SM: Why Cat and Girl?
D: I was in a classroom watching a pretentious student ﬁlm and trying to make out what the characters’ name were – they couldn’t possibly be calling each other “Cat” and “Girl”, could they? Not even this ﬁlm would wade that far into pretentious allegory, would it? And then they were moving a mirror and it broke which symbolized something and the ﬁlm ended, and the credits rolled and yes indeed “Cat” and “Girl” it was. When the lights came on I took out my notebook and drew what I thought Cat and Girl really ought to look like. And that was that.
SM: Does Cat and Girl Pay the Bills, even just one?
D: I do not have very many bills, so Cat and Girl pay most of them. I stopped buying stuff that wasn’t food or rent when I embraced the self-employed lifestyle. Which makes moving day quite easy, but laundry day very very hard.
SM: Hipsters- Beat Em or Join Em?
D: Oh, join them. There’s something to be said for being the funniest dressed kid in the year book.
SM: Your website lists your residence as Brooklyn- What’s it like in the big city these days?
D: Manhattan is really the city. I don’t get there much. It’s always full of people wearing black or carrying small dogs in their purses or both. Very spine chilling stuff. I live in Greenpoint, a Polish neighborhood in Brooklyn, which has an unreal number of shops selling liquor and meat. It is very pleasant when the wind is blowing in from the scented candle factory, and less so when it blows in from the largest refuse processing plant in the Northeast.
SM: Do you ever get that thing where you drink two cups of coffee and then your brain is so frantic it’s almost like being in a panic?
D: I try for it almost daily. That is where ideas live.
SM: Sentient felines (i.e., Cat, Hobbes, Garﬁ eld) and comics: why do they ﬁnd themselves in our art so often?
D: Because the true artistic type avoids sunlight, the outdoors and displays of affection, so dogs are impractical.
SM: Cat and Girl seem so often to provide a gentle reprimand (and sometimes not so gentle) to an excess of irony and caustic sarcasm- How did people get this way in the ﬁrst place where we need to be reprimanded?
D: “Like watching a neverending ﬁlm loop of a kid riding his bike into a telephone pole”, to quote Achewood out of context, cynics are idealists whose hopes have been dashed again and again and again and again. We all teeter-totter between the cynicism and the idealism, but cynicism is easier. More appealing. Idealism makes you give something of yourself. Idealistsare easy to make fun of, they’re gullible and oblivious and you can laugh at their dreams. Cynics just stare back at you with their cold dead eyes. And they’re always better dressed than you.
SM: Is there a Cat and Girl album? (i.e., is there an album that gets multiple play time when you illustrate Cat and Girl?)
D: I usually listen to WFMU while I work on cartoons. If I were to pick a single Cat and Girl band it would be the Shirelles. I am obsessed with theShirelles. Obsessed. I am so obsessed with the Shirelles that I enjoy Carole King’s “Tapestry” because she wrote songs for the Shirelles. OBSESSED.And Supercharger. If someone could form a band inﬂuenced only by the Shirelles and Supercharger I would have to type out “obsessed” a few more times in capital letters.
SM: You’re in a band- what’s that all about?
D: Sitting in front of a computer drawing cartoons all day is a lonely life. And it is bad for your back. And complexion. If you are in a “band” then once or twice a week these people have to come over to see you and you can be creative but like there’s actual other people there, and lots of noise. Also if you are ever at a loss for anything to say you can complain about how hard it is to get shows.(read in a subtle tone of voice): My band is called the Vandervoorts. We are for people who are not picky about the quality of their rock and roll, and we are on the internet.
SM: Cat and Girl seem to live together in a home with no parental supervision. When packages arrive for cat or girl, who signs for them?
D: They turn off all the lights and pretend they’re not home, and UPS drops the package off at a neighbor’s.