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Drawing Like Nobody is Reading: Chatting With Ben Snakepit

Ben Snakepit is an Austin institution, with his nifty, funny, self-depreciating autobiographical comic, Snakepit. I never got to meet him, when we both lived in Austin, but I was always excited (and a little jealous) when a new Snakepit came out. He is the kind of writer and artist that makes a day sitting alone at a café sound like the best thing in the world. This is actually the second time Ben will have appeared in TFH. Back in the day, our mutual pal Jessica Champion (of the
now-dead Arcade Distro) brought Ben into the fold for an early issue of TFH, in 2003. So now, back again, to talk about himself and his comic, Ben Snakepit.

Interview by Josh Medsker

Tell me about your time in J Church! It took me a while to get into them,
but I dig it, man!

It was awesome. It was such and honor to get to play with Lance, and those are fantastic times I will
always treasure.

You playing in any Austin bands at the moment?

I'm in three bands right now, Shit Creek, Ghost Knife and Modok.

I appreciate your drawing style, cause it's basic. Who do you really enjoy, art-wise, comics-wise?

Stylistically I really like John Porcellino (I think his influence is really obvious in my work) but as far
as just appreciating great comics I don't think anyone can touch Charles Burns.

Have you had any luck with comics online? I know a lot of people are doing that now.

I've deliberately avoided it. The only exception was last summer when I published a webcomic about having
a kidney stone, mainly to raise money to help pay my medical bills.

Random question... is ProperGander still around? I loved that thing.

Snakepit book #2 c. 2007.

Nope, I remember they did
their last issue a few years ago.

24 More Questions for Ben Snakepit

What is the significance of the name

It was the name of the punkhouse I lived in when I first started drawing the comic. I moved to Austin pretty soon after and kept the name because it reminded me of home.

Of all the pieces you have done, which
are you most proud of, and why?

Probably the skateboard deck I did for Animals & Children, just because it's so cool to have a skateboard that I drew.

What are you reading right now?

Ha ha ha. I haven't read a book since the 2010s. I suck.

What music is currently dominating your listening device of choice?

I really like Tenement, The Atom Age, and I just got into Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats.

What is your all-time favorite book?

Women by Charles Bukowski

Who is the most important artist out there that no one has heard of?

Ben Snakepit (ha ha)

If you could be another artist besides yourself, who would you be and why?

Like Andy Warhol or somebody else that made tons of money for not doing very much.

If you could live anywhere else other than where you live, where would it be, and why?
I love living in Austin,it's just the Texas part of it that sucks. Maybe I'd like the Pacific Northwest
if it didn't get so cold.

Beatles or Rolling Stones?

The Who

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

A bagel with cream cheese

Which sense would you rather lose, sight or hearing? Why?

If I had to choose, I'd lose my hearing, just because it would be easier to get along in the world as a deaf
person that a blind person.

Which is more important, to understand, or to be understood?

It's way more important to understand everything in my world. I don't care if anyone understands me,
because I have nothing worthwhile to contribute anyway.

What project are you currently working on?

New 3-year Snakepit book out in 2013.

Groucho Marx or Karl Marx (or Richard Marx)?

What was the VERY first project you worked on?

I did a zine in high school called The Irrigation Ditch Times

What is your favorite lunch?

Anything my wife makes for me. you can see pictures of every meal she makes me at imeatingwell.tumblr.com

If you had to describe your work using only one noun, one verb and one
adjective what would they be?


If you could get one tattoo that would only last for 24 hours what would be?
where? why?

If I could, I would get rid of all my tattoos for 24 hours so I could get a better job.

Do you have a favorite place or environment in which to work?

Not really, but I do have a preferred mental state, that being high on weed.

What's your most challenging long term plan?

To stick with these daily comics until the day I die.

Who is the person or people that were pivotal in you arriving where you are at today?

Kyle Shutt, Tod Parkhill, Todd Taylor, Joe Biel, JT Yost.

If a genie could grant you three wishes, what would they be?

A shitload of money. I'd give the other two wishes to charity.

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

"Draw like nobody's reading"


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