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July 05, 2007


There's a terrific two-part interview of Eddie Campbell on Publisher's Weekly — Part 1 is here and Part 2 here.

Campbell gives behind-the-scene glimpses about the making of THE BLACK DIAMOND DETECTIVE AGENCY ...

PWCW: One thing that I enjoyed about the book was that the information comes at you so quickly, I didn't really have time to process it, I just wanted to finish reading the story, and afterwards I went back to read it again because I wanted to sort it all out—was that kind of intentional or am I just slow?

EC: You can do things with a book, with a detective mystery, that you can't really do in a movie. In a movie you can't turn back the pages to work out a problem or a conundrum. With a book you can stop it, you can sit back for a minute, you can work something out. It engages you, it challenges the mind. I'm a big fan of the great writers of detective fiction like Raymond Chandler. Reading Chandler, it's always a challenge to actually follow what the hell is going on. But at the same time, the fact that he's always one step ahead of your cognitive understanding of the events, gives kind of a captivating rush to it, because you know you're being outwitted. That's part of the fun of it, the writer is outwitting you, and you're struggling and striving to keep up with him. There's a challenge going on all the time—"See if you can follow this one!" I do like that version of the classic detective novel, as opposed to the English style, the Agatha Christie thing, which is much more sedate. It's like a parlor game where all the evidence is given to you a spoonful at a time, and everything is explained to you as you go along. I much prefer the hard-boiled American style where it's helter-skelter and you just have to hang on tight to keep up with it.

... and some mouth-watering hints about his upcoming THE AMAZING REMARKABLE MR. LEOTARD...

It’s another period piece—it’s set in the 1800s again. It’s not about the circus, but the characters in it are circus characters. I’m 80 pages into it, and I’m quite excited by it. It covers a large sweep of history, from the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 all the way up to the First World War. One of [the characters] pinched [stole] the Mona Lisa in 1911 and he was sent to Devil’s Island, and the others have all gone to the Caribbean to rescue him, but the boat they’ve got on in 1912 to rescue him is the Titanic.

...80 pages, Eddie?? Argh, I can't wait.


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