Trudy Cooper: Pretty Pictures Filthy Thoughts

It’s always a pleasure to break bread with funny women with potty mouths and dirty minds. Meet Trudy Cooper an Australian cartoonist, illustrator and writer who has been taking the comic book world by the balls since 1993 with her creation Platinum Grit. With a new comic book series Oglaf in circulation, Trudy promises to raise more eyebrows with her brilliant illustrations and filthy thoughts.

Talk about your latest comic book series Oglaf.
It’s porn! …well, sort of. I’m very fond of the idea of pornography – you know- sex is great, movies are great, therefore movies about sex must be AWESOME! So there you are, walking out of the video library with a copy of Edward Penishands saying “I don’t see how this won’t be the greatest movie ever!” An hour later, you’re going “I now see exactly how this isn’t the greatest movie ever. Because it’s shit.” So I thought “Hell! I’m going to make some smut!” I fell short of those lofty goals.Oglaf is more often dick jokes than actual porn. I really have to get more vagina jokes in there. Don’t want to be accused of bias.

At what age did you discover that you had the sense of humor of a dirty sailor?
Eight. Same as everyone else. Just that I never quite grew out of it.

We’re you the type of girl who was sneaking a peek at your daddy’s Playboys or did you discover sexuality at a later age?
I remember reading Archie comics as a little kid and wondering why, when Veronica bent over, her little skirts never rode up. That was about as dirty as literature got in my house. Bit catholic. My dad was a sailor, but not the dirty kind. More the happy-go-lucky chorus line from South Pacific sort. Far as I know, anyway. TV when I was a kid, now that was a different story. God bless the 70s, and more specifically, British comedian Kenny Everett.

You are the co-creator of the highly acclaimed self-published Australian comic book Platinum Grit. For those not familiar with your work, give us a little backstory about Platinum Grit.
It’s a black comedy about a broken boffin with an odd family secret that his family’s kept him in the dark about. With the aid of his best friend and heart’s desire, Nils, and Kate (who might fancy him if he wasn’t such a freak), he’s…not really succeeding in much other than getting in deeper and deeper. It began waaaaay back in 1993, and has gotten much better since then. Lots of sexiness and nob-jokes and regular jokes scattered throughout the epic tale.

There was a three-year gap between issues 11 and 12 of Platinum Grit. What made you decide to pick it back up and continue after a long hiatus?
I’m very excited to talk about that, but first, did it ever strike anyone else as weird that the Hulk always lost his shirt, but never his pants? Seriously, we never once saw green cock in those comics, did we? I think that’s a bit of a pity. I mean the guy is huge and lumpy and covered in veins, so presumably his dick is too. His flaccid dick, you know? So what must it be like when erect? I’m thinking it’s a perfectly smooth cylinder, the skin stretched so tight that it’s translucent. Shimmering. If you look at it for long enough, you can see the forgotten promises of youth. Not your youth, though. Somebody else’s. Some fukken idiot.

Oh, and I was ill and then got better.

Please name other illustrators that inspire you either past or present. Is it safe to guess that Robert Crumb was one?
No, I was never a Crumb reader and only read a bit of his stuff much later on. My inspirations lie pretty much exclusively in the French/Euro scene. French comics have a sensuality that simply isn’t there in western or even Japanese stuff. It’s hard to describe, but work by my absolute favourite artist, French legend Regis Loisel, just drips with it.

How about writers? Who floats your boat?
H.P Lovecraft! Alan Moore! Sylvia De Ma… fer.. gersen. Mmmn. Actually, Sylvia DeMafergerson isn’t a real person. I don’t actually read all that much. Those first two are awesome, though!

Comic timing is extremely important when forming a narrative in the comic book medium. Is this something that came natural to you as a writer or was it something that you had to develop and/or adapt to?
It’s not something I think about a lot, tell you the truth. The questions “does that seem funny?” and “how much space do I have left?” seem to come up a lot, though.

It seems the women in Oglaf tend to be the bullies and have the last laugh. Is this comic your cruel way to thrash and make fun of us men?
No way! It’s just that jerks are funny. Girl jerks are… well, they’re no funnier, I guess, but if you’re doing hetero sex comedy, the other option is woman-as-victim. Doing that and not having it bleak and horrible would need a delicate touch, and hey! Fuck that! That sounds waaaaay too hard. Girl jerks. Easier than working.

Do you pull your characters from people that you actually know or that you’ve had encounters with?
Are we still talking about sailors? ‘Cause I like their little hats.

Tell us what similarities you personally share with your female characters.
There seem to be quite a few men writing webcomics about hot girls, told from the hot girls’ point of view. I think it’s kind of like being in drag… you can slip on a girl suit and explore that side of your sexuality. Send a little Mars rover into your pants and see what’s going on in there. I think of myself as a drag queen with a dark secret- she’s really a woman.

Are there other projects in the works?
Sort of… I’ve taken up fighting crime by night.