9 Questions with Caanan Grall

November 7, 2012

One of our favorite web comics discoveries of the past few years is Max Overacts, about an kid with an overactive mind and a flair for the dramatic. Max is the creation of the super-talented, Eisner-Nominated Caanan Grall who also gave us Zuda Comics’ Celadore.

So when we wanted to tell a story about IX, Scratch’s 9th aspect with an overactive mind, Caanan was our go-to choice.

Caanan sat down with us to answer nine mind-bending questions from team Scratch…

IX from Scratch9 by Caanan Grall

IX from Scratch9 by Caanan Grall

Scratch9: What made you want to become an artist?

Caanan Grall: I think this is a pretty common story, but I was one of those ‘gifted’ kids that got their work done way before all the other kids in class so had to sit quietly while everyone else finished their latest set of math ‘problems’ (in grade 1, you don’t know what real problems are yet) so I would draw. It was quiet. It was easy. It was fun. And I never stopped! To the point where, toward the end of high school, I would draw my silly cartoons before I finished my other work. I guess creating new realities ended up being more fun than living the one I had.

Scratch9: Your story involves IX and his tremendous mind tricks. What is the greatest mind trick you’ve ever pulled on someone, or have ever had pulled on you?

Caanan Grall: Not sure if this classes as a mind trick, but I did get a pretty fantastic lady to marry me. Did I mention I was also a hypnotist?

IX from Scratch9 by Caanan Grall

IX from Scratch9 by Caanan Grall

Scratch9: Which of your behaviors is most catlike?

Caanan Grall: I do have this tendency to lick the back of my hand and then wipe it on my head. Don’t do it in restaurants. I learned that the hard way.

 Scratch9: What is the first thing kids should do if they want to become an artist?

Caanan Grall: Ask your parents if they’ll support your decision to work hard for little money for the first ten years of your career by letting you freeload in their basement, and continually use up all their laundry powder, bread, and milk. If they say no, get new parents.

But seriously… just draw. Draw all the time! But if you want to be a professional about it, you must look, every day at what you’ve done, and if it’s not different, or you haven’t improved at all, figure out why, then do it. Draw. Critique. Improve. A true artist is never happy with their abilities and will always find ways to do things better.

Scratch9: Curling?

Caanan Grall: The sport? Never tried it.


Max Overacts by Caanan Grall

Max Overacts by Caanan Grall

Scratch9: Do you have one or more pets? If so, tell us about them.

Caanan Grall: We have two cats. Both rescues. Wicket, we got from someone’s back porch in Nova Scotia before the winter fell. This girl was feeding him every day but had her own cats so could never let him in, so we arrived one day, fought long and hard to get him in a carrier, and now he’s a big old, indoor, neutered, laser-loving, teddy bear. Atlas, we got as a kitten. He likes to play fetch with milk rings (the little plastic strip surrounding the cap off a jug of milk) and has something wrong with his hips, so he walks funny and is extremely easy to tip over. He also loves faces. We named him Atlas because he was the runt of his litter, yet survived over all his brothers and sisters, and therefore carries the weight of the world on his shoulders for them.

Scratch9: What are you working on now?

Caanan Grall: My webcomic, Max Overacts, about a young boy who wants to be a great, serious stage actor. I’ve done just over 300 strips so far, but it’s the start of a long journey, as all the kids will grow up as the strip progresses, and Max will start to get real acting work, and travel all over, and situations will change. Friends will come and go, then come back again. Already we’ve seen Max and his friends turn from 8 years old to 9, and graduate grade 3. Up next is a lot of summer holidays and Max’s very first trip away to summer acting camp.

Scratch9: What is your dream project?

Caanan Grall: What I’m doing now, only with money involved.

X-Babies vs Muppet Babies by Caanan Grall

X-Babies vs Muppet Babies by Caanan Grall

Scratch9: Where can our readers find you if they must know more about Caanan Grall?

Caanan Grall: Everything you need to know is at occasionalcomics.com. You can also follow me on twitter, @caanan, I guess. I don’t tweet often, but I always make sure it’s positive.

Thanks, Caanan!

Everyone be sure to check out Max Overacts for more of Caanan’s awesome work. And stay tuned for 9 more questions from our fantastic anthology artists.

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One Response to “ 9 Questions with Caanan Grall ”

  1. Gina Macdonald on November 8, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Caanan rocks!!:)

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