SPX Talks: Jason Pittman / by Alex Jarvis

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Jason Pittman was one of the creators to give us a free book at last year's SPX--certainly the first free book we received by my recollection. He released some great looking stuff at SPX and we were thrilled to see him there again this year. So thrilled, in fact, that I decided to sit down with him and have a chat about his new issue of Leftovers, which was equal parts terrifying and well-crafted. Spandexless: Having read Leftovers last night, had I not known that you were a good and balanced individual, I’d probably be terrified of you. I really enjoyed it, and it was super creepy, specifically the first one.

Jason Pittman: Yeah, the other two were more suspense stories and the first was my horror story.

S: Man, I love a good revenge story.

JP: Yeah, yeah.

S: Tell me how it started--know we covered your stuff last year, and it’s very... it’s an amalgam.

JP: So, Leftovers 1 was my thesis assignment at SVA when I was over there for my sophmore year. We were assigned to do an 8 page comic, and I did a 20 page comic. I was kind of thinking where I was at the time, and I was actually getting to do what I wanted to do. Not a lot of people get to do what they wanted to do, and thats sort of where Jim [a character from Leftovers] came from. He was a musician, but he didn’t really want to do the ‘band’ thing anymore, and it kind of went from there. Jessica Abel, who was my teacher, she did Mirror Window and stuff like that, she was a very, very excellent teacher and she helped shape Leftovers into what it was. It was going to be a very happy ending at first and she kinda said, “What if it... doesn’t end well?” and I said, “Yeah! What if it doesn’t!” And in my opinion it came out to a much better ending.

S: Spoilers. Generally, I tend to think you find a groove with creative work, a pattern that you feel comfortable working in. With you, all of your stuff we’ve seen has been shorter, quicker work. Leftovers #3 was comprised of three short stories. Do you think you are more suited to doing shorter, more compact stories over longer stuff?

JP: I am all over the place. Leftovers 1 was a longer, 20-page story. Leftovers #2 was a short story, my cousin wrote and I drew. I am trying to think of … I had the “Bubblegum Psychos “, and I was thinking about how I wanted to do this - I had all these series, and threw them into 20 page issues of Leftovers. I am going to be doing Leftovers #4 and #5, which is going to be a 2-part 40-page story about a guy wiht anxiety issues--it’s a “meets a girl” type thing--and this time... he’s on medication, so there is a lot of “is the relationship real, or is the medication making it real?” There’s also this superhero character who represents him, representing him in a stable condition. There’s a lot of metaphor and it’s all going on in his head. There’s a whole deconstruction happening in his head, not in the real world.

S: When are those out?

JP: It’ll come out this year--I am working on an issue called “Simon Says”--and then those will be coming out, hopefully before for the next SPX.

S: We look forward to it. One last question--what is one thing you saw at SPX that excited or delighted you?

JP: Went to the David Clowes panel, that’s basically the only thing I’ve done this far. It’s been a busy con. You wonder what these famous people are going to be like, “Man, I hope he’s not an asshole or anything.” And then he turns out to be this amazing dude, which is usually what it is in comic books. He was funny as shit, and said really great and exciting things.