Ashley Neuhaus 11-APR-2012  Molly Crabapple is at it again.  Or has she ever really stopped?  Bringing more beautiful art into the world, IDW Publishing has produced her new book, THE ART OF MOLLY CRABAPPLE VOLUME ONE: WEEK IN HELL.  On the (successful) Kickstarter campaign page for this project Molly said she was “interested in what happens when an artist leaves their studio, their cliches, and their comfort zone and draws beyond the limits of their endurance.”

With walls covered by paper, Molly set out on a mission to cover it all with her art.  She would draw portraits of her visitors and it’s all documented by Brooklyn-based photographer Steve Prue.  This book doesn’t just give you a straightforward view of the finished product.  In the book, a 360 view is presented so you can actually feel like you’re inside Molly’s head which is complete with beautiful girls and crazy creatures including squidbeasts!

Molly was such a sweetheart and agreed to answer a few questions I had for her.

AN: Will there be a volume two of your art? If so, do you have a title for it already? ‘Week in Hell’ is pretty awesome and might be hard to top.

MC: Yep! IDW is doing three volumes of my artwork.  The next two are Devil in the Details, and Saints and Sinners.

AN: How many visitors did you have over to draw?
MC: 42.
Taking a break from drawing to jump on the bed!
AN: Did you include little Easter eggs like the lizard photographers for Stoya will all of your portraits?
MC: Oh yes.
AN: Did Warren Ellis really dare you to do it?
MC: Kinda.  I do believe the initial idea was mine, but he refined it and put me up to it.  He might debate this.
AN: What other projects are on your table?
MC: I’m working on Shell Game, a series of nine giant paintings about the financial collapse, and STRAW HOUSE with John Leavitt, a graphic novel about a magic carnival.
AN: You’ve worked for some pretty big companies such as Marvel and DC comics.  What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned in the business?  Any advice for people looking to break in?
MC: A major comics company signed me to do my dream project, then folded the imprint, leaving me unable to do anything with the project for five years.  It was a brutal, depressing lesson in being skeptical of contracts.  Advice for people looking to break in?  Be opportunistic, don’t think of yourself solely in the context of comics, and do creator owned work.
AN: What’s your favorite subject matter to draw?
MC: Hyper detailed Boschian hellscapes.
The artist posing with some of her artwork.
AN: You are the co-founder of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School.  Did you go to art school yourself or a traditional university?  Do you think one has an advantage over the other?
MC: I went to a terrible art school that I dropped out of, because I couldn’t afford to go to a good art school.  I’m skeptical of college when it’s not either for something like engineering or medicine, or an intellectually elite Ivy education.  Art school in particular is an attempt to academicize a trade.
AN: Where do you find inspiration?
MC: Caffeine, dashing journalists, sarcasm, underground performers.
AN: Do you have anything playing in the background while you work?
MC: Books on tape, usually.  Been on an Orwell binge.
AN: If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to your 13 year-old self?
MC: Not to view everything made for teenagers as beneath my contempt. 
AN: What do you do to relax?
MC: Ha!
AN: Where can people learn more about your work?

The book is now available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble among other places on the Internet.