Interview with Chelsea Martin

Chelsea Martin is the author of some incredibly funny, sporadically affecting books, including Everything Was Fine Until Whatever and The Really Funny Thing About Apathy. You can find her comic Heavy-Handed online at the Rumpus.

She read at APRIL 2012 with Ryan Call, and she also wrote some Reverse Fan Mail for our Kickstarter! APRIL’s Kellen Braddock swapped some emails with Martin, who talked about TV on the Internet, which author quells the jitters and the downsides of sleeping with sitcom characters from the ’90s.


APRIL: What are you currently working on?

Chelsea Martin: 10-20 word documents and drawings for next week’s Heavy-Handed (my comic on The Rumpus)

APRIL: What are you reading and why?

CM: The Ants by Bert Holldobler and Edward O. Wilson. It’s the most comprehensive book on ants ever written.

I’m also reading If on a winter’s night a traveler, because I’ve had sort of a bullshit week, and Italo Calvino calms me.

APRIL: What small press is really ringing your bell right now?

CM: I’m pretty pumped on PictureBox, who is putting out my friend Jonny Negron’s comic book sometime this year. But honestly, I think self-pub is where it’s at.

APRIL: What is some bomb ass shit that I should check out on the internet?

CM: Ehm… Have you heard of Hulu?

APRIL: What was a high point of your Lil Bitch Mini Reading Tour; did you eat anything unexpected? 

CM: The whole thing was really good. I love Elizabeth and Scott, and I have good friends in every city we were in, so it was a really fun trip. I surprised myself by eating a slice of pizza one day – I’m not supposed to eat all that bread!

APRIL: Would you prefer to share a sleeping bag with George Costanza or Elaine Benes?

CM: I don’t think I’d feel comfortable sleeping that close to either one of them, because they are both very judgmental and I worry that either one of them would talk shit on me later. But, eh, George.

APRIL: Does your horoscope affect the decisions you make?

CM: I can sort of follow the logic that the positions of planets might affect certain aspects of life on Earth, but I don’t think anybody is smart enough to say shit about it, so, no.

APRIL: Do you ever write or illustrate while riding public transportation? If so, could you tell us about a conversation you’ve had with an interested over-the-shoulder gazer?  

CM: Anyone looking over my shoulder while I do anything is absolutely not allowed.

APRIL: This was our first festival.  Could you tell us the story of your first publication?

CM: My first story was published in Beeswax Magazine in a really special, letter pressed, hand-made issue. My contributor copies came with pins and cards. I felt really taken care of. Beeswax is based in Oakland, but I don’t know who runs the magazine and I can’t remember how I found out about it.