A Candid Interview with Eli Stone
- by Sally Vacuum for NewsTeam l7
ES: Eli Stone
SV: This is Sally Vacuum, live
in the lobby of the newly completed Altitudinous
Building, where local media is swarming to catch
a glimpse of The City's newest citizen, Eli
Stone. I am happy to report, that the tireless
efforts of NewsTeam 17 have gotten us an
exclusive interview with Mr. Stone. Which we will
bring to you live, as it happens.
And here he comes now: "sort of a tall, bald
man in dark green prescription glasses sauntering
like a wanton Girl Scout peddling poisoned
grasshopper cookies." Who wrote
this <expletive deleted>?
SV: Hi, Sally Vacuum, NewsTeam
17. The City wants to know: Who is Eli Stone?
ES: Aaahm... Me.
SV: Yes, I know. Could you expand on
ES: Well, Sally, I'm just a 26 year old
guy who works really hard at what he does. I may
not be the best but it's not for lack of trying.
SV: And what exactly is it that you do?
ES: Oh, I thought you knew. I'm
a comic book writer and artist.
SV: And that means...?
ES: You know, comic books. Like the
funny pages, only 25 pages long.
SV: Intriguing. What is your formal
ES: My dad's an excellent wildlife
artist and I'm sure that has had an influence on
me. And I did go to Mass College of Art for one
year but I mostly drank beer while I was there.
For the most part I'm self taught. As for the
writing, I have no experience whatsoever.
SV: And how did you get into this funny
ES: That's an interesting story. About
two years ago, right after I got back from a trip
to Japan, I began having serious difficulty
breathing. I constantly felt as if I was being
strangled by invisible hands. It was the most
difficult time of my life to date. That went on
for about 18 months. I was fired from three jobs
and saw twelve doctors but no one could tell me
what the hell was wrong with me. During that
time, out of pure desperation, I began drawing
cartoons of myself in cathartically happy
situations. These funny cartoons ballooned,
unintentionally, into a 26 page comic book called
"The Comic." Well, I had
gone that far, so I figured I'd blow a month's
rent on printing it up with a color cover. I sold
it at local comic shops, one of which was New
England Comics, Allston. I owe a lot to the
manager of that store, Bob Mayo, who asked me if
he could send a copy to the main office as a
submission. The rest is... you know. By the way,
it turns out I have panic disorder. I'm much
SV: So, you're saying you're mentally
ES: Yes, clinically.
SV: You mentioned a trip to Japan. Do
you speak Japanese?
ES: Yes. I'm self taught.
SV: How long were you there?
ES: Three months, which wasn't easy considering
I had no real place to stay. I was constantly scrambling
for a bed or a couch.
SV: Do you like segues?
SV: That's nice. What's your favorite book?
ES: I don't read. Anything... Ever.
SV: Favorite film?
ES: There are so many great movies, that's hard
to say. Among my tops would be "Touch of Evil,
Kurosawa's "High and Low," "Raging
Bull," and Hitchcock's "Rope." But I
really like comedies, too. I love Steve Martin when he's
at his dopiest; "The Man With Two Brains," oh,
and "The Jerk" is a master work! And then
there's Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles,"
"High Anxiety," and, of course, "Young
Frankenstein." And you can't forget "So I
Married an Axe Murderer." And then there's-
SV: Whoah, downshift, tiger!
ES: Sorry, Sally. Hey, I'm on TV, too, yaknow!
SV: Do tell.
ES: Yeah, I've been on MTV every Sunday night
for the past three years. I'm a sort of head model in the
opening sequence to a show called "120 Minutes.
- SV: Fascinating, really. So, who
are your favorite artists?
ES: Well, I've never been a serious
comic book collector but I've always been a big
fan of Brian Bolland, for his precision, and Bill
Sienkiewicz, for his unique style and freedom. I
also like Japanese comics, but I have to read
them very slowly, using an English-Japanese
SV: I see. But what about real art?
ES: "Real" art?
SV: Yes, you know it hangs on walls in
museums, winds up on coffee tables in large books
ES: Oh, you mean fine art? Generally, I
hate it. I mean, I can appreciate realism for its
technical skill but I find most modern art to be
pretentious. Or maybe I'm just too narrow minded
to get it. But I do like Carravagio and Egon
Shiele. They were both real sickos!
SV: What musical bands do you listen to?
ES: Currently I listen to "Mercury
Rev," "Stereolab," "The Red
House Painters," and an excellent local band
called "Chevy Heston."
SV: Favorite foods?
ES: I'll eat almost anything. I like
Mexican a lot. And Japanese, especially eel. And
I love to go to a good Japanese restaurant that
has those recessed tables with the grill on top
so you can cook your own meat. Hot diggety!
SV: Are you a collector of anything in
ES: Well, I like Japanese toys--but I'm
SV: Is there a history of heart disease
in your family?
ES: What? No.
SV: Just between you, me and the lamp
post, I bet you're a big drinker, huh? You artist
types like that sort of fast living, right?
ES: No, I don't drink or do drugs. I
don't even use caffeine! To be honest, it's not
by choice. It's for my mental health. I do smoke,
SV: Oh, I get it--the "wacky
ES: No, Sally, no. Cigarettes. I'd like
to quit sometime soon, when my head's screwed on
right. I've been surrounded by smokers all my
life; my parents, my friends, girlfriends,
SV: So, you're a musician as well?
ES: Used to be. I played bass for a long
while and then moved on to singing.
SV: Any other hobbies enlightened
Channel 17 viewers might like to know about?
ES: I enjoy so many things. I build
models and have had limited success selling
highly polished papier
SV: Do you play sports?
ES: <chuckle> <cough>
SV: What's your sign?
ES: Long walks on the beach and bear
ES: Bad breath and people who talk too
SV: Do you like the ladies?
SV: Play the ponies?
SV: Roll with the punches?
SV: Who loves ya, baby?
ES: You're losing me.
SV: And what is the name of the funny
book you're working on now?
ES: It's called "The Tick: Big Blue
SV: I hope you didn't just say The
ES: I did. It's going to be tons of fun
for readers of all--
SV: That... That oafish, blue...
ES: Yes, he's a great character to write
for and I think--
SV: This interview is over! Turn off the
camera, Adolph. The Tick's that guy that cost us
the Pulitzer with the "Running Guy"
ES: Well, thanks for your--
SV: Go away! Adolph-
UO: <short static sound>
- For additional Transcripts or to arrange Sally
Vacuum personal appearances write to:
17 News Plaza
The City, ST, 99998
or Call KL5-1700
- From "The Ticks Back" Issue Zero,
August 1997, by New
Reprinted without permission...