MY BRIAN HURTS VOLUME TWO LIZ BAILLE COVER XLRG | ADVOCATE.COMHave you gotten any feedback from teenage readers?

Of course. A short time ago, I was volunteering at the Hetrick-Martin Institute. It’s an after-school program for LGBT youths. I actually ran a little comics group there, for about a year, and I showed them my comics, and my friends' comics, and they seemed really into it. I've also been approached by kids at conventions; I always get these really adorable awkward moments where these teenagers will be like, "Hi...I're really good, you know, they really like it and they're really cute about it. I like, I like to hear that, you know, I'm not some old person writing about teenagers from a completely different, out of touch sort of perspective. I like to know that it's really realistic from the source.

So I see that you will be going on a tour later this month, going into October. What is a comic tour like for you?
Well, it's been a while. I know some friends and other people in comics who went on tour to promote their new books; whenever they have a new book they'll travel around to different cities and do readings and sell books and sign books at the store, and that's what we're doing. I have no experience with it; I'm flying by the seat of my pants pretty much, so basically I was like, "I want to go to these cities...sounds good. I want to go to these stores. I have a friend there, we'll stay there.” So it's going to be me and my friends and Gabby, but Gabby's pen name is "Ken Doll," which is what people know him by. We all have new books coming out and so we're all going to do readings, you know, slideshow type things -- read from the comics while they're projected on-screen. It should be pretty fun. We're going to be on tour for two weeks covering some of the East Coast, the northern part of the South, the Midwest, you know, that kind of thing.

So do you have any influences or artists you look up to as far as your style or your form of storytelling?
I've always read comics when I was a kid, but when I first started getting into indie comics -- I was basically into photography at the time and I didn't really draw comics that much, but I was going out with this guy who had a huge indie comic collection, he was really into indie comics. And he'd be like, “Let's go to the comic book store!” And I'd be like, “OK, that sounds cool.”

So I would go in and I would read some of the stuff in the indie section and he really got me into -- the first thing I really got into was Eightball by Dan Clowes, and since then, since I started reading it, he has gotten huge. He writes movies and stuff now. And then he also had a lot of copies of an old magazine called Weirdo, which I think was edited by R. Crumb in the '80s. It was awesome; it was like an anthology periodical, I guess. It had Peter Bagge in it, Gloeckner, a number of indie artists from that period, the '80s, and from there I learned about Phoebe Gloeckner and Dori Seda, [who] were two really big influences, artistically and content wise. They both tend to use little lines. I like that-- cute little lines. They both talk about real-life things. Phoebe Gloeckner did a lot of work about her adolescence, that kind of thing. So that particularly spoke to me I guess.

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