Interview with Frank Cammuso conducted by Gerhard
* I think the Max Hamm, Fairy Tale Detective is a very clever idea—combining
the detective fiction motifs of Chandler and Hammett with the iconography of
fairy tales. Just the title, The Long Ever After makes me laugh. Did the
whole idea come to you all at once or did it evolve over a period of time?
A: When I came up with the concept of a Fairy Tale Detective, it was like
opening a flood gate. All the ideas came pouring out.
* How long have you been working on it and how long do you think it will be
before you’re done?
A: I started Max Hamm in 2002. I finished "The Long Ever After" last fall.
plan on starting a Max Hamm ongoing series this summer. My hope is to do a
book quarterly, at least.
* Your website mentions an arrangement with the French publisher Akileos to
reprint the stories in French. How has that been coming along?
A: The arrangement with the French publisher Akileos is going well. They
brought me over for the French comic festival in Angouleme this year. I
would love to do a Max Hamm in full color Album form.
* Your website also makes note of your political cartoons in the Syracuse
Post Standard (“Annoying Politicians since 1989”). What’s the most annoyed
a politician ever got with one of your cartoons? Also, do you consider the
Syracuse Post Standard to be your real job and the comic-book material to be
a hobby or the other way around?
A: Being a political cartoonist is my day job. And as day jobs go it's a
damned good one. I've been drawing political cartoons for 15 years and now
It's time to stretch my creative wings. That's why I began to tell longer
That said, I consider myself a cartoonist, period. I reject being labled to
a certain type of cartoonist.
As for the how annoyed I've gotten politicians, I'm just now on civil
speaking terms with our eight-term US congressman.
* Dave question: I have to say that I really liked the graphics for your
experimental Interactive Graphic Novel, particularly the successive close-up
with the text that becomes visible as you track across the images, but I
gave up about eight images in. Of course, I’m not a computer person so my
threshold for computer innovations is kind of low. What’s the overall
reaction to the piece been and how have you been progressing on it?
A: The interactive graphic novel has been very well received. However my
progress on it has not been great. It's much harder to do than a regular
comic where you control the line of narrative. For this, you have to create
all the narrative paths and that's a lot more planning and plotting.
* How has your experience exhibiting at Small Press shows been and, in
particular, what did you think of SPACE last year?
I've done really well at the small press shows, including SPACE. I find the
the fans to be extremely open minded. Especially to pig detectives.