SPURGEON: What is it that struck you about Voyeurs that in our pre-interview you named that of all the boutique publishing works you could have named? This is a book that’s come up a bunch in my conversations with people in terms of it being a top-line effort perhaps ideally suited from what Tom is doing. What would you have people know about what Gabrielle Bell is doing, particularly in terms of what she’s put out to date as compared to this latest work?
CLOUGH: The Voyeurs stuck out because it’s the first time I’ve seen a true micro-publisher, one that primarily publishes mini-comics or pamphlets, stretch its legs in such an astonishing fashion. The Voyeurs looks as good as any book not produced by Fantagraphics this year. The quality of paper that’s designed to make the color look just right is a tell-tale sign that Tom K was paying attention to details. It’s obvious that Tom K and Gabrielle carefully curated and arranged its contents so it wasn’t just simply dumping old strips in between two covers and calling it a day. Bell creates a kind of narrative that on the surface level is chronological but at a deeper level is emotional and philosophical. She plays some chapters off against other chapters, giving later events greater resonance — like with her ex-boyfriend Michel — and depth. The book also allows her to return to certain themes like presentness and expand on them later. Bell is also still really funny, but this is a work by a cartoonist who thinks. I believe this is why she and Tom K have excellent synergy as a publisher-artist duo. Tom’s comics are cerebral in a different way but are still very much the product of an artist who lives inside his own head as much as Bell does, while still thinking constantly about others and the ways in which they behave."