Interview with Meg Has Issues
We’re really into Meg’s art and her cat obsession, but we’re also really into her realness. Find out what she’s been doing (and what’s been bumming her out), what kind of asshole antics the cats in her life have been up to, and how comics have helped her relate to people and find her place in the world.
Interview by Natalye for Silver Sprocket
What have you been doing since we last talked to you?
Mostly just working my ass off. I now work even more jobs—one of them in a comic shop, and one as an assistant to another artist, and I still work for myself making comics and other horrible things. I’ve been struggling a lot with feeling like I’m not good enough and not in the right place. So to combat that, I’m trying to fix the things I don’t like about me and about the way the art business works down here (Atlanta). Hopefully by next year I’ll be in a place that works better for me both literally and figuratively.
Your newest project is dating through comics, which is such a rad and unique idea! Can you explain it a bit more for us?
Now that it’s been out there for awhile, I feel kinda stupid for starting the project. So, long story short, there was a relationship I had years ago that still kinda sticks in my mind as being as close to perfect as you can get. We both loved comics, and most of the time we spent together—the times that were happiest—were when we drew jam comics together. Everything was great… except for me. I was really unstable and messed it up. I’ve spent the time since then getting myself together, and even after all that, I still miss the feeling of having something that’s such a big part of my life that I can share completely with someone else.
So yeah, the whole project has been kind of a weird attempt to get that feeling back or at least have fun while I’m dealing with the feelings from that stuff. I’m not even looking for a partner; for the most part, I just wanted to connect to people again, and that’s something I struggle with unless it’s through comics.
I put up the info online for what I’m looking for. It’s basically that I thought it would be fun to draw a jam comic as a date, kinda like a pseudo romantic version of James Kochalka‘s Conversation series. I’ve gotten maybe 20 submissions, and out of those, only maybe 3 or 4 have been other cartoonists.
I know I should be responding more and finishing these, but a lot of the situations that have come out of these are not comfortable for me. I feel like I made a mistake leaving myself so open and being so up front about everything, but I don’t like being fake. It’s led to a lot of problems with people crossing boundaries or getting aggressive. I’ve received more emails of people calling me an attention whore and or a bitch than I have submissions. I’ve had people think that if I respond, it’s an obligation that I start an exclusive relationship with them.
I don’t know if I’m going to continue or if I should just take it down or if it’ll ever come to anything. Sorry to be such a downer. It sounds like a fun project and I think it would be with the right people. I just don’t know if or when that’s ever going to happen.
[Editor’s Note: Anyone being a jerk here is a way overly entitled shitbag that needs to quit ruining Nice Things for the rest of us. If you can’t learn some basic human decency, please fuck off forever.]
What is your dream date?
This is actually a hard one for me. I don’t really go on dates very often. I’d like to say something cool like “doing something neither of us has done before” or “having an adventure.” Honestly, I’m more of the “let’s grab coffee and draw or work on a project together” type. I think the last date I went on that I’d call a “dream date” was just me bringing over cookies and milk and we snuggled on the couch watching cartoons.
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?
Uhh… that’s another tough one. Honestly, the piece of work that I love the most and put the most of myself into is Open In Case Of Emergency, but unless I know it’s something that the person I’m suggesting it to can handle, I don’t recommend it. It can be a bit of an intense read. There’s a reason why I’ve only printed bits and pieces of the full book so far. It’s still a work in progress and it’s nothing but what I feel and what I struggle with.
As for what actually seems to represent me as an artist… usually people just point at me and go “You’re the cat lady, right?"
You’ve said that your life “revolves around comics.” What makes you excited about comics / making art in general? How do your life and your comics inform one other?
I’ve always had trouble making friends and relating to other people. I never really fit in completely. I could fake it pretty well, but I never really felt like I was wanted. Books helped me escape that. I’ve also always had problems with not feeling good enough. There was a lot of pressure on me to be good at sports or to get good grades and I just wasn’t.
The only thing I was good at or received any real reaction from was art. So when I discovered comics, something just clicked. It was something I finally felt that I was good at that allowed me to communicate with other people without getting misunderstood. I feel like comics allow you to interact with people in a way that no other medium besides maybe music really can. It’s a full connection that you can take your time with, to put everything you are out there with, and if you’re lucky, maybe someone else will feel that connection too.
I guess the main way my life has become inseparable from my comics is that I find it really hard to communicate fully without them anymore, especially when it comes to dealing with my symptoms. I can explain to someone what’s going on when I have a swing or flashbacks or a panic attack, but they may not be in the right place to understand or may get distracted by the physical things going on. If I show them a comic about what I’m going through, it seems to help them understand more.
In our last interview, you talked about how much you love cats, and of course the cats in Cat Therapy say really lovely and encouraging things… but your comic in AYW #4says the cats are assholes. So how do you REALLY feel about cats?
I love cats. Mostly I love my cat. She’s the best. My old roommates’ cats, not so much. They really were assholes—one of the MANY reasons I now live alone and will continue to do so for as long as I possibly can.
What is the most asshole thing your cat (or the cats of your roommates) has/have ever done?
The worst thing my cat has ever done is actually pretty hilarious. She is extremely attached to me and gets upset if I don’t spend enough time with her. So I was out of town for awhile and had just gotten back. I fell asleep like I normally do, on my stomach. Dot somehow managed to get in my room and throw up exactly in the cup of my feet so that I could not get out of bed or move without getting cat vomit all over my bed. I was actually pretty impressed at that.
My old roommates’ cats just broke everything… or at least I think they did. I’m starting to have my doubts. My roommates used to blame everything of mine that was broken (on) the cats. I know they constantly ate my bread and chewed on my power cables, but I doubt some of the other stuff.
Off the top of your head, who are some artists whose work you love that fans of your comics should check out?
If I listed out everyone I wanted to, this interview would be five feet long. Since I work in a comic shop now, I get my hands on a lot of cool stuff. If I have to keep it to a few notable picks (aside from all my buddies at Silver Sprocket who I recommend everyday), I’d say Sam Spina, Andy Hirsch, Sophie Campbell, and Isabella Rotman.
Sam is literally the nicest guy in comics. He draws some amazing work. Some people might have picked up some of the things he’s been doing for cartoon-related titles, but his solo work is amazing. If you don’t laugh after reading Sheriff, something is wrong with you.
Andy draws some amazing books. The thing that makes me a huge fan of his is his crazy detailed mini comics. I’ve never seen anyone play with format the way he does to create beautiful functional comics.
Sophie Campbell is my favorite artist, hands down. I picked up her work when I was in college and haven’t been able to put it down since. She draws the most amazing people. I am completely in love with the way she draws women.
Isabella Rotman is ridiculously cool. She draws funny and informative comics about sex and consent. They’re gorgeous too. Please go check her out.
What question do you like to be asked / wish you were asked but never were… and what’s the answer?
Um… Do you want to be friends and watch cartoons? Hell Yes!
What are you waiting for? Go check out Meg’s website, and maybe send a (non-asshole, non-creepy date comic), but don’t forget to also grab a copy (or two) of As You Were: Living Situations.