Authors Corinne Mucha and Marian Runk
The first comics I ever made were diary comics, when I was in college. Since then I’ve been very interested in using events in my life as a starting point for my work.
I like to look at real life events in the same way a 3‐D artist might consider reused materials for their art. I look at stories as a found object‐ something I can manipulate and disguise in order to make something new. How can I change aspects of an event while maintaining the basic truth? What happens when I string a few separate stories together‐ how do they change each other? How do the smaller events in my life relate to bigger ideas? What happens if I throw in some mermaids and unicorns? These are all things I am trying to explore through my comics when I write about my life.
While my work may still have some “tell‐all” qualities, I’m not really interested in the confessional nature of autobio comics. Writing stories about your life is another way of taking control of them. It’s an opportunity to reveal things as much as it is to hide them. It’s another kind of magic trick‐ an old tire torn apart, twisted up to look like a snake. It’s not a tire anymore, but it’s not really a snake either. It’s something else entirely, and whatever personal experiences the reader brings to the table can help make it something new.
I find memoir and comics to be useful genres with which to explore the intersection of individual and community narratives. I am interested in the power of the specific to indicate the universal, and I frequently return to personal narrative in part because of the immediacy of the "I." Similarly, I am drawn to incorporate cartooning—essentially a process of simplification and reduction—into my work. As the details of a face or environment are reduced, so the opportunity of the viewer to identify with a character or locale may increase. I seek to further bridge the distance between my work and diverse audiences by focusing on the basic unit of one person relating to another, which when multiplied and placed into context, begins to get at the narrative of a place or community. I rely on these strategies, along with a frequent use of humor, to encourage dialogue about subjects that lie at the fringe of everyday conversation. Whether by aversion or affinity, I hope to move my audience beyond mere visual pleasureand into the realm of emotional and critical engagement.