5: Time Travel and Future Inspiration

Time Travel and Future Inspiration

We are fascinated by your office interior, decorated in the style you call “low tide”. Tell us where your appreciation for the Steampunk movement originated, and what about your snug workspace inspires you most – the low headroom, the 80s gay music piped through the sound system, the old-fashioned plank flooring and wainscoting, or the brass lanterns, ship’s portholes. And also, do tell us about your Hudson River penguins oil painting?

Wow, I’m really flattered by your description. My world sounds like a regular Xanadu! I’m working romantically under oil paintings of penguins! Truth is, a lot of choices were more to do with lack of money and being resourceful. That painting I found at an auction for 25 cents. Finding things, having fun and, in the end, continuing that by sharing some solutions online is where I hope to also learn from other like-minded hoarders.

My interest in Steampunk began in the early ‘80s as a teenager when I started listening to Thomas Dolby. I like any artist who unexpectedly incorporates history. Another example would be comedian Eddie Izzard. This year I went to Oxford for the first Steampunk show. Now there are Steampunk festivals popping up all over the United States.

You are presently starting up an online humor magazine. Tell us a little more about that – the concept, the contributors, the content, the submissions process, the editing process. Does your magazine have a name yet? Are you working alone or in collaboration with other artists and writers?

Called The Basement, it’s an offshoot of the news website dscriber.com. There’s about twenty contributors but it’s open to submissions (snowmanexpert@pipeline.com) and I’m looking for progressive humor in many forms (poetry, podcasts, videos, cartoons and short stories). Nothing vulgar but aimed for adults. The site will be opening in September and at that time it will be much easier for anyone to understand what material fits in. I expect some celebrity comedians to participate but I’m going to wait until I see who actually shows up before I name drop. I don’t know my budget and I’m very sensitive to artists getting reciprocated for their work. That said, I’d like to add that those who may be interested in visiting the site should check out the other work and submit work they may have already lying around since I’m not sure yet how much I’ll be able to pay.

Anything else you care to tell us about your current projects?

The past year I’ve written a script for a one-hour Christmas special based on my book – actually, I’ve rewritten it four times now. Hoping it’ll make it on the air by 2012. We start filming in Switzerland next spring.

Thanks for interviewing me and thanks to everyone for listening to my spiel.

Thank you, Bob Eckstein. We’ll be sure to watch for your humor zine and your Christmas special. And when we’re ready to redecorate our offices, we’ll give a call.

The Editors of VOICES would also like to thank Bob for providing the pictures and artwork included here. All photographs in this interview are copyright Bob Eckstein, unless otherwise noted.

We leave you with an array of Bob’s early ‘non-cartoonist’ works.

1984 © Bob Eckstein New York Times magazine All rights reserved

1980 © Bob Eckstein All rights reserved

1982 © Bob Eckstein All rights reserved

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Comment Below!

  1. August 15, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Even Shakespeare had to mow his lawn – how deeply satisfying that is to me in particular as I’m heading out to our cottage where lawn awaits eagerly. Great interview of a wonderfully multi-faceted artist – well done, VOICES.

  2. August 15, 2010 at 7:27 am

    this is frickin’ wonderful, bob–

    thank you–

    and i see we both have a bronx connection, me a bit farther north at vc park

  3. August 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Just dropped by to say thanks. I appreciate the kind words, guys.

    In lieu in artist coffee houses where we would all meet late mornings to complain, Voices has gathered us here! Gary, I know Van Corlardt park well and still visit there today.

  4. August 15, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Wow, what a fantastic interview, chock-a-block of great stuff! Thanks Bob and VOICES. Love the advice about fame, aka platform. And persistence. Since I’m kinda doubting the fame stuff for myself, I’ll just keep plugging away a word at a time. Thank you! Peace…

  5. Darryl P.
    August 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Bob is one of my heroes in this world–and I suspect in a lot of other worlds besides. Does anybody work harder than this guy? And he’s singlehandedly rescued all of history’s long line of snow people from injustice the world over. But the big gift is he can make you laugh at the drop of the hat. We’re all so lucky to have him around and to share the same time-space with someone so original and cool and fun to be with!He’s the real deal–human,gifted,generous,original,dedicated and he knows how to lighten things up with all good seriousness well in hand.Thanks, Bob. It’s appreciated a thousand times over.

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