The following is an interview with legendary writer/artist Bob Fingerman regarding the recent launch of a Zoop crowdfunding campaign for the hardcover art book, That’s Some Business You’re In, on the 40th anniversary of his career in comics. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Fingerman about the experience of revisiting his work, what readers can anticipate in terms of backer rewards, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: You recently launched a Zoop crowdfunding campaign for your hardcover art book, That’s Some Business You’re In. As you look ahead to the combined collection, what has been your experience in revisiting your body of work?
Bob Fingerman: Wow. So far, it’s been an interesting experience. You think it’ll be a nice stroll down Memory Lane, but then there’s one triggering thing after another. Not necessarily a bad experience, mind you. But definitely fraught with punji traps of your past. I’ve been really good about holding onto almost everything from my creative life, dating back to when I was literally a toddler. So, you know, you open this one folder and it’s like: I remember sprawling on the floor of Dad’s apartment drawing this. Then it’s like: and he had those click-pens with the Western Electric logo on them. Or this job, or that job. Spirals of past experience. Here’s my high-class reference, but it’s been very Proustian. But don’t test me on that. And then there are large amounts of work I did in my art school years I have absolutely no recollection of doing. I was pretty prolific. The energy of youth.
BD: Over the past 40 years, your work has spanned the pages of the most well-known publishers and publications. Was there anything in particular about the sequential art medium that attracted you more than other artistic media?
BF: The ability to tell visual stories was always appealing. It combined the two things I loved doing most: drawing and writing, so it really wasn’t up for debate what I’d be pursuing. I mean, I’d also love to have done movies—and it’s not too late—but as a control freak, comics let me tell those stories without committee think and budget worries.
BD: In revisiting your work, was there anything new or intriguing that you took away from the material that you hadn’t anticipated when originally creating it?
BF: I’m not sure about that, but I always did the best I could at the time. I am pretty beastly when it comes to looking at my own work with kind eyes. I see every flaw, everything I wish I’d done better. But this time, especially since I need this to be an honest career overview, I have been detaching myself, a bit; trying to look more objectively at the work, as if it was done by someone else. And it’s made me see more merit than before. And I am especially aware of the passion that went into so much of it. I had a combination of chip on my shoulder and a lot to prove, so even if I didn’t always stick the landing, I really went for it. And, truth is, even the earliest stuff has a lot going for it.
BD: Are there any specific backer rewards that you’re most excited about with the campaign and wish to share with readers?
BF: I’m hoping we can do some cool add-ons, like enamel pins and art prints. Maybe a tee-shirt or two? And there will be some pretty unique stuff I can only tease here. And of course, stretch goals to add more pages or supplements. The book is going to be a pretty massive collection, already, but more is better!
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
BF: I just completed a brand-new graphic novel, but can’t divulge much at this time. And also a heavily updated and improved version of an older title. I know, I know: I can’t leave my older stuff as is. But trust me, this is a better book. And smarter, by a lot. And I already have a sequel in mind for the new GN, as well as a few series I’d love to find homes for.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about That’s Some Business You’re In?
BF: To use the lingo, follow me on all the socials: Instagram (bobfingerman), X (ugh, come on, it’s Twitter), Threads, and Facebook. (There’s a public page called Bob Fingerman – Cartoonist & Author). And, of course, Zoop, who are running the campaign! I really encourage everyone already familiar with my work to sign up, and for those unacquainted, what better way than a super-deep dive into every facet of a forty-year career (plus the childhood and teen years preceding it)?