From a reader (September 2007)


I live in Argentina, South America. My english is not so fluent or correct, so sorry for that. I will write the best I can.

On april 2005 I travelled to the States, on my honeymoon. It was my first and only time there. Y stayed in NY.

In a huge comic shop near the Empire State building, i accidentaly came to your “Big Questions” comics. The first two numbers. There were thousands of comics there and I hadn´t read not one of them before. But your comic caught my attention immediately. I wasn´t a comic collector by then. I didn´t know what Fantagraphics and Drawn and Quarterly meant. In my country I only got access to european authors (Tintin, Ásterix, Lucky Luke) or manga (Dragon Ball). I was a newcomer in this new world of alternative comics. Although I have been reading comics all of my life.
And of all of those comics there, your talking birds spoke to me first.
When i got back to my country, in the following years to come, you became a great artist, well known in the indy world, and me, i started my own comics also. And I started heavy comic reading (mail helped)
Then, after reading all your work, I came to “Don´t go where I can´t follow” and to “The End”. I knew what happened to you before I started reading those. And it is the worst nightmare I can imagine myself, so I think I can understand you. In a way.
I have read “The End” now and your recent interview and profile in the Chicago Reader.
“The End” made me cry. That interview made me cry. It went through. Your feelings went through. They reached so far as the last country in South America. There has been a communication.
And I think that is what this two comics are about.
I have been thinking recently that the reason for which I make art, the main reason, is communication, and expression. In other words, sharing that expression.
Art may have other “ends” i suppose: entertainment, fame, money, glory, self esteem, etc. But I think authentic expression and communication is the one i like most.
Your work in this two books means that for me.
Your expression has been communicated. And it reached, I think, it has reached a lot of people by now.
And perhaps if we, the people in the world, share something like this, we can get, together, a small glimpse of understanding of the whole absurdity of life. So it helps you, and it helps others too.
That´s why I also wanted to share this letter. I hope it doesn´t bother you.
Thanks for sharing Anders. It makes you a great artist, but most of all, a great human.
I won´t forget that comic, ever.

I hope you get well and you can recover your lost future.

Pablo Holmberg