• Steven Heller

An Idea About A Story About An Idea

Joakim Drescher is a new face with a familiar name on the artist book and comics scene. Son of Henrik Drescher, Joakim is carving a place for himself in the image world. His books run the gamut from a classic comic approach to the more eclectic. But all have an edge that mixes surreal storytelling and graphics. I recommend his most recent Motel Universe, described as such: “A fugitive Race! Meet the Skins, hunted and poached for their precious hides by the rich and famous. Watch them run for their lives pursued by the ghost of Caligula and his goons on a jungle planet.” But I am most keen on The Idea, which I’ve excerpted below and asked Joakim to briefly discuss.

What triggered the idea?

Mmm … well, I’m a fan of this English writer named Magnus Mills who writes about ordinary people and working men trapped in absurd and dull social power structures … (he’s a must read) … so somehow I guess I borrowed some of the mood of the book from him. Not really sure why i made it—it was a quick one, done in a week and forgotten in a drawer for two years.

What inspired you to make books?

My dad’s [Henrik Drescher] a children’s book author/artist book maker and has been creating beautiful hand-bound sketchbooks since he was very young. He uses them as file cabinets/time capsules for his work. I don’t really make sketchbooks, but am drawn to the completion/tidiness of putting different worlds into their different boxes. Also, growing up, both my mom and dad collected books, most notably I remember seeing RAW magazine at the age of 15 or so and being blown away (E-U-R-E-K-A!). Mark Beyer, Gary Panter, Jonathon Rosen, Tomi Ungerer’s ‘Fornicon’ and the Chicago imagists were some of my first inspirations.

How much of what your father has done has rubbed off on you?

Hard to say, maybe [it’s] easier to see from the outside. A lot, I guess? My sister and brother are also working in this field and we are often told that there is a signature style, dad calls it “the family business” and that our stuff looks/feels similar.

How would you describe your style or approach to images?

I try not to get hung up with style, [trying] to do each book in a slightly different way so as not to get too bored with myself. For the past couple years, I’ve been working on long books—100 or so page graphic novels, which is a lot of fun and keeps my head to the grindstone. When working on a book, I don’t really plan things out. I just start working directly on whatever it is, one chunk at a time, relaxed, no hurry. Three to four hours a day.

What’s next?

I’m currently working on a sort of sequel to my last graphic novel Motel Universe—maybe a sequel to ”The idea”? Who knows?

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