ACHROMATOPSIA - Chris Gooch Interview

Prolific Melbourne cartoonist Chris Gooch has edited an anthology ACHROMATOPSIA that launches this week at The Good Copy in Collingwood, Melbourne. Featuring Editor Gooch and his fellow RMIT students, the ACHROMATOPSIA launch will also showcase an exhibition of riso prints. I asked Chris a few questions about editing his first anthology.

Matt Emery: What inspired editing an anthology? Has it been harder or easier than you imagined?

Chris Gooch: I just wanted to try doing one really, and having met a bunch of people through art school that were into comics and had a really well developed practice/style meant I had people to ask...

As for expectations vs reality, yeah, definitely harder than I thought I was gonna be. Admin is just really annoying, all this paper work and organising you have to do that eats into the time you'd otherwise spend drawing. The closer I get to the actual event the more stressed I'm getting. 

Joseph Lynch

Emery: I recall you mentioning some comics makers in ACHROMATOPSIA havn't come from a comics background, can you talk a bit about some of the artists involved?

Gooch: Well, we've all come through art school and maintained an interest in comics and drawing in general, which is something a lot of people end up ditching/losing, depending how you want to look at it.

Um, as I see them: Joe has a really wonderful traditional draftsman quality to his work, Tilly makes very gentle, intricate drawings (I remember her saying ages that if they had a deeper meaning, it would have 'a gentle one' which I thought was cool), Christian's work is super high contrast and detailed, really, really eye catching, Julia's work is really beautiful and delicate, linework wise, and Will's comics and drawing is crazy detailed a bit disturbing at times. 

Emery: I Also recall you mentioning drawing tools being a thematic part of ACHROMATOPSIA, Can you talk a bit about that? Are there other themes that tie the anthology together?

Gooch: In general I think anthologies which have a narrative theme (the ocean, time, disappointment, etc.) run the risk of ending up with 6 stories which are all very similar. So instead, we opted to have a visual theme, with all of the artists using the same kinds of pens and all the work having to be straight black and white. For the stories we would meet and discuss what we were thinking of and try and bounce off one another - I remember changing mine pretty drastically because of some feedback I got. 

Julia Trybala

Emery: ACHROMATOPSIA combines comics and illustration work, was it always intended as a combination of narratives and illustration?

Gooch: The illustration part of the show - 9 riso prints done by different artists - was a later addition to the project, mainly because comics take a bunch of time to get started on. Our hope was basically to expand the project and make it into a hybrid comics, illustration thing, as there's often a lot of crossover in audiences that isn't often reflected in artist's projects. 

Christian Vine