What got you interested in comics? Any cartoonists that you look up to?
Tandy: I got interested in comics in a big way when I was in HighSchool after I turned 16 and my dad finally let me check out his secret stash of alternative comics from the 80’s and 90’s. It was really exciting to see comics that weren’t just about smut and superheroes. (Although I do appreciate both of those things.) Later on, when I started buying my own comics, I was really crazy about Chris Ware, Chester Brown, Daniel Clowes and Peter Bagge.
Can you tell us a little about your comic? How does it speak to the theme of the anthology (uncharted territory/unversed)?
Tandy: My comic is a retelling of how I learned to deal with my father’s death, or rather… how I gradually came to realize that absence, loss and grief change everything permanently. Losing a parent at young age, while not rare, is a road less traveled for many and is an uncharted experience for everyone.
What was the inspiration behind your story?
Tandy: I’d been wanting to use comics to suss out my own grief since my dad passed away but it was still such a huge paradigm shift for me (made even more vivid and weird because it was not a paradigm shift for anyone else) that making a comic about it wasn’t really possible for me. Having had some time to process, has provided me with insights and perspectives that have finally allowed me to articulate my experience in a relatable and more meaningful way.
What challenges arose during the course of this project? Takeaways?
Tandy: It’s really easy to come off as emotionally manipulative when you’re telling a personal story because there is an impulse to be over indulgent in recounting a painful loss. But I realized that I might be able to mitigate some of that if I wasn’t too precious during the editing process. We’ll see if I was successful in not being too schmaltzy with it.
Can we expect more comics beyond this project? Where can we find more of your work?
Tandy: I hope so :-)