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PANELED: PICTURES OF YOU

PoY Cover

AUTHOR | Gibson Twist
GENRE | Drama
UPDATES | Mon Wed Fri
HOME | picturesofyoucomic.com

In a time when the social lives of 20-somethings has been popularly reduced to trivialities and barbarism (thanks MTV), Pictures of You is a refreshingly real story about young folk figuring shit out the way we all do. It starts with one country boy learning to fuck, fight and smoke at college and expands into something much bigger. Twist’s art is solid, but it’s his writing and characters that really make him stand out in a web full of one-off’s. Here’s my interview with the mysterious Mr. Twist.

Is Gibson Twist your real name? It’s a bad-ass name.

Gibson Twist is not my real name. I don’t think it’s anybody’s real name, actually, which is part of why I love it so much. It’s like being a Tigger, I’m the only one. I also used to drink gibsons, and I preferred them with a a zest or twist of lime. I’d originally envisioned the name for my apocryphal career as a DJ, but I liked it so much that it stuck as a pen name.

Most webcomics draw digitally. Why do you stick to hand-drawn?

I like the feel of paper. I like the romance, for lack of a better term, of working with ink and pens. It’s mostly that I enjoy having an original work that I can hold in my hand or hang on my wall. There simply is no replacement for that with digital art.

I see all the benefits of working digitally, and as much as I joke about someone’s entire body of work being wiped out by a well-placed magnet, I don’t fault anyone for working that way. Still, folks who do that will never know the perverse joy of seeing what a stack of several hundred sheets of their own art looks like.

Plus, I’m not very good with a tablet.

What made you pick the college setting for PoY?

The college setting was a convenient tool to launch the story, more of a skeleton to hang things. The age and relationships of the characters made it almost necessary. I think it’s a mistake to call it a college story, though, since many of the characters aren’t students, and the school is just one among many backdrops.

In the first couple versions of the story, the school wasn’t even present, and everyone was just in their early 20s, hanging out and wasting their lives. The more I got into the story, the more I realized how untrue this rang, and that at their ages, at least some of them needed to be students.

On top of that, the real life events that inspired the story began during my own university experience, even though the events that spawned it happened later.

Do you have an intended date for completing the story? It seems like it has to come full circle pretty soon.

I don’t have a specific date for finishing, no. There are a few factors that prevent it, not the least of which being I haven’t finished scripting the story. What I can say is that we’re only about a third of the way through so far. It’s often funny to see people talking like the end is nigh when there is so much left to happen. The comic should continue updating for several years yet.

When the end comes, I think a lot of people will be smiling, but it won’t be quite as sing-along some readers will want. The end will be like life, a balance of good and bad, relief and disappointment. When all is said and done, the series will be a sum of its parts, and whether it’s been happy or sad will rely on what the reader is looking for, if anything.

If it is ending, what’s next for you?

Lately, I’ve been playing in my head with the idea of doing another webcomic on my own. It’s very formative right now, and it may not happen, but it will be much less formal than Pictures of You, much more of a vanity project.

It might be a sketchy journal comic, it might be a photocomic with fruit. Both ideas have equal merit in my head right now.

Single malt or blended?

I’m going to restrain my answer here. You have no idea the Pandora’s Box that you opened with that question. The short answer is that I have no preference. I like the taste of a good single malt, but blends are by no means inferior. Whiskey functions best as a ticket to inebriation, and the single-malt snobbery is just a way for snobs to feel snobby about getting blitzed. I’ve been tree-climbing drunk on Glenmorangie and I’ve nursed a rocks glass of Teacher’s. Truth is, they are both fine spirits and most people couldn’t tell the difference anyway. Yes, believe it or not, that is the short answer.

But, really, my tastes in booze are wide. I’ve been on a spiced rum kick lately, and I’m a fan of a good bourbon. I’ve spent a lot of time carousing with vodkas of questionable character and I’ll chat up a flirtatious tequila from time to time. The trick with any kind of alcohol is to know how much you can’t handle. If you’re going to drink, you should look at the drinking as a journey, not drunkenness as a destination.

DIG TWIST’S OTHER WORK: OUR TIME IN EDEN W/ BEN STEEVES AND LOOK OUT FOR FUTURE WORKS CURVED SPACE & LITTLE EARTHQUAKES W/ RORI.

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