woman and man +

In an exclusive interview with Villain Media, writer/artist Craig Yoe talks about the Kickstarter launch of Woman & Man+ (Clover Press). Find out how a wordless graphic novel breaks all the rules of conventional comic storytelling. 

THE PLOT: An artist loses his love, his home country, and even his sanity — while telling the story of his struggle to reinvent himself.

With the launch of Woman & Man+ already in motion on Kickstarter, Craig Yoe opens up about how the project came about, the autobiographical nature of the narrative, and what pledgers should be most excited about. Join us as we discuss in the writer’s room about the craft of writing.

VILLAIN MEDIA: Woman & Man+ has its origins in NYC, the pages were first drawn in Berlin, continued in Spain’s Canary Islands, and then finished in the Philippines. What was about this project that stuck with you?

CRAIG YOE: The joy of drawing comics—the comfort food of creative activity. 

VM: Tell me about working on this graphic novel about an artist losing his love, and his home country, which feels semi-autobiographical..

CY: Not “semi” at all, definitely auto-biographical. Though in Woman & Man+ you won’t see me as a character or cartoon image of me. The images in this comic story, showing my struggle of the past 2 years, are psychedelic, surreal, sometimes nightmarish, thank God they are sometimes sweet dreams, too. But, the art, the  story, and each panel  and page are abnormal. Like I said, autobiographical.

VM: How would you compare Woman & Man+  to your debut comic Sammy Saved and Al Most?

CY: Sammy Saved and Al Most was an underground comic done when I was a hippie Christian minister in Akron, Ohio in the 60’s and early 70s, over a half century ago. My drawing approach, the format, the content in Woman & Man +, my second comic, is vastly different…okay, BUSTED!..there are probably some connections to my Secret Origin/

VM: What would you like readers to come away with after picking up Woman & Man+?

CY: I hope they respond to my honesty in presenting my story and maybe find a little food for thought. They’ll have to dig in though, Woman & Man+ is designed to be interactive. The reader will be getting involved, no passive reading here. My challenges in life have been real even if the art is surreal. I hope the readers will enjoy the trip. “Trip” as in journey, but “trip” also as in LSD, too. I have attempted to make the art mind-blowing, it’s barely legal.

VM: Woman & Man+ will be crowdfunded on Kickstarter. What do you think pledgers will be most interested in with the rewards?

CY: The fun aspect of Kickstarter is being able to offer something special to backers they can only get on the campaign. I am offering original art by moi. My favorite exclusive are the very limited original art pieces where I will draw a faux comix cover using the backers name as the logo.

VM: How has Woman & Man+ changed you as a storyteller?

CY: I don’t know.

VM: What are you working on now?

CY: I’m working on seeing doctors, having tests, physical therapy, dozens of shots with needles, and actual excruciating pain-filled electric shock therapy. Drawing Woman & Man+ 10-12 hours a day for over two years (I.e. art therapy for my heartbreak), with fevered intensity has destroyed my drawing hand, wrist, and shoulder. I hope the readers of my graphic novel are happy!

Readers can find out more here on the Kickstarter page.

By Jorge Solis