interview with Mike Diana by Alexandre Stipanovich
Here are some fresh news from Mike Diana, the illustrator that compares to no one. He has been wanted in Florida by the police, because his provocative – sometimes angrily violent – drawings were found at a home of a student murderer. The police thought these drawings were dangerous and of nasty influence and caused the murderer to act insanely. Seriously?
How are you and what are your projects right now? Are you doing any exhibition soon?
Mike Diana: I would like to have another show but not sure yet on a place. I have been drawing a graphic novel maybe 164 pages and in full color, it is about kids at a summer camp that one kid’s uncle owns, but there are only the three kids there meanwhile at a fancy camp are being murdered. The woods are alive in a different way from others. It holds a great power one ends up being the power to bring the dead back to life. It has a zombie element to it. Also the soon to be comic book called sugar fang will be printed with a grant from Printed Matter book store in NYC.
How is the bookset of Boiled Angels #1- #8 coming along?
Well we want to do a kickstarter campaign and it will be a chance to pre-buy a copy or a compleat box set of all issues. We need people to add themselves to our mailing list at mikedianacomix.com when you go to the site and see the spot where you leave your email. I am excited about reprinting them, 23 years since issue one was printed in 1989. The box set will have a silksreen image printed on it and the title “Boiled Angel Lives”.
Where and when will it be available in NY?
It should be for sale in NYC at Desert Island book shop in Brooklyn and a few comic shops in NYC. Then they will be for sale on the website.
Where does your anger in your drawings come from?
Well a lot of the anger is probably been building up inside me since I was young, I was born in New York state and the family moved to Fla when I was 8 years old and I feel I never adjusted to Fla. Many of the “crackers” as I call them are mean bullys. Then you have the religious nuts and all their hatred. My parents got divorced so i blamed that on Fla. Also no winter or snow in Fla. I feel living in that place caused me to take my art in such a rebelious direction. I also feel it is a healthy outlet.
What are your major influences? What artists do you like?
Like old horror movies a lot, always have. I like all the classic e.c. Horror comic book titles, underground comic artists such as Clay Wilson, Rory Hayes, Greg Irons and others. In 1986, I discovered fanzines such as The Blotter by Roy Tompkins and then mini comix by Bob X and Rick Sloane. Factsheet Five was a great review magazine of fanzines from all over the world and they reviewed my zines bringing me many readers.
Do you have a favorite band/singer?
I have always like GG Allin, he is such a wild performer when he runs around on stage and jumps into people. I saw him with a friend in Orlando Fla and the police barged in, GG had started to shit and the crowd ran out the door, me and my friend and a few others stayed up against a wall, but GG naked and covered in his own blood from smashing a whiskey bottle over his head then rolling in broken glass from a framed poster he smashed, he flung shards of glass and a guy got a gash on his chin. He ran outside so the cops came and whole band was taken to jail in the middle of the show. I get the chance to do logos and tee shirt and record or cd art for bands, get to hear new bands and meet those involved in some cases, or see them live -it is fun.
One of your favorite youtube video (if any)?
A bit ago my partner in crime Jefe who runs/maintains the mikedianacomix.com site worked a deal with a friend who wanted to give me a space for a show long ago, well she had a record shop right in Whillisburg Brooklyn so we had a show of puppets and artwork I did, some art I painted right on the walls so you had to go and see it there. The Hillbilly puppets I made myself had their first performance there at Passout records. you can check it out on youtube.
Are you still persecuted in Florida?
Yes, Im sorry to say I am still persecuted in Fla. I want to go there legally to visit family but still need to pay over $4,000 in fines, they never forget once you are in the data base. I had a bad probation officer and she quit the job and violated my probation so since ’99 I have been wanted in fla.