Jess Fink’s work has appeared in SPX, Popgun, and Best Erotic Comics, among other publications. Her book Chester 5000 XYV was published by Top Shelf. Top Shelf is also publishing her upcoming book, We Can Fix It. Westfield’s Roger Ash recently contacted Fink to learn more this new book.
Westfield: We Can Fix It was originally serialized on your Livejournal site. Why did you decide to collect the story and did you make any changes in the strip for publication?
Jess Fink: Oh yeah, the book has had a lot of (mostly visual) changes since then. When I was originally posting it on Livejournal it was really rough, and a lot of things still needed to be fleshed out. I had a great response from people when I was posting it which really encouraged me to keep making it better. I reformatted everything for the book, added pages and panels so things flowed better, inked and painted the whole book. I was also extremely thankful to have gotten some help and advice with editing it from my teacher and friend Tom Hart. I’m very proud of the way the book has turned out.
Westfield: What can you tell us about the story in We Can Fix It?
Fink: Well, it’s a time travel story but it’s also a memoir of my life, a lot of it is about regret. I think most people have regrets that weigh them down and I had been thinking a lot about what I would change about my life if I could go back in time. Most people wish they could impart some wisdom to their younger selves. Once you go down that road you also start thinking about all the things you wouldn’t want to change. So the story in We Can Fix It is about exploring that for me. Also there is making-out and a shiny metallic jumpsuit.
Westfield: Why did you decide to do a memoir and how did you decide on what events from your life to include?
Fink: I’ve written autobiographical comics for a long time so writing this kind of comic felt natural to me. There are plenty of moments I fantasize about changing that were too painful or personal to share. I tried to pick moments from my life that were important and had an real impact on me, but I also wanted them to be relate-able moments.
Westfield: While this is a memoir, it does include fictional elements such as the time travelling you from the future. How did including that impact the story?
Fink: I really like time travel stories, I think the nature of it forces them to deal with very personal themes like regret. I could have written a straight memoir but I think the addition of time travel makes it closer to my actual internal monologue and it’s just more fun to write.
Westfield: Are there other projects you’re working on that you’d like to mention?
Fink: Right now I’m working on another book of Chester 5000, it’s a kind of prequel to the first book which was also published by Top Shelf. It’s an erotic, adult comic set in the 1800s with a little bit of sci fi as well, that can be read online here: http://jessfink.com/Chester5000XYV/
I also post autobiographical comics to my site Kid With Experience : http://jessfink.com/kwe/
Westfield: Any closing comments?
Fink: That’s it! Thank you!