Saturday, July 31, 2010

Two Minutes with Charlie Kochman

When I finished my Mom's Cancer webcomic, printed it all out, and shoved it into an envelope addressed to "Dear Editor," it landed on Charlie Kochman's desk. Now the executive editor of Abrams ComicArts, Charlie had been hired by publisher Harry N. Abrams specifically to develop a graphic novel/pop culture line, and Mom's Cancer was the first project he signed. A couple of years later, Charlie was again my editor on Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow. In gratitude, I fed him to a giant prairie dog.

(By the way, in my humble opinion, "furious buck-toothed justice" may be the best three words I've ever strung together.)

Walking around Comic-Con with Charlie is like walking through Little Italy with the Godfather. You can't go five steps without someone stepping up to renew an acquaintance, beg a favor, or pay tribute. He knows everyone and has introduced me to some of the greats in the business. If Charlie vouched for me, I was in. Most importantly, if I'm ever stranded in Manhattan by another blizzard of the century, I know whose sofa I can sleep on.

Here's two minutes with my friend Charlie:

In the first half of the interview, I sidetracked Charlie into a discussion of Wacky Packages--which is just one minor example of dozens of cool books he's overseen--while trying to make the point that his experience and connections allow him to hook up great people with interesting projects, a valuable skill and part of what makes him good at his job. Which I wouldn't take for anything.

As for the second half of the interview, well . . . I always thought I was special. I thought we had something. Sniff. I still love you, man. Thanks for everything.

EDITED TO ADD: At the risk of ruining the gag, it's a gag. I think that's obvious--the camera shakes because I was laughing during the recording--but I'm explaining it now because I don't want anyone to think ill of Charlie. We're good friends joking around, and this is my favorite interview.



sligo said...

made me chuckle vigorously...and, gosh, he just tried so hard to make sure he mentioned all the people he cared about, didn't he.

love the "Oh" revelation at the end, right after you say "Thanks for nothing."

ronnie said...

Editor Charlie for the win! Excellent way to end of your series of two-minute interviews (which I've enjoyed enormously). Too bad he couldn't think of a single other project that stood out for him :)

(As an aside, web video can be very hard for me with my hearing disability. You did an excellent job of getting good, clear audio - I had no problem understanding these interviews, which was a treat.)

Mike said...

Great edit. You almost let him off the hook, but what fun would that be???

Kenney Mencher said...

Wow! This is pretty cool. Thanks for posting it. I'm trying to pitch a book right now and it's nice to know about other people's experiences.