Insight on Cartoonists: Michael Capozzola

An interview with Michael Capozzola

The old line, “They laughed when I sat down to play the piano,” doesn’t quite fit the work of Michael Capozzola, who wants people to laugh, not when he’s seated, but when he does his work as a stand up comic – something he’s been doing since his college days.

Michael Capozzola cartoonAll this is in addition to his wonderful work with what are called “Surveillance Caricatures” for the San Francisco Chronicle’s “96 Hours” Thursdays section, devoted to local weekend activity. (Capozzola’s work is also featured here on the Humor Times website.)

Though he is not, as are most of our current cartoonists, exclusively an artist at all, his deadly right-on commentary on life and the foibles we all share makes him a favorite among all who see him.

He considers censorship “no big deal. I just write and draw a new one. Sometime I’ll submit panels knowing they’ll be rejected.” He adds, “I just like to see how the rejection is worded.”

Mike considers himself lucky in doing the comedy circuit, but says that if he hadn’t been drawn to humor, he’d, “have been a stunt man.”

His comedic touch was always with him and he was clearly confident where he was going: “I simply erased or whited out opposition. I’ve always loved drawing. I just didn’t grow out it after 1st or 2nd grade as (other kids often) do.”

Michael Capozzola cartoonMost of his favorite works as a youngster were from comic book artists. He loved “The Far Side” (Gary Larson) and Charles Addams, and discovered “Bizarro” (Dan Piraro — also featured on this site) in college and is still “a big fan.” He considers “Perry Bible Fellowship,” described online as “a sinister, humorous and subversive comic strip from Nichloas Gurewitch that appears in The Guardian (UK) newspaper weekly,” to be “vastly funny,” adding – in fun of course – “damn him.”

It’s unlikely that a chap as sharp as Capozzola would allow himself to be marooned anywhere, but he says he’d “pack exquisitely drawn books about surviving on a desert island and how to escape one. And, of course, my iPod.”

His honest and warm heart is most apparent when he says that some of his happiest moments as a working artist are “getting feedback from friends or especially strangers who have read my work and like a specific panel.”

In his cartooning and his performing as a comic, it’s clear to us, Mike’s a real stand-up guy!

Stanford Chandler
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