10 Questions with Cartoonist Extraordinaire Lisa Hanawalt

Lisa Hanawalt at the 2011 Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, photo by Nick Gazin

Few cartoonists have come along in the last 10 to 15 years that exhibit the distinct style or creative voice as singularly unique and funny as Lisa Hanawalt.

Since the 1990s, there’s been an emergence of more critically acclaimed “indy” comics, like Dan Clowes’ Eightball and Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library, both which have put a much bigger spotlight on comics as an art form . This has led to an explosion of new and exciting work being done all over the world but few carry the torch of the modern greats like Lisa does.


Lisa Hanawalt began her comics career working on a web-comic with a friend called “Tip Me Over Pour Me Out” and then moved onto crafting her own handmade mini comics. It didn’t take long for her work to get noticed by the likes of small press publishing pioneer Alvin Buenaventura. Soon after, Lisa had her first major work published, I Want You #1 from Buenaventura Press. Inlaid with Lisa’s hilarious thoughts on ordinary life and her wild, wild kingdom of animal-humanoids, her comics are a perfectly surreal trip you’ll want to take over and over again!

Today you can find Lisa’s work gracing the pages of the New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Believer, and Vice magazine, just to name a few. You can also find more of her work and buy her books/art on her website.


Now, Lisa Hanawalt answers the 10 most asked questions submitted to us by millions of enquiring, incarcerated folks:

1. Pegasus or Mr. Ed? Explain.
Mr. Ed, because I like earthy palominos and that horse actor’s name was “Bamboo Harvester.”

2. Would you describe yourself as a gamer and do you have a favorite game?
I love games, but I try not to play too many because I get addicted so quickly. I like old school text-based RPGs, board games like Puerto Rico and Dominion, “Mom” games like Mahjong and Spider Solitaire, and I have this fun one called Tiny Wings on my phone . I get obsessive and intense about Mario Kart Wii.

3. What was the last good movie you’ve seen?
I watched “Big,” which I hadn’t seen since I was a kid, and it had this whole new poignance now that I’m close to thirty like Tom Hanks’ character. I love movies made in 86′-89′, they’re the best.

4. Who were you in a previous life?
My parents are hardcore atheist scientists, so when I used to ask them questions like this they’d shoot down my fantasies pretty quick. I’d be like, “But wasn’t I even a twinkle in Dad’s eye?” “Nope, our DNA hadn’t combined yet.” So, to answer your question, I was a wolf.

5. Name your least favorite pet if you have any. Explain.
I only have one pet, my dog Indy. So I guess she’s both my favorite and least favorite? I like her least when she’s projectile vomiting and trying to play tug o’ war at the same time.

6 .On being a future guest on The View; dream or nightmare?
Both! I’d get nervous diarrhea being around all those people that early in the day, but it’d be so surreal and fun to be on there.

7.The Mayan calendar ends on December 21st, 2012. How are you preparing for the coming Apocalypse?
Saying “I don’t believe in that” while also nervously checking in with my loved ones.

8. Describe your worst dating experience.
I went on a long bike ride with this guy I’d been casually dating for a couple months – we kept talking about how we were going to get fried chicken after, and I was getting super hungry because we’d been biking for hours. But as soon as we got in his car, he dumped me! And drove me home! So I was starving and sad, and I couldn’t tell if I was pining more for him or the fried chicken.

9. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
The Bachelor. I don’t even really feel guilty though, I just like it. I’ve got a $5 bet placed on Courtney to win.

10. Will you make it to SDComiCon this year? What future projects can you tell us about?
I’m not sure about SDCC yet! Right now I’m working on some comics about a Toy Fair I went to, plus some other things that are TOP SECRET!

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