An Interview with Blake

Jennifer Wei
Journalism 1, Mrs Morris
02/04/2000

Q: Why do people call you Blake?
A: Really it's Amanda Cynthia, but when they make the list of names for girls born in 1985, Amanda is so going to be in the top ten.
Q: Cynthia's not bad, though.
A: "Cynthia Blakely" is my mom.
Q: Oh. Right. "Junior"?
A: If you try, I'll feed you to the Anthropophagous Mice.
Q: Anthropophagous mice.
A: They take really small bites, but there's a lot of them.
Q: Wouldn't you need gynophagous mice for me?
A: Nah. Anthro- is people; andro- would be just men. Who probably deserve special mice with blunt teeth, come to think of it.
Q: Uh. No wonder people say you're a lesbian. Um...
A: No. Next question.
Q: So what do you have against men?
A: It's hereditary. My mom got knocked up when she was in college and the guy ditched her. If uncle Larry hadn't sent her money to fly back here, I'd have been born God knows where in Israel.
Q: Ow, harsh. So she was going to college in Israel?
A: No, it was a summer vacation thing: visiting the ancestral homeland, experiencing life outside America, sleeping with rat bastards.
Q: Right. So you're Jewish?
A: Technically, I guess. But who my ancestors were four thousand years ago isn't really as important as who I am now.
Q: So you don't keep kosher or anything?
A: <points> Yah, this is a special kosher cheeseburger.
Q: Er, sorry. Maybe we should talk about the mice some more.
A: "At Night, They Come".
Q: Excuse me?
A: Dub-dub-dub dot at night they come dot com! Read it! Love it! Give me money!
Q: Uh, are we allowed to advertise?
A: Morris [journalism teacher, Takeuchi HS] didn't say we couldn't, did she?
Q: I guess not... Okay, what is "At Night, They Come"?
A: It's a comic strip that I publish on-line, three or four strips a week.
Q: Oh, cool. Like Sluggy Freelance and stuff?
A: Yah, only not lame.
Q: Can you tell our listeners a bit about it?
A: Sure. It's a fantastical romantic comedy, set in the Witching hour, an hour of time that happens exactly at midnight, that only certain people get to experience. It's about a fourteen-year-old girl named Lepidoptera--
Q: <interrupting> Lepidoptera?!
A: It's Latin for "butterfly". Kind of.
Q: I'm not going to ask.
A: See, you're trainable. Anyway, Lepidoptera has a sort of passively horrible life, soul-killing windowless school, parents who never let her out because the boogieman might get her, that sort of thing. So she escapes into the Witching Hour, when the world is empty of humans, but full of ghosts and witches and cats and dark elves.
Q: So that's why elves live so long; they only live one hour a day?
A: Right, and the whole hollow hill thing where you come back after one night of partying and find that your family is long dead and stuff.
Q: But that would only be what, eight or ten days in the real world?
A: It's always night in the Witching Hour. How long did that party really last? And how much elven moonshine did you drink?
Q: I've had nights like that...
A: I admit to nothing.
Q: <laughter>
Q: I see the fantasy and I guess with a star named Lipidoptera you can't avoid comedy... where's the romance?
A: Oh, the Witching Hour is dripping with hunks. And babes. Elves all look like models, and there's the ghost of a guy who was murdered by a jealous husband, and some of the cats take human form... oh, and there's a witch-girl who's hot for Lepidoptera, or else wants to sacrifice her to the dark gods. Maybe both.
Q: Are you sure--
A: <interrupting> Yes, I'm sure. Why? Are you asking me out?
Q: Uh.
Q: So, um, would you classify "At Night, They Come" as biting social commentary, or escapist fantasy?
A: Good save. Anyway, I'd say it's escapist social commentary disguised as biting fantasy.
Q: <laughter> Covering all the bases, huh?
A: I'm just versatile, I guess.
Q: I see we're almost out of time; just a couple more questions?
A: Sure.
Q: Why did you decide to publish on the web? Doesn't that make your work less accessible?
A: No, it makes it more accessible. Print is expensive; that's why it's dying. It's hard to break into print media, and hard to get it to people 'cause you have to charge them; I got my cousin's old iMac for free and the connection only costs twenty bucks a month, and anyone with a computer can read ANTC for the price of looking at a couple of banner ads. There's no way I could get enough paper circulation to even get everyone in this school, and how many people are going to cough up cash for a photocopied comic by some high-school chick?
Q: Antsie?
A: Ay En Tee Cee.
Q: Oh, right.
Q: Well, that's about all we have time for. Thank you, Blake.
A: Thank you, Jennifer.

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