Alum Spotlight: Chuck Forsman

November 17, 2018

Self Portrait by Chuck Forsman

Chuck Forsman ’08 is the force behind Oily Comics. He has a new comic, Automa, that he is serializing on Patreon. His comic The End of the XXXXing World (now out through Fantagraphics) has been adapted as a Netflix Original Series. Season 1 was nominated for the 2018 British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series.

How much are you involved with the creation of the Netflix Original Series?

I wasn’t officially involved in the writing or anything. I was hands off, but the creator of the show, Jonathan Entwistle, kept me close, so we were always talking. I am happy to be hands off. I make comic books. Plus, I really believe that adaptations work better when they are allowed to be their own thing. I didn’t want them to be so beholden to my book that it made the show suffer.

Chuck Forsman ′08 and Melissa Mendes ′10 at the British Academy Television Awards

What was it like attending the British Academy Television Awards? Did you bring drawing supplies and doodle?

It was pretty insane. Melissa and I entered this strange world of dresses and tuxedos. It kind of took over our lives the month leading up to it. I think the biggest thrill was getting to hang out with Graham Coxon for the night. He is the musician that did the original soundtrack for the show, and he is of course the guitarist for Blur, one of my favorite bands. I didn’t draw. I’ve stopped pretending to be that kind of always-drawing cartoonist years ago. I don’t really keep a sketchbook unless it is for a story I’m working on.

Is there anything you think the show does better than the comic could?

Oh yeah. Well the show has the power of music behind it which is one thing I’m really jealous that comics can’t have in the same way. It always comes off ham-fisted when you try to push music into comics too much. It just doesn’t work the same as it does in TV or film. I also think the show does a better job at rounding out Alyssa’s character and her motivations. There is a lot of stuff in the show I wished I had thought of.

What is the premise of Automa?

It’s kind of my Terminator 2 cyberpunk/time warping story. It’s pretty different to be playing with these things. But I’m having fun. Formally, I’m trying to connect it to how I perceive manga to read. I want the pages to be turned quickly and be as clear as possible.

Are you planning to print the complete Automa or will it only be released to Patreon subscribers?

Yeah, as I serialize it, you can only get it from my Patreon. It’s $3 a month to get each issue. Once it finishes, I will work to find a publisher to collect the whole thing and make it much easier to obtain.

What is your favorite thing to draw?

Probably the human face because it is instantly relatable. We tell so much by our faces.

Page 17 from Automa

Interview by Angela Boyle ′16.

Tags: Cartoon Studies, CCS Alum, Chuck Forsman, Fantagraphics, Graphic Novel, interview, netflix, TEOTFW, The End of the XXXXing World, TV series