Brief Visits with Great Drummers

oct. 24th, 2012, 4:49pm
submitted a comicstrip to Modern Drummer magazine 3 months ago. just now got a definitive PASS after calling them about 6 or 7 times over the past couple of months. the editor i sent it to said he put my package out for people to check out and they weren’t “feeling it”.

so weird- i felt so sure that it was a no-brainer.
this whole project started a couple of years ago when my own hobby drumming reached a relatively advanced level. i started taking it kind of seriously and pushing myself as a musician. for some reason, along with that came an urge to meet some of my drummer heros. i’m not a comics fanboy really, but in the world of drummers i’m a huge dork!

so i came up with this idea to do brief interviews with drummers, execute the sweetest portions as a 2-pg comicstrip, and sell it to the biggest drummer magazine, Modern Drummer. in my back pocket i held onto the notion that even if MD passed on the strip i’d happily keep doing them and eventually compile them into a deluxe graphic novel. with that in mind, i tried to keep the interviews kind of universal in tone rather than geeky/technical (which doesn’t interest me anyway really).

i ended up enjoying the whole process so much –and getting such strong feedback from non-drummers friends who read the strips– that i started playing with the idea of interviewing my heros in other fields: filmmaking, literature, fine art, etc. i even interviewed one of my favourite filmmakers to this end- Guillermo del Toro, and i have another eyebrow-raiser lined up to sit for me soon.

one thing i learned is that it is FUCKING HARD getting access to celebrities. and these are drummers, not like Britney Spears or Steven Spielberg. and this coming from a guy who has at least SOME modicum of notoriety in my field. in fact, of the three subjects i interviewed, all 3 were secured through some friend connection, however tenuous, or seven degrees of kevin bacony. so to be honest, one of the reasons i really wanted Modern Drummer to pick up the strip was so that they could cut through the shit for me and contact my subjects for me. i have so much respect now for journalists who have to secure interviews with subjects who really couldn’t be bothered- of whom i am one, by the way.

anyways, i’ve been holding off from unveiling these strips until i could announce their appearance in MD, but instead i’ll anti-climactically post them here. i hope you like them! i loved doing them, and i’d like to thank Stanton Moore, Brann Dailor, and Steve Gadd for their generousity. also all the wonderful people who went out of their way to convince those three to spend 40 minutes with me!

just click on the strip to enlarge, and then once it’s open you can enlarge again if you like. to make the 2-pager read better in the blog format, i’ve placed the two pages one over the other.

13 replies
  1. Pete
    Pete says:

    CRIMINAL that they passed, those ignorant assholes. Really surprising too, you’re right, seems like a slam dunk. strange. I absolutely love these and I think you should definitely keep doing interviews like this and eventually compile them. It’s so nice to see you doing narrative (sorta) stuff again, Dave. Makes me pine for Ripple and Crumple and Suckle and Slurple and Burple and Fuckle and all those other ones.
    That Steve Gadd joke kills, btw. Genius!

  2. David Bernal
    David Bernal says:

    So awesome!! I did comic interviews and had a relatively similar experience with distributors seeing them as “weird”. But i think its just the “kid tag” they have, and well, something different/ new is always scary, so its just a matter of time (like with movies based on comics) Oh, but between artists its amazing!! Specially visual artists WITH whom to make the comic/interview. Not just me doing the comic after the fact but making it with whom I am interviewing!! Hey, now I am thinking, I would love to comic interview you Dave! long time fan 🙂 specially about interviews, getting to know someone and get the really good stories is an art! & an interview about interviews sounds funny! What do u say?

  3. Steve Penney
    Steve Penney says:

    Dave, these are fantastic…and such a fresh idea, IMO. I’m blown away that MD didn’t go for it. The Stanton Moore strip is hilarious. So kewl you decided to include the “Teach me Something” excerts…still cracking at the Steve Gadd bit.
    I’d buy a book of these no question. Let me know if they are ever made availalbe…originals too.
    Well done sir.

  4. Carol
    Carol says:

    Golleee Dave bummer indeed and I hope you keep pursuing this… so you can do more interviews and produce that graphics book! I was with a drummer for several years and they really do talk like that – funny and fanciful. I especially like how you wrap it up with the `teach me something`at the end. AND… looking forward to playing with you (and Dave A) in our next Musical Chairs session soon! Carol

  5. gavin
    gavin says:

    Wow, seems like a massive mistake. These are fantastic. Perhaps you were too humble, and they didn’t realise how monumentally awesome you are. their loss, and eventual certain regret.

  6. Anders
    Anders says:

    This mr Cooper is truly awesome! And if it ever appears in a drum magazine it’ll be the coolest thing in music-magazines since Mark Marek worked for Guitar World! I sencerely hope we’ll see this in print someday!

  7. davegraphicsyeah
    davegraphicsyeah says:

    Anders, thank you so much. that’s great to hear! i’m hoping to interview Keith Carlock next week in NYC! fingers crossed. i’m “in talks” with another drum magazine. i’ll keep you all posted if it gets picked up. if not, the fine folks at Fantagraphics want to run them in The Comics Journal along with an interview.

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