Friend of the Brand Richard Carroll created us some great illustrations and helped us show Heimat in a different way. Whilst working with Dick we also got some time to get to know him a little more and decided to do an interview.
Who is Richard Carroll ?
An Australian born, Brooklyn based, Cartoonist and Illustrator whose work focuses on quotidian autobiography with an eye always on the world of menswear.
How did you become a cartoonist?
I was drawing cartoons my whole life and when I was young I spent a lot of time copying looney tunes characters onto printer paper. I think I was lucky to be a kid in the late 80s and early 90s and live through the auteur animation boom. Stuff like Ren and Stimpy, Rockos Modern Life and the Animaniacs really did a number on me. When I was younger I wanted to be in animation but when I was a teenager I got really serious and angsty and wanted to be a fine artist, the problem was I never found an aspect of fine art that really gelled with me. I started drawing web comics in high school and then just after I discovered alternative comics. I ended up going to art school, dropping out, working in cafes and menswear for 10 years then going back to art school. I moved to New York and started taking comics and illustration more seriously, there's basically been no looking back.
What/who inspires your work?
Mostly I am inspired by the texture of everyday life. I think that’s why I like clothing so much, there is a lot you can say very quickly with clothing. It’s a very rich form of expression but also one that people don’t take too seriously, it’s just like cartooning!
What's your favorite comic?
That's a hard question! Probably Daniel Clowes’ “8-Ball”. I love the old alternative comics semi-anthology format and I'm thinking that Clowes created the definitive version. There were these beautiful artifacts where a single creator puts out an issue once or twice a year and you get all these weird incidental shorts, almost page filler but so interesting. A real look into the psyche of the cartoonists. They don’t really exist anymore with the move towards longer form “graphic novels”.
Snoopy or Mickey Mouse?
I keep thinking about this and it's so hard to decide! I like snoopy because of the writing and characterisation. Charlie Brown is so depressed, he was like the proto slacker and don’t get me started about Shultz's amazing wobbly line. But I love Mickey Mouse cartoons because of the physical comedy, the inky lines. I think Mickey wins this round.
Your favorite movie or book tip?
Recently I can’t stop watching “Mandy” by Panos Cosmatos, it’s this insane fever dream. An art house movie masquerading as a grind house horror/revenge film, it’s just amazing. The direction and the colours and the music, I love it all. It’s also nothing at all like my comics, which is kind of strange but great!
For something a bit more contextual I love “Pattern Recognition” by William Gibson. The way Gibson deconstructs postmodern existence into a never ending series of brands and symbols was really eye opening to me and I have never stopped seeing it. Written before the advent of youtube (which it cannily predicts) it’s the first of Gibsons books, I read as it was released and it's also the book that introduced me to Buzz Rickson and the world of Japanese reproduction. I really recommend it to anyone who is interested in the way we consume media and fashion in the internet age.
Your 3x favorite places to have a drink in NY?
There are really too many to name but the places you could reliably find me before the quarantine were,
“Reade Street Pub” for a beer with the regulars (but usually just with myself) any day after work, “Winnies” on a Friday night in Chinatown singing Karaoke or “Jimmy’s Corner” in Times Square anytime I am accidentally anywhere near Times Square.
Your 3x favorite places to have bite in NY?
I love the Chicken Cutlet sandwich at “Federoffs Roast Pork” in Williamsburg, the rotisserie chicken and one of each side with as many friends as I can find at “The Fly” in Bedstuy or whatever they have on the menu at the moment at “Frenchette” in Tribeca.
Your favorite fact about NY?
I love that Times Square got its name from the paper which had made the midtown neighbourhood its HQ because of the easy access it would give its reporters to the Transit system. A fact I learned about in a Sammy Harkham comic in the New York Magazine!
How did you find out about Heimat products and what do you like about them?
I actually hadn’t heard about Heimat until we started selling them at the Armoury in NYC. I love how robust and durable the knits are. They remind me of the sort of sweaters I used to only be able to find in vintage stores. Which I love!
Any future plans you can let us know about?
I have a big back log of autobio comics that I am just gearing up to print and that should be happening really soon!