Q: Hello, Paul. You’re looking well.
Gilligan: That’s because I just won a bet with a friend and I’m gloating. Unlike most people, gloating actually makes me more attractive.
Q: You’re widely known in the industry as having a deep-rooted hatred of all other cartoonists. Can you elaborate?
see, that’s a typical example of the media blowing things out of
proportion. What I said was “I hate all cartoonists
who club baby seals,” but of course they edit the sound bite it to make it
sound like I hate all cartoonists. It’s
all about entertainment dollars, it’s not about the truth. I couldn’t possibly hate all other
cartoonists. But they do all smell bad.
Q:. Pooch Café started with (RIP)
Copley Syndicate … did you hear anything from the other syndicates on your
Gilligan: Copley died? I didn’t…. I never heard about that. I can account for my whereabouts, though. I did hear from a few other syndicates, Jay Kennedy thought the idea of dogs and humans communicating would confuse readers. I listed about 60 examples of animals and humans communicating in comics but he said none of them were financially successful. I also heard from the L.A. Times, they said they liked Pooch but wanted to see it with “more action.” Universal Press, the greatest syndicate in the world, remained suspiciously quiet during this time.
Q. How did you come to Universal?
after 3 years of working with the now dead Copley (I didn’t do it), astute and
dapper Universal editor John Glynn saw the galleys of the first Pooch Café book
collection and, as legend has it, the
walls shook with the booming of his mighty laughter. Of course legends tend to get blown out of
proportion. Perhaps he merely wet his
Q. How do you deal with the fame?
do you really know if you’ve reached the level of “fame”? I ask myself that often, so every few weeks I
go to a
porno theater with dark glasses on to see if I get
arrested. Nothing yet.
(editor’s note: we did have to edit
Paul’s answer for a family audience)
Q:. You have a blog that’s actually well-done. How does that work?
Gilligan: I do things well.
Q. You’re known for your impromptu
rapping? Can you riff a bit for us?
Gilligan: I could teach you, but I’d have to chee-arrrrrge. I hate police.
Q. Name five comic strips you loathe:
Gilligan: You know what’s delicious on corn-on-the-cob instead of butter? Lime juice and chili powder. Especially in summer. Try it!
Q. So you have a movie deal at
Sony? What’s the latest? Live action or animated?
Gilligan: As far as I know it’s always been under consideration as an animated movie. And thank heaven, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for any more live action animals with computer animated mouths in this world.
The latest is that the Sony execs like the treatment I wrote, and we should be moving to the script stage in the new year. We are coming up on the third year anniversary of the day they first approached us, just to give you an idea of the glaciality of the process (I know it’s not a word, John, just let me have this one).
Q: What is the best part of being a cartoonist? Worst?
Gilligan: The best part about being a cartoonist is getting to work in your underwear. Only we and Victoria’s Secret models get to do that, but we get to eat a lot more pudding. The worst part is the company Christmas parties. They’re not very entertaining when there’s only one employee. And of course someone always ends up drunk and doing something illicit in the closet, and then it’s just awkward on Monday.
Q: If you could be the
richest and most powerful person in the world, but in exchange you could never
talk to me again … would you do it?
Gilligan: All the money in the world? Geez, I’d never talk to you again for a nice, crisp twenty. But I’ll take all the money in the world, if that offer is still on the table. (Then we could communicate through robotic monkeys, which I would pay scientists to invent for us).
Q: If you could give some advice
to burgeoning cartoonists, what would it be?
more dog comic strips. There aren’t
enough comic strips with dogs. Oh, and
the second lesson is don’t use sarcasm in written form, it often doesn’t