What got you interested in the Arab world?
I had this desire to understand Islam better and then focus on the beauty of Arabic and Islamic cultures. And one of the first things to emerge was Arabic calligraphy, which was instantly inspiring. I’m really interested in making a mark on a paper and letting that be cursive shorthand for an idea—that’s the origin of cartooning.
Does the book take place in the present?
It’s set in some other now. I knew I wanted the old world clashing with the new, but there were things I wanted to not draw. I didn’t want guns, I didn’t want it to be about warfare; it’s hard to talk about the real now without that. I wanted a sprawling fairy tale that took place in an imaginary Orientalist landscape but absorbed a lot of contemporary things. [Ολόκληρη η συνέντευξη εδώ]
Και εδώ στιγμιότυπα από τη δημιουργία του βιβλίου, όπως τα κατέγραψε ο Τόμσον στο μπλογκ του.
I don’t miss him anymore. Most of the time, anyway. I want to. I wish I could but unfortunately, it’s true: time does heal. It will do so whether you like it or not, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. If you’re not careful, time will take away everything that ever hurt you, everything you have ever lost, and replace it with knowledge. Time is a machine: it will convert your pain into experience. Raw data will be compiled, will be translated into a more comprehensible language. The individual events of your life will be transmuted into another substance called memory and in the mechanism something will be lost and you will never be able to reverse it, you will never again have the original moment back in its uncategorized, preprocessed state. It will force you to move on and you will not have a choice in the matter.
Life is, to some extent, an extended dialogue with your future self about how exactly you are going to let yourself down over the coming years.
Η συνέντευξή μου στην Αναστασία Καμβύση, όπως δημοσιεύτηκε στο τεύχος του Glamour που κυκλοφορεί (Σεπτέμβριος 2011). Κάντε κλικ στην εικόνα για να μεγαλώσει και να διαβάσετε το κείμενο.