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Creator, Writer, Artist of Stickleback

by Richard Vasseur - (Posted: 8/19/2007)

Graham Annable

Richard: What is 'Stickleback' all about?

Graham: Stickleback is about George Stickleback, an artist whose chosen medium is toilet paper sculpture. He spends most of his time focusing on his craft with his cat Patty, but unfortunately has to deal with the outside world.

Richard: Does his cat Patty play a big role in George's life?

Graham: Patty plays a huge role in his life. Patty's always there for company but never offers up an opinion. The perfect companion for George.

Richard: What do men of toilet paper have to do with the story?

Graham: It's how George expresses himself to the world. It's the one area where he feels in control and satisfied. So within the story they represent his refuge from the chaotic and unpredictable outside world.

Richard: How did you come up with the idea for 'Grickle'?

Graham: Grickle was a goofy nickname my Dad gave me as a kid. The word always stuck with me. When I started compiling my short comic stories together for a book it just felt like the appropriate name for it.

Richard: What is the comic 'Hickee' about?

Graham: Hickee is a collection of slap-sticky humor stories done by a bunch of talented cartoonists who also happen to be close friends of mine. We all work in various art jobs in the games and film industries and I've loved all their doodles and art styles for years. I wanted a place where the rest of the world could see it too. Hickee has turned into that place.

Richard: What was it like working on 'Disney's A Goofy Movie'?

Graham: Wow, that was a while ago. Let me think here. It was really tough work actually. It was the first show that I worked on where they were complete sticklers for line weights and keep everything EXACTLY on model. It was a real challenge for my meager drawing skills. I was very glad I did it though. I felt like I learned a lot on that project.

Richard: How is working on a computer game different than a comic?

Graham: I could probably spend days answering this question. One big difference is working with a large team of people compared to just creating something on your own. There are a lot more repercussions when you change your mind or shift the scope of something on a video game project. Working on a comic alone you can keep re-editing and moving stuff around and it's not too big a deal (if you're in the rough stages of it). But with a large team of people, and having the whole tech side of things to consider, you can't just change ideas as easily.

You need to really follow it down the chain and make sure everyone involved is aware and agrees with the shift before going forward. Video games are definitely heftier things to plan out and execute. Both are entirely satisfying to create but the scope of them is different. At least for me anyway.

Richard: Why would a person want to buy 'Stickleback', what sort of person would enjoy it?

Graham: I'm not entirely sure. Someone like me I suppose. I've followed the notion that if the story appeals to me it will hopefully appeal to some other people as well. That's always my hope. There certainly weren't any test audiences for Stickleback as I created it.

Richard: Who has been the biggest influence on your comics career?

Graham: That's a tough one. There's tons of influences I'm not even conscious of right now. But if I had to narrow it down to one I'd say Charles Schulz. I read so many Peanuts books as a kid that I think I borrow from him all the time.

Richard: What do you have planned for the future?

Graham: I've just begun roughing out an idea for a long single story. I'd love to take a crack at doing a much lengthier project. I've also been creating little cartoon shorts and posting them on Youtube. I plan to keep on doing those in the future. They've been a lot of fun for me.

Richard: If you could have one super power what would it be and why?

Graham: The ability to create comics faster. There's a bunch of ideas I want to do but it seems to take me so long to get to them. That's kind of a lame super power.

Richard: What comics did you read as a child growing up and what do you read now?

Graham: I was a huge Marvel comics fan as a kid. Spider-man in particular. I read tons of Archie comics, Peanuts, and Mad magazine too. These days I just drop by the comic shop and grab whatever is appealing to me. I pick up anything by Seth, Chester Brown, Lewis Trondheim, and Jason.

Richard: How can someone contact you?

Graham: Just head to my website at or send an email to . It's that simple.

Richard: Any last words of wisdom?

Graham: No. I'm not very wise and so I probably shouldn't give out words of wisdom just yet.

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