Interview with Andra Passen
Andra Passen is super rad, and it’s not just because her comic takes its name from a Lawrence Arms song. In addition to drawing, she’s all about making themed dresses, watching Netflix, and other nerdy things. But don’t take our word for it; read on to find out more.
Interview by Natalye for Silver Sprocket
Tell us about yourself. How did you get involved in As You Were?
I got involved with AYW by just being a big ol’ fan of Mitch Clem. I shared my comics before I felt that they were ready to be shared, and I’m really glad I did!
You make some pretty amazing dresses! How did you get into that?
Thank you! I enjoy thematic dresses so that every day can be a costume party. It really just helps as I count down to Halloween each year. In high school my uniform was a baggy band shirt and jeans. My mother would suggest dresses, [and] then when I stepped out in my first comic book dress I think she was a little appalled with the direction I took. When I look at my growing collection, I remember that a loud wardrobe does not indicate a loud personality or wanting any form of attention—it’s just fun.
Regarding your contribution to As You Were: Living Situations, we’re dying to know what terrible entertainment would we find in your Netflix history.
My Netflix history is super embarrassing! It includes Breaking Bad, The Wire, Lost, The Sopranos, andFirefly. Terrible stuff!
How did you first get into drawing / comics / art?
I had an idea with no skill.
What is your process like?
Sharpie, paper, scanner.
Is there something new or different you’ve been wanting to try or experiment with?
It’s a weird line between defending style and being open to improvement, but I think I would like to take a lesson or learn a computer program. Maybe.
One of the things that stands out in your art is that each new autobiographical drawing features you wearing a different band t-shirt. Is it always the shirt you were wearing when that thing happened, or do you choose your shirt based on how you feel or what you’re listening to?
I choose the shirt half as that nod to the insecure dope I was in high school, but also to correlate with the title of each comic, always being a lyric or song title relating to the theme.
If you had to choose one artistic piece of output of yours (comic or otherwise) that would be representative of who you are to show someone who is not familiar with your work, what would it be?
My comics are definitely the most representative. It’s my diary. I think I keep one or two people who are fully aware of the extent that I worry, so when a few friends read the comics they were surprised when it even hinted at that side of things.
Sometimes the feedback I get is that I write about my husband too much. I remind them again that it’s my diary.
How do your life and your comics inform one another?
By the time I post a comic, it’s usually pretty far removed from the incident I wrote about. It’s a lot of fun to write something in real time, not think about it, then let hindsight kick in by the time it’s uploaded.
Off the top of your head, who are some artists whose work you love that fans of your comics should check out?
Jeffrey Brown was a leading influence. I felt there was this common theme in his work of being awkward in relationships, and I wanted to write about how incredibly awkward I could be when I was single.
What question do you like to be asked / wish you were asked but never were… and what’s the answer?
The answer is 42.
See Andra’s contribution to As You Were: Living Situations by ordering it from the store. Then head over to Crowded Thoughts and Crooked Teeth and click that “Follow” button to make certain you never miss a comic of hers again.