MINI-INTERVIEW: Brady Russell.
(Writer/cartoonist Brady Russell can be found at
1.) How do you avoid categorization as a hipster writer?
BRADY RUSSELL: Man, I hope no one puts me in that category, because I turn hipsters off. If all the non-hipsters look at me and say "he's a hipster" and all the hipsters look at me and say, "he sucks" I'm out of luck with everyone, aren't I? Honestly, I just don't think about it. Beyond that, I don't know that I've made enough of a mark for anyone to put me in any category, but it will be a milestone when someone does.
2.) Do you place too much faith in new technology?
BRADY: I get excited by everything. I can convince myself to try painting, drawing, movie making, theater... but the Internet is this still largely unchartered territory. Sure, a lot is entrenched out there, but new things keep upsetting the way things worked. Remember MySpace? Remember when it was the biggest site in the world? Now it's a hasbeen. That was 4 years ago! For those of us in the underground, the Internet presents a chance to make a mark. The problem for me, though, really, is choosing a format and a medium I want to really give the old college try to and sticking with it. At the end of the day, though, it's just a medium for promotion. Of course you need to create something compelling for people to see and read.
3.) What are your writing strengths that set you off from the pack?
BRADY: I wish I knew. I just finished listening to Steve Martin's audiobook of BORN STANDING UP for the second time. It's all about how he participated in inventing the "new comedy." I've been trying to invent a new humor myself, though I don't think I've successfully exported it to a fictional story yet. It's something that I can do on-the-fly, when talking to people (or myself). There's a way I think it can be done on the page, but that part of my brain doesn't click in as well when I'm writing. It's the humor of not-quite-logic: things that almost seem to make sense but don't when you look closely. It yields a quizzical sort of bemusement, rather than the rather played humor of beat-beat-pause-beat, the rimshot or any other traditional joke.
Non-fiction is tempting. I also read Matthew Josephson's LIFE AMONG THE SURREALISTS. It's about his time with the avant-garde, but also how he was an avant-garde poet who eventually realized that his real strength was writing biographies. I know that I can write about complex political and economic subjects in ways that make sense to normal people, but it doesn't exactly get my skin tingling to think of
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Answer halted for far exceeding word limit. Sorry!)
(Brady Russell is a community organizer in Philadelphia.)