you remember that?
Jesus, that was ten years ago. Move on already. You keep bringing up those three seconds like they mattered. I faintly remember it was a cheap shot. Big deal. You thought I’d planned it that way because you were getting off the bus and I was getting on, or something like that, but it was pretty off the cuff. I wasn’t planning some great escape so you couldn’t call me on my remark. I didn’t think it would really bother you as much as it did. I was taken aback. And you’re still holding a grudge? Talk about dishing it out and not taking it.
What was the deal with that engraving you saw at some girl’s house and you asked for back? Was that something you gave me that I gave to someone else or was it something you left at Vice that we stole and gave to someone else?
Shit, I forgot about that too. It’s been so long. I don’t really write these grudges down. I am not saying you do, all I am saying is MOVE ON! I just asked my lady friend and she remembers: I was at a Canzine thing in Toronto and some reporter lady was pointing at one of my strips and saying “I have that one, I have that one,” and I was like “Huh?” Anyway, as it turns out her roommate used to date one of you or something, and he had given her one of my hand-colored comic strips instead of returning it to me. (I had been wondering where that was.) So anyway, it was really her roommate who had it and I tried to call her and get it back and then I kept getting this big runaround from her and she never did get it back to me. That reminds me, my hand-colored “Li’l Tofu Cube Guy” strip was returned with a big footprint on it. Or maybe that was “Rop-Top.” You dickweeds, get outta here, youze. I am never working for you again! After this. Unless you will put out those song comics into a comic booklet and rip me off and get sued.
Are you happy now?
In life or with what I just said? It’s not like I needed to get that off my chest or anything. I didn’t even remember it.
No are you happy with life?
Oh. Cheer up, little buddy.
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The Comics Issue